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Help with when to start an 8lb Pork Shoulder for a 6 pm dinner

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    Help with when to start an 8lb Pork Shoulder for a 6 pm dinner

    New Pitmember here looking for some advice.

    I'll be cooking an 8lb pork shoulder (bone in) for us and some friends on Saturday for dinner, ~6pm. Would love to get some feedback on if I should start late Friday night (10-11pm) at 225°, not wrap, and probably hold it in a cooler for multiple hours before 6pm Saturday; or start it early Saturday AM (5am?), turn up the heat a bit (~240-250), and maybe wrap it in the afternoon to make sure we're not ordering delivery pizza at 7pm!

    Looking forward to your thoughts.


    #2
    Either should work. And you can go to at least 275* with no problem if necessary. Some smoke them at 300* or more with good results. I normally start them around 10 - 11 PM. If I think it's cooking too slow, I'll go higher in the morning. I really want at least several hours of cambro time. I you are going to wind up with a very long cambro time, leave the thermometer in while it's in the cambro and if it gets close to 140*, put it in your oven at it's min temp, (most ovens seem to be ~ 170*). Actually, I leave the probe in anyway.

    And remember that it's done when it's probe tender all over.

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome CowboyScott

      Comment


        #4
        What cooker are you using? My answer will vary greatly, depending on the answer to this question. In my experience, it is fine to cook at any temperature under 300, and the key is to get to probe tender and then hold for a couple of hours prior to pulling. Holding longer is not a bad thing.

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          #5
          PBs are very forgiving. I like a good bark, so I start the night before and as RonB said, if it's being ornery I'll crank up the heat in the morning. The butt will hold well for several hours, so I wouldn't worry. Wait to pull until just before serving and add any liquid that you collect back in at that point.

          Welcome to the Pit!

          Comment


            #6
            Welcome from Indiana.

            The kind of Cooker you are using is important info.

            also keep in mind that a pork butt can benefit greatly from a couple hours in a faux cambro or a 170 degree oven.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks a lot for the quick feedback.

              I'll be using my Smoking' Tex 1440 electric smoker, controlling the temp with an Auber controller.

              Sounds like the general consensus is to start the night before and use a faux cambro or just turn down the smoker for a few hours before dinner.

              Thanks again.

              Comment


              • HawkerXP
                HawkerXP commented
                Editing a comment
                Since you do not want to wrap this is the sajer route.

              • gcdmd
                gcdmd commented
                Editing a comment
                Nice looking Golden, Scott. My son has two of them. They are great family dogs.

              • CowboyScott
                CowboyScott commented
                Editing a comment
                I love Goldens; had one when I was growing up and another after college and first 10 years of marriage. Don't have one now but the picture looks just like my Golden looked. Maybe again some day.

              #8
              Your setup shouldn't require much tending overnight which makes that a more viable option. On the other hand, I like the results of a little hotter cook and a wrap (after the stall & good bark). I think it ends up less dry that way at least in my hands. You're certainly gonna want it wrapped for the hold in any instance. Lotsa ways to get where you want to be. Good luck!

              Comment


                #9
                Here is how I plan for 10# Boston Butts. Thickness determines cook time, and I'll bet your 8#er is as thick as my 10#ers.

                1. Allow 1 hour to stabilize cooker to temp.

                2. Plan to cook the Butt for at least 12 hours at 225. Cooking at 250 or 275 will shorten the cook time, but I have no experience at those temps.

                3. The stall (160-180 internal temp) will last about 6 hours - sometimes more and sometimes less. Sometimes you can get a second stall. Wrapping cuts the time in the stall in half.

                4. Start early enough to hold the Butt in a faux cambro for 2-4 hours.

                5. I plan to light the fire 16 hours before I plan to serve. That's why I usually serve at noon.

                I don't know what you are cooking on, but I cook on a BGE.

                I think if you are going to start the night before you need to light your fire at 2 am. As much as I value my sleep I think I would try to cut cook time by cooking at 275 and wrapping during the stall. That should save you at least 4 hours, so 5 am should be safe.

                Have a great cook.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Thanks for all the feedback. Very helpful. I am planning to start it late tonight at 225° and will update how it goes.

                  Another newbie question- I trimmed the pork yesterday and now have a sandwich ziplock of pork fat. Should I throw it away or is there anything I could use it for with the pulled pork (or some other meal)?

                  Comment


                  • kmhfive
                    kmhfive commented
                    Editing a comment
                    There are lots of uses for it! I ended mine in the smoke and then use the fat seasoning beans, etc.

                  • CowboyScott
                    CowboyScott commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What do you mean "ended mine in the smoke"?

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