Noob Smoker: pork shoulder a little dry

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pitlackey, Jun 1, 2010.

Future of this Smoking Noob

Poll closed Jun 8, 2010.
  1. Enjoy as is and add lots of finishing sauce

    0 vote(s)
  2. Stick it back in the oven with foil and the sprizing sauce

    0 vote(s)
  3. What a noob! No hope for you or your butt!

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. pitlackey

    pitlackey Newbie

    Any ideas on adding moisture to pork shoulder?

    So I smoked 2 pork shoulders for 12 hours until they reached 160 degrees. At that point it was 12:00 Midnight so I decided to foil them and stick them in the fridge until the next day.

    The next day my wife and I had some friends over for dinner. I removed a portion of the pork shoulder, foiled it, added some of the spritzing sauce (jack and coke) and heated it back up to in the oven to 160 degrees and then pulled it.

    Although everyone loved it (and I'll agree, it did taste fantastic) I felt it was a touch dry.

    Any ideas on how I can make the meat itself more moist?

    I read a recipe that called for bringing the shoulder up to 200 degrees directly after smoking - was skipping this step a big mistake?

    Thanks ladies and gents, any insight is greatly appreciated!
  2. cricky101

    cricky101 Smoke Blower

  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Are you looking for advice on these roasts or future roasts?  The fix for your current project is "just add more moisture" IMHO, especially since it was tasty.  That could include anything from BBQ sauce on a sandwich to throwing a bunch of PP into a pan in apple juice and simmering for a while to throwing it into a stew/chili/soup/casserole -- you're only limited by your imagination.  In the future, consider any or all of the following:
    • Water pan in the smoker (if you didn't already use one) & keep the water level up
    • Injecting roasts with marinade
    • Marinading
    • Mopping during smoking
    • Hit the 200* mark, rest it wrapped in towels in a cooler for at least 30 min. and then pull.  The rest helps the meat retain the moisture.
    My suspicion is that your second cook is what dried it out the most.
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Yes you learned a lesson with your pork shoulder. You cann't or shouldn't't have smoked it halfway and then threw it into the refrig overnight. The cold of the refrig took out the moisture you know that yucky looking stuff around the bottom of the shoulder. Now next time smoke it all the way and then re-heat it the next day. I always keep the juices out of the foil and when you re-heat it you can out it back into the meat. Now for re-heating I would use a pasta pot or a food steamer to re-heat it for it will help the meat stay moist and tender and then you can add your finishing sauces or BBQ sauce to the meat.
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yea if you are pulling a piece of meat you need to bring that guy up around 200 degrees internal temp to make it nice an tender. Then I always let them rest in the cooler as well. I like to foil my buttst at 160 and bring them to 200 then put them in the cooler but others don't foil until they hit 200 then they foil them and put them in the cooler to rest. It doesn't matter which way you do it they both work you just have to see what you like better.
  6. pitlackey

    pitlackey Newbie

    I am happy to report that all is well!

    The first time I reheated the meat, I only went to 160 - although it wasn't bone dry, it did lack that juiciness associated with awesome butt.

    Last night I reheated it again (pyrex, water, foil) only this time I went to 200 - and it turned out great! It probably would have been better had I gone to 200 in the first place, but this was a close second.

    Thank you all for the advice. I'm learning very quickly that smoking meat doesn't like shortcuts or improvisation. Next time I do this I'm going to workout my timing a lot better. Maybe start later in the evening and smoke over night for a pull time in the afternoon.
  7. newflame

    newflame Meat Mopper

    good lesson to learn :)

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