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Why different temps?

bc taster

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When I smoke butts, roasts and larger cuts of pork I smoke to 165 IT.  Then wrap in foil and cook to 200 IT.  After a rest, the meat is fall apart tender.  Now I want to try a pork tenderloin.  Searched the forum and Jeff's book.  Everyone says to smoke the loin to 145 IT.  Why the difference?   I understand the cooking time will be shorter because its a smaller piece of meat but why the lower temp?  145 IT just seems too rare for pork.  Someone please enlighten me on this.  

Bill
 

dirtsailor2003

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It is a lean cut like a steak. There's no fat to render. If you cook it like a butt it will dry out and you will have shoe leather. It's a slicing roast, not for pulling.
 
Last edited:

wade

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As Dirtsailor says, the additional temperature and time are required for the butt meat to pull. The time ensures that the structure of the meat breaks down into sugars which contribute to the flavour ans allows the fibres pull apart.

The tenderloin is a completely different cut of meat and is best roasted/smoked for less time and then sliced.
 

SmokinAl

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I usually pull them at 140 & rest them on the counter for 30 minutes, the carryover cooking will get them to 145. That is the safe temp for pork. Then slice & enjoy!

Al
 

crankybuzzard

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I usually pull them at 140 & rest them on the counter for 30 minutes, the carryover cooking will get them to 145. That is the safe temp for pork. Then slice & enjoy!

Al
Not to split hairs, but to clarify what Al said regarding the safe temp for pork.  For whole muscle pork the safe temp (as of 2011 from the USDA) is 145.  For ground pork it's 160.

Also, all else said above is right on target.
 

bc taster

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Thanks Guys   I was about to make a big mistake.  Just one last question.  Can I safely take the meat to say 150 so its not so rare?  Wife wasn't happy with really pink pork.

Bill
 

crankybuzzard

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Thanks Guys   I was about to make a big mistake.  Just one last question.  Can I safely take the meat to say 150 so its not so rare?  Wife wasn't happy with really pink pork.

Bill
Of course you can, it may be a bit more dry than at 145, but still good to go.
 

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