Author Topic: Pulled pork question  (Read 15016 times)

Offline Halen

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Pulled pork question
« on: June 01, 2009, 07:22:06 am »
Hello all!!!

I am new to smoking. I have done some chix breasts and a turkey so far. Well my next challenge I want to do is pulled pork. I am having a party next weekend for about 50 people. I am figuring about 15lbs is what I want to get from the butcher. Is that enough do you think. Also how long should I plan on this smoking for? Will be serving this at about 5 ish.

Thanks
Chris

Offline RammerJammer

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 07:39:55 am »
Hello Halen! I am new too but my first pulled pork experience was a success IMHO. I'm sure some of the pros on this forum will be along to give you some real pointers, but I will share my recent experience.

I started with two Sam's butts a total of ~15 lbs.. I brined overnight in a kosher salt only brine (about 1 cup) and made sure to keep refrigerated below 40*. I then dry rubbed with a basic rub and refrigerated several hours. I started at about 8:00 PM and I smoked 3 hours of hickory at 210 and then raised the smoker temp to 220 and cooked all night until the butts reached an internal temp of 195* around 2:30 the next day - took about 18 hours for mine. I then FTC'd (wrapped in foil, then a old towel, and placed in a small cooler (no ice) for about 4 hours, then pulled some of the best I have ever eaten. I have eaten A LOT of pulled pork in my life and I am sure I am biased to my results - but everyone that ate it said it was great!

As far as the quantity, I would say it yielded somewhere in the 8-10 pounds range after rendering and bone/fat removal. I am not sure I would be comfortable trying to feed 50 people with that amount.

You can see some pics at:

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=10286.0

Simple rub I used:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dry mustard

Welcome to the forum and best of luck.

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Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 07:44:19 am »
Welcome Chris.

Will have to have a little more information to help you how much meat to buy, but 15 pounds of fresh butt won't be enough no matter what  - unless you are feeding your vegetarian grannies!  Pork butt will have about 40% "loss" due to cooking and trimming.  So you will have approximately 9 lbs of meat after smoking.  If you serve pulled pork sammies, you could probably use 1/4 lb per.  That would serve 36 people.  If putting pork on a plate, 1/3 lb would be a good serving size - then only serving 27.  If your guest are like me - more in the 1 lb or more per serving would be more like it.  Other variables, would be when you are serving, and what else you are serving.  If you do a lot of appetizers - ABT's, Moinkballs, fatties, etc.. they won't be as hungry.  So take your number of servings (guests X 1.25 or up to 1.5 - guess of how many will want seconds), multiply what your serving size will will be (say 1/3 lb) then multiply that by 1.67 to get your raw weight of pork butt needed.

(50 x 1.5) x 1/3 x 1.67 = 41 lbs.  That would be for healthy eaters (50 % seconds and 1/3 lb portions on the plate)

(50 x 1.5) x 1/4 x 1.67 = 31 lbs.   That would be for healthy eaters (50% seconds and 1/4 lb servings on sammies)
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Offline KyNola

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 07:47:33 am »
Hi Chris,
Many different versions of essentially the same method to do butts.  Here's mine.  The day before the smoke, paint your butts with plain yellow mustard and then apply your favorite rub.  Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and back into the frig overnight.  Day of smoke, take butts out of frig for at least one hour prior to smoke time.  Preheat smoker to 250-260 degrees. Don't worry, when you open the door to your smoker and place 15lbs of cold meat in there, the temp in the box is going to drop like a stone.  Apply smoke of your choice for 4 hours.  Being from KY my choice is hickory!  You want to be smoking/cooking at 200-225.  As the temp comes back up in the box, you may have to adjust your settings.  After the smoke period, the Bradley is now just an oven.  For better temp control, I transfer butts to my house oven set at 225 at this point.  Some folks wrap in foil, some boat them with apple juice.  I don't do either.  They go on a rack in a roasting pan until their IT hits around 190 degrees.  It is is then ready to pull.  If this is your first time doing butts, don't get alarmed when the IT stalls for several hours at around 150-160.  That's what you want them to do, the collagen and connective tissue is breaking down.  You asked how long it will take.  each butt can be different but if I were you and I wanted to serve around 5:00, I would start around 5:00 the day before.  If they get finished early, you can always FTC them.  I have had them take 24-26 hours before and I have had them finish in 15-16 hours.

Others will come along shortly and give you better advice then mine.

Enjoy!
KyNola

Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 07:51:01 am »
Fantastic reply Caneyscud, and one I will probably refer to myself in future for larger gatherings.  I do recall there is also a spreadsheet on here (or the recipe site maybe?) for this exact sort of thing...

Chris, I did my first pulled pork from a 9lb butt a few weeks back for around 12 people....  and without exaggeration there was not a scrap of meat left it was so popular....  so as far as I'm concerned, figure out what you need and add a bit more even....  I'd love to tell you the leftovers are just as good, but I didn't have any to experience!  Won't have that problem next time though  ;)

Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 07:57:54 am »
If this is your first time doing butts, don't get alarmed when the IT stalls for several hours at around 150-160.

.... forgot to add that my 9 pounder took the better part of 16 hours.... and that was including me foil boating with apple juice, panicing a bit and cranking the temperature at the end.  But it is a nail-biting affair the first time when it takes 5-6 hours to get through that stall zone!!  Take Kynola's advice, don't panic!  Mine turned out just fine...  but at least now I'll know to start a few hours earlier!

Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009, 08:25:54 am »
thanks TDC.  There are spreadsheets around, and in fact they help a lot.  But their formulas are hidden and locked, so not entirely sure how they do the gozintas!  That formula is good for butts, and clods.  But not for brisket.  Brisket has greater loss (closer to 50%), so need to use 2 instead of 1.67 at the end.  I'll try to find the links to the spreadsheets.  I can't locate them just this minute for some reason.
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Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2009, 08:41:35 am »
Here's a link to Habanero Smokers post on a good spreadsheet:

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=9937.msg106802#msg106802

Yes...  the formulae do start out locked and hidden...  but they don't stay that way for long on my computer  ;D  However, I do want to respect their intentions, so I'm not gonna post any intructions, but there isn't much you won't find with a few Google searches these days ;) so if you are so inclined, go for it.

Offline Halen

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2009, 08:44:38 am »
So can I fit 35 or 40 pounds of pork in my smoker. I have the 4 shelf black one?

Thanks
Chris

NePaSmoKer

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 08:51:19 am »
So can I fit 35 or 40 pounds of pork in my smoker. I have the 4 shelf black one?

Thanks
Chris

If you put this much in your smoker it going to take longer to smoke. You might have to finish in your oven.

nepas

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2009, 08:56:56 am »
The most I've been able to get in my OBS is around 32lbs.

and that is ALOT of meat.

It will take a loooooong time for the smoker to come back up to temp. When I do this many (almost every time) I finish them in the oven.

You may find that if try to stack them horizontally, that they may touch, forming a single "column" of meat. Not good.

You either need to give them a "beat down" to flatten them out a little, or...

What I do is stand them on the long end, two to a rack.

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Offline Halen

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2009, 09:09:44 am »
So how long did it take it you to smoke 32lbs? Should I just cram everything in and let it go. We are having family bring salads, sides and desserts. Not much for appetizers but a decent buffet of food. So you know have me a little scared on how I want to do this. Here is what I am thinking time frame wise. Please make corrections or add advice.

Party is Sat. at 5 pm

Thursday evening soak in a brine

Friday around 5 pm put in smoker( how long should it smoke for. I think I am going to use apple or maybe Hickory or a mix)

Then when should it just cook. Either in the smoker or in the oven and then just cook it till the IT is about 195?

Thanks
Chris

Offline Tenpoint5

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2009, 09:15:41 am »
Welcome Aboard Chris!! If your worried about getting a lot done in a short time. You can always do the smoke as two separate smokes and reheat the pulled pork in a roaster or crock pot with a splash of Apple juice. Either way you do it it will still take 18-20 hours per smoke.
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2009, 11:44:19 am »
I usually start a load like that in the evening, and they are done sometime the next afternoon.

The usual timeline

1. hour 0 - Take meat out of refrigerator, crank up smoker and smoke generator - no pucks. full water bowl of hot water

2. +30 to 45 minutes - add meat and pucks - I use 4 hours of smoke, usually Hickory.

3. +4 hours (from start or hour 0) - empty / refill water bowl.

4. Morning - transfer butts to oven - either foil wrapped or covered roasting pan

Cook @ 210F until an internal temp of 190F.

I always "stick" them in multple places. the fat pockets have a higher temp than the meat.

I also monitor each butt.
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Offline Stargazer

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Re: Pulled pork question
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2009, 11:52:02 am »
Oh WOW Rider, those butts look awesome  :P

Looks like me and dad gonna have to do some this week after seeing these guys.

Question for you though Rider... I notice you use the jerky mesh wire racks. Doe's this help keep the meats from sagging between the wires. I've noticed this when I do butts. I use the standard wire racks and some of the meat tends to sag between the openings and makes clean up alittle harder.

Plus I also noticed when using the regular racks and the meat sags, they sort of pocket up and have little dry spots, not much, only in a few tiny areas.

Does the jerky mesh racks help with this?
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