Help for a Brit with Pulled Pork

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by markuk, May 9, 2013.

  1. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Hi there

    I have a smoker like the one pictured  and am planning to do my first pulled pork in it next week - Ive done PP in the home oven over the winter but want to try the real thing ! In the oven I cooked it for around 5 hours in foil and it was pretty good with my home made BBWQ sauce and some coleslaw in buns :)

    I don't have the confidence to keep the temp regular for the several hours needed so I understand in this case it's best to smoke first and then finish it off in the oven

    I'm getting a 5lb on the bone shoulder and have my own rub which I'll do 24 hours before

    Can someone help me out on the timings temp etc please and general procedure amounts of charcoal - do I keep chimney open /closed etc.

    Will be getting some hickory chips as well

    All advise would be appreciated


    Mark Ipswich UK

  2. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    hi mark  good to meet you. the picture there gives no real idea of the size of that smoker , but i cant imagine that you wouldnt get 3 or 4 hours of at least 250 degree smoking out of a full  load of charcoal.  ( no foil yet. you want the smoke to get into it ). then if you feel like you want to finish it in the oven. just set it at anywhere from 250 to 350 (depending on how fast you want it done) and cook it to an internal temp of 190-195 and you should be good to go. i would budget 8 hrs for the cook. it might be done sooner , being a smallish shoulder , but you can wrap it up and let it rest in a cooler if you have to. now im painting with broad strokes here , but you can adjust as need be and if you read a bunch of threads here on pork butt , boston butt , pork shoulder and pulled will find an abundance of good advice.

    What the heck is that smoker anyway ?  i have no clue what to tell you about how to operate that...maybe someone else has one like it.

    good luck , anyway and post some pictures! [​IMG]
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you smoke at 225* - 250* F, an estimated time would be 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound of meat. It's just a rough guess, as every pork butt/shoulder tends to have a mind of its own. Cook the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of about 200* F, then let it rest for about an hour before pulling. Some people will wrap the pork in foil when it reaches around 160*, then continue cooking until it reaches final temp.

    I don't know anything about you're specific smoker, but it is generally a good practice to leave the exhaust vent open to promote proper air flow. If your rig has a bottom vent/ damper, you can adjust that to try to gain a measure of control over cooker temperature.

    Hope any of this helps. Good luck! Be sure to let us know how it goes.

  4. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Hi there

    thanks very much for the info - the smoker is only available in the UK and is marketed as a combi BBQ Pizza Oven and Smoker.

    Done Pizza's with some success but after visiting the southern States last Sep wanted to try "proper" BBQ !  BBQ in the UK generally is restricted to Burgers and Chicken and if we are feeling very daring Ribs but smoking is not popular at all.

    Have got one recipie which says cook in the oven first in foil then finish off in smoker but I understand this is not as effective as the smoke is needed early on - is this correct ???

    The box is around 24 inches from top to the the ash tray and around 20 inches accross by 18 deep - there is a grate behind the door (which has vents) where you put the charcoal then another grate above that where you cook - I guess I put the pork on a tray on that - anything else I need to do ?

    Hope that might help with the timings I need and what I have to do

    Thank you so much for your patience with me !

  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mark, morning..  As you can tell, there are several methods folks use for making pulled pork....  Bride and I have our own methods.... we both season heavily... Hers goes in the oven at 225 (105 C) for 12-16 hours....  I smoke the butt at 210-225 until it falls apart...  first hour or so, is no smoke to dry the surface of the butt at 140 ish... then smoke for 6 hours with raised temp to 210 ish...    Do not inject butt using a low and slow method..... injecting pushes surface bacteria into the meat... As a rule, all whole muscles are considered sterile inside...until compromised, and considered safe to cook low and slow....  That includes do not insert thermometer until the outer 1/2" or so has reached 140 ish...  usually after a couple hours at 210.... and sterilize the therm before sticking it in the meat.....  save the drippings for making a finishing sauce...  Bride chills the drippings, skims the fat, refrigerates, the jellied liquid is cut into hunks and frozen in zip bags for later use...  That stuff is awesome... great for sauces, soups, gravies.... etc..... 

  6. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Hi Mark,

    Obvioulsy, Dave is the pro!  All the other good advice is spot on. 

    Monitoring temps is always a tricky situation based on humidty, temperature, wind, and many other factors.  But, low temperature for a longer time is best. Maintaining the specific temperature of YOUR smoker takes time to learn, so get started now, and in a while you will be the best in town.

    I disagree with friends about whether it is acceptable to finish pulled pork in the oven, but theirs is jsut as good as mine most of the time.

    Even my wife brags about my pulled pork, and she doesn't even like pork.  Thanks to you and the others for giivng me an idea of what to do for dinner this weekend.

    Best of luck on your pulled pork.[​IMG]
  7. [​IMG]  looks like dave and red got you squared away. interesting looking smoker also.[​IMG]
  8. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Don't let dave scae you away from injecting .I have been doing it for over 20 year no one has ever got sick. You might want to look a chef jjs finshing sause.
  9. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    That looks like a ecoque smoker. Don't let dave scare you away from injecting. If that's what you want to do. Me and many others here do it. I have been doing it 20+ years and I have had no problem ever. Just get the internal temp up to 140f in 4 hr.
  10. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    That looks like a ecoque smoker. Don't let dave scare you away from injecting. If that's what you want to do. Me and many others here do it. I have been doing it 20+ years and I have had no problem ever. Just get the internal temp up to 140f in 4 hr.
  11. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks again for all the replies - just wondering for a first timer is it okay to cook first in foil for 4 or 5 hours then finish off in the smoker with bbq coal and hickory chips and see how that goes I can then see how I get on getting temp right as it won't be so criticle with the temp as it's already cooked ?? Thank you again
  12. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Actually, I would suggest doing it the other way around.  Smoke first for a few hours, then foil wrap and finish in the oven. 

  13. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Okay thanks will try that - sorry if I'm being dim about all this but it's a bit like you asking how to make the best cup of tea - everyone has a different idea :)
  14. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Not dim at all. Don't worry about it. One of the great things about this forum is how helpful and downright civil everyone is here. We all love cooking over a fire and we all love to share our experience. I like to say " the only dumb questions are the ones I ask my kids".
    Good luck , man. :grilling_smilie:
  15. makshak

    makshak Newbie

    Mark, I would suggest 2 things. First, purchase a quality digital thermometer that can monitor meat temp as well as cooking temp. Second, do a trial cook on your smoker. Instead of meat, use a pan of water on the top grate and run a  medium quantity of coals. Leave the top (exhaust) vent at least half open and the bottom vent closed down to maybe half. After an hour, note the temp and the position of the bottom vent. Shut the bottom vent another half. Monitor the temp drop until it stabilizes for another hour. Keep doing this until you can maintain a cooking temp of around 200/220*F for hours.

    There are literally thousands of recipes/methods for smoking the brisket, but first and to me most important is to learn to control the temp of your cooker for sometimes 20 hours.

    Good luck.
  16. Hey Mark,

    You got some good advice and like it has been said there are different methods of doing the smoking.  Just remember once you have a chance to use your smoker your confidence will go up.  So if you aren't too worried you can try it for the whole cook in the smoker.  If not finishing in the oven isn't a bad way to go. 

    Most important though, have fun and enjoy the food!
  17. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Great idea thanks - will try that - just got given around 20kg of free charcoal tonight so no probs there !
  18. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Well thanks everyone for that

    So here's the plan - want to eat around 6 so fire up smoker around 8 in the morning get temp to around 225 F - put the rubbed pork (24 hours before ) on a foil tray above the heat (with a little water ?) uncovered and put some pre soaked hickory chips on the coals - and smoke for a couple of hours - then transfer to oven under foil at similar temp for 4 to  5 hours.

    Then rest and maybe as I will have smoker  hot again for some baked potatoes stick it back in again for a little while or not ?

    Pull and serve on buns with coleslaw and by homemade BBQ Sauce

    How's that :)

    (see pic of smoker cooking Pizza)

  19. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Hi Mark. No need to put the pork back on the smoker after foiling and putting in the oven. Also, I usually crank oven temps to about 300 to get through the stall quicker. Take to 200-205 IT then wrap in towels in cooler to hold until needed. 4-5 hours. Nice pizza stone. Been thinking about one myself!

  20. Everyone's got u covered. U gotta love this forum.

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