1st Time Smoking Complete - Need Advice on Tenderness

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jeromeking, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    I have a Smoke Hollow vertical propane smoker, and did my first session on Saturday - Baby Back Ribs and Pork Shoulder.  I set the temperature to 250 degrees, and at 3.5 hours I checked the temperature of the meat and the shoulder was at 175 and ribs about 180.

    Everything turned out good, except that the meat did not soften as I have seen in pulled pork or good ribs do before.  I had amazing smoke flavor too.  I did cover with foil after removing.

    So my question is, did I not cook them long enough?  I thought since the meat temps were about 175 degrees, I had to pull them or it would over cook?  Can you cook beyond the target meat temperature without damagaing meat?

    Is it possible my smoker was a lot hotter than 250, and the front mount temp gauge was wrong - So I cooked hotter and shorter than needed?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.  Best, Jerry King
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    A shoulder or butt should go to an IT (internal temp) of 190*-205* or when it gets tender. The best way to check tenderness is the toothpick test. Use a toothpick or clean probe and stick the meat in multiple places, when it slides in with no effort like going into warm butter it is done.
    Ribs are a little tricky to get an accurate temp on because of the bones so a bend test works well. Using some tongs, pick up the slab at about 1/3 from one end and when they bend almost 90* with just a little cracking of the surface they should be ready.
    A good tried and true and very popular way to cook ribs is the "3-2-1 method" which can be adjusted for your personal preference.

    More than likely the stock therm on your smoker is not accurate, most people will use a digital therm to monitor smoker temps. Having known accurate therms really helps.

    I see this is your first post here so when you get a minute would you swing by "Roll Call" and introduce yourself so we can give you a proper SMF Welcome, Thanks!
  3. pa smoking

    pa smoking Newbie

    Baby back I usually 2 hours of smoke wrap for2 hours then 1 hour with sauce the shoulder could take a lot longer to cook to get to 200 degrees. I usually wrap with some apple juice half way through smoker temperatures at 250

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