pork shoulder

pork shoulder

Postby labman » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:45 pm

I seem to have trouble getting the internal temp. to 190 in my Weber Smoky Mt. I usually pull it when it gets dark and finish it in the oven. This time I did that and it was so late I didn't feel like pulling it so I wrapped it in foil and put it in a cooler. About late morning after church I got it out and it had set up. there was no pulling. I had to cut it up and then chop it.

I guess I let it rest too long?

Thanks for your help.

Labman
labman
Registered Member
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:44 pm
Location: USA

Re: pork shoulder

Postby ComradeQ » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:04 pm

A common issue with smoking pork butts/shoulders is what's known as "the stall". This occurs around 150-170 and there are several theories on how to speed it along, most common suggestion is to wrap in foil at the 150 mark. By that point it has probably absorbed all the smoke it will take anyway.

As for the firming up, never had that happen but you may not have taken it far enough. 190 IT is just the starting point of the breakdown in proteins, I prefer the 200 range for pulling. 190 is gonna be more chopped pork so I think you didn't take it far enough. I have taken them to 200 and let them rest wrapped in foil for a day and never had a problem. Just make sure you reheat it slowly before pulling so you can melt the gelatin and make it soft enough to pull.
User avatar
ComradeQ
Registered Member
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:27 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: pork shoulder

Postby labman » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:03 pm

Thank you for that. I'll sure do that on my next pork butt.

Labman
labman
Registered Member
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:44 pm
Location: USA

Re: pork shoulder

Postby vagreys » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:35 am

180°F is the temperature where the proteins start to relax after tightening up. If you remove the shoulder at 180°, and let it rest for an hour or two, the internal temp will rise to around 190°F, and then drop enough to still be warm without being hot enough to blow off moisture and dry out when you pull it. In your case, the meat got hot enough for the proteins to ball up and tighten, squeezing out liquid in the process, but not hot enough for the proteins to relax, again, and become melt-in-your-mouth tender. That, and being cool, were the reasons why your roast was more difficult to break up.

Also, there are modification kits for your WSM that will improve air flow and allow you to achieve and maintain higher temps. If you google for them, you will find kits and instructions for modifying your smoker for better performance.
- tom

Don't tell me the odds.

You have the power to donate life
User avatar
vagreys
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1620
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:54 pm
Location: North Chesterfield VA USA

Re: pork shoulder

Postby Wunderdave » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:53 pm

I can't think of any reason why a WSM needs to be modified for better performance. If you manage your fire well you can run it steadily anywhere from 150F to 350F (with the lid propped/askew for additional airflow)

The problem with this pork shoulder that you describe is that you didn't cook it long enough, plain and simple. Depending on cooking dynamics they can take anywhere from 1-2 hours per pound, which for a full shoulder can mean that it can take almost 20 hours to cook thoroughly to tender.

The posters above describing finished internal temperature are only giving you half the picture. With tough cuts full of collagen like pork shoulder, the true mechanism is time-at-temperature. Only time-at-temperature will allow the collagen tissue to render to gelatin which is the process that provides tenderness plus lip-smackingness.

If you go solely by temperature you can somewhat rely on that but there are plenty of factors that make this an unreliable indicator of doneness. For example, if you foil the meat during cooking, you can obtain internal temperatures exceeding 200F long before the collagen is fully rendered and the meat is tender.

So next time, cook it until you can insert a probe with little or no resistance, all over the butt. Or, cook it until it jiggles like a bowl of jello.

The added benefit to this is that by cooking it longer not only will it shred more easily, but more of the fat and junk in the shoulder will render out, and that will save you the effort of sorting some of it away from the meat during the pulling process.
Wunderdave
Registered Member
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:12 pm
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: pork shoulder

Postby Wunderdave » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:57 pm

oh also,

it sounds like you let it rest overnight in a cooler? That's not good at all from a food safety perspective. Either pull it when it's hot, or cool it thoroughly and come back to it later. The longest I've had a butt stay above 140F (i.e. safe temperatures) in a cooler is about 5 hours.
Wunderdave
Registered Member
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:12 pm
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: pork shoulder

Postby Wunderdave » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:05 pm

One more thing - if you are worried about overcooking, it's easy to determine if you have done so. If you overcook a butt it will be easy to shred - it probably will fall apart seemingly under its own weight - but it will be dry to eat - the individual muscle fibers will seem dry without any succulence.
Wunderdave
Registered Member
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:12 pm
Location: Golden, Colorado


Return to Smoking and Barbecuing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest