Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

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jgoines
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Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby jgoines » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:28 pm

I've been smoking for the last year and in that time I've smoked probably a dozen pork shoulders (bone-in). Some good, some great. Twice now the cooks have gone on "too long". Too long in this case means 3-4 hours later than I thought they would go (based on a 1.5 hours for every 1 pound at 225 degrees estimate). Don't get me wrong... I know that every piece of meat is different and smoking ins't always a science, I get it. This last cook was 8lbs and was on for 16 hours at 225 before I had to pull it off and finish it in the oven at 350 (which may have dried out the outer layer/gave a thicker bark more than I intended. There were two 3-4 hour stalls one at 170ish and another at 180ish, so basically 170+ took almost 8 hours before I had to pull it off and finish it in the oven. I also ran through a whole bag of charcoal/ran out.

So... What could I have done wrong? I'm guessing that I could have trimmed the fat more off the shoulder. Was that it? Is my math just way off and 8lbs takes 18 hours to smoke? I haven't checked the accuracy of my new pit thermometer, but I'll do that momentarily.
Equipment: Weber Smoking Mountain 18", Flame Boss 300, iGrill 2 (when needed)
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby Txdragon » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:47 am

Welcome to the forum! I myself am a big pusher of "it's done when it's done" philosophy. Smoking is indeed a science, though you are certainly right about each piece behaving independently. With that being said, temps should be for general information purpose only. I've seen butts pull beautifully at 195 and others still resilient at 200+. Time works similarly. I've smoked 12 pounders for 9 hours and have just pulled them with a fork, and I've smoked 9 pounders for 12 hours and had no choice but to slice rather than pull..

Consider raising your cook temp, regardless of previous successes, and start there. I smoke at 250-275 with consistent results across the board, most of which rarely ever exceed 8 hours in the cooker.
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby Williep » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:59 am

Welcome to the forum. :salut:
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby OldUsedParts » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:54 am

Welcome and Howdy :tup: :salut: :texas:
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby bsooner75 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:50 am

Welcome. I too push it up to 250-275. Helps push through the stalls. Also on pork (I cook butts) I wrap in foil when the color is right. Hope this helps.


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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby woodenvisions » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:58 am

Feel ur frustration, I'm another as well that felt like ( time ) was standing still..
Had a 6 lber Point take close to 14 hrs....., I was in close running with the tea pot if ya know what I mean....

I prefer the 275 region as well.

I've also had Large whole birds take between 1.5 - 3 hrs as well.
Last edited by woodenvisions on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby jgoines » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:55 pm

Thank you all, some really good advice there.

@Txdragon, your remark about slice vs pull really helps. In a time crunch I could pull it off and slice it.

@all
I'm using a Flame Boss 300 with my WSM 18", so bumping the temp up to 250 or 270 is easy to do. I think I'm going to do my next butt at 225 for a few hours then bump it up to 250.

The comment about foiling or tenting was a good one too, other than color what indicators can I use to determine when to tent? Temp, Time?
Equipment: Weber Smoking Mountain 18", Flame Boss 300, iGrill 2 (when needed)
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby bsooner75 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:29 pm

I watch for color and for the bark to kinda split open before I wrap. Double wrap it tight.


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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby k.a.m. » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:39 pm

I cook picnics and shoulders at 275° to 325° and wrap at 170°then when she hits 205° I see if the bone slips.. The pork can take the heat the internal fat helps with keeping it moist.
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby spacetrucker » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:54 pm

I am with TD its done when its done, so start early, then foil and let it rest in a cooler full of towels or the like. I dont cook comp, but do occasionally cook for other situations, I always have couple extra hours in there for sluff time.... :salut:
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby Txdragon » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:22 am

bsooner75 wrote:I watch for color and for the bark to kinda split open before I wrap. Double wrap it tight.


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^^ This..
If I wrap my butts, I do so when the fat cap splits.
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Re: Advise on Cooks Gone Too Long

Postby Polekitty » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:01 pm

I think this is my first reply.
I too have had problems with pork butts on my CC DLX pellet smoker until I tried this routine. I smoke at 225 for 4 hours unwrapped, then I put it in a pan cover it tightly and raise the temp to 300. It speeds up my cooking time to only 6 hours total for a 4 pounder (bone in). I do cook to an internal temp of 205 so if it’s is bigger than a 4 pounder it takes a little longer. I’m not to concerned about how bark looks rather how it tastes. I don’t put it in an ice chest, I just let it cool in the covered pan until the temp comes down to a level that allows me to start pulling. Hope this helps.

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