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obtuse
08-17-2012, 10:14 PM
I just picked up a 16 pound boneless pork shoulder. I havent smoked a piece of meat this big. how long should I cook it? what temp? I'm using a big green egg. I know I could look this up online, but I thought it would be more fun to post it here. pics when the spice rub is on.

apicius9
08-17-2012, 10:25 PM
I have no idea, but I will be happy to try any leftovers on Sunday ;)

Stefan

mhlee
08-17-2012, 10:53 PM
Are you sure it's not two boneless pork shoulders? I've never seen a 16 pound boneless pork shoulder. 16 pounds BONE IN? Yes. Boneless? No. That would have been quite a humongous pig!

If it really is 16 pounds, I figure you're in for at least 10 - 12 hours, depending on the thickness of the shoulder at its thickest point. Boneless pork shoulders are hard to gauge because they're cut up and the thickness varies; a thinner part may be done while a thicker part may need a lot more time. I recommend tying it up and then just check it with a thermometer or use a remote thermometer, preferably with two sensors in two distinct locations, i.e. one in a thick portion and another in a thinner portion, to monitor how it's cooking. (I personally hate cooking boneless pork shoulders.)

I like mine to get up to about 185-190, wrap it in foil, and let the residual heat finish the cooking. I save all the melted fat and juice, strain the fat out with a gravy separator, and mix the juice with sauce (if you use it) and baste the meat with this after it's been pulled or chopped or however you want to serve it.

Good luck!

obtuse
08-17-2012, 11:07 PM
Well, it's actually 15.54 lbs so I rounded up. It really is boneless! and it's actually the smallest one I could get at Costco. I would have gotten bone in if it were available. It may very well be two shoulders but I haven't taken it out of the vacuum pack to inspect it yet. If it's one piece I will cut it in two in order to speed cooking. I was thinking it might take about 15 hours at 225'F.

Kyle
08-17-2012, 11:12 PM
That's definitely 2 butts in one cryo...

Jim
08-17-2012, 11:43 PM
Well I always say 2 butts are better than one when its that much weight.

But seriously, its done when its done. You can estimate it all you want, when that pig part stalls at 180 there is nothing you can do but light another cigar and refill your sweet tea glass. 195-205 is the endpoint but I let the probe tell me its time to pull.

brainsausage
08-17-2012, 11:44 PM
A sixteen pound shoulder sounds beyond reedickulous... Especially if it's the smallest one you could find at Costco... Regardless- you should brine the sucker first. Weigh your protein, weigh your brining fluid, combine em'- use that total as your 100%, and do a 2% salt ratio, 1% sugar(more or less depending on your tastes), and and about 10-15 grams of spices to every kilogram of weight depending on the strength of the spice. If it actually is 16 pounds it's gonna take about 7-9 days to brine(unless you inject it, but that's a whole other story- which is worth telling cuz it reduces the brining by about a third...). If you do smoke it- I'd suggest staying under 200 hundred degrees, and putting a pan of water somewhere close to the heat source(I'm not familiar with the eggs so I don't know if this is feasible), the water will help regulate the ambient humidity in the smoker and curtail the 'stall'- which is when you're aiming for an internal temp and you come right to the edge of it but it takes many hours to actually reach those last few degrees. This is primarily due to the fact that the out side layers of protein have dried, and formed a shield that doesn't allow the heat to properly circulate via the natural juices in the protein. It essentially acts as a heat shield. But the higher humidity defers this effect to an appreciable degree. All it takes is a pan of water:) A nice dry rub compliments the brine rather well, and if you increase the heat towards the end of the smoke you'll get a nice crust/bark.

UCChemE05
08-17-2012, 11:50 PM
rule of thumb I've used. 1 hr/lb @ ~200-225

obtuse
08-17-2012, 11:54 PM
Well, it definately is two butts in a cryopak. Which makes my life a little easier :) I don't think I have enough time to brine this sucker but I'll plan to next time. I've heard about a pan of water or apple juice and a foil tent to curb the stall. I'm definetly going to have some left overs considering I'm cooking 15.54 lbs for about three people. Thanks for all the advice so far. I'm off to make the rub!

brainsausage
08-17-2012, 11:58 PM
Well I always say 2 butts are better than one when its that much weight.

But seriously, its done when its done. You can estimate it all you want, when that pig part stalls at 180 there is nothing you can do but light another cigar and refill your sweet tea glass. 195-205 is the endpoint but I let the probe tell me its time to pull.

Finished before I saw your post Jim, hope it didn't come across as sounding dismissive.

obtuse
08-18-2012, 02:26 AM
I decided to make this interesting. I was thinking of some of my other favorite pork recipes, conchinita pibil and carne adobada, for inspiration. I used what I have on hand to make a spice paste with garlic, white onion, safflower oil, apple cider vinegar, annato, allspice, cinnamon, clove, guajillo, chile negro, and chiles de arbol. It smelled pretty good as I rubbed it all over the pork. I'm going to use a apple wood for the smoke and mop it with apple cider. Tomorrow I will prepare salsas and we'll have pulled pork tacos. I'm planning to start the egg around 1:30-2am, so I'll have updates and pics later.

Zwiefel
08-18-2012, 03:05 AM
That's been my usual tactic for pork shoulder as well...start the fire around 2-3am so it's ready in time for dinnner. Usually takes me 12-15 hours...I keep a probe thermometer in it with an alarm for my desired temp (accounting for carry-over).

Jim
08-18-2012, 07:32 AM
Finished before I saw your post Jim, hope it didn't come across as sounding dismissive.

Of course not! Great advice.

Jim
08-18-2012, 07:34 AM
I decided to make this interesting. I was thinking of some of my other favorite pork recipes, conchinita pibil and carne adobada, for inspiration. I used what I have on hand to make a spice paste with garlic, white onion, safflower oil, apple cider vinegar, annato, allspice, cinnamon, clove, guajillo, chile negro, and chiles de arbol. It smelled pretty good as I rubbed it all over the pork. I'm going to use a apple wood for the smoke and mop it with apple cider. Tomorrow I will prepare salsas and we'll have pulled pork tacos. I'm planning to start the egg around 1:30-2am, so I'll have updates and pics later.

Sounds wonderful, good luck.

SpikeC
08-18-2012, 05:13 PM
I always put a drip pan under my butt! The foil hat comes later, tho......

obtuse
08-18-2012, 05:18 PM
still cooking, I put it on at 1:30am. the internal temperature was 150°F at around ten this morning. The temperature of the BGE has held steady around 200°F without me having to fuss with it.

obtuse
08-18-2012, 09:44 PM
it's 3:39pm a little after 14 hours since I've began. The pork is no where near done, the thickest park of one of the shoulders still reads 150, the other hovering around the low 160s. I've lowered the drip pan to increase airflow and turned them 180 degrees. I'm tempted to increase the temperature to 250. the outside is looking nice and crusty :)

99Limited
08-18-2012, 10:15 PM
When I smoke pork shoulders, I shoot for 225 to 250 degrees. I never thought about cooking at 200 degrees, but at that temperature I wonder if that will help make the meat juicier. Looking forward to seeing your results, I'm hungry.

SpikeC
08-18-2012, 11:01 PM
Tent them with foil and raise the temp.

add
08-18-2012, 11:15 PM
Has the pork here, hitten the fan... ?

The Edge
08-18-2012, 11:41 PM
Something I do with the butt after it's pulled (not sure how others will feel about this) is to put a little sauce on the meat, usually a sauce based on the spices used in the rub, to prevent any of the meat from drying out as it's exposed to air. When I say little, I do mean just a little, enough to coat the meat, but not affect the flavor of the bark or meat itself. Tends to hold up better this way, and you won't run into those dried out pieces of flesh that, to me, are a bit annoying.

obtuse
08-18-2012, 11:55 PM
I put a tent on and raised the temp to 300F about an hour ago. well see what happens... people are getting hungry

obtuse
08-19-2012, 05:53 AM
I drank too much and smoked one two many cigars to be able to post pics right now. I took pics and when I am sober in the morning I may have the energy to upload them. the pork was finally done after about 17 1/2 hours. it turned out very well. I'm amazed that the egg could cook that long on just one load of charcoal. it probably could have gone for another 20+ hours of slow cooking on one load.

SpikeC
08-19-2012, 02:31 PM
Great! Congrats on a successful cook!

Kyle
08-19-2012, 02:57 PM
Glad it worked out!

I always cook around 250 in my Egg. There's really no magic at 200 or 225 you can go a little higher and be ok.

obtuse
08-20-2012, 12:30 AM
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obtuse
08-20-2012, 12:35 AM
There is is after resting. It took on a nice blackened bark, delicious. I served it up with Mexican rice, made with goose fat. The taco on the left has shredded cabbage and a roasted bhut jolokia and tomato salsa. The taco on the right has apple cider vinegar pickled onions and a roasted serrano and tomatillo salsa.

As always this meal if brought to you by JKI and the new Gesshin Kagero line.

apicius9
08-20-2012, 01:39 AM
Well, I can confirm that the pork tasted excellent after Aaron brought me some to the shop today :) Something gave it a really interesting and complex note, and I had to go back to the spices Aaron listed - it was the cinnamon, thankfully in a very subtle amount, just enough to catch your attention. I have to see whether I can get Aaron to smoke up a few pounds for me the next time ;)

I also had a look at the Gesshin Kagero gyuto - very interesting knife. Really nice distal taper to an ultra-fine tip, should be easy to dice onions with that. Not quite as wide as I had thought but overall it looks like a great all-purpose gyuto. The handle is a bit on the slim side for someone like me with XL hands, but as it is, the balance is really nice. Didn't have a chance to cut with it, but I have no problems believing Aaron's positive first impression of it.

Stefan

obtuse
08-20-2012, 06:47 AM
Stefan, I'm glad you liked it. When I got home I fried up a few hunks and made some more tacos. Next time I'll bring you more, though it may be a more "traditional" style spice rub. I can't make the same thing twice in a row. actually... next time might be beef brisket.

Jim
08-20-2012, 01:00 PM
Looks Delish!

Dieter01
08-20-2012, 03:13 PM
Wow those look great! Couldn't help myself after seeing this thread so bought myself a 9lb pork neck today (with bones). I've always liked this piece of meat but I've never put it in brine before, I would like to try that. How long should I let a piece like this sit in the brine solution you think? Is 4 days too much?

Jim
08-20-2012, 03:51 PM
I find if you brine pork to long it can get "Hammy", (hard to describe), I prefer to rub my butts with my mix and let it sit for a couple days before going in the BBQ.

mhlee
08-20-2012, 04:05 PM
I find if you brine pork to long it can get "Hammy", (hard to describe), I prefer to rub my butts with my mix and let it sit for a couple days before going in the BBQ.

+1

If you are going to brine it, I've found that the appropriate length of time is dependent on the diameter of the product, i.e. the thicker it is, the longer it takes. Although I don't brine many things, I have brined a whole pork loin using Nancy Oakes' vanilla brine for, IIRC, 3 days. It came out very nice. The loin was approximately 4 inches in diameter. (I've also brined chicken and turkey, but now prefer the dry brining method.)

Mucho Bocho
08-20-2012, 04:09 PM
I never used to be into pumping but thats what needs to happen if you want to get the brine deep into the meat. I usually pump the butts with a mix of PORK FAB, Apple cider and cider vinegar. then vacuum tumble the butt for an hour or so with a similar brine. then rest the butt in the refrigerator open to dry for a day. Then rub a little yellow mustard salt pepper no dry rub. NOW I"M GOING TO HEAR TRADITIONALIST ***** ;)

Sous Vide at 147 for 48 hours or so. Completely chill. Remove from bag, pat dry, add dry rub, smoke until a temp of 140, foil until 195 temp reached. Rest in a cooler for a few hours until temp comes down to 160. Pull, no chopping please.

It only took four hours to go from 42 to 195 degrees.

About FAB

http://www.theingredientstore.com/fab/FAB-cookbook.pdf

Jim
08-20-2012, 04:46 PM
I never used to be into pumping but thats what needs to happen if you want to get the brine deep into the meat. I usually pump the butts with a mix of PORK FAB, Apple cider and cider vinegar. then vacuum tumble the butt for an hour or so with a similar brine. then rest the butt in the refrigerator open to dry for a day. Then rub a little yellow mustard salt pepper no dry rub. NOW I"M GOING TO HEAR TRADITIONALIST ***** ;)

Sous Vide at 147 for 48 hours or so. Completely chill. Remove from bag, pat dry, add dry rub, smoke until a temp of 140, foil until 195 temp reached. Rest in a cooler for a few hours until temp comes down to 160. Pull, no chopping please.

It only took four hours to go from 42 to 195 degrees.

About FAB

http://www.theingredientstore.com/fab/FAB-cookbook.pdf

Interesting- I planed on smoking the butt for a couple of hours then slipping it into the Sous Vide (when I finish getting it built).

Mucho Bocho
08-20-2012, 04:55 PM
Jim, I've done with both ways but I think its easier and cleaner to sous vide then smoke. Plus (and this is the best thing about sous vide), you can break up the cooking time. Plus, if you smoke it and sous vide after, your going to have to cool the meat to 40, then bag, then sous vide, then smoke again to get he crust. asking for problems if you ask me? But you that already.

Jim
08-20-2012, 04:59 PM
Cool... thanks for the feedback on that- experience matters!

hax9215
08-20-2012, 06:11 PM
BEHOLD, THE TRADITIONALISTS *****!! :nono::beatinghead::censored::doublebanghead::cryi ng::angryexplode::pullhair::shocked::crytissue::so apbox:

Where to begin?

I have kept my mouth shut up until now, but can do so no longer! First of all, in 30 years of smoking pork butts I have never brined one. Brining is something I have saved for chicken and briskets. In order to maintain or even improve juiciness of smoked meat I have always placed a metal half-pan with water inside the smoker making sure it is in line with the heat from the firebox, refilling with water as the liquid burns off. When using a cut like a bone-in neck a slow, gentle smoke at a lower heat is appropriate; say about 200°-210°. Figure about one hour per pound of meat and be patient, even with a bone-in cut like you describe you will get the stall.

And another thing! Give the meat a good rubdown on all sides the day before, let it set overnight, and smoke!

And about this sous-vide nonsense; on smoked meat??? First of all, and I don't think the piece of meat would be small enough to fit in any that I have seen, and speeding up smoking DEFEATS THE PURPOSE! LOW AND SLOW, YOU HEATHENS!!!

Btw, no offense meant to all of you seaweed-infused bento box smear 1 ounce of sauce across the plate 50 g of protein for an entrée serving trying to learn how to barbecue (much loved to the our California brethren!) Chefs out there.

Hax the Cook CLEAVERS RULE!!! :D

Mucho Bocho
08-21-2012, 10:48 AM
Hax, I've cooked my share of butts too. I don't like to smoke my foods the entire time. Even if using fruit woods, it can be overpowering. I'm not saying that Sous Vide is the BEST way to do it. I like it for three reasons:

1.) Breaks up the cooking time. Drops the final cooking to to 4hrs.
2.) because the meat is cooked at a lower temperature (147), less denatured proteins, less juice loss, more enzymatic tenderization too
3.) because i can.

About brining, pumping or tumbling: Again, not necessary but once you taste meat that has gone through these interventions. its hard to go back. BTW, I've learned this through experimentation, learning from Pit Masters and keeping an open mind.

Hac, you must be very fond of Steven Reichland. He's more of a traditionalist. These days i'm more into pushing the limits of what is possible. Both have their place. I'm sure your pork is fine, but remember its hard to knock something before trying it.

One thing to note is that pork will taste difference thought the year. Pork is best in cooler weather usually in fall or winter. I'm pretty lucky down here in kaklaki, I actually get to pick out the live hogs I want parts from. All pastured raised and loved until humanly slaughtered.

mhlee
08-21-2012, 12:31 PM
I can get pasture raised pork . . . if I sold my car and used the proceeds to buy it. :curse:

It's so frickin' expensive here in Cali. It's cheaper for me to get Kurobuta from Snake River Farms which is still quite pricey.

FYI - Sous Vide is not allowed under KCBS rules if any readers are considering using the technique in a competition.

add
08-21-2012, 01:45 PM
Glad this turned out well for you Obtuse.

Gonna have to try your spice rub.

Mucho Bocho
08-21-2012, 02:06 PM
Mklee, Indeed but I don't do competition BBQ. I believe they also outlaw flavor enhancers like FAB but people use it all the time.

Duckfat
08-21-2012, 10:51 PM
it's 3:39pm a little after 14 hours since I've began. The pork is no where near done, the thickest park of one of the shoulders still reads 150, the other hovering around the low 160s. I've lowered the drip pan to increase airflow and turned them 180 degrees. I'm tempted to increase the temperature to 250. the outside is looking nice and crusty :)

There's no problem bumping up to 250 after you've been on that long of a hold cycle. I shoot for a steady 225 on a Large BGE. The thing about the Costco butts being boneless is that they are butterflied. How you roll or tie them can dramatically change the cook time. Lately with the Costco butts I've been hitting right around the 14 hour mark and I pull at 185. I season at least a full day ahead. No need for brining etc. Glad they turned out and the BGE is working for you. Always nice to see a fellow Egghead! :)

Dave

mhlee
08-26-2012, 03:00 PM
Mklee, Indeed but I don't do competition BBQ. I believe they also outlaw flavor enhancers like FAB but people use it all the time.

Flavor enhancers are allowed to the best of my knowledge. The 2012 rules also don't exclude the use of flavor enhancers or even other products like Tender Quick. From my reading of the 2012 rules, as far as seasoning goes, only pre-seasoned meats are not allowed.

Also, if you sous vide a product before smoking to the temp you identified, you'll likely end up with no smoke ring. I know it's mostly a cosmetic thing, but to some people it's important.

I was also thinking back to some of my cooks where I've cooked something initially and then smoked it. I do recall that I had one prime rib that turned out particularly well where I cooked the entire prime rib to rare in the oven, then refrigerated it and then smoked it until I brought it back to temp. (This was also using fruit woods that I now generally shy away from when cooking beef.) It was one of the best prime ribs I probably have ever made (also taking into consideration that it was a from a whole bone in prime rib and USDA Prime). We even had it with a 2000 Pichon Baron. I was surprised that even though I had smoked it with a somewhat strong amount of smoke, it did not have as strong as a smoked flavor as I had expected. If it were more smokey, I would not have enjoyed it as much.

This got me thinking and leads me to this question. For all of you barbecuers out there, have you noticed that if you cook a piece of meat first in a non-smoking manner, and then cook that same meat in a smoker, that it has less smoke flavor than a piece of meat that you've cooked the entire time in a smoker or smoked first, and then finished in an oven (or other non-smoker cooker)?

Jim
08-26-2012, 06:27 PM
There is an often quoted 165 degrees of surface temperature that creates a "barrier" to smoke being absorbed into the meat. Of course if you have a smokey, sooty fire it will deposit on the meat continuously, the science is nitrate uptake or something. So yep, cold meat in a low temp BBQ will absorb more smokiness all things being equal.
I like oak or oak& cherry for beef BTW.