Pork Shoulder - 4 pound - cooking time question

Discussion in 'Pork' started by john brennan, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Hi everyone! 

    I've smoked a pork shoulder last summer and it turned out incredible. One of the best pieces of meat I've cooked in the smoker before. I'm comfortable with temperatures, injecting, seasoning, when to wrap, and when to pull. I have not cooked a 4 pound piece of pork before. Approximately at 225-250 how long will this thing take to cook? Keep in mind I'm using a WSM 18.5" smoker so it will sit over direct heat. Ultimately the temperature of the meat will the guide cook time. I'm trying to get this thing done as close to 8pm as possible. 

    Side question as well: Should I leave the pork in the pan for the entire cook and only cover the pan when the internal temp hits 160 or put it right on the grate until 160? I feel like last summer I left it in the pan. I get nervous I won't get a good bark if I don't put it right on the grate. 


    1 cup 1/2 apple cider vinegar, 1 cup 1/2 apple juice, 1 stick of melted butter. Covered the pan in foil and letting it sit for 12 - 18 hours. 


    Olive as the "glue".

    Stage 1: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

    Stage 2: Heller's BBQ seasoning (local seasoning rub - quality rich flavor), Chipotle Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper (debating chili powder and Caynenne.....)

    Wood: Apple 

    Thanks for any help and advice! 

    ....and here is a couple of photos so far! 

  2. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Some tips that I hope will help:

    1. A guide at your temp would be 6-7 hours for a 4# shoulder. But, it ain't done until it's done.
    2. Wrap at about 160* to help it through the the stall. Add a little moisture to the wrap.
    3. Foil the water pan or a clay saucer and use it dry, but don't cook the shoulder over direct heat.
    4. Put the meat directly on the grate.
    5. Add a little brown sugar to your rub in stage 2. You've got a lot of pepper product and the brown sugar will offset some of the heat.

    This is just my $0.02 worth, but I think you will find that at least 1 or 2 of these tips will give you some good results, IMHO. Good luck, Joe
  3. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    2-2.5 hours / lb if you dont foil. 

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