Lee PrecisionTitan ReloadingRepackboxWideners
MidSouth Shooters SupplyADvertise hereRotoMetals2Inline Fabrication

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: School me on pork barbecue?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Denver Metro Area
    Posts
    957

    School me on pork barbecue?

    I have lots of experience smoking chicken, fish, turkey, etc., but little with pork With poultry and fish I have my process down pat, and it comes out wonderful every time. Been doing it for 25 years. For a lot of reasons, I did not eat pork for over 20 years, so I didn't smoke it. I have been splitting pigs with a buddy that come from a 4H family and having fun learning to cook pork again. I tried smoking a shoulder roast and clearly did something wrong as it was dry and unpleasant. I have shoulder roasts and country style spareribs to work with. Can someone give me their (hopefully foolproof) process in detail? Experienced cook in lots of things (nixtamalizing my own blue corn so I can make tortillas and pupusas tonight, for example), just not in this.

    If it matters, I am using a Weber smoky mountain smoker (which is huge). I usually start the fire with wood and charcoal and toss a mixture of fruit wood (mostly apple) and hickory on for smoke. Temp control is sometimes a bit iffy, but I average 225 degrees.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    1,895
    -Rub doesn't really matter. Salt and pepper and red pepper, or maybe some Tony Chacere's seasoning, maybe some paprika, use ground yellow mustard in the cheap squirt jar to stick it to the meat. Sugary sauces can be added but they need to be used later so you don't burn the sugars during a long smoke. A simple rub of salt, pepper, and worchestershire sauce works great. If you want to cheat on your smoke ring, add a touch of curing salt. Onion or garlic powders are great. Meat tenderizer, vinegar, italian salad dressing.....pretty much any combination of the various ingredients I've just listed can make a great rub. If you like hot food, pulverize a can of chipotle peppers and add them to your rub. The point is: you need salt, and you need seasoning that suits your tastes. The rest is preference.

    -Exact smoker temperature doesn't matter. I've made great pulled pork at 225 and I've made it at 275 and if done right both will be excellent. Obviously, hotter is faster. I prefer longer smokes but don't be locked in to thinking it has to be slow.

    -I use a chip smoker. I've found that a bit of smoke early on is good; you do NOT need to constantly add more chips and end up with a really strong smoke flavor.

    -THE THING THAT MATTERS: this is the big one: finished cooking temperature. The connective tissues in pork and beef tend to start to liquefy and break down around the 195 mark, and this is what makes good BBQ. The meat is safe to eat long before it gets anywhere close, but it will be tough. At 195 degrees it's starting to break down those tissues and cartilage turns to gelatin and makes moist, tender meat: this process is usually more or less complete by the time the meat hits 200-205 degrees and beyond that the meat starts to dry out.

    The trick, then, to good BBQ, is to monitor temperatures and cook it until it hits this 202-203-204 range. Every piece of meat is unique and some will be ready at 200 and starting to get dry at 205. Others will be in the middle of the range. But you are almost universally OK to pull the meat off the smoker at 203 degrees in the center - assuming you have a quality thermometer. If you don't have one, you're gonna have issues making good BBQ.

    A good rule of thumb for bone-in butts is that it's ready when you can grab the bone and pull it out of the meat easily. The connecting tissue that holds it in place has been gelatinized/liquefied.

    -When smoking, if you're monitoring temps and notice that the meat has hit, say, 180 degrees, and doesn't appear to be getting any hotter, this is called a 'stall'. Evaporative cooling is happening - the meat is getting dryer, not hotter. Many people, self included, with wrap the meat in butcher paper at this point to slow evaporative cooling - making for a faster cook and leaving moister meat. You can make perfectly delicious BBQ without wrapping at 180, but I generally, nowadays, wrap everything at 180 to avoid the stall. This will matter when you're late putting meat on the smoker and guests are coming to eat at a certain time.

    -Once the meat has hit 203, it's finsihed cooking, but not ready to serve. All of those broken-down tissues are moist but if you pull or chop the meat now, those hot juices will drain out. So you need to wrap the meat up in foil or paper, then stick it in a cooler and let it cool to between 140 and 170 - say, half an hour to an hour in a cooler - so it'll be cooler and the liquids will be gooier when you pull/chop the meat. This will be important at the end of the meal, or if you're saving leftovers to eat the next day.

    I won't tell you whether to pull, chop, or shred the meat. I personally pull mine and chop the bigger pieces a little bit. Just know that the real reward for making your own BBQ is getting to stand in the kitchen alone and pull it and eat scraps of bark and burned corners and fat while it's hot and delicious, before the real meal is even served.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    277

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    2,364
    Another site you might want to check out is the forums on 'The smoke Ring'.

    There is old gurus on there that have dedicated their life to cooking meat.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Chad5005's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Buena Vista GA
    Posts
    595
    marinate the shoulder roast for a few hours in apple juice,salt pepper and any commercial pork rub,smoke for 4 hours around 225 then wrap in foil and put it back in for another 4 hours at same temp,internal temp should be 200-205,remove and shred or slice

  7. #7
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Denver Metro Area
    Posts
    957
    Ah, knowing the critical temps and why they matter is really super helpful. Thanks guys.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  8. #8
    Moderator Emeritus

    MaryB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    SW Minnesota
    Posts
    8,636
    225 to 350(yes you can hot smoke, it is trickier to get good product and I prefer colder), I run my Traeger at 275 usually. HEAVY coat of rub, this is what will add spice to all the meat so don't go light. When you pull the seasoned bark mixes with the interior. I put it on fat side up for 4 hours, flip, cook until done. No foil needed until you put it in a cooler to rest. I wrap it in foil, towels, then a tight fitting cooler, it will come out still very hot! 195-205 is done, each roast is different...

    Foiling gives a softer bark, I prefer that seasoned bacon like fat crunch of bark so no foil!

    If you are looking you ain't cooking! Keep that lid on! Use a probe type remote thermometer to keep an eye on temps.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    rockrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,045
    I smoke pork shoulder with apple wood and smoke in a Cookshack smoker for about 6 hours @225 degrees and wrap in foil and leave in smoker for another 18 hours @180degrees. It just falls apart.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Upstate, SC
    Posts
    924
    I'll get skewered for this (pun intended) but I have done pork shoulders/butts by putting them in the smoker for 2-3 hrs. with good pecan wood for smoke, and then putting them in a cast iron dutch oven and finishing them in the oven at 325. It's cheating...I get it, but the end result is fantastic, and if you're pressed for 'smoking' time...it works.
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check