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Boneless Pork Shoulder.. Longer cook times?

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    Boneless Pork Shoulder.. Longer cook times?

    Yesterday I smoked 2 Pork Shoulders (14lbs) for some pulled pork. This normally takes around 10-12hrs with my rig at 225F. I also usually get my shoulders/butts with the bone in but I got an exceptional deal on boneless so I went that route. Well, 8hrs in at 250F my IT was 140F. Must have been an early stall cause it locked in and stayed there for the next 4hrs. Once I got to 150F, I decided to wrap and hope for a boost in IT. After a steady but slow climb at the 15hr mark, I got to 195F IT. It was then I decided to just finish it in the oven at 200F still wrapped and pull it this morning. Came out great as I finally got all the fat to render out. I put all the drippings in my seperator and placed in the fridge to seperate and skim off the fat. I always reuse the jou to sprinkle on to the pulled pork for additional flavor.

    I just don't understand why it took so much longer on this smoke. I even ran hotter than usual because of the amount of meat I was smoking. I wonder if a bone-in shoulder cooks quicker because of the bone getting hot deep inside the meat. If anyone has an answer, I'd sure like to hear it. I had projected a 10-12hr smoke and it went almost 18hrs. Good thing it was a Saturday!

    Large chunks of meat are fairly unpredictable. Bones in those shoulders are slow to warm. Meat thickness and hog temperament will affect the cooking time more than any bone, or lack thereof.

    Check out this article. It gets to thermodynamics eventually.

    Last edited by Jerod Broussard; July 26, 2015, 05:57 PM.


      Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
      Large chunks of meat are fairly unpredictable. Bones in those shoulders are slow to warm. Meat thickness and hog temperament will affect the cooking time more than any bone, or lack thereof.

      Check out this article. It gets to thermodynamics eventually.


      I appreciate the response Jerod. It seemed like this particular shoulder took a really long time to smoke. Much longer than usual. I guess I wound up with Hogzilla this time. 18hrs at 250F just seems like a really long time. Maybe it was the size of the shoulder as a 14lb hunk is a large shoulder/butt.

      After reading the article, bone in seems to be the way to go. Where would you place your thermal probe on a bone in piece? Next to the bone or just off? I had my probe near the center of the shoulder.


        I've done a lot of bone in shoulders...always at 225-250 and I never wrap until after when FTC'ing...I've had them finish in12-14 hours and had one that took just over 24 once... I always try to get the probe as close to the center but try to stay an inch or two away from the bone...for this reason (and because we like lots of leftovers) I tend to pick the biggest shoulders I can find.


          I don't bother with probes in my butts or briskets. But like mentioned above, you don't want to get too close to the bone, but still be near the center for an accurate internal temp.



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