Petite pork shoulder - where did I go wrong?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by synderblock, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. synderblock

    synderblock Newbie

    Purchased a pre-marinaded ("Santa Maria") petite pork shoulder (2.5#) yesterday for a smoking today. This isn't my first shoulder, though I've never purchased and smoked this particular variety before. However, came out way tougher to pull than I would have expected. Here is what I did, can anyone see a flaw?

    Kept chamber temp around 230-250. Smoked until IT was 155* (wanted to go to 165 but I had a problem with fire creeping back out of the firebox to the hose connector on the smoker, decided to shut it down early). Double foiled it and brought it inside to finish in the oven (4 hours in at this point) until IT hit 200*. I'm not sure what the chamber temp was for that (old stove), but I set it around 275. Removed from oven, wrapped in towel and let it sit for an hour (IT dropped to 184*).

    Went to pull it and it was still pretty tough. I've been using an iGrill for temp readings. If anybody can see any flaws, let me know. It turned out OK (not a fan of the Santa Maria marinade). Sorry, no photos.
  2. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    Most likely it just didn't go long enough. With shoulders and brisket, how they feel when probed is more important than internal temp. When it reaches your target temp, probe it in several places. If the probe slides in with little to no resistance you're done. If not, just let it ride until it does.

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have yet to see a shoulder get pull tender at an IT less than 205. The rest is of little importance if you get the meat probe tender to start with. You under cooked it...JJ
  4. smokinal

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


    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  5. synderblock

    synderblock Newbie

    Thanks everyone! The iGrill probe was in it the entire time, so I never did a 'secondary' probe to get a feel for how tender it truly was (or in this case, was not), so that's definitely something to consider for next time. The IT did hit 205* while it was resting, but there's more to smoking that just numbers. Cheers!
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you leave the temp probe in all the time, it will transfer heat down the stem and give you a false high temp reading...
  7. gregor

    gregor Smoke Blower

    Interesting - my SmokinIt has a probe that can be used to track meat temperature to control the smoker, I have seen this and will have to ask the team there about it.

  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've seen temps that say the meat is done...   WAY TOO FAST ....    so I pull the probe and reinsert it in another location...  temps are much lower...    If you insert the probe FULL LENGTH into the meat it helps...   I check the temp after several hours into the cook...  then fully insert the probe for what I think is the last hour or so...

    Thin cuts of meat this don't work so well... check with a FAST acting probe...
  9. I smoke a lot of pork butts and shoulders fo a local restaurant. Most take 8 hours at 225 to 250. I use a maverick with the probes left in all the time. They are wrapped at 175 (about the stall point). I cook to 195 with applejuice in the foil. It pulls easily at 195, but no less. Check your pfobes to see if thy are reading corectly. I use a Thermoworks thermometer as a backup.

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