Author Topic: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder  (Read 4415 times)

Offline RRL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Hey guys,

So I smoked for the 1st time this past weekend.  Played it safe and just got a 1.5lb pork roast with a bone in the in the middle

I had read somewhere that it should hit an IT of 160F which was my set goal.

I used the apple wood pucks and did 4 hours of smoke and took about 5hours of cook time at 225-250F range to hit 160F

Couple concerns and questions...

The pork came out fairly dry and some spots had an over whelming smoke flavor over other areas.

I didnt brine it,  just used some rub which I left sit over night in the fridge.

was alright.. but nothing much to talk about per say... I know it doesnt help I used a cheap 8$ piece of meat but definitely was hoping the smoker would of kicked it up a notch.   Do you all typically do on avg full smoke for most of the cook time or




Heres some pics for those that enjoy em...

Heres the cut -

Was raining outside and after doing some searching saw a few people had set up their smoker under an umbrella..worked out well



Final outcome -

« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 05:16:28 am by RRL »

Offline watchdog56

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,520
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 12:04:45 pm »
As far as smoke time I usually go 3 hours for ribs and 4 for pork butts. A brisket may go longer. As far as your flavor a couple of things can effect that. For pork I usually use apple or hickory. Also if your vent is even half closed it could cause moisture to form and drip black drops also known as black rain which will give your meat a bitter taste. I always leave vent wide open.
Not sure why it would come out dry, maybe just the cut of meat.

Offline Wildcat

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,838
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 12:13:34 pm »
For such a small piece of meat I would recommend no more than 2 hours of smoke. As for the dryness I suspect the meat that you had did not have any fat. When I do pork it is normally a large butt. With the large butt I do 4 hours of Apple. I also leave about an eighth of an inch of fat on the meat. Also the meat has fat within it. I am not sure about your piece.
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.



CLICK HERE for Recipe Site:  http://www.susanminor.org/

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,101
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2016, 01:02:19 pm »
What type of roast was it; shoulder, loin, or sirloin?

If it was a loin or sirloin roast, you only need to take it to 145°F, with at least three minute rest; which is the USDA recommended temperature. I take mine to 140°F. At these temperatures it should remain moist.

If it is from the shoulder, you will need to take it to a temperature that the collagen will break down into gelatin. At the temperatures you used, taking it to an internal temperature of 175°F, it will be good for slicing. At 195°F - 205°F, it will be good for pulling. And of course your cooking time will be much longer.

If you rub it down the night before, and the rub has salt, wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Edward176

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 219
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 07:42:03 pm »
Welcome to the Forum RRL, looks like help is already here. Don't despair, my first smoked roast wasn't too appealing but each one afterwards just got better and better and better.

Offline RRL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 04:49:44 am »
Thanks for all the replies!

I can't remember the exact cut... definitely wasn't a high price cut for the exact reason I wanted to see how it would turn out. I want to say it was a shoulder cut, but could be entirely wrong. There was a fairly large bone in it.


I took the shoulder out at 160F which I cooked with using a Maverick D-377 probe.  I wraped it in tin foil and let it sit for about 20 minutes or so, I never re checked the temps after though.

The meat had its fair share of fat on it and had a "fat cap"  but I was only able to place the cap to the side.

I had 4 hours smoke 5 hours cook time but I also more then likely opened the door a couple times extra to make sure everything was in working order.  ideally if I would of only did the 2 hour puck bowl check / re fill i prob would of shortened that cook time for the 160F goal.

I had my vent about 1/4 to half open...  you recommend vents always stay at pretty well a full open? I didn't notice any black rain as I did check for it as I read about it on various posts on here.

Guess for the pork.. it sounds like it needed to be cooked quite a bit longer to reach a higher IT to make the meat more tender.  I may try another one of the same cuts and see how it turns out with a higher IT. 

Ive always figured if I can make a crap  cut taste like a decent prime cut cooked normally.. im on the right tracks.lol
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 04:51:40 am by RRL »

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,101
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 01:11:55 pm »
If it is the shoulder, then you need to cook it longer to make it tender, but at 160°F; there should have been enough fat to give it the meat a feeling being moist. With a large bone that sounds like a shoulder cut, either the butt or maybe the picnic. Though I've seen cuts from the hind leg labeled as sirloin roast and not ham. If the package is labeled rib roast, loin or sirloin roast, you don't want to take that beyond 145°F.

If four hours of smoke gave it the flavor you wanted, I would stick with the four hours.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline RRL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 10:09:17 am »
Some portions of the cut where nice tender and juice some where dry.. it was hit or miss all over, but again if it was cooked to the proper 190F range.. it would of prob been spot on I would think.

I just picked up one of those Loins from costco.

I cut it in 2 and I plan on stuffing it.  1 I think ill try baby spinach and ground hot pork sausage

2nd I may try either a turkey style stuffing not quite sure yet. 

For those loins. I would cook until IT of 145F wrap and sit for roughly an hour correct?


the smoke was good on the cheap cut, just some points I found tasted GREAT while other spots abit bitter.. but maybe I did get some black rain as vents where only 1/4 open give or take as mentioned

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,101
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2016, 02:43:39 pm »
Correct; for loins cook until 145°F, and loosely cover for only about a 15 to 20 minutes rest, for the juices to evenly redistribute throughout the meat. It will be a little pink. If you don't like your pork slightly pink, cook until it is 150°F. Also since you are only bringing the loins to 145°F, when stuffing with pork sausage, the sausage should be precooked before using it as a stuffing.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline RRL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2016, 04:46:57 am »
Thanks for all the very informative posts to date!


Why should I pre cook the stuffing?  a couple videos I saw you cut open the  loin and you evenly  place down about 1/4" - 1/2" of raw ground pork then roll it up and tie it down with some butcher string.

Might of been my poor choice of wording but I wont be using whole sausage.


Thanks again!

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,101
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2016, 01:00:30 pm »
To be safe pork sausage should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. If you are only bringing the stuffed loin up to 145°F the sausage may be undercooked and unsafe to eat. The recipes that used raw pork was it mentioned in the recipe what internal temperature to take it too. The recipe may also be going with the old USDA internal temperature, which used to be 160°F.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline RRL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2016, 04:38:31 am »
Damn didnt think of that... I just youtubed "stuffed loins" and got a few ideas of what id like to do.

If the sausage does end up undercooked that would definitely be an issue.

Just did more reading on the stuffed loins and yea every post I have seen call for 160F internal. which is slightly over cooked for the the loin
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 06:07:55 am by RRL »

Offline Smoker John

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,065
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2016, 08:51:44 am »
Agree with Habanero, I would pre cook the the pork sausage if I was using it.
Bradley Digital 4 Rack
Bradley BS712

Offline RRL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2016, 09:05:18 am »
Should I need to worry about the ground pork sausage meat drying out if pre cooked? or it has enough fat content to keep moist while cooking, or do you guys add other stuff to keep it moist?



Thanks for all the tips to date!!!  hopefully this weekend ill get a loin or some home made stuffed burgers in there!

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,101
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: 1st time smoke in new to me 4rack digital smoker with a pork shoulder
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2016, 01:01:06 pm »
It should be alright. I've used precooked hamburger as part of a stuffing in a flank steak, and it turned out moist, though sautéed mushrooms, onions and spinach was also part of the stuffing mixture. As an extra precaution you can drizzle some of the pan drippings over the sausage prior to rolling up the loin.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)