Author Topic: First Time Pulled Pork Help  (Read 17400 times)

Offline WannaB Smoker

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First Time Pulled Pork Help
« on: August 03, 2008, 10:07:02 pm »
I've been lurking around for some instructions for smoking pulled pork and there seems to be a large variation on times and recipes etc..
I'm looking for some basic instructions that will give me great results - maybe someone can point me to another discussion covering this topic or give me some pointers - this is only my second attempt using the smoker.

I have 3 pork butts - is there any preparation that needs to be done to the meat prior to seasoning? Removing any skin or fat?

CYM seems to be a favourite for prep - do I put this on the night before or right before smoking? I was also planning on coating it with some left over rib rub (my recipe from before made plenty).

How many hours do I smoke for and at what temp? and then is there additional cooking time without smoke?

Any other good tricks of the trade?  :)

Thanks!



Offline Gizmo

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2008, 10:45:48 pm »
As you already know and will find out from iother replies to your post, there are many good roads to the same destination.  CYM and a rub the night before the smoke is a good way to go although I have only use CYM once.  Time varies depending on many factors including your actual cooking temperature, ambient temperatures outside, and the pork butt itself.  Figure 18 hours or more for a good sized pork butts.  Trim the fat down to 1/4 inch before applying the rub.  Take your butt out of the fridge an hour or so before the smoke (use the time to warm up the bradley and the puck burner).  I set the bradley to max temp and let it heat up so it will recovery faster when I open the door and slide the tray(s) in.  I keep it at that temp until the temperature near the meat (measured with an external probe) reaches 200 deg F.  After the temp reaches 200 to 205 deg near the meat, I will adjust the set temp on the bradley down to maintain that temp.  I smoke for 4 hours and then usually boat the butt in 1/8 to 1/4 inch of apple juice in a foil roasting pan with a foil lid wrap over the top to keep the moisture in.  I take mine to 185 deg F internal no matter how long it takes.  I have experiemented in the past with raising the temp up to 325 deg (in a house oven) after 10 hours or so of 200 degrees just to see how well it works.  I received good results and so am confident that if I ever get in a time crunch, I can push the time with temp.  Not having both methods products to compare side by side, can't say if there was a big difference or not. 
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 03:38:24 am »
As Gizmo has stated there are many ways to obtain great end results, and he has covered the basics. I don't use mustard any more, and have switch to olive oil; less messy. :)

You mentioned removing skin. Butts usually don't come with skin attached. Do you have a whole shoulder, are do you have the cut generally called the picnic shoulder. Picnic shoulders do not pull as well as the butt and have a slightly different taste.

If you have the picnic shoulder most of us remove the skin, if you keep the skin on you should score it in a criss-cross pattern down to the meat, or make 1 inch slits about 1 inch apart.

Here are some recipes you can take a look at:
http://www.susanminor.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=89

Also doing a search on the forum will give you a ton of ideas.


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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008, 04:13:02 am »
I concur with Gizmo and Habs, with the addition that I:

Brine my butts in a solution of water, salt and Molasses for 24 hours.
Apply a spice rubm wrap in plastic, refrigerate for 24 hours.
Then I take it out an hour ahead, smoke 4 hours of Hickory, remove to a foil covered pan and into a 200F oven for as long as it takes to get to 190F internal temperature.

Then FTC - wrap in Foil, an old Towel, and into a Cooler for at least 1-2 hours, I do 4 or so.

I've never done a picnic shoulder for pulled pork.

I usually start smoking around 7-9pm  the night before, empty/refill the water bowl and rotate racks after four hours, and then every 2 hours once the sun rises. I let them go all night in the Bradley and then transfer to the oven in the AM.
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Offline WannaB Smoker

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008, 07:29:22 am »
Yes they are a picnic cut - it was the only kind they had at the grocery store. Plus at the time I didn't know there was more than one type. Next time I think I'll visit the butcher.

So I'll remove the skin, rub with CYM and pat with rub the night before. Then early in the morning I'll smoke for 4 hours then continue to cook until done. Sounds like you all start the night before -  hopefully it will still be done in time for dinner.

Thanks for the help!


Offline goalieboy29

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2008, 08:33:03 am »
I've done picnic before and they come out great.

I just did a 9 lb butt and she was in there for 19 hours. I smoked with hickory for 2.5 hours and kept the temp around 205-210. It's done (for me) when the internal temp hits 190.

The thing about doing it the night before is that you can always hold the roast for 4-6 hours using FTC. Comes out piping hot and they seem to appreciate the resting time.

Have fun and don't worry. Just try to keep the temp in the low 200's and yank 'er at 190.

Cheers.
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Offline Tiny Tim

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008, 08:57:57 am »
Everybody has their own preference...mine is to cook it at 200ish until the IT hits 175, and I use 4 hours of Apple, no mop/spray, and light rub.  To me, 190 IT makes the meat too mushy.

Offline Mr Walleye

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2008, 12:55:19 pm »
Welcome to the forum WannaB

Everybody has you covered, the only thing I'll add is make sure you change the water in the water bowl at about the 4 hour mark. Refill with fresh hot water. Butts give off lots of goo so you want to make sure your bowl doesn't go dry.

Mike

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Offline WannaB Smoker

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2008, 09:27:43 am »
Well I put them in the smoker early this morning...so far, so good. I'll be done smoking shortly and then I'll transfer to a roast pan and then put in the oven for the rest of the cooking time. They are about 6 lbs each so I imagine the cook time will be shorter in general.

I'll let you all know how it turns out later. :)

Offline PAsmoker

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2008, 09:48:48 am »
I only ever use picnics.  I like the different flavors of meat that comes out of them.  I used to take the time to remove the skin, but I found that a properly cooked shoulder will have that skin come off with absolutely no effort.  The fat underneath will melt away during the smoking/cooking process.  Now, with that being said, you could cut loose the cap, season underneath it and replace the cap to keep it moist under there. 

I've been away from the forum for a while now due to work, etc, but when did most folks start using the oven instead of just keeping the afore-mentioned meat in the BS?  I just keep letting the BS do it's job.  The only time I ever used the oven was when the weather got really ugly out and blew over the BS so I moved the meat to the oven to finish.
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Offline westexasmoker

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2008, 10:16:38 am »
I wind up finishing in the house oven, mainly because on a smoke day I've got so much to cook theres no way I could get it all done in my BS (seems like a good excuse to buy another one!  ::) )  Plus I've got my smoker inside my well house, and I just don't like the thought of leaving it going all night unattended!

C
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Offline rcger

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2008, 01:49:10 pm »
I wind up finishing in the house oven, mainly because on a smoke day I've got so much to cook theres no way I could get it all done in my BS (seems like a good excuse to buy another one!  ::) )  Plus I've got my smoker inside my well house, and I just don't like the thought of leaving it going all night unattended!

C

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Offline studvike84

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2008, 08:03:29 am »
Thanks for all of the information.  Can anybody give me an estimate of what it will take to do a 6.2 lb. boneless pork shoulder.  I know that I have to wait until IT hits about 190, but am not sure on hours/lb.  I'm trying to figure when she needs to go in and then I can figure out when I want it done the next day - and I'll get it done about 2-3 hours so I can FTC it for a while.  Thanks in advance for any help.

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2008, 08:21:55 am »
First, W E L C O M E to the Forum studvike84!

Time is the most difficult think to estimate while smoking. When I do 2 bone-in shoulders, it usually is around 20lbs or so. That takes about 16 to 20 hours @ 200F. 6lbs I would guess 8-10 hours.

It depends on how much connective tissue there is in the roast. The more there is the longer it is going to hang out at the ~160F "plateau"

Depending on how much of that tissue was removed during the deboning process will affect the time needed to get to 190F.
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Offline studvike84

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Re: First Time Pulled Pork Help
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2008, 01:48:56 pm »
Thanks.  I love this forum.  Everybody is so helpful....