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mushy pulled pork

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Post Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:38 pm
freefaller well done
well done

Posts: 336
Location: Wichita, KS
I did a couple pork butts over the weekend. They spent about 12 hours on the smoker until they reached between 183 and 187. I put them in a foil pan and loosely covered with foil. Pulled them about an hour later. They have a good flavor, but it seems about while half the meat is OK the rest is what I would call mushy. The bone still had some meat attached so I'm assuming they could have cooked longer, but I'm more interested in what caused the mushiness. I've cooked butts before but this is the first time I've had a problem. The only difference between before and now is, I now am using digital remote thermometers.
Mike J

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Post Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:45 pm
harry_canyon well done
well done

Posts: 612
Location: Hayward, CA
I'm not the best person to answer this... But I thought the magic number for pulling was 195?

(Not that that helps you in any way. :oops:)

Derek
Always keep an open mind. But not so open that your brain falls out.

Post Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:00 pm
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC

freefaller,

Hmm, most people here probably would say pull your butts out at 200. At even 187 and they were mush, that seems like way over cooked and a faulty thermometer. You should check it. Dip it in boiling water and it should register 212F or close to. Good luck next time.
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Post Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:06 pm
ryno23 medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 74
Location: Manitowoc,WI
It could be the meat, I always get my boston butt from 1 place but once I bought it from a grocery store and it did not taste the same nor did it pull good. since then I will only buy my pulled pork from the meat market.

Post Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:33 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
Here is an idea on what to do with mushy meat:
http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/view ... =hungarian
I think the reason you ended up with mushy meat is a combination of moisture (during the covered stage), and the higher internal temp. But don’t worry; you’ll perfect it very soon.
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Post Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:51 pm
rogerja well done
well done

Posts: 2288
Location: Central Ohio
If I had to guess, it'd be the moisture during the foiling. A loose wrap will almost steam it. Try a higher internal and a tigh foil wrap if you're going to foil.

Also, check your them, as said above.

Post Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:29 pm
T-Rex well done
well done

Posts: 1933
Location: El Paso, TX
I'll admit to overfoiling too. I've been there and done that. A few hours only at the end of the cook is the best way to go. I remember one that I cooked was so mushy we could have eaten it with straws. It made for decent samiches though.

Post Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:56 pm
Longmill well done
well done

Posts: 2667
Location: North Carolina
I'm getting confused..... :? Foiling after the butts are pulled off the pit or foiling before they reach the temp to take them off the pit, or both?

Just curious, since the only time I use foil is when I take them off and put them in a drip pan. That's covered with foil and a heavy towel, while the butt rests.

Since the butt was both mushy and clinging to the bone, there's the possibility that one side cooked faster than the other side, especially if it was near the firebox. Was there a difference in the internal temps when checked from various places? FWIW, I usually double check the probe with an instant read and check in a couple of areas of the butt.

BTW, thought about another possibility for mushy pork. Often the ads now state "previously frozen". If it's frozen twice, that could result in a substancial (sp) texture change.

Another thought with pork. The expiration dates on pork, chicken, and fish are probably set barely before the threshold for becoming unfit for human consumption. They seem to be awfully long to me, if I happen to be there when the meat goes into the display case. That brings up the thought that in the case of pork, if it's near the expiration date, will that affect the texture, when compared to one as fresh as we can get it from a supermarket?

Just some speculations on the why.
Longmill
CharGriller Super Pro SFB
Charcoal GOSM
Sunbeam gas grill

Post Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:27 pm
freefaller well done
well done

Posts: 336
Location: Wichita, KS
I should have phrased that a bit different. I removed the butts from the smoker, placed them in a foil pan, loosely covered with foil and let them rest on the counter for about an hour. Then I pulled(shredded) them. Since we weren't going to eat for awhile, I re-covered the pan with the foil. Actually the one next to the firebox was giving me the lower reading, by about 5 degrees. I hope this makes a little more sense and clears up any confusion.
I really appreciate all the input.
One consolation is that I haven't had any trouble getting people to eat my Q. :D
Mike J

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Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:15 am
The Grill'n Greek well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Seattle
Pardon my ignorance, :oops: but I thought "butts were boneless and "picnics" or "shoulders" were bone in? I have heard people use them interchangeably but I thought I read differently.
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Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:20 am
Longmill well done
well done

Posts: 2667
Location: North Carolina
Here's how I understand it.

Shoulder - whole front leg of a hog.

Butt - top half of the leg.
Picnic - bottom half of the leg

Both will have bones, unless the meat cutter removes them from the butt portion.

Hope this helps.
Longmill
CharGriller Super Pro SFB
Charcoal GOSM
Sunbeam gas grill

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:38 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
You're right Greek it does get a little confusing at times. I think most folks use the terms "shoulder" and "butt" interchangeably for the cut of meat coming from the top of the front legs and containing a portion of the shoulder blade bone. Likewise most will clarify with "boneless" or "whole" if they mean something other than the standard bone-in Boston Butt pork shoulder.
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