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First Shoulder Cook--Done on Mak-1 Star

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    First Shoulder Cook--Done on Mak-1 Star

    Did my first smoke cook ever of a shoulder on my new Mak 1-Star this weekend.

    I started with a 7 pound bone-in shoulder, dry brined and then rubbed with meathead's memphis Dust. I had a hodgepodge mix of hickory, mesquite, and Mak's Hazelnut blend pellets in my hopper. Placed the shoulder on the top rack with a drip pan underneath and a mini meatloaf pan with water in it for moisture. Started the cook at 9:30 pm Saturday night. I set the Pellet Boss to Smoke Mode, 170 degrees for two hours, then up the temp to 225 degrees for the duration of the cook until the internal probe reached 195.

    I checked the smoker a couple times until about midnight just to make sure I programmed the Pellet Boss correctly. Everything was working perfectly. What an easy system to use!

    Went to bed, woke up at 5:45 am. Checked in on the Mak, and I had started in on the dreaded stall, stuck at 155 degrees. Thanks to my education here at Amazing Ribs, I was prepared for it (although it still freaked me out after a while). Did not wrap as I did not want to complicate things on my very first cook. I remained at 155 for the next six hours. Then in the next couple hours I was able to only creep up to 164 degrees. I was at the 15 hour mark by this point so I decided to up the temp to 260 to see if I could get things moving a little quicker.

    By the 20.5 hour mark I was up to 185 degrees and couldn't get it to budge any further. I decided to take the shoulder off, wrapped it and let it rest for about an hour. When it came time to pull, it pulled rather easy, but it was more of a chunky pull than a shredded pull. Truth be told I enjoy a chunkier pulled pork anyway. Made some simple sandwiches with some Lilly's Carolina Gold sauce.Taste was fantastic, bark was INCREDIBLE, and I'm getting rave reviews from the co-workers I brought some 'doggy bags' to this morning for a tasting.

    A couple questions I have for the more experienced cookers here, and I'm hoping to learn a few things to get better. Is this just a case of me having purchased an extremely stubborn shoulder that refused to hit 195/200 degrees even after 20 hours of smoking? Or did I make an error in putting the meat on the top rack? Did I crowd the bottom by putting both a drip pan and water tray, could that have had an effect on my heat circulating properly? I'd like to get a few more cooks in and get a better idea of timing before I try this with company over. Any advice from you ladies and gents would be greatly appreciated.

    Anyway, enough blithering, blathering, and babbling from me. Here are some pictures.

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    If you liked it... I say it was perfect! It certainly looks delicious.


      there is a possibility of a second stall and with a butt that big i'm not surprised you hit it. i've hit that a lot around the same temp. when i get my 8lb~ish butts around 180-190 it stalls again. my butts also take 20+ hours unwrapped


        Four hours smoke, then six-seven hours at 225 and i've only encountered one stall on 7-8lb butts. I never wrapped a butt for the stall. always powered through it.
        I have an 8lb'er in the freezer that i'm going to take out tonight to thaw for next weekend s festivities. i'm planning on a 10-12 hour cook. To me, a 20+ hour cook is a waste of time/fuel IMHO. If it ever comes to that, i'm going to "Huskee" it and cut it in half, and gain an increase in bark by increasing surface area.


          I don't know your setup... but in the pics i don't see a separate temperature probe for the smoker chamber. Could it be the built-in smoker probe has gone off calibration or is in a spot that is not indicative of the temps your butt is seeing and therefore you're not cooking at the temp you think you are? I have never had a pork butt go that long at the temps you describe without hitting the 200 internal mark.

          regardless it looks damn tasty... and happy taste buds are all that matters in the cooking world.


            Good looking. Pork shoulder is a crowd favorite. I get requests monthly.


              To me 205 is just a number where the texture is right most of the time. Texture can be right well before that, but until people get a feel for it 205 is a stopping point where you can pretty much guarantee the right texture.



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