First ever Pork Shoulder

Discussion in 'Pork' started by magniaesir, May 9, 2016.

  1. magniaesir

    magniaesir Newbie

    Good morning All,

    Since this is my first try at Smoking, I figured I would try doing a pulled pork. I have a new 18.5" WSM that is seasoned and ready to go. I plan on getting two 6-7 lbs shoulders on the top grates and using apple wood chunks. I have seen on previous forums that at a temp of 225, I'll be looking at an average cook time of 1.5 hrs per pound.  I understand that due to the variations of fat, ligaments, and meat in each piece, that time can vary. I plan on wrapping them in foil at a temp 160-165. I'd like to ask if anyone could recommend an amount of wood chunks to start with. I already have apple chunks at home, but I would like to get either Mesquite or Hickory to pair it with. I would also appreciate any suggestions on rubs.

    Thanks All,

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    This is how I start with my WSM.

    About 6-8 chunks mixed in with the briquettes. 

    Then about 12 lit briquettes on top top get it going.

    The setup in the photo will run 16-18 hours without adding any charcoal or wood.

    Hope this helps

  3. magniaesir

    magniaesir Newbie

    Thank you Al,

    I will certainly try your method. When you fill the Charcoal Ring at the bottom of the WSM, do you use one full Chimney Starter, or do you use a different amount before placing the lit charcoal on top? I've also seen a few different layouts where some like to place the lit charcoal in the middle, and some like to spread it out differently. What do you like about keeping the lit charcoal centered and how long should I wait before placing the WSM together after I place the lit charcoal in the base?


  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't really measure the amount of charcoal that I start with.

    If you finish cooking & there is still un-burned charcoal left over, then just shut all the vents & the fire will go out.

    Next time you use it just shake off the ash & use it again.

    There are several different configurations for starting a fire. Some put the hot coals off to the side, some use a coffee can with both sides cut out, pack the charcoal around it then fill it with hot coals & remove it. They all work & one isn't better than the others. This is just the way I do it.

    As soon as you put the hot coals on put the WSM back together.

  5. magniaesir

    magniaesir Newbie

    Here are the pork shoulders with the rub that I made the day before the smoke.

    After about 4 hours at 225 they were ready to be wrapped.

    Finished product after 8 hrs on the SWM 18". I couldn't even use utensils to lift it because it was falling apart.

    It was a big hit and everybody loved it. The only thing I will need to do next time is add more wood chunks.

    I started with 4 Apple and 1-1/2 Hickory but not a lot of smoke flavor came through. I'm thinking of adding 2 more of the apple and 1-1/2 more of the hickory next time. If I have four 7lbs pieces next time, will I need to add even more wood for the smoke, or can I use the same amount for four shoulders as I would for two? 

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