What am i doing wrong?

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Original poster
Dec 20, 2006
I'v tryed to make some pulled pork about 3 times now, and it just won't pull. Some of it does, but not all of it. And it seems like I have to work pretty hard to get it appart(Harder than it should be i think) Here's the methods I've tried so far.

1. pork roast. cooking temp around 215-225 degree's smoked to 170 degree's, with a dry rub. The meat tasted good, was juicy but i had to slice it, it wouldn't pull at all

2. After finding this site i took a few tips and tried, pork shoulder (previously frozen) with a dry rub, then mustard. cooking temp around 215-225 degree's cooked to 180 degree's. Pork was a little dry, some parts of it pulled but most didn't. Still had a good flavor to it.

3. Again pork shoulder, picnic this time, not sure what what cut attempt #2 was(agian previously frozen) dry rub, then used an apple juice spray, sprayed about once an hour. Wrapped in in tinfoil after it hit 150 degree's, then cooked up to 190 degree's, after i took it off i wrapped it up and and let it set for about an hour, the tempurature went up to 195 degrees. still wouldn't pull.

4. yesterday. picnic (not previously frozen) I talked to my uncle who smokes for a commercial catering company, and he gave me a few tips, did a dry rub, smoked at 190-200, for 6 hours, then wraped it in foil, and finished it in the oven at 225, same results

I'm I just cursed? Do you guys have any other tips or recomendations, or things i screwed up in the first 4 attempts?

many thanks
Ideally it should pull very well after reaching 200º to 205º then resting wrapped in towels or what have you and placed in an insulated cooler for a couple of hours. Won't pull very well under 195º ... Hope this helps!
Also try and keep your cooker temp up in the 230º to 250º range.

Don't lose faith !!!!
Yeah, what squeezy said.
What I do is prepare with rub the night before, start my fire in the morning and take meat out of fridge at the same time. Let the meat reach room temp and smack on the grates. Smoker at 230º or so, but not above 250º, unless I've done something wrong or under real tight time constraints. Smoke to 140º without looking, start spritzing with fruit juice, cook to 170º, Cover or foil, spritz one more time, cook to 205º, remove and pull.
If you pick it up and the meat doesn't want to fall apart on it's own, it's underdone. Anything under 200º is slicing meat to me.
BurnZ -

Your not cursed, just in to much of a rush. Low and Slow ... 205 degrees, rest, and pull.

Not all was lost you had some good pork roasts didn't you?
Burnz..just did my first and it came out great...don't take out till it hits at least 200...foil it wrap in a towel and into a cooler 1 to 2 hours ...you won't be able to handle it ,without fallin apart ...try try again ,it's worth it !
Before I found this site I had the same problems. I just couldn't get pulled anything. Then I found out I wasn't letting it get high enough. I always pulled it out too soon. Now that I have found this site and learned quite a bit my Q is turning out much better. It sounds wrong but the temps you are removing your meat at are too low, Leave it longer till 200 then remove it let it rest a while and it should pull with no problem.
Thanks guys, I've recieved mixed messages as to the temp that i should pull it. But this thread makes it clear as day..... Next time(hopefully next weekend, I'll cook it up to 200, and let it set for an hour or so wraped and in a cooler. Thanks agian.. and wish me luck, I'll report back next weekend and tell you how it turned out.
I use pork butts for pulled pork and only stop cooking each butt when it is ready. Only when it is tender enough to slightly wiggle the bone and pull the bone out of the butt with ease is it done. Some folks use the fork method by inserting a fork and seeing how easy it is to twist it. This is basically a test pulling while the butt is in the smoker. Each pork butt in your smoker may require a different length of time in your smoker before it is ready. Finishing up by wrapping the butts for the last part of the cooking process is an easy way to help insure a moist butt. You will not get much more smoke flavor once the pork butts have reached 140-145F so wrapping will not really reduce the amount of smoke flavor imparted into the butt. Good results have also been obtained for years by BBQ shacks that never wrap their butts. They maintain the temperature of their smoker near 210-225F keeping the butts internal temperature below 200F while the fat and collagen is rendered and the moisture is retained.
i always buy boston butts. i rub them with mustard, then sprinkle on my rub. i run my smoker 225-250°, trying to keep close to 225°. i take the butt to 205°, spritzing with my mop after 3 hours. i wrap with foil after it hits 170°, and let it rest for an hour before unwrapping to pull it.
I've done three shoulders.

Call me crazy but I don't even read the temperature of the roast. I try and keep it above 200, and below 250..

I cook for 2 hrs per lb, 8 lb roast is 16 hours. And for me... at 13 hours.. I wrap it in foil, take it out of the smoker, and put it in the oven for the remaining 3 hours. Bone slides out, and shoulder pulls great. I don't baste, inject, or anything other than dry rub 8 hrs before going in the smoker.

One thing that maybe you should check is to make sure that you are COMPLETELY thawed before going in the smoker.
I smoked my first Pork Butt Roast and it came out great. Here is the tip: LISTEN to what these guys on this board tell you. They are awesome. I never look anyplace else when I am trying something new. They have never did me wrong and I can bet you they never will :)

So BurnZ,
How did it turn out?? I think you have gotten some great advice here and am curious as to how it turned out. Have you had a chance to try the new approach??? Let us know.... if it's still not right, I think we can help to bring it around.
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