So there I was, the elected cook for our neighborhood July 4th party. 14 adults and about 10 kids. What could be simpler than pulled pork, right? I mean, I've made it more times than I can count and it's ALWAYS perfect.
Since my neighbor was hosting the party she insisted on buying the meat. I asked her to get me three bone-in pork shoulders, each around 8 pounds (yes, I planned on having leftovers!). I've always cooked 8-10 pounders in the past. Instead she gave me five 5-pounders. I figured, great, now I can just start them in the morning since they'd only take around 10 hours to cook, using my usual 2 hrs/pound rule.
The morning of the party I got the Egg going and put on the meat at 7:45. I used a DigiQ and the dome temp was rock stable at 215. I peeked about 5 hrs into the cook to get a photo.
The meat temp rose much slower than I am accustomed to, and at 5 o'clock (9 hrs into the cook) the pork temp was only around 170. I cranked up the dome temp to almost 300 and the smallest butt finally hit 200 at around 7:30, nearly 12 hrs into the cook. Everyone was starving so I pulled all the butts off and prepped the meat. Of course they all weren't finished and I worked MY butt off trying to pull the meat; usually I can accomplish this with just a fork and my hand.
Is there something different about cooking smaller pork butts? None of them were touching each other on the grate, even though the photo might look that way. It tasted OK and everyone was pleased, but probably because they were starving by the time I was able to feed them. I feel like it was a disaster.