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Thread: Suggestions for First Pork Shoulder

  1. #11
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    Thanks a lot for everyone's helpful input. Based on the feedback and suggestions, I intend to fill the ring full of unlit charcoal with 10-12 lit coals on top. I'll start checking for doneness around 195 but won't actually remove until the bone indicates it's ready. I've read a lot of conflicting opinions on whether to rest or not, but that's generally something I do. If I do so and am able to time it so the pork is ready to be pulled around dinner time (or later), what's the best method for that - removing it from the WSM and letting it rest (covered or uncovered?) while it cools down for ~30 minutes to the point that it can be handled?

  2. #12
    TVWBB All-Star Lew Newby's Avatar
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    I try to time my cooks so that the butt comes off a couple of hours before dinner. I double wrap it in heavy duty foil, put towels in the bottom of a cooler, put the wrapped butt in and cover it with towels. I take it out about 30 minutes before we eat. If I'm not ready early I put the butt in a foil pan, try to rest it for 30 minute, unwrap it keeping the juice in the pan, and pull it using 2 forks. I'm sure others do it different but that works for me.
    Old dog, learning new tricks - one cook at a time :-). -14.5", 18.5", & 22.5" WSM, SS Performer, FB-200 ATC. CB Rotisserie, Rec Tec Mini Pellet Grill

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFletcher View Post
    I'm relieved to read others are not pulling at 190, lol; started fretting that I had it wrong these couple years.
    Always 205 here. I pulled one a bit early once and noticed a big difference in the meat.
    18.5 weber kettle, 18.5 wsm, thermaQ, thermapen

  4. #14
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    So I'm about an hour and a half into the cook, and the pork is currently at 150 degrees. For the past 45 minutes or so, I've hit a temperature spike that has gotten as high as 308 degrees at the grate level and is currently 299 degrees. Based on feedback here, I did not use water (I foiled the pan) and started with a full ring of Kingsford Blue coals with 12 lit coals on top. The bottom vents are all about a quarter of the way open. Is the spike anything to be concerned about (due to starting with too much fuel relative to the amount of food or due to not using water)?

  5. #15
    TVWBB All-Star Lew Newby's Avatar
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    The spike won't hurt a thing. It's easier to get spikes when not using water and you started with the right amount of fuel. If you have to close all the lower vents to get the temp down that won't hurt anything either. My guess is you had a tense but good cook..
    Old dog, learning new tricks - one cook at a time :-). -14.5", 18.5", & 22.5" WSM, SS Performer, FB-200 ATC. CB Rotisserie, Rec Tec Mini Pellet Grill

  6. #16
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    Thanks - yes, it took some playing with the vents (had them all nearly closed at one point), but I got it under 300, and it's been in the 250 - 275 range for most of the cook. Currently, the pork temp is 190 with a probe temp of 263. Looking forward to trying it soon enough!

  7. #17
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    The pork temp got as high as 192 before it dropped to 190. The smoker temp didn't have a major drop, so it took me a while to realize I was low on charcoal, and when I checked, I was pretty low. I added half a chimney of unlit coals and stirred everything, and that seems to have done the trick for now, as I'm back up to 191 with a smoker temp of 238.

  8. #18
    TVWBB Pro BFletcher's Avatar
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    Good luck with it! As a side note, once you are that close to being finished you could also put it in the oven for the final duration. It is not uncommon for my lower vents to be choked-down to approx 1/8 open for the first part of the smoke and I start closing them down once the pit temp exceeds 200'ish.

  9. #19
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    I was able to take it off once it hit 196, as the bone would have easily pulled out, and there was no resistance with the probe. I foiled it and let it rest for 45 minutes. Everything turned out great, and we have plenty of leftovers. Thanks for everyone's help!

  10. #20
    TVWBB Pro BFletcher's Avatar
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    Congrats! If you are fans of PP lots of people freeze leftovers in Foodsaver bags and throw them in boiling water for a few minutes for a good, quick meal.

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