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Pulled Pork Boston Butt -- What did I do wrong?

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sethatl

Smoked (2) 8lb Boston Butts this weekend at 225, for 12hours total. Half of it fell right apart, and the rest of it took a little more "elbow grease" to shred/pull apart.

We got worried about the timing, so the temp did get up to 300 for about 1 of the hours.

I mopped it with a vinegar base, filled the water bowl with half water, half beer.

Any suggestions what I should do, so that it all falls right apart. Thank you!

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:29 pm
Guest

Sounds like one side of your grill was hotter than the other. I would check the internal tem in several places on the meat and turn the sides that are still cool where the hot places are. Or you could try and figure out a way to get your temps more even around your smoker.

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:31 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
More info. What kind of equipment, etc.
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
Performer One Touch
Traeger Lil Tex
New Braunfels Hondo
Bar-B-Chef
Weber Q-220

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:08 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
I agree with YB. Some more info would be helpful such as did you take an internal temp on the meat or simply go by hrs/pound, type of equipment, conditions, etc.

RichD

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:13 pm
sethatl

Used the The Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain Series 3600G

I was taking the temp of the meat....The temp in the grill was set for 11 of the hours dead on 235.

The meat's temp was anywhere from 175-190, and it ranged depending on where I put it. I had 2 Butts in there, and did rotate/flip them several times. They should have cooked evenly, so I had thought.

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:14 pm
sethatl

Also, it wat 85 degrees outside, NO wind, ideal.

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:22 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
I'm not familiar with that smoker, but the first thing I see is the temp of your meat.
For pork to pull easily the temp should be at a minimum of 195. I like to bring mine up to 200. I don't find it to be overdone at this temp and the meat pulls apart like a hot knife cutting through butter.

Hope that helps a little.

RichD

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:22 pm
MrEd rare
rare

Posts: 19
Location: Utah, Central
I cooked 22 lbs of pork butt on my weber bullet yesterday and more than the temperature I could tell it was done by the feel of the thermometer going into the meat. If there was resistance as I inserted the thermometer I knew it wasn't going to register 195 degrees (I still waited to get the reading but know it wasn't at 195). I got all excited when I poked at both ends and it felt like a knife going through warm butter, but I still waited for the reading and sure enough 195-200 :)

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:33 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
One other trick if you don't have access to a remote or instant read thermometer is to pull on the bone. If when you pull on the bone there is resistance you are not quite there yet. If you pull it and get no resistance and it come out easily take it off it's time to start pullin!

RichD

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:14 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
sethatl I have the Smoky Mountain Series 3600 Smokers in both charcoal and gas versions. I can say from experience that I've never had any temperature variance in a chunk of meat that drastic. Even when doing multiple briskets or butts I've not had that much difference between meats on separate shelves (even without rotating). The GOSMS smokers are pretty evenly heated and recover temperatures rapidly after being opened. I can't see any reason for the one half to be finished and the other not. I'm at a loss :oops: .

How much have you used this smoker? I've had mine for 8 months and have used it dozens of times. Have you done other cooks that didn't have this temperature difference? What types of meat? BBCue-Z, GBitto, and my brother-in-law also have this smoker. Yahoo has a discussion group for owners of the GOSMS at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smokeymountain/.

Hope you find the answer, let us know when you do.
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Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:32 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3046
Location: Atlanta-GA
As Bob mentioned, I also have the same smoker. I cooked 2 whole pork shoulders in it not too long ago. They were 17lbs each. I also moped them with vinegar-based sauce and never rotated them. I cooked them until internal temp reached 195 degrees. They took 17 hours to reach that temp. I have to admit; I got impatient during the last hour of cooking and turned up the heat to 300 degrees. They pulled very easily and were very moist. The only thing I can think of is maybe the cut you had was over trimmed and part of the meat was not protected by a layer of fat, this can cause the meat to dry out. If that was the case, a bacon wrap should solve this issue next time. That’s why I usually like to cook the whole shoulder (picnic and butt), because all the fat and the skin are still intact.
I also do the bone test as RichD mentioned; it’s a good doneness indicator.
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Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:35 pm
sethatl

Thank you so much. I tend to think it could have been overtrimmed.....however it was the internal part that was tough. I see you are from Atlanta, as am I, and I got it at Harry's....Trimmed it up at home though. I could have gotten a little trim happy. How much fat should I leave on? Thank you all!

Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:42 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3046
Location: Atlanta-GA
I would leave as much fat as possible on it. You can always trim away once its cooked. The fat layer will protect the meat and keep it moist. Besides, most of the fat will melt away by the end of cooking. What part of Atlanta do you live in?
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Post Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:47 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
I trim very little if all off my butts or shoulders. I let the fat keep the meat moist and use the mop to enhance the flavor. I seperate the fat when I pull it or slice it if that is how I am serving it.

Enjoy!

RichD

Post Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:20 am
hotchef well done
well done

Posts: 319
Location: Florence, AL
BBcueZ, you have got to stop posting that picture. It makes my mouth water every time I see it. :wink:
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