Smoked Pulled Pork (My first Thread)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by psax88, May 9, 2015.

  1. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post (aside from my introductory one), just signed up today and also just happened to smoke a 9 pound pork shoulder today as well! This was by far my best Butt yet, and I wanted to share my process (with mouth-watering pics, of course) and see what everyone thinks, and if anyone has any other pointers to add.

    So, I'll start off with the meat. I got a Boston Butt and trimmed the fat to about 1/4" or so. My meat guy hooked me up on this, got it for $1.05/lb!! This baby was BIG.  

    Then, I lathered the butt up in some EVOO. Some people prefer to use mustard, but I find you get a better bark and the spices adhere to the meat better with EVOO. I then rubbed in a healthy portion of some Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Foreplay seasoning. This stuff is amazing, gives the pork a nice kick, it uses Cayenne Pepper, Chili Peppers, Garlic, Salt, and a bunch of other stuff. For those of you who don't know of Dinosaur BBQ, it's a famous BBQ restaurant/biker bar up in Syracuse NY. Best BBQ place I've ever been too up North. I believe you can buy this rub and some of their sauces on Amazon, if you're interested. Then I wrapped in up in some parchment paper (didn't have plastic wrap), and put it in the fridge overnight.


    Here it is after 11 hours in the fridge to Marinate: 

    So I got up around 4:30am this morning, fired up the smoker, got it to about 250 degrees. Then filled my woodchip tray and tossed the pork in. For my wood I chose Maple. This is the first time I've used Maple. Usually I go with Apple, but I decided to try something new. I've found with the masterbuilt smoker, it's difficult to get a good smoke started under 250 degrees, so I put it there and once the smoked started going I dropped it to about 230-240. Changed the chips every hour or so, and whenever I changed them I would bring the temp back up to 250, then drop it down again once the smoke got going. Also, once the meat hit 100 degrees internal temp I sprayed it every hour with a 3-to-1 mixture of apple juice and Captain Morgan. I actually got that particular tip from Meowey's thread in the sticky. The sugars definitely contributed towards a darker, and yet sweeter bark in the end.

    So, here's the Butt after about 3 hours of smoking: 

    I kept the smoke going till about the 6 hours mark, where the meat hit 165 degrees. I then took tin foil, and sprayed it with that apple juice/captain Morgan spray and double-wrapped to butt. I then put it back in the smoker, and dropped the temp to more like 225 degrees and kept it there going forward. Here's the Butt right before I wrapped it:

    So, I let this baby cook for another 4 hours or so in the foil until I got an internal temp of 200 Degrees. I took it out, unwrapped it, and pulled it almost right away. I know a lot of people swear by resting meat, but personally I've noticed almost no difference in the quality of the taste or texture of the meat in resting it or not. Admittedly, it's a bit easier to pull if you rest it but I use bear claws to pull my pork so it's not really an issue for me. If anyone has known there to be a huge difference in taste or texture from resting, please feel free to mention it below. I'm interested to see everyone else's feelings on the matter.

    So finally, after about 11 hours total the pork butt was done and pulled. As a last step I actually mixed in a bit more of the cajun foreplay seasoning into the pulled pork, as well as added some Dinosaur BBQ sauce as well. Didn't go too heavy on the sauce, however. I find that too much sauce makes the pork's texture a little funny after sitting in the fridge for a day or 2. Instead, I' just add more sauce as desired to the sandwiches themselves when I make them. Below are some pics of the finished product (Pork fell apart a little bit when I was unwrapping it). This thing came out AMAZING. Got a real good smoke right, the maple gave it a bit of a sweeter taste, which was an awesome contrast with the spicy seasonings and sauced used, and the meat was oh so tender. Hope you all enjoyed reading!


    tropics, carbine1koos and foamheart like this.
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]Nice 1st post with pics and all I can say is 

  3. justind0301

    justind0301 Newbie

    is that the electric masterbuilt smoker? i believe i have the same one,based on your picture. I did my first butt a few weeks ago and was going to post a picture with some questions, but i think i see what I need now. I cooked at about 225 but didn't get that nice bark that you have. Im going to try at 250 and wrapping it as well. Nice looking smoke
  4. carbine1koos

    carbine1koos Fire Starter

    Wow looks mighty fine!!!

  5. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks tasty! That rub sounds great!
  6. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks really great! Awesome informative post. In response to your question about letting it rest, I just feel that it gets even more tender and juicy during that rest. It continues cooking a bit. I smoked two halves of a large butt the other night and the one that finished first I took at 203 IT and pulled it a few minutes later. The second half to finish I pulled at 203 IT and let it stay in the foil about an hour and it was so much better. More melt in your mouth. Leaving it wrapped to rest, the IT climbed to about 205 which maybe caused the difference in temp
    psax88 likes this.
  7. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the kind words everyone! Justin, you are correct that is the Masterbuilt electric smoker. I had the same problem with my first few butts, and then decided to try the higher temp and it works out great every time!

    @worktogthr  thanks for the info. I've tried it and didn't seem to notice a difference, but next time I'm going to try it again. I did it with one of my first Butts so perhaps I did something wrong while I was cooking it, causing the resting to have little to no effect.
  8. I would say you nailed it for your first post. As for the rest it is an important part of the process.

    It allows the juices to redistribute.

    Happy smoken.

    psax88 likes this.
  9. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    Sorry I missed this. Congratulations on a fantastic looking pulled pork dinner.
  10. solidbob

    solidbob Fire Starter

    nice looking pork!

    I'm not a super-experienced smoker but from being a food enthusiast and having worked in some nicer restaurants, letting meat rest after cooking is a fairly common method. From what I've seen and read, the heat from cooking pulls all the juice from the meat towards the surface. After taking it off the grill/smoker etc, letting it rest gives those juices time to redistribute throughout the meat. Since we're chopping and pulling and mixing it all together I personally can't say how much of a difference this would make but for something like a nice steak it's absolutely crucial.

    I also have the MB electric smoker. It doesn't hold temp too well but I added the mailbox mod and use the AmazeN products to keep my smoke separate from my heat source and have had great luck.
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great lookin job, this can't be your first rodeo!

    Excellent smoke!
  12. tumbleweed1

    tumbleweed1 Smoking Fanatic

  13. kubs

    kubs Newbie

    That looks great!! I am about to do my first butt this weekend. How many people would a 9lb one feed?? Does it take much longet if i do 2 side by side in the smoker?
  14. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    Solidbob, in reference to your last little bit there, can you explain a little more about what you are talking about? What exactly is the mailbox mod and the AmazeN products?
  15. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    Thanks Foamheart! You are correct, by the way. Definitely not my first [​IMG]
  16. solidbob

    solidbob Fire Starter

    Here's a thread on the mailbox mod. Pretty sure I just copied off all these fellas. You basically move your smoke source outside the MES so you don't have to open the door and you can also cold smoke. There's a few different methods in this thread but you should get the idea. I love it and the whole thing probably cost $30 to make.

    As for the A-maze-N stuff, here's a whole subforum on that.

    It's great stuff, tons of folks here use it. I use the pellet smoker in my mailbox along with both his pellets and dust. I can get hours of smoke or control smoke way better accessing only the mailbox while never opening the door to my MES thus keeping a much more consistent temp.

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