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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 08-11-2020, 07:23 PM   #1
crabjoe
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Default My 1st smoke ever progress - Picnic shoulder

Just recently got an 18WSM.. Have never smoked a thing in my life.. And based on recommendations to use a fatty as the 1st smoke, I went with a Picnic shoulder for pulled pork. Used Western lump coal with Apple wood for smoke. Here's my progress in pictures.

Here's it is rubbed with something called Pork Twang. Got it from the Restaurant Store.




In the WSM, fat side up. I sliced the skin to try and get some rub through the fat.




1.5 hours in the smoke.. Sprayed with a bit of Apple Juice and Cider Vinegar.




4.5 hours in...




At 165 f. Temp was still going up, but I pulled it to wrap it.




Added the AJ/Cide vinegar from my spray bottle and some brown sugar to be wrapped in.



It's wrapped and back on the smoker.. When I put the temp prob back in, it was showing 170f



Checking my temp prob, the internal temp is at 199F. I'm guessing I can pull any time now, but I'm going to leave it till it hits 203. Then I'm going to let it rest for an hour or so before pulling.

It's looking like it's going to be a 10hr cook from the time it went into the smoker till it his about 205. The shoulder was 10 lbs.

So tell me what I did wrong and right.. What are your thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:33 PM   #2
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Looks pretty good to me, but I would not cook to temp on a big hunk of meat like that. To temp is for steaks, tri-tips, lamb racks, etc. When you pull it unwrap it and see if you can pull the bone out of it easily. if it does it's done. if it doesn't, wrap it back up and put it either back on the grill or stick it in the oven until it is done at whatever temp you want. Pork shoulder is pretty forgiving about being overcooked.

I suspect your first effort is going to be pretty darn good.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:35 PM   #3
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If the probe slides in easily and pulls out easily then it’s the perfect temp to pull it, whatever that temp may be. If there’s still some resistance, give it another 30 minutes the. Probe again.

Looks good!
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:36 PM   #4
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I bet it's going to pull awesome.
stop opening the lid to take pictures, add a half hour or there abouts each time
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:39 PM   #5
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It looks like you have done everything right so far, the true test is when you sit down and eat it. I agree that using the temp probe will tell you when it's done more reliably than the temp, if it slides in without any resistance at all, you are there. Enjoy your maiden smoke!!
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titch View Post
I bet it's going to pull awesome.
stop opening the lid to take pictures, add a half hour or there abouts each time

I was thinking this as I read his post too.....he was doing a lot of looking and slowing the cooking.....but it did make for some nice pictures.

I'll bet it's tasty though a bit strong on the sugar for my tastes.

One I close the doors with the probes in the meat I rarely open them again until I'm ready to pull things out. It's most suspenseful but definitely a quicker cook.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbrad62 View Post
It looks like you have done everything right so far, the true test is when you sit down and eat it. I agree that using the temp probe will tell you when it's done more reliably than the temp, if it slides in without any resistance at all, you are there. Enjoy your maiden smoke!!
When I put the probe in after wrapping it, it went in easy.. at that time the temp was showing 170. I probably need to get a feel for it.. but until then.. I think I'm going to stick with 200-205 for pulled pork. I read somewhere that with a picnic shoulder, you might want to go to 215 because it has more connective tissue than a butt shoulder.

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Old 08-11-2020, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LooseGoose View Post
I was thinking this as I read his post too.....he was doing a lot of looking and slowing the cooking.....but it did make for some nice pictures.

I'll bet it's tasty though a bit strong on the sugar for my tastes.

One I close the doors with the probes in the meat I rarely open them again until I'm ready to pull things out. It's most suspenseful but definitely a quicker cook.
How fast are shoulders usually cooked? I tried to maintain temp at 275, but I had some swings.. from 240-340.

I think I only opened it 5 times during the cook..

1st was to put the thing in.. - Not sure if I should count this one.
2nd was @ 1.5 hours to spray with AJ and vinegar
3rd was at 4.5 to insert my temp probe that arrived and more spray
4th was to when it hit 160f.. and I sprayed.
5th was 165f when I pulled it to wrap.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:05 PM   #9
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Default My 1st smoke ever progress - Picnic shoulder

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabjoe View Post
I think I'm going to stick with 200-205 for pulled pork. I read somewhere that with a picnic shoulder, you might want to go to 215 because it has more connective tissue than a butt shoulder.
Please, please don’t go to 215 on a shoulder .
Trust me on this one.

The nice folks above are correct, it is done when it probes tender.
For all of the shoulder cuts (butts and picnics) the temp that happens is between 195F and 205F, but it’s not an exact science.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:06 PM   #10
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Looking good Dae. Not bad for your first cook, the next one will be even better.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabjoe View Post
How fast are shoulders usually cooked? I tried to maintain temp at 275, but I had some swings.. from 240-340.

I think I only opened it 5 times during the cook..

1st was to put the thing in.. - Not sure if I should count this one.
2nd was @ 1.5 hours to spray with AJ and vinegar
3rd was at 4.5 to insert my temp probe that arrived and more spray
4th was to when it hit 160f.. and I sprayed.
5th was 165f when I pulled it to wrap.
It was those openings that caused the temp spikes, just a thought!

Experience is gained from cooking, so cook on....
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:10 PM   #12
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Nah, you didn’t open it to much. Can’t count the first or the 5th time. Gotta open it to put the meat on, and until someone can figure a way to wrap with the lid on you had to open it than. Looks good bud.

Last edited by Whumpa; 08-11-2020 at 08:12 PM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:22 PM   #13
crabjoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirPorkaLot View Post
Please, please don’t go to 215 on a shoulder .
Trust me on this one.

The nice folks above are correct, it is done when it probes tender.
For all of the shoulder cuts (butts and picnics) the temp that happens is between 195F and 205F, but it’s not an exact science.
Well it's too late now... I just went to check it because it was stuck on 203 for like 10 mins. I pulled the probe and found 1 part of the picnic was at 215.

Live and learn.. next time, I'll start probing the meat once it hits 190F.

BTW, this thing is soft as can be... And the piece I tasted was smokey but bland. I hope this piece just didn't get much rub.. because if it did, next time I try this rub, I'm going to have to add some salt.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabjoe View Post
How fast are shoulders usually cooked? I tried to maintain temp at 275, but I had some swings.. from 240-340.

I think I only opened it 5 times during the cook..

1st was to put the thing in.. - Not sure if I should count this one.
2nd was @ 1.5 hours to spray with AJ and vinegar
3rd was at 4.5 to insert my temp probe that arrived and more spray
4th was to when it hit 160f.. and I sprayed.
5th was 165f when I pulled it to wrap.
Don't worry about me being a back seat smoker....I was just jabbing you a bit.

As in most things......Experience will be your best teacher.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:30 PM   #15
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Here's a pic... I'd say it's over done, being the meat split. Also, once it sat for a few mins.. from the time I pulled it to bring into the kitchen.. there was a ton of juice in the pan.. I covered it back up and it's just resting now.

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