Newbie Need Some Advice for Cooking a Pork Shoulder


 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I find that the WSM is amazing at holding temps. I made ribs the other night and it was rock steady at 225. I just pulled the pork, wrapped it, and checked the temp with two different thermometers...all came in at 275, just like the gauge on the WSM
What came in at 275? The grate temp? You will get no argument from me in the solid temp attribute of the WSM but, I still like temp at grate level as well as an internal probe. Which is why I like my therm pro TP 18, cheap, accurate, reliable. Just keep a spare set of probes simply because the get stressed and can fail.
If you ran 275 start to finish, you did very well, I like that cook temp. What was the internal temp when you wrapped it?
 

DSteinschneider

TVWBB Member
My first shoulder (with bone) came from a local farm. I cooked it for 5 hours at 225 in which time it got to 170. After two more hours of stall I wrapped it and it only took about 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven to bring it up to 203. I really liked how it came out.
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
What came in at 275? The grate temp? You will get no argument from me in the solid temp attribute of the WSM but, I still like temp at grate level as well as an internal probe. Which is why I like my therm pro TP 18, cheap, accurate, reliable. Just keep a spare set of probes simply because the get stressed and can fail.
If you ran 275 start to finish, you did very well, I like that cook temp. What was the internal temp when you wrapped it?
Rock steady at 275
 

TonyUK

TVWBB Guru
I find that the WSM is amazing at holding temps. I made ribs the other night and it was rock steady at 225. I just pulled the pork, wrapped it, and checked the temp with two different thermometers...all came in at 275, just like the gauge on the WSM
I understand you using the dome gauge for pit temp, but why aren't you using an internal meat probe if you have one instead of lifting the lid and using an instant-read? Just curious.
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
I understand you using the dome gauge for pit temp, but why aren't you using an internal meat probe if you have one instead of lifting the lid and using an instant-read? Just curious.
I honestly don't see the need to insert a thermometer into the pork shoulder. A butt is such a forgiving piece of meat, you really can't screw it up. So I let the WSM do its thing. If this was a brisket, I would definitely insert a probe. There are too many variables that can screw up a brisket. So using a probe is a given when I cook them.

As for today's cook - I checked temp a total of 3 times: once at the 4-5 hour mark, then when I pulled it to cover it and then when I removed it to let it rest. I wrapped it at 165 IT. It is now 3:55 pm EST and I pulled the pork about 45 minutes ago. The IT was between 200-203. I placed it, still covered, in my oven, which I set on warm = 170 degrees. I will let it rest for about 2 1.2 or so before I serve it.

The WSM is still going strong, so I added some fresh corn on the smoker - still in the husks

More to follow.
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
What came in at 275? The grate temp? You will get no argument from me in the solid temp attribute of the WSM but, I still like temp at grate level as well as an internal probe. Which is why I like my therm pro TP 18, cheap, accurate, reliable. Just keep a spare set of probes simply because the get stressed and can fail.
If you ran 275 start to finish, you did very well, I like that cook temp. What was the internal temp when you wrapped it?
165 IT
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
Final product. It was amazing!
 

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EricV.

TVWBB All-Star
I honestly don't see the need to insert a thermometer into the pork shoulder. A butt is such a forgiving piece of meat, you really can't screw it up. So I let the WSM do its thing. If this was a brisket, I would definitely insert a probe. There are too many variables that can screw up a brisket. So using a probe is a given when I cook them.

As for today's cook - I checked temp a total of 3 times: once at the 4-5 hour mark, then when I pulled it to cover it and then when I removed it to let it rest. I wrapped it at 165 IT. It is now 3:55 pm EST and I pulled the pork about 45 minutes ago. The IT was between 200-203. I placed it, still covered, in my oven, which I set on warm = 170 degrees. I will let it rest for about 2 1.2 or so before I serve it.

The WSM is still going strong, so I added some fresh corn on the smoker - still in the husks

More to follow.
In my opinion, there is no need to place it in the oven, simply place it in a cooler with a towel on it. It can remain in the cooler for several hours. Pulled pork isn't difficult, it just needs time, which everyone here has commented on. I just try to avoid turning my oven on when it's hot outside.
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
In my opinion, there is no need to place it in the oven, simply place it in a cooler with a towel on it. It can remain in the cooler for several hours. Pulled pork isn't difficult, it just needs time, which everyone here has commented on. I just try to avoid turning my oven on when it's hot outside.
I was too lazy to take my cooler out of the shed; hence, the oven
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
And that is the bottom line. We may cook at different temps., use different rubs and techniques, and rest it differently, but the finished product is great eats. I think that's the beauty of BBQ Great cook.TRH
And THAT is what makes BBQ so effin' great! We all have certain go-to methods, rubs, wood, etc., that we use on an ongoing basis. But we can also pivot and add a new twist to something that we've been doing awhile or a recipe that we found or was given to us.
 

Andy Kaminski

TVWBB Super Fan
I’m 62 years old and did a stint as a cook at a steak while I was in high school.
I didn’t start using temp probes until about 6 years or so ago.
I just went off of color and tenderness.
Certain things can even kinda be timed.

I don’t think it would be that hard to cook a butt without temp probes but why?
Probes just make things a little easier and allow more freedom.

How did your injection work out?
Other than inserting garlic cloves or peppers I’ve never done that on a bbq.
Worked fine on deep fried turkeys I’ve done though.
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
I’m 62 years old and did a stint as a cook at a steak while I was in high school.
I didn’t start using temp probes until about 6 years or so ago.
I just went off of color and tenderness.
Certain things can even kinda be timed.

I don’t think it would be that hard to cook a butt without temp probes but why?
Probes just make things a little easier and allow more freedom.

How did your injection work out?
Other than inserting garlic cloves or peppers I’ve never done that on a bbq.
Worked fine on deep fried turkeys I’ve done though.
The injection worked out great.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yep, if you and the guests are happy the rest is just babble! I am not one that likes to open the WSM until things are done or there is something weird going on. The last time, I did t touch it from 5:45 until 07:00 the next morning. An internal probe is just a little bit of added information which does not require opening or closing of the smoker. I just find it easier.
Always remember that good cooking works on its own time and barbecue is the most “Don’t rush me!” style of cooking!
sit back relax and enjoy the ride.
 

BenM

TVWBB Fan
Yep, if you and the guests are happy the rest is just babble! I am not one that likes to open the WSM until things are done or there is something weird going on. The last time, I did t touch it from 5:45 until 07:00 the next morning. An internal probe is just a little bit of added information which does not require opening or closing of the smoker. I just find it easier.
Always remember that good cooking works on its own time and barbecue is the most “Don’t rush me!” style of cooking!
sit back relax and enjoy the ride
When the weather is good, I usually sit on my deck, light up a cigar and read while the WSM is doing its thing. I check the temp gauge to make sure all things are moving in the right direction. I use Alexa to keep me on time and check as needed; dependent on what I am cooking. Pork butt, ribs and chicken, I pretty much have down pat. My next WSM mission will be brisket. I will definitely use a probe for this cook. I've cooked them on my Traeger, and they came out great. I have no doubt that they will be just as good, if not better, on my WSM. I am very curious to compare the two and see if there is any noticeable difference between the two rigs!
 

 

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