IT - Pulling Pork, School of thought

Discussion in 'Pork' started by marshman71, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. marshman71

    marshman71 Smoke Blower

    I've been smoking for sometime and have seen are read many different school's of thought on where the best internal temp is for where pulled pork should be. In my experience I used to bring my IT up to 195  Foil and wrap and toss in the cooler and let rest for an hour before pulling.  Problem I kept running into was my pork seemed to pull  just a little rough meaning it had just a little tug to it.

    I was discussing this with a buddy who smokes a lot and told me that he brings his internal up to 210 foils and tosses in the cooler for an hour. and he says it shreds like butter and he had same situation and a friend of his told him that's how he did it.  I tried that a few times and it pulled so much better and was still super moist.  I have since now started pulling off at IT 205 and for me that seems like the sweet spot.    

    So my question to the group is ....  At what IT do you Pull your Pork.   Just curious what everyone's school of thought is on this.
  2. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    There a bunch of threads on this and alot of schools of thought...there is no "exact" answer and everyone does it differently. You'll get answers ranging from 190 all the way to 215-220....just like timing, IT is just a'll know when the meat is tender enough by actually feeling. The toothpick method is a good way to tell...if you can stab a toothpick in the meat in various places and it slides in and out easily...your meat is done.

    I'll let others chime in but I think your answer will come mostly in the 200-205 range to optimal tenderness. But just like undercooking, you can also over cook...if you get it "to tender"'ll be moosh. So sometimes 195 is fine and sometimes 205 or even 210 will be good. Once you get to the temp your looking for...just keep inspecting it.

    just my thoughts on it. Good luck and Good smokin'
  3. I also shoot for 200-205 range then hit it with a finishing sauce to keep it juicy. I only rest mine for about 45-60 minutes in foil if that. It gets plenty tender with just enough tug to know its not over done. I love the texture that way as well. Hope that helps

  4. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I shoot for 200*-205*. Then at least an hour rest. I will sometimes remove it from the smoker earlier, if the bone is falling out its done.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Much beyond 205*F, the Rest will take it to 210+*F. The meat will become noticeably mushy when served and be Pudding after reheating...JJ
  6. marshman71

    marshman71 Smoke Blower

    Well from what I can tell so far you all are doing exactly as I am 205 seems to be the sweet spot.  My Pulled Pork is the Shit.  But I'm sure in this company most all of our Q is pretty damn good.

    Now if I can only get my Ribs where I want them.

    Keep this school of thought rolling.  Love hearing how you all do what you do best.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Ribs are a combination of Good Meat, I like St Louis cut Spare Ribs, Good Rub and the Magic of Foiling Juice! I usually go 3.5 at 225*F then 2 hours in foil and finish up with 30 minutes to firm up the ribs...JJ

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.

    Simmer 5-10 minutes until syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.
  8. marshman71

    marshman71 Smoke Blower

    Love that Idea Jimmy

    Defiantly on my to try list next ... just picked up couple slabs St.Louie Ribs Fri.  as a matter of fact.

    OK i get the 3.5 hours smoke. and 2 hours foil ...  I'm confused on the 30 min Firm up...   by this you mean 

    back outta the foil and into the smoker,  brush with sauce. ... or what?   Sorry if you lost me there.

    Also Not sure what a 3-2-1 phase is please explain ... Thanks so much ....   Ive seen others mention this but not familiar with it.
  9. 3-2-1 is 3 hours of smoking, 2 hours of foil cooking and 1 hour back on the smoker with glazing. 3-2-1 method is approx. times adding up to 6 total hours, hence JJ's 3.5 smoking, 2 foiling and 30 minutes of finish time on the smoker.
  10. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    A butt is done and when the shoulder blade pulls cleanly from the meat, regardless of the internal temp(as measured wherever you have the probe placed at the time).

    I have had butts done as low as182° and as high as 210° and I have butts that had 15° difference in IT depending on where I stuck the probe in it. IMHO the bone test is the most reliable one.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The first 3 hours puts the bulk of the smoke on your Ribs. I like extra smoke so I go a little longer. I have gone straight through 6-7 hours smoking until the ribs are the desired tenderness. The 2+/- hours in foil with a flavorful liquid, Braises the meat. The hot liquid and steam rapidly break down the connective tissue that makes active muscles like Shoulders, Briskets and the muscle between the rib bones tough. This collagen conversion will also happen over time and at internal temps over 180*F but the sealed, moist foiled environment just makes it go faster.The point of the last hour of 3-2-1 is to Dry out the ribs a bit. Not in the sense of drying meat like making Jerky but any meat coming out of liquid is just, well...Wet. Not the best mouth feel. The last 30-60 minutes dries the surface of the ribs, firms up the Bark, the flavorful browned exterior, and gives you the opportunity to add another layer of flavor by basting with a sweet glaze or sauce. There is room to play. You want smokey, add more time in the beginning. You want Fall Off The Bone Tender, add more time in the foiling stage. You want a heavily candied, sticky, caramelized, mahogany exterior, add more time out of foil at the end. But the basic starting point until you find what you and your's like is 3 hours Smoke...2 hours in Foil with Liquid to Tenderize...1 hour to Set the Bark and add the last layer of Flavor...AKA, 3-2-1...JJ

    BTW...This only applies to racks of Spare Ribs. If you are making Baby Back Ribs, the guideline is 2-2-1 since there is less meat and less connective tissue they need less overall time...Lots to learn but that's the Fun of this Game of Smoking Meat...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
    s2k9k and demosthenes9 like this.
  12. marshman71

    marshman71 Smoke Blower

    Thanks so much JJ ... that's actually what i assumed but wasn't totally sure and its about what i already do just not quite as long ... usually 2 1/2 hrs in smoke 2 in foil and then bout 30 min or so just to glaze up after the foiling...   I'm gonna try to extend my times just a bit and see if that makes any difference    My Ribs are pretty damn good just not where Id like them....   Nit Picky I guess or a bit of a perfectionist.

    Absolutely love the Idea of using the foiling juice to make a finishing glaze .... that's just got to take it to a whole nother level exactly what I'm looking for.
  13. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Without a doubt, this is the best explanation of 3-2-1 and 2-2-1 that I have ever come across.   Thanks JJ.
    marshman71 likes this.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thank You...JJ
  15. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    cliff is right. This is due to a couple factors, fat content, diet fed to swine,, and muscle tone. This is why being a bbq purist and from texas we use the "feel test" I like the bone pull test also.
    cliffcarter likes this.

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