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Pork Sholder Prep.
Full of questions: When I prep. a pork sholder for cooking on the egg do I cross cut the thicker bottom fat? Do I Brine? Salt the fat? Cook fat side down? Thanks for any help.
Thomas, I have a plate setter for my large GBE should I use it for indirect cooking?[p]
Howdy Thomas,[p] I use my plate setter to do pulled pork. Turn the setter upside down and put it on the fire ring. Put a drip pan on it (lined with foil if you wish -- I found a "Brinkman Smoker Basket" at Wal*Mart that fits perfectly inside the upside down plate setter (lined with foil to make it a pan)). Put the grid on the noe upward pointing legs of the plate setter and put the pork on top![p]I cook at around 225F until the internal temperature has crossed through the plateau. Normally, the internal temperature will "stall out" at around 160F for a while (sometimes hours!). This is the plateau I'm talking about (and is perfectly normal). Once I notice the temperature starting to go up a bit more quickly again, I raise the dome temperature to around 275F to finish the shoulder (done when internal temperature gets to 185 or higher (you should be able to tell when it's done by how easily the bone wiggles in the meat)).[p]MikeO
Thomas,[p] You can score the fat cap if you wish -- I normally don't (I'm assuming you removed any skin first). You really don't need to brine a shoulder -- it's got enough fat in it to keep it lubricated -- but you can if you want. Don't salt the fat cap -- instead rub the whole shoulder down with a good spice mix (see JJ's rub or my Eggfest Butt Rub -- see the "recipes" and "submitted recipes" sections of this site). Absolutely, positively do not cook with the fat cap down. Put it on top -- that way the fat can baste the meat while it cooks! [p]MikeO
MikeO, I have the picnic bone in with the thick crackling type of skin and fat up. Should I cut off the skin down to the meat or fat?
Thomas Shook,[p] Some folks score the skin and cook with it on. I prefer to take off the skin, leaving as much of the fat on the roast as possible. If I take off too much fat with the skin, I rub the roast, then lay the skin (with the fat attached) over the top of the roast while it cooks -- this gives maximum basting . . .[p]MikeO
No need to remove the cap or skin. It will all pull off once cooked. As MikeO said, the fat bastes down the meat while cooking.
75 percent or more of the food I cook on my large egg seems to be the picnic cut for pulled pork. I like that cut better than the butt too.
I use two or three chunks of hickory not to overdue the smoke (thats just the way I like it). I use the plate setter and drip pan. I stand the drip pan above the plate setter about a half inch with ceramic cones so that the drippings don't burn up as fast (the air gap seems to work). Cooking temps are just like MikeO's.
The egg does an outstanding job and makes my Lexington NC trips less frequent.
Jon Ladd,[p] One reason I like to take the skin off, then replace it before cooking is that I can get the rub onto all sides of the meat that way . . .[p]MikeO
I usually don't put much on the picnics and season with a finishing sauce.
I think your idea is quite clever though and I hadn't thought of that before. I'll have to try it myself.
Got a slab of ribs on now though:).
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