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68 pounds of pulled pork - how long?

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  • MrSkimo
    Charter Member
    • Nov 2014
    • 68
    • Anchorage, AK
    • Weber Performer Kingsford Competition Briquettes Smokenator Hover grill Weber Rapidfire Chimney Char-Broil Big Easy - Infrared "oilless fryer" Thermapen iCelsius wireless dual probe thermometer Slow N Sear GMG Jim Bowie WiFi

    68 pounds of pulled pork - how long?

    Okay, I know there’s no definitive answer to this. There are too many variables. Just looking for opinions, or what best guesses you might make in a similar position.

    I have a GMG Jim Bowie pellet grill, and am going to smoke 2 - 18 pound Kurobata/Berkshire shoulders and 4 - 8 pound pork butts from Costco at the same time at 225F. I will have the four butts on the upper rack, and the shoulders on the main level. Needs to be ready at noon on Saturday for a party. I debated splitting the cook in two and reheating the Costco butts, but thought better of it and going for them all together. I can pull some of them early to the oven or warming drawer if need be.

    I’m thinking that because of the massive heat sink of meat in there, especially the shoulders, I need to give it extra time. Weather will be mid 40’s to mid 50’s and raining/humid (my cooker is under cover).

    I’m thinking of giving it 12 hours and starting the cook at midnight. I can monitor the internal temps and push the cook temp up as I get closer. Thoughts?
  • Backroadmeats
    Club Member
    • Dec 2018
    • 490
    • Central mn

    #2
    I just did this last weekend..I had about 55 lb of pork butts all about 9-10 lbs.. put in at 7:00 Saturday night and they were done at 9 am Sunday morning .. cooked at 250.. no crutch used.. took out of the smoker and put in pans at 150 in holding cabinet.. pull them right before you serve them.. they were fantastic!! Are you going to dry brine??? You should last weekend was my first time doing it that way and it will be the way I do it from now on!!

    Comment


    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      Nailed it!!

    • MrSkimo
      MrSkimo commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Backroadmeats View Post
      Are you going to dry brine??? You should last weekend was my first time doing it that way and it will be the way I do it from now on!!
      Yes, done already - giving them a full 36 to soak in that salt. Always a necessity!
  • DavidNorcross
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 1425
    • Virginia
    • Rec Tec RT-680
      Coleman RoadTrip LXX
      Javelin Pro Duo
      More Cast Iron than I care to admit

    #3
    I would allow at least an hour and a half per pound. If it were me, I would start at least 10 PM on Friday night.

    Comment


    • MrSkimo
      MrSkimo commented
      Editing a comment
      Great idea...after comments like these, I’m going to start even earlier
  • Nuke em
    Club Member
    • Jun 2016
    • 738
    • Nj

    #4
    Also ya can bump the temp up to 275 and they would get done faster. If ya do, it would take about 2-3 off the cook time with no ill effects to the meat

    Comment


    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      I was going to say the same thing, I'd do that cook at 275* at least.

    • MrSkimo
      MrSkimo commented
      Editing a comment
      Will do. I don’t know why, but I’ve always run a temp of 225 on butts. But then again, for years I was imprecise on temp control. Pretty dialed in now.
  • djl
    djl
    Charter Member
    • Sep 2014
    • 107
    • Western NY
    • WSM 22.5
      Weber 22.5 Kettle (2)
      Slow n Sear
      Smokenator 1000
      Cajun Bandit Rotisserie
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    #5
    At least 10. Maybe even 9 for extra wiggle room. I don't usually wrap pork, but in your shoes I would consider wrapping at least when it is done and storing in a cooler (or 2 coolers). They will stay very close to perfect in the cooler for hours. That way you can start cooking early to guarantee it is ready on time. If it is ready early just store in the cooler until it is time to pull.

    Comment


    • MrSkimo
      MrSkimo commented
      Editing a comment
      Yah, good thought. If they get done early I will do that.

    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      That would be the way I'd go, too. 9pm.
  • LA Pork Butt
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 5296
    • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

    #6
    I think one of the issues is how wide you are able to space the meat. I typically cook a ten pound Boston Butt on my Large Big Green Egg at 225 for 12 hours to an internal temp of 200. I once cooked 4 ten pounders and because of how tightly they were packed in the Egg they took 22 hours. In both cases I didn’t wrap until after the cook and they spent 2-4 hours in a faux cambro. So if they have some space I think it would be more like a normal cook, but if not plan on a really long cook. Two butts were touching side by side and the two in the second level were almost touching those on the lower level.

    Comment


    • MrSkimo
      MrSkimo commented
      Editing a comment
      I considered that. If two 8 pounders are touching, that will cook more like a 16. I have had 8 - 8 pounders in there before with at least three or four inches of separation. Plenty of room!
      Last edited by MrSkimo; May 10, 2019, 03:37 PM.

    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      MrSkimo I think the lengthened of my cook had more to do with the second level almost touching the first level than touching on the same level, since thickness of meat determines cook time.
  • HawkerXP
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 5362
    • Virginia
    • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
      Thermopops
      Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
      Slo n Sear
      Cold beer

    #7
    If you have the room cut big ones in half. More bark. Once you've got your bark put in foil pans with a little liquid of your choice and foil the top. Finish outside or in the oven. You now have individual shredding / serving pans.

    Comment


    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      Solid advice
  • JeffJ
    Charter Member
    • Feb 2015
    • 2406
    • Michigan
    • Jeff

    #8
    Consider subdividing the larger butts. When I cook pork butts I like to cut them down to 2.5-5 pound butts. You'll get a bit shorter stall and much more bark.

    Comment

    • HouseHomey
      Club Member
      • May 2016
      • 5217
      • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
      • Equipment
        Primo Oval xl

        Slow n Sear (two)
        Drip n Griddle
        22" Weber Kettle
        26" Weber Kettle one touch
        Blackstone 36” Pro Series
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        Kitchen Aid
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        cast iron pans,
        Dutch ovens
        Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
        The help and preferences
        1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
        KBB
        FOGO
        A 9 year old princess foster child
        Patience and old patio furniture
        "Baby Girl" The cat

        Erik S.

      #9
      I concur 250°-275°. Don’t mess with the stall and reserve the right to wrap for later. If you manage the cook you’ll be fine with what you already know how to do and what’s said above.

      clean your cooker, and plan for 12-16 hours from cook to hold. It’s all down hill after that until service.

      Comment

      • MrSkimo
        Charter Member
        • Nov 2014
        • 68
        • Anchorage, AK
        • Weber Performer Kingsford Competition Briquettes Smokenator Hover grill Weber Rapidfire Chimney Char-Broil Big Easy - Infrared "oilless fryer" Thermapen iCelsius wireless dual probe thermometer Slow N Sear GMG Jim Bowie WiFi

        #10
        Okay - fantastic ideas from you all, as expected! I had splurged on the two 18 pound Kurobatas and was just planning to cook them whole (leg and shoulder bones still in). I knew it would complicate things to have dissimilar sizes in there, but frankly it intimidated me to cut it up. Shredding is easier!

        I have a friend on his way who cuts up a moose and a couple of caribou every year who is coming over to help me. We’ll wrangle those suckers down to something similar. With the pieces all being close in size, I’ll be able to run them on the same cycle.

        I’ll start it at 7 or 8pm, smoke at 225 for a couple of hours, then bump it up and run it a little hotter until I hit target temp and drop down to 150 to hold.

        I’ve got a 6 probe FireBoard thermometer, so between that and the grills food probe I will be able to set temp limits on 7 of the 8 pieces. After 20 years cooking exclusively on a Weber kettle, I almost feel like I am cheating with the pellet grill. I may even get some sleep tonight. Thanks everyone!
        Last edited by MrSkimo; May 10, 2019, 09:25 AM. Reason: expanded content

        Comment


        • LA Pork Butt
          LA Pork Butt commented
          Editing a comment
          I think you can sleep through the night, especially if you have alarms on your thermometer. I always do. The last time I didn’t was when I was still cooking on a bullet smoker and needed to get up during the night to add fuel. You shouldn’t need to add fuel with your pellet cooker.
      • PBCDad
        Club Member
        • Jan 2016
        • 359
        • Seattle area
        • Pit Barrel Cooker - 2015
          22" Kettle + SnS - 2016
          Maverick ET-732 - 2016
          Thermapen - 2016
          Jambo 24x48 offset smoker (Big Tex) - 2017
          Camp Chef Denali griddle - 2018

        #11
        I think if the meat has space between for air to flow, I wouldn't expect radically different times. You may need to rotate the top and bottom shelf so the bottom doesn't get all the bark washed off and you even out the temps.

        The difference I would expect you to see is the amount of fuel you go through to maintain temperature in your smoker. If you are leaving it overnight, add in more pellets than you think you need. I would guess 12 hours at 275 should be fine, if it were me I would probably give myself 14 to be safe. Nothing wrong with holding them in the cambro.

        Comment


        • Razor
          Razor commented
          Editing a comment
          That's what I was thinking.
      • Santamarina
        Club Member
        • Aug 2018
        • 709
        • Wildomar, CA

        #12
        Start early. A longer hold is better than a late lunch! I’ve held shoulders overnight in a warming oven with great success.

        Comment

        • MrSkimo
          Charter Member
          • Nov 2014
          • 68
          • Anchorage, AK
          • Weber Performer Kingsford Competition Briquettes Smokenator Hover grill Weber Rapidfire Chimney Char-Broil Big Easy - Infrared "oilless fryer" Thermapen iCelsius wireless dual probe thermometer Slow N Sear GMG Jim Bowie WiFi

          #13
          Well - it almost worked out. Everything was cooking by 9:30 pm. T - 14.5 hours, plenty of time.

          Went to bed about midnight with a full hopper full of pellets and things well on their way. I woke up at 6:30, checked the grill app - all good. Checked the thermometer - all good. Temps were between 160 and 180. 5.5 hours to go - awesome!

          Didn't walk down stairs and check the hopper - big mistake.... Went back to sleep.

          Alarm went off at 8:30 and I checked the temps - everything had dropped about 20 degrees. In a panic - I ran downstairs and heard the low pellet alarm blaring...$%&%*
          The grill and hopper were still running, but it was pretty much stone cold. 51 degrees. I quickly added pellets to the hopper and waited to see if it would restart.

          Then a moment of clarity occurred. I remembered the first summer I had a pellet grill and running out of pellets. I had added more pellets just a few minutes after it ran out. The auger pumped more pellets in while it was trying to start. The firepot overflowed and I ended up with a run away fire. Had to use an extinguisher on it - ruined the meat and almost burned down my house.

          This time - I remembered. I unplugged the grill, took off the meat and moved inside to the oven. Then I took everything out of the grill and vacuumed out the grill and firepot. Followed the priming operation and got it restarted. Cleaned up the drip trays and grills - put everything back together and moved the meat outside.

          Internal temps all stayed about 140-150. I now have it going again with all the meat on back at 275 with 2 hours to go. It's going to be close!
          Attached Files
          Last edited by MrSkimo; May 11, 2019, 12:11 PM.

          Comment

          • Backroadmeats
            Club Member
            • Dec 2018
            • 490
            • Central mn

            #14
            They look great.. they done??

            Comment


            • MrSkimo
              MrSkimo commented
              Editing a comment
              No - see above. I posted the pic from my phone and then added in the text... Minor calamity, but I think I'll recover

            • Backroadmeats
              Backroadmeats commented
              Editing a comment
              Ahh. That didn't all come through when I posted.. that's what makes this fun is all the stuff that can go wrong at still find a way for it to turn out.
          • MrSkimo
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 68
            • Anchorage, AK
            • Weber Performer Kingsford Competition Briquettes Smokenator Hover grill Weber Rapidfire Chimney Char-Broil Big Easy - Infrared "oilless fryer" Thermapen iCelsius wireless dual probe thermometer Slow N Sear GMG Jim Bowie WiFi

            #15
            So - the meat is responding to heat very slowly. They've barely come up in 20 minutes at 275. Should I wrap them at this point, or will it make a difference?!

            Comment


            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              Wrapping will speed it up for sure.

            • MrSkimo
              MrSkimo commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks - wrapped - T - 1:10!

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