Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Hop on down to your nearest EGG dealer this week to pick up some Easter EGGcessories! Here are a few that may be useful for Easter, the V-rack, electric charcoal lighter and flexible skewers! Now that Spring is in the air, it's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Pork shoulder nightmare

Hi I'm new here and excited about using my new egg. I've done a few chickens with great success. Yesterday I tried a pork shoulder. It turned out great, but was a nightmare getting it done. I put it in last night at 8:00 PM. I started my charcoal (The good-one lump charcoal) using my electric starter. I got it where I had good embers all over the bottom, with others starting to burn on top of that. I think layered on more charcoal and some apple chunks that were soaked through. When I was putting the last layer of charcoal on the bag had quite a bit of dust that I just dumped on top. I think this might be where my problem started.

I got the egg to about 220 +-. It appeared to be stabilized. I woke up at 3:00 AM so I took a look, this might be where my second problem began. When I looked at the temp, it was 100 degrees. So I took the meat out to take a look at the charcoal. It was burning in the middle and the outer edgers were not burning. So there was a hole in the middle of the charcoal pile, with non burning charcoal around the edges. I got it all going good again, and ran it up to 220. When I got up this morning it was a 250. So I cut it back a little, this is where my next problem began. I went up to 250, down to 100 etc. 

No matter what the case I think I've learned a few things, and I'm sure there is more to learn from this with your help. The pork is awesome. I gave some to my neighbor, but I really don't want to give anymore away. That's not normal for me, I really like to share, but this pig kicked my ass so I'm eating it.

Here's some things I think I learned, but my experience may not be accurate.

1. Do not dump huge amounts of charcoal dust on top of your neat layered pike of charcoal and wood chunks
2. The rest of my problems would have been minimal, if number one did start and I didn't pull the meat, mess with the charcoal etc.

oops, one thing I didn't mention. I prepared the pork with a "Wild Eats" juniper rum and injected it with apple juice.

Please comment. Thank you.

Allen

Comments

  • Was 220 the dome temp or grate temp?  When doing pork shoulder I shoot for a dome temp of 265-275 which also makes it easier to keep the fire going. Generally the grid temp is about 25 degrees less than the dome. Just a thought.  I'm sure others will chime in.
    Edina, MN
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,148

    The BGE runs on air-flow as long as you have fuel.  Dumping the dust had a major negative impact on the air-flow thru the BGE such that the fire did not travel around the lump bed and maintain about a constant amount of ignited lump during the course of the cook.  That's why you lost the fire. 

    BTW-most BGE's have a natural low&slow "sweet-spot" of around 240-260*F on the calibrated dome thermo.  Also with low &slows don't chase temperature, +/-15*F isn't going to make much difference so if it settles out close then make sure it is stable and let it run.

    Also, welcome aboard.  Lots of folks willing to help with any issue-you may get several different answers-all will work.  Eggsperiment and find what works for you.  Enjoy the journey.

    Louisville
  • It ally sounds like you're working way too hard.
  • That happens a fair bit. The egg doesn't like temps below 250* without some kind of pit control. If you want to do cooks that low, though I don't know why you would with butt, put a floor fan a few feet in front of the egg set on low speed. Light your lump in several places around the outside edges.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,506
    Another thing is that you don't need to soak your wood chunks - put them in dry, use as many as you prefer according to your taste, and let it go. As the wood burns throughout the cook it may help keep your fire going in some spots? I'm speculating about whether it helps your fire, but many (most?) folks don't soak their wood chunks before throwing them on.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Budgeezer said:
    Was 220 the dome temp or grate temp?  When doing pork shoulder I shoot for a dome temp of 265-275 which also makes it easier to keep the fire going. Generally the grid temp is about 25 degrees less than the dome. Just a thought.  I'm sure others will chime in.
    It was the dome temp. When you're talking grid temp, is that the temp of the meat, or the surrounding area of the meat? And thank you for your response. 
  • lousubcap said:

    The BGE runs on air-flow as long as you have fuel.  Dumping the dust had a major negative impact on the air-flow thru the BGE such that the fire did not travel around the lump bed and maintain about a constant amount of ignited lump during the course of the cook.  That's why you lost the fire. 

    BTW-most BGE's have a natural low&slow "sweet-spot" of around 240-260*F on the calibrated dome thermo.  Also with low &slows don't chase temperature, +/-15*F isn't going to make much difference so if it settles out close then make sure it is stable and let it run.

    Also, welcome aboard.  Lots of folks willing to help with any issue-you may get several different answers-all will work.  Eggsperiment and find what works for you.  Enjoy the journey.

    Thank you. Good information. Is there a process to finding the sweet spot? No matter what I've done the meat always comes out great. And the vegetables. 
  • It ally sounds like you're working way too hard.
    Agreed.
Sign In or Register to comment.