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Soooo pork shoulder smoking time and bark question

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  • Greenmountaingoodlife
    Former Member
    • Apr 2018
    • 12
    • Vermont

    Soooo pork shoulder smoking time and bark question

    Time:
    Without using the crutch, how long does it usually take to smoke a butt at 225? I've read on here 90 mins/pound (not sure if that includes the crutch) but mine has been taking a lot longer. So I think something is either off or i'm doing something wrong.

    This week I bought a 13# shoulder from the local butcher and when I opened the vacuum sealed package it was two shoulders so roughly 6.5 pounds/shoulder. After cutting away some of the fat I'd say maybe 6# a pop. That'd be cooked in about 9 hours if the 90mins/# were accurate. At 225, I'm 13.5 hours in and the shoulder is only at 173.

    last month I smoked a shoulder (the first on my new smoker) and it took over 19 hours to get to 201 internal (I can't remember the weight of the shoulder). Am I doing something wrong?


    Bark:
    I've read that it's recommended to spritz in the early stages of smoking the shoulder... is there a negative effect to spritzing in the middle or toward the end of the smoke? my last butt the bark was really hard and crunchy, like outdoor mulch - is that what i'm trying to go for? i've never actually had pork with bark before so a description online is all I have to go on - no real examples
  • JCGrill
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 1867
    • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
    • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
      Gas - Saber
      Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
      Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

    #2
    It takes what it takes. I've seen butts in the 10# range take 20 hours. What kind of smoker?

    Comment

    • Greenmountaingoodlife
      Former Member
      • Apr 2018
      • 12
      • Vermont

      #3
      Originally posted by JCGrill View Post
      It takes what it takes. I've seen butts in the 10# range take 20 hours. What kind of smoker?
      It’s a pellet smoker. Rec Tec Stampede and I love it

      Comment

      • Nate
        Banned Former Member
        • Apr 2015
        • 3794
        • Quarantined

        #4
        Shoulders take what they take and there are various variables involved.

        As far as bark goes everyone has different preferences. I prefer not to break my teeth but don’t want mush either.

        You are going to need to try some different things and figure out what it is you like and what method of cooking works best for you.

        Personally I usually cook around 275, wrap after the stall, and let it set in faux cambro for at least an hour after cooking.

        Comment

        • JCGrill
          Club Member
          • Mar 2017
          • 1867
          • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
          • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
            Gas - Saber
            Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
            Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

          #5
          If you have wind that can skew things a bit. Don't be afraid to push it to 275. At the end of the day, I doubt that you are doing something wrong

          Comment

          • jgreen
            Charter Member
            • Oct 2014
            • 2751
            • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
            • Cookers:
              Broil King XL
              Broil King Smoke
              Weber Kettle 26
              Grilla Pellet smoker
              Capital 40 natural gas
              Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

              Thermometer:
              Maverick 733
              Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
              Thermo works DOT (or two)
              Fireboard (probably my favourite)
              Thermworks Smoke (or two)

              Accessories:
              SnS (original, plus and XL)
              DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
              Vortex
              Grillgrates
              and, maybe some other toys as well

            #6
            Agree with above. If they are not ready to pull, you can always slice or chop and still get a great meal.

            Comment

            • Xandera_7
              Former Member
              • May 2018
              • 127
              • Halifax Canada

              #7
              I did a 9lb yesterday in 10 hours on my pellet smoker.

              Comment

              • ecowper
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 3857
                • Maple Valley, WA
                • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
                  Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

                  Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
                  Thermometer = Maverick ET732
                  Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
                  Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
                  Thermapen Classic = Grey
                  PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

                  Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
                  Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
                  Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
                  Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

                  Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


                  Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

                #8
                A couple things ..... A pork butt cooking time depends on the thickness of the chunk of meat, the amount of collagen, connective tissues, and fat in the meat, and how ornery the thing is. And that really tough bark is because of the length of cooking time.

                I typically buy either Costco pork butts .... no bone, 2 in a cryovac, weigh 6.5 to 7 lbs each. Sometimes I stop by QFC (Krogers) and buy a bone in butt, which will be 7.5 lbs, or so. Either way, when tied and prepped, they are 4” thick, or so.

                Either way, it’s 10-12 hours typically. I cook on a Weber Smokey Mountain 22. I like to cook pork butt at 250, not 225. It can handle it and the cook runs 10 hours, not 12-14.

                I think you are getting that thick, tough bark due to the length of time you’re cooking. That is created by evaporating the water out of the surface of the meat. The longer it cooks, the more that will happen.

                I’d personally recommend cooking the pork butt at 250, even 275. If it runs much over 10 hours, wrap it to get it finished. Then unwrap for 20 minutes, or so, to firm up the bark.

                Also, are you sure that the grate temp is actually 225? That’s an awfully long cook for pork butt.

                Here’s a look at on one of my pork butts after a 10 hour cook.
                Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by ecowper; June 30, 2018, 09:50 AM.

                Comment

                • LA Pork Butt
                  Charter Member
                  • Dec 2014
                  • 5883
                  • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

                  #9
                  ecowper is correct thickness of meat is the key. I typically cook 10 pounders without wrapping, injecting or spritzing. They are about 4” thick with the bone in and take about 12 hours. I am cooking on a BGE which holds moisture without a water pan. A typical cook is 3 hours to 160, 6 hours more to 180, and 3 hours more to 200. I allow 16 hours for an overnight cook. One hour to stabilize the cooker temperature. 12-14 hours to cook and 2-4 hours in the faux cambro wrapped before serving. The time in the cambro softens the bark some and allows you to pull the large clumps of fat separating the shoulder muscles. Of course, every piece of meat is different, but this is typical.

                  Comment


                  • ecowper
                    ecowper commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I don’t wrap, inject, or spritz either. Pork butt has so much fat and connective tissue, it’s not going to get dry.

                  • EdF
                    EdF commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Matches my experience with the BGE very well.
                • bardsleyque
                  Club Member
                  • Oct 2015
                  • 711
                  • Snoqualmie Wa.

                  #10
                  I just cooked two nine pound bone in shoulders, first hour about 250 then settled in between 200 225 they were done in nine hours. I was a bit surprised thought it would take longer you just never know!

                  Comment


                  • EdF
                    EdF commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yeah, they can be pretty unpredictable.
                • redlightwronglanerandy
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2017
                  • 6

                  #11
                  Are you using one of the good thermometers that is recommended? I found that my controller and readout was off by 10-30 degrees depending on the time of year. Your actual grill temp may be lower than what your display is showing, and thus taking longer. Even my oven in my house was off by 20 degrees.

                  Comment


                  • bardsleyque
                    bardsleyque commented
                    Editing a comment
                    tel true and thermapen

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                2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

                This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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