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Pork Shoulder

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    Pork Shoulder


    Tomorrow I am going to try a pork shoulder for the first time. I ordered "Salt Lick" Dry rub. I tried some yesterday and it sure tasted good on my finger. Hopefully it will taste that good on the shoulder.

    #2
    Awesome... keep us informed on how it turns out!

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      #3
      Good luck with that shoulder! Are you planning to hang it until it gets to 160 then foil it with some beer the way Noah does in his video until it gets to 198-203? I've done it that way and it comes out really nice.

      Comment


        #4
        Folks around here can't get enough Pit Barrel Pork Shoulder.

        One thing I did on accident last cook due to a thermo malfunction was bring the temp of the Pit up to 350 (then let it cool back down) when the meat hit about 145. Talk about "bark perfection."

        And they hung till 200 aka probe tender.

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          #5
          I powered through the stall (no wrapping) and took my PB off at 199 when it was tender as buttah. I did take it off the hooks at 160 and laid it on the grate because I was afraid it would fall off the hooks into the coals as it got more and more tender.

          Have fun with your cook, Clark!

          Kathryn

          Comment


            #6
            I just purchased a 5 and a half pound shoulder. I just want to get this right. I start my PB like normal (temp spike like normal) and hang my shoulder until the internal temp is at 160 right. What should the smoker temp be for perfect cooking? After that I can wrap it and add liquid (I was thinking of adding apple juice). How much liquid are you guys adding? The shoulder should stay on the grill until 203 degrees ideally? After I take it off how long should I wait until I start shredding? Thank you all for your help!

            Comment


            • Beefchop
              Beefchop commented
              Editing a comment
              Yep. Sounds like you are the right track.

              Hang until 160 or so and then double wrap it in foil and pour in maybe a 1/4 cup of beer. Apple juice works just fine too. You could use water or broth too. Just a little to make sure there is some moisture at the bottom of the foil. I like the big industrial rolls of aluminum foil because they are heavy and extra wide, but a regular roll is ok too. Just double it up so it doesn't tear and leak juice on your coals.

              I take it off when it gets close to 200 and then shred it as soon as it is cool enough. 30 minute rest, if memory serves, but YMMV. Too hot and you'll burn your fingers, but too cool and it won't pull apart as easily. Just feel it out, so to speak.

            #7
            This shows how I did it split, but it should answer a lot of questions.
            Just about any temp will work for pork shoulder, but I like to keep mine at 275 or so. I usually cook until I like the bark and then wrap, but may have to wrap a little earlier due to time constraints.
            I usually hang until about 160 or so, and then wrap. Honestly you don't really need any liquid if you wrap it tight, but sometimes I add 1/8 cup or so up to 1/4 cup if I want to use the leftover juice later.
            203 range is good, but when cooking hot I find that it isn't yet as tender as it needs to be so I take it off and wrap it in a towel, still in the foil, and put in a cooler for about 2 hours. After 2 hours it will probably still be too hot to pull, I split it and pull the bone out and let it sit a bit to cool off.

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              #8
              Originally posted by John View Post
              This shows how I did it split, but it should answer a lot of questions. Just about any temp will work for pork shoulder, but I like to keep mine at 275 or so. I usually cook until I like the bark and then wrap, but may have to wrap a little earlier due to time constraints. I usually hang until about 160 or so, and then wrap. Honestly you don't really need any liquid if you wrap it tight, but sometimes I add 1/8 cup or so up to 1/4 cup if I want to use the leftover juice later. 203 range is good, but when cooking hot I find that it isn't yet as tender as it needs to be so I take it off and wrap it in a towel, still in the foil, and put in a cooler for about 2 hours. After 2 hours it will probably still be too hot to pull, I split it and pull the bone out and let it sit a bit to cool off.
              That was a great write up John. By letting the meat rest longer it will get more tender?

              Comment


                #9
                Yes, the stuff in the meat that makes it tough will melt, but it takes some time. The longer you can let it hang out at that temperature the better, within reason. I have gone as long as 4 hours and it still wasn't overdone, and i've heard of people going quite a bit longer.

                Comment


                • Beefchop
                  Beefchop commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree John - once you wrap it then it is no longer exposed to the smoke.

                #10
                Well I have the shoulder wrapped about an hour and a half ago at 160 degrees across the whole shoulder. I am having a really hard time getting the PB to stay at a constant temp and I don't know why. How do you guys play with the bottom vent. It seems like I need to open mine more and crack the lid to get the temp to rise but then when I close the lid and leave the vent the same the temp falls. I have had the temp fall to 250 from 290 it half an hours time. I don't know if it's because today is very windy here or if it's because I have the PB on its stand. My PB wasn't shipped with a stand so I just had it on pavers.

                Comment


                  #11
                  I took the shoulder off when it hit 203. We were so anxious to try it we had to cut it open. Bone fell right out. Taste was okay. We both weren't expecting it to be hammy tasting. Is that how it is supposed to taste? If not is it because I had such a temperature issue?

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Shouldn't have been hammy... Did you do the dry brine? What kind of rub did you use? May need to open your bottom vent a bit, but I've found when it wants to settle at 250 that I didn't get it hot enough at the start.

                    Comment


                    • Clarkgriswald
                      Clarkgriswald commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I didn't do a dry brine. I wanted to just rub it and go. I used Salt Lick rub. The rub was awesome. It just had a little hammy taste to it. Could that be from over cooking it?

                    • Clarkgriswald
                      Clarkgriswald commented
                      Editing a comment
                      What kind of wood did you use John?

                    #13
                    Originally posted by Clarkgriswald View Post
                    ... I am having a really hard time getting the PB to stay at a constant temp and I don't know why. How do you guys play with the bottom vent. It seems like I need to open mine more and crack the lid to get the temp to rise but then when I close the lid and leave the vent the same the temp falls. I have had the temp fall to 250 from 290 it half an hours time. I don't know if it's because today is very windy here or if it's because I have the PB on its stand. My PB wasn't shipped with a stand so I just had it on pavers.
                    One thing I learned from Tuffy Stone's seminar was that each pit likes to run at a certain temperature, and to fiddle with that temp too much may result in bad smoke. He feels the temp at which the smoker most efficiently burns oxygen is the sweet spot, as I recall. That made me think about all the fiddling I do with the PBC temps. Maybe I should just let well enough alone if I'm sure that the coals have lit just right.

                    As far as the coals lighting goes, there are two methods that I have not tried: first, lighting using charcoal lighter fluid. Dave Parrish, the Pit Boss, feels that that's the most reliable, reproducible way to get the coals going, cook to cook.

                    The second method is to use Ernest's approach: he waits 10 minutes after pouring the lit coals into the basket before hanging the meat. This is to offset the phenom where the temp drops precipitously when the cold meat is hung in the PBC. Perhaps hanging the cold meat while the (unlit) coals are still trying to light is bad timing. Ernest swears by his consistent cooks, at least in the many of his posts that I have read. He's a real expert and makes beautiful food.

                    Anyway, I'm going to start trying Ernest's method for my next few cooks and see how that works out. I hate to resort to charcoal lighter fluid but if experts like Dave and Jerod use it, who am I to question success?

                    Another thing I learned from Harry Soo's webinar is that maintaining temperature in a smoker (he of course was speaking about his Weber) is affected 30% by intake and 70% by outflow. That means that in order to increase temp, pulling a rebar or cracking the lid is a more effective way of doing it than fiddling with the intake vent at the bottom of the barrel. Ditto for when temps run too high: stuffing the holes around the rebar is more efficient than closing the intake vent. He says that's because adjusting the outflow causes a vacuum which can draw more oxygen in for cases of too low temps and reduces the vacuum effect in cases of higher than desired temps. I've been mulling that over and am not certain I agree with 100% of it, but certainly when I've pulled a rebar or foiled its opening, I've had a lot of control over the smoker temp.

                    Something tells me that for PBCs that routinely drop to temps out of the desired 270-290 range for the majority of the cook, perhaps opening the intake opening slightly might have a beneficial effect.

                    Kathryn

                    Comment


                    • Clarkgriswald
                      Clarkgriswald commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I would like to not have to use lighter fluid either but if that's what gets the best most consistent temps that might be the answer.

                    #14
                    Yesterday was the most that I played with the temps. I honestly think it comes down to not having the coals hot enough when I start. I would say my coals yesterday in the chimney were 75% ashed over before I put them in. Should they be totally white?

                    I am doing two shoulders for my moms Thanksgiving in a couple weeks so I need to get this dialed down soon.
                    Last edited by Clarkgriswald; November 9, 2014, 06:24 AM.

                    Comment


                    • fzxdoc
                      fzxdoc commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Noah on the PBC video says they do not all have to be white. He's much more insistent about the time allowed for the coals in the chimney to burn. Amber reiterated this fact to me when I wrote her a while back. They used to say 10 min at sea level, 15 minutes up to 2000 feet and 20 minutes at higher altitudes. In our topic here they posted that 12-15 minutes from sea level up to 2000 feet and 20 minutes at higher altitudes is what should be done.

                      Have you ever read that sticky here on the PBC sub forum about lighting the PBC? There are a lot of tips and tricks in the many posts on that topic. You might find it interesting if you've not already read through it.

                      Kathryn
                      Last edited by fzxdoc; November 9, 2014, 11:34 AM.

                    • Clarkgriswald
                      Clarkgriswald commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I have read the sticky on lighting the PB. Next weekend I am going to try it again. Hopefully it won't be so windy out to see if the wind was a big factor.

                    #15
                    Clark... When I have to cook something important I don't want to mess up... here is what I do. Set the charcoal basket on the ground FILL it UP, I mean really full with charcoal then douse it with charcoal lighter like Noah shows in his video, put the basket back in and light it. Let it burn for 20 minutes with the lid OFF. You will end up with some really nice ashed over coals.

                    Note, I do not do this procedure very often, but when I need something to work... this is it.

                    Comment


                    • Guy
                      Guy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Great idea.

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