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What did I do wrong?

ChrisR3510

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I got a Grilla Grills Silverbac last week. Yesterday we got a 8 lb pork shoulder from Walmart. This morning I put rub on it & put it on the grill at 225 degrees. The probe was set for 165 degrees.
After about 6 hours, the internal temp was at 165. I wrapped the shoulder in alu foil, raised the grill temp to 285 & the probe temp to 195. About 2.5 hours later, the internal temp was 195. I removed the shoulder from the grill & let it rest 1 hour. When we unwrapped & started pulling it, the ends fell apart, but the center was very solid & would not pull apart. It had a great smoke ring & great taste.

What should I have done different?
 

TNJAKE

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You were close on temp.......don't rely on that though. Butt is done when you can probe it all over and it feels like sliding into butter. Mine are usually ready around an IT of 203. Then I rest for a couple hours
 

pc farmer

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I agree with Jake. More time in the smoker. Probe tender all over.
 

mneeley490

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Agree. 195° really isn't pulling temperature. Make sure the end of the probe is in the middle of the meat. Get it to 200°-or more, wrap and set it in cooler filled with clean towels for a few hours. It should come out hot and ready to pull.
 

tallbm

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I got a Grilla Grills Silverbac last week. Yesterday we got a 8 lb pork shoulder from Walmart. This morning I put rub on it & put it on the grill at 225 degrees. The probe was set for 165 degrees.
After about 6 hours, the internal temp was at 165. I wrapped the shoulder in alu foil, raised the grill temp to 285 & the probe temp to 195. About 2.5 hours later, the internal temp was 195. I removed the shoulder from the grill & let it rest 1 hour. When we unwrapped & started pulling it, the ends fell apart, but the center was very solid & would not pull apart. It had a great smoke ring & great taste.

What should I have done different?
Hi there and welcome!!!

As the guys have stated, it was done enough for pulling.
Pork butts, briskets, ribs, and some other cuts of meat are only done when they are tender.
They are tender when you can stab all over with a wooden kabob skewer and it goes in like butter.
Never done by temp alone. Temp only tells you when to check for tenderness.

On pork butts I just let them go to 205F and they have always passed the tenderness test and were ready to go. For briskets I start checking at 200F unless I'm just gonna shred a brisket then 205F works again haha.

Again, pork butt is only done when tender and temp tells you when to check by stabbing all over :)

I hope this info helps!
 

noboundaries

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Meat temp is only a guide, not a destination, with pork butts (and packer briskets). Probe those butts for tenderness. One might be ready at 205, another 200, another 210. Every little piggy is different.
 

ChrisR3510

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Thanks to everyone for the help.
I went by temp alone. I did not check for tenderness. I will remember that for next time.

Should I leave the alu foil on while it is resting? I did.
Should I have skipped the alu foil while cooking?
 

Bytor

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Thanks to everyone for the help.
I went by temp alone. I did not check for tenderness. I will remember that for next time.

Should I leave the alu foil on while it is resting? I did.
Should I have skipped the alu foil while cooking?
Definitely want to keep wrapped for the rest. That will keep the steam and juices with the meat. You might also want to consider butchers paper, rather than foil for the wrap. The paper will let the meat breath some and will save your bark.

As for wrapping or not, thats like a Chevy or Ford type question. I prefer to wrap, though many prefer naked. Try out both methods and see what you like.
 

tallbm

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Thanks to everyone for the help.
I went by temp alone. I did not check for tenderness. I will remember that for next time.

Should I leave the alu foil on while it is resting? I did.
Should I have skipped the alu foil while cooking?
Bytor pretty much nailed the answer.

I smoke in an MES (electric smoker) that holds moisture and humdity well and I never wrap a pork butt or a brisket or ribs, etc.
I find the unwrapped flavor far superior to foil wrapping.
I've never paper wrapped so no idea about that.
 

ChrisR3510

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Thank you again.
I have started a spread sheet with notes from today & the help provided here.

If I were to use paper for wrap. What width would work the best?
 

jcam222

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Like other said I run my butts up to 203-205 and then cooler for an hour. Make sure your probe is accurate and in the center of the thickest part.
 

whistlepig

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Temps are pretty important on overnight smokes like pulled pork and brisket. Doing this with out relying on a good thermometer would make this an even harder chore. Saying your butt reached an internal temp of 165 degrees in 6 hours is an indication of a bad thermometer. Even ribs are a close call at 6 hours.
 

Fueling Around

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Another option is to hit the stall (which is around the 165° point) and pull from the pooper. By that time time any smoke flavor into the meat is done. Put in a covered roaster pan (no wrap) and move to oven at 350° to finish.
As all the others said go for the low 200's to check for done. If a bone in shoulder start tugging at the bone. When it pulls easy the meat is done and can sit in the (covered) roaster on the stove top for a couple hours.
The fats and juice in the roaster are greats adds to the pork when you pull for a meal.

I've finished butts both on and off the smoker. I prefer the roaster in the oven.
 

ChrisR3510

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Like other said I run my butts up to 203-205 and then cooler for an hour. Make sure your probe is accurate and in the center of the thickest part.
I have 2 hand held thermometers that read very close to the probe. What is the best way to check the accuracy of the probe? Also, I may have had the probe to close to the bone.
 

tallbm

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I have 2 hand held thermometers that read very close to the probe. What is the best way to check the accuracy of the probe? Also, I may have had the probe to close to the bone.
Once you boil test (should measure 212F temp of boiling water) you will know how on/off your probes are. Don't get water inside them. I put them in a gallon bag and twist it so I don't get water in them.

Next, many people do not properly consider the best spot temp probe should aim for in the meat. The thickest most center part is the general practice and works for a pork butt.
On a whole packer brisket the best spot is the thickest yet center most spot of the FLAT muscle. Never the Point muscle as it gets tender super easy and much faster.
The POINT muscle are defies the general "thickest part" rule as it is the thickest part of the of the whole packer brisket but the flat muscle is the problem child when it comes to getting tender.
Hitting this magic spot on the FLAT muscle of a brisket is SUPER difficult to nail so I use 3 probes from different angles and use the lowest measuring probe :)

Each meat will have it's own quirks so you have to learn general rules then meat specific rules to produce the best results :)
 

Bigheaded

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Thank you again.
I have started a spread sheet with notes from today & the help provided here.

If I were to use paper for wrap. What width would work the best?
No expert here at all, but the 2 guys I spoke with who are big into smoking both said to get 24. Not necessary, but it's better to have a little extra width you don't need than to need another inch or 2. I bought 24 for like $26 where the 18 was $23.
 

Preacher Man

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I have 2 hand held thermometers that read very close to the probe. What is the best way to check the accuracy of the probe? Also, I may have had the probe to close to the bone.
When using the boiling water as a test, you need to adjust your boiling point for your location. Water doesn't boil at 212° everywhere, only at sea level. Barometric pressure and elevation will change it due to atmospheric pressure.

For instance, I checked this morning for my location and the boiling point of water is 207.3°. If I were to test my probes in boiling water thinking they need to hit 212°, I would walk away from my test thinking my temperature probes were 5° off when they might be spot on. A pork butt at 198° vs 203° could make a big difference in pulling tenderness. A brisket that you thought was at 203° and is actually 208° might be the difference between having perfect slices for dinner vs having to pull it all apart to make tacos because it's overcooked (disclaimer: you'll hear the magic "203" number all over in the BBQ world, it's just a general number to get you in the ballpark. Don't live or die by it. The meat is done when it's probe tender and only experience will teach you how to feel for that.)

Here's a link with a calculator for finding the boiling point at your specific location: Thermoworks Boiling Point Calculator
 
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