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Would like some guidance on cooking a pork shoulder

Discussion in 'The Cooking Channel' started by kcult, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    My wife got me a pit boss pellet smoker for Crimmus. I've already burned it off per the manual (yes, I read the manual.

    I have a whole wild pork shoulder thawing in the fridge. And by whole, I mean it even includes the shank. It's been in there two days. It's already seasoned, but I'll doctor it up a little more.

    How should I go about cooking this thing, once I get the smoker preheated, per the manual?
     
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  2. dkmatthews

    dkmatthews Active Member Life Member

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    225° Farenheit is the magic number.
    Outside temperatures and winds are your enemy. Consider placing a windbreak around your smoker to keep it shielded, which will help keep your temperature stable.
    Consider placing a metal pan of water under the shoulder to keep it humid inside the smoker.
    Seasoning is a matter of personal taste.
    Don't rush it, and invest in an instant read meat thermometer.
     
  3. Mirac

    Mirac Epic Replies ---> Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Start it at the Smoke setting or there abouts 170-180* for an hour.
    Then run it up to 225*
    you should have a probe thermometer in the meat. when it gets to 165* wrap it in Foil. and leave til it reads 205 . let rest in an insulated cooler 1 hour.
    Agreed with the " Dont Rush" it will be done when it's done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  4. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    To be clear, wrapped in foil is on or off the grill?
     
  5. Zbizzle911

    Zbizzle911 Charter Freedom Lover Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Season to your taste. Put pb on 225 and cool shoulder until 185 internal. Then wrap and turn heat up to 300 and cook to 205 internal. Take off and let rest covered for at least 30 minutes.

    Also follow the fire up instructions for the pb.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  6. Jp8819

    Jp8819 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    As others said do not rush it and start early if need be. Once its done you can store it in a cooler and it will stay hot for a long time If you need to keep it hot for a meal. If planning on slicing you can pull it a little earlier but if chopping it or pulled pork I like to cook to about 205 and usually wrap one in foil around 165 and put it back on but wrapping will make the bark not as crispy if you like to eat it.
     
  7. Mirac

    Mirac Epic Replies ---> Charter Member Supporting Member

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    When the meat temp hits 165*. Quickly wrap in foil and put back on grill at the 225* setting, then it’s a waiting game for the meat to hit 205*
    You’ll also get a stall in the temp as it climbs to the 165* mark.
    As in you be aware of the temp climbing steady, then it will stall ( climb slowly) to the 165*
    When the meat gets to the 205 mark. Wrap the whole shbang in a towel and put in an insulated cooler or wrap in more towels if you don’t have one.
    Wait an hour to eat... if you can, if not Go to Town on it.

    It’s not rocket science, don’t over think it. You really can’t go wrong, it’s just better with these few simple call outs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  8. LTC Don

    LTC Don New Member

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    All great suggestions. The stall is a for real deal, and the more fat in the shoulder, the longer the stall. If the bone is still in, then it'll take even longer. Depending on weight, the cook could take up to twelve hours at 225. Patience is the virtue for real with these. GET A GOOD MEAT THERMOMETER with a remote sensor. It will be worth it's weight in gold. Why? Because you don't want to open the smoker until it's done. Period. Since you are smoking at low temps anyway, the more you open the lid, the longer it's going to take, and the swings in temp screw up the cook. I also have a pit boss, and have really enjoyed it.

    The advice on the wind block is good too. I smoked a turkey on Christmas Day and it was messed up since it was breezy, if not outright windy at times. Some of it cooked great, but other areas were still undercooked. Lesson learned.

    One of my favorites, that don't take too long, are thick-cut pork chops. Seems these Pit Boss cookers are great with birds and shoulders. Haven't tried a brisket yet, definitely on the bucket list.
     
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  9. wvsig

    wvsig Well-Known Member

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    This is a little late but I trim the fat cap. It does nothing for flavor. It adds some insulation but that is about it. I try to leave an even 1/4" max. Uniform thickness of the fat cap will yield more consistent results. I salt the the shoulder for 24 to 48 hours. 1/2 teaspoon per LB of meat. This is basically dry bringing the pork. I used to wet brine but it adds too much moisture IMHO and sometimes leaves the meat mushy.

    Right before I put it in the smoker I cover it with rub of choice. There is no need to put the rub on earlier IMHO. It does not adsorb into the meat. From there I basically do what other people have suggested. 225 temp on the smoker until it stalls. The stall does not always happen at the same temp. It will vary from one piece of meat to another. From there you can TX crutch it which is wrapping it in heavy duty foil. I like to crutch at 170-180. As others pointed out it will soften your bark. If you like a crunchy crusty bark take the foil off and remove the water tray if you are using at about 200 degrees. This will allow it to dry out a bit but remember if you are going to rest it in a cooler you are going to "soften" the bark again.

    210 is a target temp for it being done but it is more about texture than temp IMHO. I have had ones that are tender and ready to pull before 210 and others that needed to go higher. It has a lot to do with fat content and properties of the individual piece of meat. There are no hard and fast rules with Que. Time can be anywhere from 6-12 hours.

    I pull my pork vs slice or chop. I wait at least 1 hours to rest the meat before pulling. If you do not let it rest you will lose moisture.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  10. Jp8819

    Jp8819 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Solid advice as well, someone once told me when I first started with a UDS “If your looking your not cooking” and its very true
     
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  11. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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    I have a pitboss as well smoke it at 225 fat cap up until internal temperature hits 195 pull it out put it in a aluminum pan and put in the cooler for two hours. Then pull that bone out and shred it I never wrap them bbq is supposed to be low and slow:cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  12. jimmyjames8

    jimmyjames8 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    225 to 275 depending on the grill, an hour per pound plus and hour has always worked for me. If it a whole shoulder, butt and picnic, would be hard to put in pan or wrap for last 2 hrs but its worth trying to do. My best shredded pork is cooking last 2 hrs in foil pan covered in foil or double wrap the whole thing in heavy duty foil.
     
  13. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Whole wild pig shoulder.

    20191231_182358.jpg
     
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  14. wvsig

    wvsig Well-Known Member

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  15. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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    Do it like I said and it will be perfect as for seasoning I recommend covering in Carolina treat and stock market pulled pork rub.
     
  16. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks. I'll set my timer accordingly. :p
     
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  17. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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  18. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Let me axe one more question.

    I had someone suggest stabbing this and putting bacon in the stab holes. Is that really gonna help this or is it a waste of bacon (or fatback or garlic)?

    Gosh darn, if I ain't ready to fire this thing up, but I guess I need to sleep tonight, and I don't have too many beers left.
     
  19. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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    Nah don’t poke it
     
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  20. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    It begins.

    ETA: I don't know what seasoning was already on this (there's a short story about this leg), but it didn't appear to be very much. I coated it in regular yellow mustard, then dusted it pretty good with Everglades Cactus Dust. I'll be finding out this afternoon if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Lol

    20191231_235949.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  21. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Ok, @nature boy, it looks like it's your method. Lol.

    I put it on at midnight. The included meat probe said internal temp was 59°. It had risen to 84 by the time I went to bed at 1:30. I had my alarm set for 6am. It was at 158. So, I get back in bed for a nap, but knock out until just a few minutes ago. It had climbed to 174 by then.

    So, I'm just going to take the path of least resistance and let it roll to 195 and drop it in the cooler for a bit.

    I have to pick up my newly painted truck at noon today, so maybe the timing will work out.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I think when it's time for a regular butt (and not a whole dang shoulder from a wild pig), I'll be doing the 165, then wrap.

    Side note; Would you believe I have not lifted the lid once on this thing? :cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
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  22. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Supporting Member

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    If typical winds really impact your smoking that much you need to replace that little tin smoker with a big boy unit. :p
     
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  23. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I have been playing around with the pellet smoker and IMO you can cook at a little higher temps than with a charcoal or wood cooker. I’ve done a few cooks where I run it at 180 for about an hour or two depending on the cut of meat and then cook at 250-275. Comes out just fine and reduces the cook times a little bit.
     
  24. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I hate not lifting the lid and basting while drinking a cold one, but it seems to be the right method for pellet cookers.
     
  25. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah, it felt kinda lame standing there, drinking beer, and staring at a digital display.
     
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  26. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I probably look even more lame staring at the app on my phone. :(
     
  27. DrPhudd

    DrPhudd Joe thinks I'm clever

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    Trim the fat
    Get every bit you can off. It adds nothing to the moisture of the finished product and keeps the rub off the meat.
    moisture comes from the liquefaction of collagen, fat runs off and mucks up your smoker for no good reason
     
  28. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Where were you last night? Haha.

    I did trim some off, but by your account, I left way too much. We gonna see what happens soon, I hope.
     
  29. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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    I leave The Whole fat cap on and trim it before pulling
     
  30. BloodRunsThicker

    BloodRunsThicker Still Kicking

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    Dinner at Troys house everyone.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  31. DrPhudd

    DrPhudd Joe thinks I'm clever

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    try it without, you will find no difference in how moist the meat is in the end.
     
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  32. random

    random Active Member

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    Lots of great advice here.

    For seasoning, I don't really do much: just salt and pepper. I let the smoke to the seasoning. Applewood or Hickory for pork (or a blend). Never seems to need anything else.
     
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  33. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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    Apple and hickory here for pork also chicken I stick with hickory
     
  34. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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    Looks like the one we had on sale for Black Friday? If so it’s the same one I have .I have two of the big boys at work and smoke bbq, wings and brisket for the employees every time we have a lunch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  35. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    It took this thing 14hrs to reach 195 (a la the @nature boy method). I chose that since I slept past the 165 mark. I think that was a mistake, only because this was wild pork, an entire leg, so to speak, and the "bark" was pretty much inedible. Had this been a store bought Boston butt, this method probably would have been fine.

    That being said, there was still plenty of meat that fell between "edible" and "tasty." I ended up chopping it all and whipped up a simple vinegar and black pepper sauce for it. Even with the faint hint of the sauce, the smoke, and the seasonings, at the end of it all, you could definitely tell this was wild.

    I was just a bit disappointed in the end result, but I'm glad to get this first one behind me. I believe I'll ratchet down a bit and try again, soon.

    Thanks to all that took the time to post.
     
  36. nature boy

    nature boy Wooooooooo, from Canada!

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    Yea buddy I ain’t ever done a wild one but the ones bought at local butcher this method is the beeznezz
     
  37. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    So, how about this? I bagged some up and took it to Dad and his wife. He called just a few minutes ago and said he would volunteer to build a hut, if I would do all the cooking. :confused:

    I asked him if that was his way of saying he liked it. He said he did. Claimed it didn't need anything. No extra sauce. Nothing.

    Wow. Lol.

    He then went on to say he knew where the was more meat. :rolleyes:
     
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  38. BloodRunsThicker

    BloodRunsThicker Still Kicking

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    Sounds like a hot hunt is in order followed by a hog cooking and smoking.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  39. Jp8819

    Jp8819 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Congrats on it and its a slippery slope sharing food like that with family and friends kinda like winning the lottery. After doing it myself a few times I am now expected to cook for them only I didnt get offered a hut