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mmeyer

Smoking Pork Roast

26 posts in this topic

I smoked my first pork roast yesterday and it turned out ok. One thing I didn't like is the outside got pretty crunchy. Is there a way to prevent this like wrapping it something?

Also what's the best way to "pull" this to make sandwiches?

Thanks

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For the pulling part, most people will pull it with their hands if not too hot. Works better than two forks - my old method.

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you can wrap it in foil when it looks like the outside is

getting done. also you can spray with apple juice to keep it

moist, but a real pain. i have tried slathering mustard on

the outside. doesnt change the taste, but then what wrong

with a little bark! i like the crispy part.

randy

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Thanks a bunch. How long would guys smoke a 4 lb roast. I smoked it about 4 hours. The internal temp was 180 long before that but I let it cook longer to get it more tender. It turned out good but I'm wondering if I did it correctly.

Thanks

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if you want to make it so it pulls apart (pulled pork sandwiched etc) that size should take probably 10 hours, did a 7 lb shoulder and it took 14 hours at 220 to get to 180 degrees internal, might be why it got crunchy if the heat was up too high.

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If it was too crisp (burnt) the temp was too high. Also make sure to soak it with a good mop about every hour. To make the pork tender enough to pull it needs to cook to 195F, this is for a boston butt roast. Other roasts with less fat (loin) will get dry and are better cooked to about 170-180 and then sliced rather them pulled. If its taking too long to get the roast up to temp in the smoker it can be finished in the oven at 225-250 for a couple of hours. Just my 2 cents.

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Mike,

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The technique you use depends on the type of roast you have. A loin for example should be cooked with a medium-high pit temp until the internal is 145° or 150°, (that is the roast you cut chops out of) and it is best sliced. It will not be pullable because of the low fat content. A pork shoulder (butt or picnic) from the front of a hog (not a ham) has an excellent ratio of meat to fat and can be cooked at low pit temps, like 225° to 275° and pulled.

Here is the deal with pork shoulder.....It comes up to temp fairly evenly until it hits 170° or 180° internal. Then the conversion of collagen to gelatin begins to take place. This is called a plateau, and the internal temperature will stall, sometimes for a couple of hours depending on the size of the roast. This conversion is what makes the texture of the meat moist and tender. Once it breaks out, the internal will begin to rise again. Your finish internal temperature for pulling is 195° to 210°. When it reaches that, you will notice the the bone will freely wiggle and almost fall out on its own. It will be slick or free of meat. Sometimes it will take two hands to get the roast off the pit as it is ready to fall apart on it's own. Also, you don't want to rush the butt through the plateau or ramp up the pit temp, it needs time for this reaction to happen.

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Now before you jump in and start pulling, hold on.....it needs to be wrapped in foil and put in an empty cooler with some newspaper stuffed in for insulation, for at least an hour. Two is better. The best one would be one close to the size of the roast. This allows all the juices to settle down and equalize. Don't worry, it will still stay plenty hot. When you are ready, open the foil and save the juices (you can put them in a measuring cup and go into the freezer which makes the fats rise to the top) then using rubber gloves or two forks, pull away. You can use that reserved juice to mix into BBQ sauce or as a table sauce.

To speed up a cook or if your roast is getting too dark, wrap in foil at 175° and put back on the cooker or even in a 250° oven. The foiled roast will go through the plateau a little faster than when naked, so watch the internal. Still rest it in a cooler, then pull.

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Smoking time at 250° pit temp will be upwards of 90 minutes to 2 hours per pound, so an 8 pounder will take 15 or 16 hours. The rule of thumb is not as accurate with a small or real large roast. Just watch the internal, and plan on the plateau time.

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Thanks thirdeye crazy Now I am so hungry after looking at those pics and all I want is a pulled pork sandwich grin

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I have been following this thread eagerly, merely waiting for thirdeyes pics. I knew they would be here soon. Thanks for the photography!!

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Oh Man, do I have a lot to learn! Thanks so much for the help. One more question - Do I keep adding wood chips throughout this whole time?

Thanks and boy do those look delicious! I can't wait to do another.

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I don't know what kind of equipment you are cooking on (gas or charcoal) or whether you are using briquettes or lump charcoal. Also there are various ways to shield the heat or position the coals in order to cook "indirect".....

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I'm a lump charcoal guy and what I do is mix a couple of hand-fulls of chips into the lump, then add some larger splits on top. When I light the initial fire, I bring the cooker up to temp, then let the charcoal and wood burn off and settle down for about an hour. I like a thin stream of blue smoke coming from the top vent. Too much smoke, or if the charcoal is not ready, can result in a bitter flavor, remember this food will be in the cooker for many hours. There is no hurrying when it comes to good barbecue. Anyway during the cook, as the fire spreads through the fuel, it will find the small chips and keep some smoke going.

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Sorry for the lack of background. I am using a Masterbuilt electric smoker and using small wood chips.

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Thirdeye I will take both of those bad boys grin I think I know what to cook up for the boys when we get together for our fall fishing trip this year. Do you make a home made dressing for your slaw ?

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I'm not that familiar with using a cabinet smoker, I know a couple of people with the Cook Shack ones which are similar. (I do have a Big Chief I use just for salmon, but it is a basic non-insulated box smoker with a hot plate type of heat coil) As far as the cook time, the temperature setting, the plateau, the final internal temperature and the rest we talked about, nothing will change there. The only difference is you have a different heat source and a different way to deliver smoke to the food. Having a temperature control thermostat will really come in handy when you cook through the night.

So, back to the smoke question and the amount of chips.....I guess it depends on the rate of burn for your particular model. Meat takes smoke flavor easier early on in the cook, but will take it to some degree throughout the cook. Since it's possible to over smoke some things like chicken, you will have to use their guidelines and experiment a little on your own. You might wind up replenishing the chip pan 2 or 3 times over a 10 hour period.

One other variable to play with is the type of wood you select. Some produce lighter flavors (like alder or maple) some produce medium flavors (like cherry or apple) stronger flavors come from oak, pecan and hickory, and the strongest I have used is mesquite.

If Masterbuilt does not have a users forum of their own, try looking for the Cook Shack forum, you might get some general information and tips to really fine tune you cooking.

One last thing, click on my user name, then select 'view homepage'.

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Pulled pork works great for something like that. It holds well, freezes well and reheats well. If you are not going to add any thinned barbecue sauce when reheating, add a little apple juice or Classic CocaCola. It will add moisture and sweetness only, there will be no tell-tale flavors.

I do make my own slaw for PP sandwiches, but one of the markets here has 3 or 4 kinds in their deli section that are pretty good too. The recipe I use the most was called KFC Style Slaw. Partially because is calls for a fine chopped cabbage, but the flavor is real close.

KFC Style Slaw

8 cups very finely chopped cabbage

1/4 cup shredded carrot

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

1-1/2 tbsp. white vinegar

2-1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

Directions:

Be sure that the cabbage and carrots are chopped up into very fine pieces, about the size of rice kernels. Combine the sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Add the cabbage and carrots. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

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some old post from you about the plateau probably saved my shoulder. Did my first on the egg 3 weeks ago and it stayed at 170 for almost 3 hours, might have cranked up the heat if i didnt remember reading something from you about it will hold at that for while. The people that ate my shoulder in about 10 minutes, and myself thank you. That egg is awesome, been putting it to a lot of good use

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also search for sites discussing the weber bullet aka weber smoky mountain. There is a really good one with a lot of good information and recipes. I'll post the url if I get permission.

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I'll second the site just mentioned relating to the weber bullet. THere are very descriptive dierecions and suggestions on ways to produce great smoked products. i've followed moast of them with great results. The weber smoker is excellent for the baackyard guy to use.

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This is a very good thread...Thank you all.

I just received a Char Broil Silver smoker/grill for my birthday. This is an off-set smoker. Is this the kind of smoker you guys are talking about? I've only used it once for a pork loin and I'm excited to do a port roast and ribs on it.

I smoke fish on my webber and can't wait to smoke fish with this new smoker.

I think it will work good for me, is this the type of smoker that will work for fish, pork roats and ribs?

Thanks.

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So far the smokers we have been talking about have been vertical style (Weber Smokey Mountain or Big Green Egg) or a box or cabinet smoker. On the vertical style, the fire is in the bottom and there is a baffle, pan or other heat sink. A cabinet is just that....a box of sorts with a heat source and chips or pellets. The heat source can be as simple as a hot plate with a pan of wood.

Your offset smoker (also called a sidewinder) could be called a horizontal, since heat and smoke from your firebox travels into the larger chamber and across the food, then out the stack. You can smoke or barbecue just about anything in this style of cooker. This style (on a larger scale) is very popular in competitions, some are so large they are trailer mounted. Like any barbecue, you will have to learn fire control so you can keep the internal temperature in the cooking chamber where you want it. This is really just matching vent settings on the firebox and the stack. It is common to have areas on the grate that are hotter than others, so you will have to figure that out too. As far a long cooks go, the big advantage to having the side firebox is that you can easily add more charcoal or flavor wood as needed. Depending on how large yours is, during winter cooking you may have to start a fire earlier to allow plenty of time for the cooking chamber to heat up.

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Thanks Thirdeye.

The heat is the key. I've already found that opening a vent a quarter can make a big difference in the heat.

When smoking do you think I should add a pan of water?

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A water pan in some cookers can add moisture, but It takes a lot of BTU's to heat water. I don't use them in my smokers, but like I said I have vertical ones...you may find benefit in using a water pan if you notice your food is drying out. The guys I know that use them do so when cooking chicken pieces, especially white meat. The exception to me using a water pan (or ice pan) is when I smoke salmon. I will sometimes use them to insure that the pit temperature is low, so I can get more smoke flavor.

An option to a water pan is basting the meat, the downside to this is that you are in the cooker more often and every time the lid is opened, you loose heat and add time to the cook.

The size of the meat and the fat content works in your favor when producing moist and juicy barbecue. For example a shoulder roast (like a Boston butt) is easier to cook than a pork loin because of the higher fat. The butt has a broad range of doneness, it can be sliced at 180° internal or can be cooked to 200° internal and be pulled. A loin roast is best served around 145-150° internal. Chicken is the best example.....legs and thighs have more fat and are easier to cook than breasts. I take my dark meat to 175° internal, but only cook my breasts to 160° to 165° (actually a little lower if the juices run clear, but 165° is what the USDA calls safe). Since I mentioned that size makes a difference I like to cook leg/thigh quarters or if I have a whole bird I butcher it like this. Then I can cook each piece just the way I want it.

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