Great Beer Can Chickens and not So Great Pulled Pork

Discussion in 'Grilling Chicken' started by newmexone, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Had company last night (total 7 folks) and decided to do a 6 lb pork butt on my Green Mountain grill. So very glad I decided to add these 2 beautiful beer can chickens. Figured pork would be about 2 hrs per pound and got everything going at 6am. Added the chickens at about 10am as I was cooking at about 190. Raised the temp to 250 at about 1:00pm and the birds were perfect at about 4:30. Pork was another story - had to pull it off the smoker around 5:30 and kept it wrapped for an hour. Was able to pull some very tasty pork to feed company, but about half wasn't cooked enough for an easy pull. So it just came out again after another couple of hours so hopefully it will survive the second cooking. So any advice on how long it should really take would be appreciated so I don't run into the same problem.
  2. you DO NOT cook pulled pork by time. You cook to IT of 200°-205°

    You can have 2 butts side by side in the same smoker and they be done 3 hours apart

    Happy smoken.

  3. Your best bet for pulled pork is to cook to temp instead of by time. If you take it to an internal temp of 195 - 205* it should pull easily for you. A good rule of thumb is roughly 1.5 - 2 hours per pound but you can never be certain due to stall time as the connective tissue breaks down etc. You should let it rest for at least a half hour - longer if you can - before you pull it. Do you have a good thermometer to monitor your IT?
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    190* yikes way too low for cooking your pork. I figure 2 hours per pound running the smoker at 250*+ I prefer to cook my butts with the smoker running 265*. It sounds like you didn't cook your butts to an IT (internal temp). For pulling you need your pork to hit an internal temp of 205*  For slicing 185*-190*. Also for safety you need to hit an IT of 140* in no more than 4 hours. IF you don't have one invest in a good digital thermometer so you can monitor the temp of the meat and the smoker.
  5. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Some folks on here are meat jugglers...i'm not one of them.

    I like to keep meats that cook @ different temps separate.  Chickens for me cook @ 325 and i do pork butts at around 250.   The butt should go to an IT of close to 200 for pulling or 180-190 for slicing, never go by time. 

    You could have done the butt first and kept it resting wrapped in a cooler while you were cooking the chickens...the birds you could get done in easily 2 to 2 1/2 hours....3 tops
  6. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ditto on the 190* that is way tooooo low.  I smoke mine now around 250*

  7. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Fool proof method for pull pork, when the bone comes out easy. Always works, no if butts or an's..I don't even think about temps.Cooking temps really dose not matter, for me anyway..Now brisket is another story..
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As everyone has pointed out already Cooking the pork 7 hours at 190°F was the main problem.

    There's no need to go below 250°F, I actually shoot for 275°F when doing Butts/Picnics, the only time I will run the smoker lower is if Ribs are on the pit, then I try for 250°F max.

    Other ideas to decrease cook time
    • Remove the fat and bone
    • Cut the meat in half
    • Foil at 165°F
    • No peeking
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You've gotten some very solid advice , my .02 worth is to be patient. Everything needs to be as constant as possible and your lid closed as much as possible (heat loss=longer cooking times).

    I agree that time is ONLY a guideline for finishing times, the Frugal cook will allow for unexpected time loss ; BUT , always cook by temp.

    And as for the Butt that was not finished... wrap in foil,place in a shallow pan and place in a 250*F oven for enough time to get it to 200*F or so , use juices to mix in with the PP.

    Lastly, have fun and . . .
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If your smoker will go to 325*F to make 1 step Chicken, there is no reason you can't smoke the Pork at the same time. It is typical to Roast Pork at this temp and you can figure 1 hour per pound at this high temp. As stated an IT of 200-205*F with a rest is your goal for pork that will pull easily...JJ
  11. Thanks for all the great advice and next time it will definitely cook at a higher temp and until it reaches 200. As I'm new to pellet smoking, there will be some amount of a learning curve.

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