First Pork Shoulder and people are coming!!

Started by RebTech, September 12, 2020, 11:57:53 AM

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Hi All

I'm new to the site and have Digital Bradly Smoker. My father passed on his smoker to me as he's getting up in age and doesn't feel like it anymore. Man! he could make a killer smoke salmon that tastes amazing!

Was camping last week (boys weekend) and one of the boys brought out a propane smoker and made an amazing pulled pork. Don't know what type of meat it was but do recall him cooking over 12hr and it was amazing.

So I thought I would give it a go! This was going to be an experiment as the last time I tried smoking anything I failed miserably!! Now I have people coming over tonight and I'm worried I might mess this up!

Here's what I'm doing.

Bought pork shoulder from costco 2 per pack and total weight was just over 5lb, so each pork shoulder is about 2.5lb
Did a dry rub and it sat in the fridge over night and one hour on the counter to get to room temp.
They are now both in the smoker on one tray as they fit nicely.
Cabinet temp is set for 250F with a IT I'm going for is 190F (based on the recipe it got) also read on the forum here that it's wise to keep a 60-70 temp difference from final IT

As I'm reading more in the forum posts, others seem to only go to 230F Should I drop my cabinet temp?
I put the pork on at 10am and the BS was up to 200F, now sitting around 240 and climbing...
Smoke damper is wide open and only only put in enough for 4hr smoke.

How am I doing?
should I drop my temp?
Will I have these cooked by dinner time? between 6-9pm. I do plan to at least try FTC if feasible (if time allows, based on the 1 3/4 per pound per hour)
anything else I should watch or know?

thanks all! god I hope this turns out!!AlPwnzTH3IWGirgxSPdHQlaOiOgH4w?e=f067sx

Habanero Smoker

Hi RebTech;

Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on obtaining a Bradley and smoke/cooking your first butt. You approach is good.

Your set temperature of 250°F is alright for butts, if you want to reduce the temperature by 20 degrees it will take longer for the butt to cook. Butts are pretty forgiving, so they can handle 250°F. The common rule is 90 minutes per pound for tough cuts of meat like butts and briskets. What you have are very small butts, and they look boneless, so they should be done in plenty of time for you 6PM dinner. The internal temperature should only be a guide. I cook mine until I can stick a dinner fork into the butt with little resistance, and be able to twist it. Many go by when you can slide your probe in and out, like it was going through butter - but to me when this occurs the pork is overcooked.

Let us know how it turns out, and if it was in time for dinner. :)



Awesome thanks Habanero

I'm 4hrs in and notice about an hour ago my meat IT was climbing rapidly so I decided to drop it to 230. Right now the IT is sitting at 164f. I'll leave it and wait!

Let you all know how it goes!
Thanks for the reply!


Well, for my first pulled pork it didn't turn out too bad. I did the fork test around 187 and thought all was good until I went to pull it apart, some parts of the meat were much more tender that others?
I don't know if this was over done or if I didn't leave long enough in the smoker?

Wondering if I should have wrapped it in foil after the smoke since they were smaller cuts?

Overall, this was good. Even the wife liked it and she hates anything smoked!

Habanero Smoker

Those butts look good to me. With pork butts that is the case, in that some areas will be more tender than others, because the butt has a few different muscles. In competition barbeque, the cooks will pick and choose what parts of the butt to send in to the judges. One popular muscle in the butt is what is called the "Money Muscle". But over all when pulled and mixed together, there should be a good blend of textures. With nothing mushy, and nothing tough.

It is usually the lighter meat that will be more tender, and the darker meat that will have more chew (texture). You can tell if it is overcooked when the meat is mushy (lack definition), such as lack of texture and it practically melts in your mouth and may have a mealy texture. If the parts that were not as tender were a little difficult to chew, then it wasn't quite done, and it could have used a little more time.

Foiling does help speed up the cooking time, it may help it cook more evenly overall; but I'm not sure about that. When you foil, you don't want to wrap until the bark is set. If you wrap it too soon, such as right after you applied the smoke, the bark will not form, and most of you seasoning will flow off the meat. Some foil after feeling the bark to make sure it is set, while others will wait until the internal temperature hits around 165°F



When I do butts I usually pull it at 195 then wrap it in foil and a towel and put in cooler for a couple of hours.


Hey RebTech and welcome to the Forum. Lots of great help and advice here sounds like you're on the right track.