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Tips for my 2nd attempt at pulled pork?

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    Tips for my 2nd attempt at pulled pork?

    I'm attempting my second pork shoulder for pulled pork. In my first attempt, I left it on the grill for 3 hours at 225 (8 lbs shoulder), and it reached 203 internal temp. It tasted like a roast. There was nothing "pulled" about it.

    I was told that I didn't leave it on the grill long enough, but I reached the internal temp of 203, so I pulled it off the grill. Next time, even if I reach 203, I need to leave it on the grill for a few more hours?

    Any tips/tricks out there?

    What are you using to measure the temp of your grill and the shoulder? 3 hours just isn't long enough at 225...


      I didn't have a grate temp thermometer and I was using a Williams Sonoma thermometer probe... maybe that's my problem...

      That will all be solved when I get my new Therma Q kit in the mail next week. (I ordered it two days ago!)

      Sounds like everything about the temperature was wrong?


        Well, I was using the dial thermometer that came with my grill to monitor the temp of the grill... I know it is inferior, that's why I begged my wife to buy the Therma Q


          Good morning scottranda. I am by no means at an expert level, but I'll share my experiences and I'm sure others will too.
          1. Did you mean 13 hours (not 3) at 225? An 8 lb butt (all that I've cooked have been butts) take 16 to 18 hours (typically 7 to 9 lb).
          2. Maybe your food probe was either not in the center, touching/near a bone (I try to keep my probes at least 1" away from the bone), or your meat probe is bad.
          3. Once I hit ~195 IT (typically around 16 hours for me), I check for tenderness by inserting my Thermapen and it should feel like it's going into butter (practically no resistance), and/or insert a fork and do a 90 degree twist (very little resistance). I also see if the bone is loose.
          4. If it's not tender I let it cook more and check tenderness again.
          5. I used to always take it to 203 IT, but I've recently had more moist butts by pulling from the grill when they are tender (typically 195-197). The last ones were tender after staying at 195-197 for about 2 hours, I wrapped and put into a faux cambro for almost 2 hours (waiting on lunchtime) and they were a lot more moist than previous cooks where I pushed to 203 IT even if they were tender earlier.

          EDIT: It took me so long to type this that others had already posted.


          • Jon Solberg
            Jon Solberg commented
            Editing a comment
            I dont know fuzz. This is pretty expert advice.

          fuzzydaddy three (3) hours... sounds like my grill dial thermometer and meat temp probe are just waaaay off.

          New professional digital thermometer is in the mail!

          Though, I am surprised that an 8 lbs shoulder takes 16 to 18 hours! Good to know so I can plan for that on my next attempt (next week!)


          • fuzzydaddy
            fuzzydaddy commented
            Editing a comment
            I've done around 18 butts since last November and all have been in the 16-18 hour range (all from Sam's Club, 7-9 lb, very close to 225, Big Green Egg). See the Amazing Ribs article Perfect Pulled Pork at http://amazingribs.com/recipes/porkn...lled_pork.html. Not every butt will take as long as mine. I used this article to get started - I believe it estimates 8 to 12 hours.

          Some guy named "Meathead" told me to get professional thermometers. He's on to something. I shall do what he says.


            scottranda, sounds like a plan. I've had plenty of "what was I thinking" cooks (and will have more I'm sure), but without those I wouldn't have learned and developed my technique. Of course I've relied heavily on folks help here and the massive amount of articles and plenty of past posts.


              Are you tying the butt with kite string or butcher twine? Is it necessary?


                I've always used butcher's twine to hold them together. When they are done they could fall apart easily and the twine helps. I still have to use both hands when removing from the grill.

                I do the following:
                (1) Rinse with cold water, dry (with paper towels) and trim fat.
                (2) Tie (in both directions) with butcher's twine.
                (3) Dry brine with Morton's Kosher salt for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.
                (4) Dry them again with paper towels. Add a thin coating of vegetable oil, rub and cook.


                  Originally posted by scottranda View Post
                  Are you tying the butt with kite string or butcher twine? Is it necessary?
                  I tie up the butts if they are boneless. The goal of tying any meat is to make the size/shape uniform, allowing for more even cooking.
                  Last edited by CurlingDog; June 12, 2015, 07:53 AM.


                    Monitoring precise temps is crucial. And fuzzydaddy is the man..A small 2 pound piece of shoulder took me 8 hours and that's with turning up to 325 to overcome the stall.


                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]n89486[/ATTACH] My recent butts at 16 hours. Edit: photo rotated upon upload; sorry.
                      Last edited by fuzzydaddy; June 13, 2015, 08:00 AM. Reason: Adding a couple of photos.


                      • fuzzydaddy
                        fuzzydaddy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        CapeMay, I would be glad to. My setup is from the Ceramic Grill Store at ceramicgrillstore.com. I am using the spider (holding their stone) and their large adjustable rig. The 18" Large Big Green Egg grid fits on top of the rig which is the 6" level. The drip pan sits at the 1.5" level of the rig on a pair of crossbars. My largest drip pan is 2" deep so I have about 2.5" from the top of the drip pan to the bottom of the meat. I hang the spider on the bottom ring of the rig using a little wire twisted around the rig's ring and the spider's legs, to keep it from falling off (my way of connecting them together). This way I can lift the entire setup out of the BGE with 1 lift from the top ring of the rig (using welders' gloves) if I need to during the cook (example: add more wood). I'll edit the above post and add a couple of photos. Let me know if you have more questions, or want a photo of my actual setup.

                        EDIT: These are heavy 304 stainless steel and I originally bought their "Large Adjustable Rig Customer Combo". Pricey, but great quality, and I had the money to splurge at that time in 2013.
                        Last edited by fuzzydaddy; June 13, 2015, 08:05 AM.

                      • CapeMay
                        CapeMay commented
                        Editing a comment
                        fuzzydaddy - thanks much. I will visit the website. I'm wondering which meats you use this on?
                        If it isn't appropriate to ask these types of question in a thread let me know. Maybe I should message members with follow up questions?

                      • fuzzydaddy
                        fuzzydaddy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        CapeMay, I think that unless we want to keep something private, this thread should be ok (I'm fairly new and someone will chime in and let us know if we should use pm's). Info we put here might be helpful for others too!

                        I'm currently only doing pork butts with this setup, but anything you cook indirect should work. The rig has levels at 1.5", 3", 4.5", and 6" (you just need crossbars and pans or grids to put at any given level). I'm sure there are other hardware setups that do the job as well, but I bought the BGE and this hardware before I knew I was going to cook pork butts, and frankly, before I knew what I was doing.

                      Good stuff, thank you all!


                        it sounds like you are putting the roast on a grill with nothing to block the heat from the butt. 3 hours is WAY too short. you need to put something between the heat and meat. a pan of water is what i would do and then the meat needs to be a bit of a distance from the pan. if that is not the case you seriously need to check your thermometer. check boiling water to see if it is 212*F.


                        • scottranda
                          scottranda commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I did have a heat deflector.


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