Welcome!


This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pulled Pork - Second Attempt

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Pulled Pork - Second Attempt

    My first attempt at pulled pork was tough...literally. I followed the Traeger recipe to a "T" and it came out hard to pull apart and just wasn't that tender. It was a real let down after all that time...but ultimately, I think the problem was I followed time as opposed to temp and I think it should've stayed on a while longer.

    So...I finally decided to try again this past weekend (I wasn't timid...just have been busy working on figuring out ribs, chicken and steaks). Photos below and lessons learned at the bottom.

    She was 3 pounds, give or take a few ounces.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2459.jpg
Views:	546
Size:	132.2 KB
ID:	947659
    Took my friend's advice and seasoned early...covered it in Meat Church's Honey Hog and put it back in the fridge for 2 days.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2465.jpg
Views:	281
Size:	104.6 KB
ID:	947660
    I'm too new to the game to know how Meat Church stacks up against others...but I know I like this rub, and their Holy Cow rub (have used it on beef short ribs and it was well received).

    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2460.jpg
Views:	273
Size:	188.6 KB
ID:	947661
    My buddy said he starts at 180* for a few hours to get a little more smoke flavor, and I had the time so I went with that. I used the Traeger probe, which I hadn't been using since I got the OXO Thermocouple Thermometer that was reviewed on AR (https://amazingribs.com/thermometers...mometer-review). I was worried the Traeger probe was a bit inaccurate, so I thought I should give it a test. Turns out it was only off by a few degrees.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2463.jpg
Views:	277
Size:	171.7 KB
ID:	947662
    Had to check on it...couldn't resist. I spritzed it with a water/apple cider vinegar mix (1:1) a handful of times throughout the cook...not on a strict timeline, but probably every 60-90 minutes.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2466.jpg
Views:	275
Size:	179.0 KB
ID:	947663
    She's getting close. After about 5 hours at 180*...I wasn't planning on going that low & slow for that long, but I took the kids on a bike ride and forgot to bump it up before we left and just didn't think about it while we were out. But the internal temp seemed to be climbing at a good rate so I let her ride.

    Then I cranked it up to 225* for about an hour, then up to 275* for about an hour, and finally to 300* just to get her up the last 8-10 degrees so we could eat at a reasonable time.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	62830683616__78A0C885-9AF5-42D0-9EB7-4DEC01F0E883.jpg
Views:	292
Size:	111.6 KB
ID:	947664
    Giving it a little time to rest.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2468.jpg
Views:	273
Size:	177.5 KB
ID:	947665
    Finished product. It was well received by the family (except my daughter...but she's 5 and hates everything we cook). I was a little concerned because it didn't just pull apart like it does in the YouTube videos. I had to work a little bit with the forks, but it tasted great and was a success for the most part.

    We didn't sauce the finished product...just set out ramekins of different sauces so we could try a few. Our favorites were Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ sauce and Jones BBQ sauce out of KC (https://www.jonesbbqkc.com/products/...angy-bbq-sauce).

    Lessons Learned:
    • Go with a bigger piece of meat...after all that time, it was a bummer to not have more leftovers. And with pulled pork freezing well, I should've done an 8 pounder to get more ROI.
    • Cut the strings off. I'd never really seen any photos or videos of tied up meat, but I also never saw suggestions to remove it. I wish I had, as there was a bit of fat I would've cut off and I would've liked to have seasoning and bark on the meat that was hidden in the middle. It would've cooked faster, I'm guessing, which wouldn't have worked as well for my timeline. In the end it didn't have a significant negative impact, but I would do it differently next time.
    All in all, it was fun and tasted good. The wife said it was my best effort yet (just got the Traeger for Father's Day). Will definitely keep trying to refine my skills.

    #2
    Well there you go and good on you, second attempt and you've already made improvements and learned lessons. I usually have to make the same mistakes several times before I improve or learn. I guess one of these days I'm going to realise I can't walk through that brick wall! ;-)

    Comment


      #3
      Looks good!

      Next time just set that son of a gun to 250* and let it go. If it’s bone in, it’s done when the bone twists out. Otherwise, meat around 200* should be fine.

      You could actually do it at 275* for the whole cook.

      Comment


        #4
        I spent 15 years struggling to do the perfect pulled pork before I got good at it! There was no discussion around like this back then. You've done a great job making improvements! Congrats!

        Comment


          #5
          Letting it rest is a very important step in the process. It will pull a lot easier after the juices re-distribute.

          Comment


            #6
            I usually do 10 pounders with the bone in, and they take about 12-14 hours. With your Traeger you should be able to do an overnight cook. I like the results better if I wrap it when finished and hold it in an ice chest with old towels for a couple hours. I pull them off the grill at 200 internal and they are still plenty hot when I unwrap them after two ours in the ice chest. I have held them for as long as four hours if I finished the cook early.

            Comment


              #7
              I do my butts and shoulders at 300 all the time, pork will take the heat.
              Don't discount the meat, coulda been some miserable old boar or sow.
              Even the tried and true vets on here are still learning every day.

              Comment


                #8
                Nicely done. I don't have a pellet grill (I use charcoal) so the 180-F thing might be relevant for you and not me but... there's nothing sacred about 225. I smoke almost everything at 250 to 270 and it's fine. Adjust for your own experience, but people get WAY too obsessed about 225 etc.

                Also, if you do a large butt, cut it in half. That will keep the time down but give you the extra meat and it will give you a higher proportion of bark.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You're climbing the learning curve!

                  My first few mimics yours....you'll find what works for you and your particular smoker.

                  I generally do a 8-10 lb bone-in butt on my Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC). Here's the routine that I have generally settled into:
                  • Apply rub generously the night before. (I like Killer Hogs Hot Rub)
                  • Smoke on the PBC at 275-300 until the bark is "set" or is starting to get dry/dark. (The PBC is generally a moist cooking environment so I have never needed to spritz.) This setting of the bark usually happens right when the butt is about to stall out at 160-170 degrees. This is roughly 5 hours in. (The PBC runs hotter than most smokers by design.)
                  • Wrap in two layers of aluminum foil and return to PBC. While the foil does soften the bark, as one is going to shred it, I find it doesn't detract much and really speeds up the final cooking time.
                  • Pull when butt is 203 and probe tender.
                  • Rest, still covered in foil, covered in an old towel in a cooler for at least 45 minutes.
                  And you're right, cooking to temp and not time is incredibly important. This one thing has transformed all of my cooking. I don't even set the timer on the oven any more. I go by what the temp probes -- which I now use in the oven -- tell me!
                  Last edited by Michael_in_TX; December 13, 2020, 11:28 PM.

                  Comment


                  • bbqLuv
                    bbqLuv commented
                    Editing a comment
                    "Pull when butt is 203 and probe tender," Michael_in+TX you nailed it. Cook it until its done.

                  • stokester
                    stokester commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My process to a "T" with the exception that I use a SnS in a Weber at 250. Experimentation took me here after reading the different techniques posted. Each piece of meat is a bit different and I found it takes some cooks to learn your smoker.

                  #10
                  A big bone-in shoulder is the way to go. I run my pit 250-275°F and even then a big shoulder takes 14+ hours.

                  I never wrap shoulder until the post-cook hold. Let it soak up the smoke and form a thick bark. It comes out looking like a meteorite, but it’s filled with super tender meat and the flavor of the bark is to die for.

                  When it’s properly cooked it will be a challenge to take it out of the pit without falling apart!

                  Keep at it...you’re making improvements each time, and THAT is a winning recipe!
                  Last edited by Santamarina; November 30, 2020, 10:31 AM.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Lookin good!

                    Comment


                      #12
                      I would take it a step further next time and just use the internal temp as a guide for when to test for tenderness. But there's a million ways to cook a butt and most of them work just fine.

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Nice job! Keep learning. Like folks have said a pork butt will tolerate and take heat. I tend to cook unwrapped all the way through until probe tender. The butts tend to be between 198-203. Occasionally after several hours I have been known to wrap if I think I will be pressed for time. As LA Pork Butt mentioned try to build in at least an hour if not two hours of rest time in a faux cambro. Good luck on your next adventure!

                        Comment


                        • Sweaty Paul
                          Sweaty Paul commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I’m usually a cook at 250 degree guy for pork butt, however, occasionally I will go higher or lower depending on time and the hunk-o-meat I’m working with for a particular cook. Forgot to mention.

                        #14
                        Next time forget the spritzing. IMO there's no benefit but several downsides: Costs you bark, makes the cook take longer and you have to fuss over a cook when you don't need to. I do mine at 225F but I put the meat on cold as soon as the grill is up to about 150F or so. I cook to 203F.

                        Comment


                        • mgaretz
                          mgaretz commented
                          Editing a comment
                          What he said!

                        • Troutman
                          Troutman commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Gonna disagree on the spritzing. Moisture helps bark formation in the initial stages, especially in a pellet cooker with tons of moving hot air. Once the bark is set and the seasoning is hardened, then stop. It’s counterproductive at that point.

                        • bbqLuv
                          bbqLuv commented
                          Editing a comment
                          sip beer, PBR of course.

                        #15
                        Pork butts are probably about as easy and unforgiving a thing to cook as there is. Like several of the fellas above eluded to, don’t crank your heat all over the place. Smoke setting helps in the beginning (maybe) but choose a higher temp and leave it alone. The most important thing is to monitor the internal temperature, that’s key. Forget time (unless of course if Aunt Peggy is arriving soon), it will get done when it wants to. Probe tender, get the internal temp up over 200* and you’ll be golden.

                        Comment

                        Announcement

                        Collapse
                        No announcement yet.
                        Working...
                        X
                        false
                        0
                        Guest
                        500
                        ["pitmaster-my-membership","login","join-pitmaster","lostpw","reset-password","special-offers","help","nojs","meat-ups","gifts","authaau-alpha","ebooklogin-start","alpha","start"]
                        false
                        false
                        {"count":0,"link":"/forum/announcements/","debug":""}
                        Yes
                        Rubs Promo

                        Spotlight

                        These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

                        These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

                        Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

                        A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


                        Groundbreaking Hybrid Thermometer!

                        Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

                        The FireBoard Spark is a hybrid combining instant-read capability, a cabled temperature probe, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. We gave Spark a Platinum Medal for pushing the envelope of product capability while maintaining high standards of design and workmanship.

                        Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review

                         

                        Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

                        Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
                        Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

                        Click here to order.


                        Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

                        Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

                        With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
                        Click here to read our detailedreview


                        The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One


                        The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

                        Click here to read ourcomplete review


                        Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


                        The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

                        Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

                        Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


                        Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

                        We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
                        Click here for our review on this unique smoker


                        The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

                        kamado grill
                        Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

                        Click here for our article on this exciting cooker