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Hoffer

Help with smoked pulled pork

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Hi all.

Have tried to do a Pork shoulder a few times in the smoker. My goal is to have a finished product for pulled pork sandwiches. Where the meat just shreds easily.

So far, the few times I have tried it - it just comes out quite firm...like a big hunk of cooked Pork Definetely not shredable.

I basically have just placed it in the cooker at around 200 degrees for 6 hours or so.

Do I need to smoke it for a longer period of time? Higher temps? lower temps?

Any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi all.

Have tried to do a Pork shoulder a few times in the smoker. My goal is to have a finished product for pulled pork sandwiches. Where the meat just shreds easily.

So far, the few times I have tried it - it just comes out quite firm...like a big hunk of cooked Pork Definetely not shredable.

I basically have just placed it in the cooker at around 200 degrees for 6 hours or so.

Do I need to smoke it for a longer period of time? Higher temps? lower temps?

Any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated!

Maybe a little higher temp and a lot longer. You need to get to an internal temp of 190 for a while. Some folks pull the pork out of the smoker and wrap in foil and put back, or even (sacrilege) put it in the oven once it is foiled.

Basically you need to cook the heck out of it. Only not too fast or hot.

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First I would get a meat thermometer and monitor the meat temp. I do mine till I get an internal temp of 203 and then if it's not already wrapped in foil I wrap and put in a cooler wrapped in towels for 2 hours before I pull it. Going off just time alone won't get you where you need to be to pull, the meat will hit a stall at some point (usually 165-180) for me and that's hwere your timed cook will not work. My typical weight is around 6-7 lbs per shoulder and it takes around 12-14 hours at 225 for me to hit my it of 203. Once you get the meat to 160-170 you can wrap in foil to help speed threw the stall if your in a crunch but you get a lot less bark if that matters to you. Let me know if you have any more questions full-28362-53289-image.jpg

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I agree you need to do it much longer.

I usually use 5-7 pounders and 12 hours at 250 is pretty much the norm as far as time and temp. I use a charcoal smoker so I usually do roughly 8 hours in the smoker and then I do often finish in the oven because it can be a bear to tend my cheap barrel smoker all day and into the night. Its usually a new load of coal every 2 hours.

I usually plan to have it done right before I go to bed. I pull it out at about 190 and then wrap it in double layer of foil, then in a towel or two and then stick the whole thing in a cooler for the night. When I wake up the pork is still almost too hot to easily handle but it pulls apart easily.

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I like to smoke mine at 225 degrees to internal temp 203 degrees. Depending on size of butt 8hrs to 12hrs.

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You need to cook it longer and monitor the temp. My smoker runs about 200 degrees and it takes 10 hours or so. If you don't want them as dark on the outside wrap in foil at some point. You can also finish them in the oven and the taste is the same. I like to wrap them in foil before I put them in the oven to keep the juices in. A smoker is like a slow cooker if the meat is tough its not done.

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Thanks for the help guys. Sounds like I simply need to cook a little longer at slightly higher temps. I have an electric masterbuilt 40 inch smoker.

One other question...do you keep the water pan filled the entire time?

Oh..and what "cut" of meat do you use and where do you usually find it?

Thanks again!

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The classic cut of meat is pork butt (It is found on the pig's shoulder...rimshot). Try to get the pork that isn't injected.

Sam's club or costco are the best (cheapest) usually unless there is a sale somewhere.

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I like to smoke for 4-6 hours and then foil and put in the oven to finish. Low and slow will break down the meat to give you a great shredded pork sandwich.

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a lot of good info here. One question is are you using sugar in your rub? If you are I'd suggest skipping it or using the kind of sugar that doesn't burn. Burnt sugar could be making the outside of the butt really hard, I like some "bark" but I know what you're talking about when it gets really hard on the outside.

I don't use the water pan for pork butt except to catch the juices.

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I set my smoker at 225 and continually smoke till internal temp is at 165, then i wrap it in foil and continue to cook till it gets to 200, Then take it out put in a cooler to rest for one hour and it will fall right apart.

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225* for anywhere from 10-14 hours depending on the 160* stall. Last time I made one, I made the mistake of counting on the stall and went to bed, when I woke up, one was past done and the other had just made it through the stall. From now on, I will no longer smoke over night, I will get up at 4 am and start it but I won't set it and forget it any more. $65 wasted brisket cured me of that

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Leachlake

I am not evcen getting to the point of bark. When I refer to the Pork as being "hard" I mean it doesnt get tender fall apart flaky...just still very solid overall. No where near being able to "pull" it.

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If that's the case it is no where near done and your internal temp must be way low. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temp. The temp you are smoking at is fine and more heat will shorten the smoking time a little. Either smoke longer or finish in the oven. After having in the smoker for 4-5 hours putting it in the oven doesn't change the taste but you get less bark on the outside. Also if you aren't getting bark or dark on the outside that also tells me it is no where near done. Unless it is a small roast its going to take 10 plus hours depending on cooking temp. Don't forget to rest the meat for a while when done.

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Do yourself a favor and purchase on of these, I drilled a small hole through the side of my smoker and it works great. No need to open the door and let all the heat out.

full-14614-53295-15756512123876p.jpg

If its not falling apart, it hasn't been in long enough. Depends on weight and size, but I would guess that most of the time its at least 10-12 hours.

for an awesome smoked pork sandwhich, toast a bun with some pork, coleslaw and sweet baby rays bbq sauce. dam, now I made myself hungry!!

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I just smoke mine for a few hours, then finish in a covered pot in the oven with some beef broth added. I'll set at 220 and leave overnight.

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I keep the pan filled with apple juice, and spray the meat as it's cooking with it. I also marinate in apple juice for 24 hours before putting it on. Moist heat makes a big difference. After it's done, it absolutely needs to sit covered and rest for a good half hour. It's worked for 25 years for me. wink

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Thanks guys. Looks like I need an internal meat thermo. Have not used one yet.

I have seen the ones with the small diamater cords. I have a smoker with a door. Do you think I could use this and still shut the door adequately?

Appreciate all the advice...going to try one again this weekend and will let you know how it turns out.

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One other question. Is there a kind of remote thermo you can use where it just stays inside and you read the temp from the outside? I looked online and found a few - but I think they are made for like outdoor grilling and not made to withstand high temps. If they dont make a remote one for a smoker can you recommend one with a small diamter cord that would work when I closed the door on the smoker? Last...where to buy?

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One other question. Is there a kind of remote thermo you can use where it just stays inside and you read the temp from the outside? I looked online and found a few - but I think they are made for like outdoor grilling and not made to withstand high temps. If they dont make a remote one for a smoker can you recommend one with a small diamter cord that would work when I closed the door on the smoker? Last...where to buy?

That's what's in the picture above. You can buy them at most outdoors stores. The probe goes in the meat, run the cable out of the smoker (I drilled a small hole through the side of mine) and hook it to the receiver. Then set what temp you want it to get internally and bring the moniter inside with you. when it gets to within 5 degrees of the set point it will start to beep. I can have my smoker out front of our house and get the readings from anywhere inside of our bi level house. Great investment. BTW, the one pictured above was on Bed bath and beyond HSOforum.. good luck

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If your meat is still firm then it is nowhere near the "breaking point" in terms of internal temp. To have your pork fall apart the fat and connective tissues need to break down, and this doesn't happen until you hit 180-190 degrees. This method I am about to share is absolute sacrilege, but if you don't care about the bark and just want a really flavorful and tender pulled pork, my "cheater" method, or what I do when I don't have time to babysit my smoker for 10-14 hours, is this:

--Allow butt to come to room temp (I let it sit an hour).

--Rub entire cut in a light coat of olive or vegetable oil, then liberally apply dry rub until fully covered.

--Put in smoker for 2-2.5 hours at 225-250 with a mixture hickory and apple chips/pellets.

--Transfer to a crock pot with a an inch or so of beef stock (roast is fat side up).

--Cook on low for 8-10 hours (overnight).

--Remove from crock pot and allow to cool enough to handle it, discard bones, and then shred. Add sauce as desired.

This, again, is not the truest of methods, but it really does make a darn good sandwich and it's the easiest method I know of to still capture some really good smoke flavor yet not have to worry about meat thermometers and stall points and, and, and...

As with any fatty cut of pork, be mindful of your meat (during the smoking part of the process) when it starts to "sweat" as these oils like to flame up on you (I use propane, so this leads to more flare ups than electric).

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Nice information guys. I am not trying to hijack this post. I am going to try my first ever attempt at smoking on Sunday. I have a 6 lb pork butt thawing now. I borrowed a buddies electric smoker to try it out before I buy my own. What kinds of rubs do you use? I was also told to use apple juice instead of water. If I get up early pm and start it, do I need to babysit it for the first few hours? I am using a 40" Masterbuilt.Wish me luck! Thanks.

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here is a rub recipe that has worked well on ribs and roasts. this is from this book, Backyard BBQ. Check it out on the Amazon for more recipes, its a great book. This makes a lot but cut it down or store it for later.

1 cup Turbino (brown) sugar

1/2 cup Kosher

1/4 chili powder

2 TB Granulated Onion

2 TB Granulated Garlic

2 TB Paprika

4 Tsp. Black pepper

4 Tsp. White pepper

3 Tsp. Oregano

2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

2 Tsp. Ground Cumin

2 Tsp. Ground Allspice

Combine ingredients well and I store this leftovers in the bag for the next use.

After you cook a pork shoulder, instead of BBQ sauce, I like to use a vinegar sauce. Here is the recipe if you are interested in giving this a rip. This was from another book, The BBQ Bible.

2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 Cup + 2TB ketchup

1/4 cup of packed Brown sugar

5 Tsp. Salt

4 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1 Tsp. Black Pepper

1 Tsp White Pepper

Combine ingredients well, I add to a bottle and give a shake. Store leftovers in the fridge

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I use one of the meat thermometers that have the small cord and it don't seem to be a problem running it out the door seal. I have a master built 30" and there is a seal on the inside of the door that has some give. You will love these thermometers.

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there are a lot of different rubs, and the one listed above sounds great! I use a little simpler recipe , but i dont think you can go wrong with any of the recipes out there. as far as baby sitting goes, once you get the smoker to temp the key is keeping it there. Try not to open the door, unless needed. Some may disagree, but i only use smoke for the first couple of hours. Good luck and hope that helps.

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