View Full Version : Need advice for pork shoulder

11-27-2013, 06:01 AM
I am disappointed with my first attempt at smokin'. I tried a pork shoulder. I followed recipe given in ST's manual that came with the 1400.Five hrs. at 225 then foiled it and finished off in oven at 300 for 2 1/2 hours. It was drier than expected. The meat could not be pulled. It had to be sliced. I didn't foil it good because I did loose some juice. Could this have been the problem? I have cooked venison in a slow cooker for 14 hrs and when finished, the bones pulled out like they never had meat on them, the neck bones no less. Is it reasonable to achieve this with the smoker. Would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks, PFB

11-27-2013, 12:52 PM
Hoo boy. Looks like another recipe that needs an adjustment in the book.

Fear not. You are among friends here. It IS reasonable to achieve incredible results with this smoker. I'd suggest the problem is not enough time in the box.
As kind of a "reverse strategy" I plan for an 18 hour cook on an 8-9 lb shoulder, more or less, but internal temp is the key. If you're going to slice it, I think 180 or a little better is the target, but the IANAS (I am not a slicer), so others will weigh in. Pulled pork is my method, and 200 is my target internal temp. My guess is that you weren't truly "dry" but very likely the fat hadn't rendered out and the collagen hadn't broken down yet. I'm a "low and slow" guy. I start my butts at 11 pm with a 180 starting temp,(think about a plug in light timer) and when I leave for work at 6 am I turn it up to 225, maybe 240 on a cold day, and let her run all day. When I return home at 4, we're usually pretty close to ready.
Foiling and a towel in a cooler is a great way to hold a shoulder that finishes early, and sometimes they will. I'll foil if I'm trying to hold temp, but very often I just pull them when they're cooled just enough to not burn me.
I'd recommend a few charcoal lumps in the wood box to up the flavor.
Keep a journal of settings, outside temps, internal temps, smoker temps, time and your impression of your results. It'll help you learn from failures and repeat your successes.

Please try again, and please report your results. Don't give up on this "magic box". It'll turn out incredible food if you let it.

Feel free to repost, or PM me if you'd like.

11-27-2013, 09:29 PM
Thanks for comeback Bigwalleye. I placed uneaten half back in smoker today for 6hrs. @ 225 and Was surprised and elated to see that dry sliceable remainder turn to moist pullable pork. Obviously it was a timing factor.
In the upcoming week I will be making deer bacon and venison jerky. Also new ventures. Duh........ what's PM in cyber lingo?

11-28-2013, 09:41 AM

PM is "private message"

11-28-2013, 10:04 AM
Glad to hear it worked out!
Remember, it's more about temp than time. I only keep track of time so I can approximate dinner time and work backward to determine my start time.
Sorry, "PM" is "Private Message". If you hover over my post name, you'll get several options, PM is one. It allows you to send me a message, like email, through the board, but it doesn't appear as a post to a thread like these. It's another option for more discussion on specific topics.
Never made jerky in my ST, but I'd avise a careful search for the topic. Since the ST is a sealed unit that traps moisture in, and jerky is a process that is intended to remove moisture, without a jerky dryer or other techniques like leaving the door cracked open, the moisture can't escape the box or the meat. There is a jerky dryer sold here, but I have no experience with it, although others do.

Good luck, continued success, and please continue to post, successes and failures. It's a great way to find info, and a great way to help others.

11-28-2013, 10:17 AM
Great input on jerky , Bigwalleye. Thank you.

11-29-2013, 06:19 AM
Here's my post on the subject. I tried to include as much information as possible so that anyone following this method should be able to get repeatable results. Be sure and click on the chart so you can see what type of temperature profile to expect. I have repeated this procedure a couple of times since with similar sized roasts and the results were identical. I have had several people remark that it's the best BBQ they have ever had. I have no illusions that my method makes world class BBQ, but at the least it should give someone who is having problems a repeatable baseline that yields good results with similar sized pork shoulder roasts.


12-02-2013, 07:26 AM
Great example, DFW. Thank you for sharing.