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Pork Shoulder Butt, to rest or not to rest?

itsmceitsmce Posts: 293

Did my first nearly-successful pork shoulder butt yesterday for pulled pork. 6.5 pounds. 10 hours. Was shooting for 275-300, but had about a 3 hours stretch in the middle of the cook when the temp was closer to 250. Due to timing issues with dinner and evening activities, I had to pull it off the BGE when the internal temp was only 181. Again, due to timing issues, we had to eat right away, so I pulled enough of the thing to make our sandwiches. There was nothing but praise from my family.

Question #1: In a perfect world, what temp should I have been shooting for?  I've seen 190, I've seen 200. What's the consensus?

Question #2: How important is the resting period for such a cook? For other less-cooked meats I know it is important for the retention of juices.  Would a resting period have helped this maybe undercooked hunk-o-pork become more tender? (The bone did not slip right out...had to work at it a bit to get it out.)

Any advice would be appreciated.

Large (sometimes wish it were an XL) in KS


  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,600
    I shoot for 200.  My understanding is that that is where the collagen, etc fully breaks down for an easy pull, and the bone falls out.  IT should rise a bit with the rest, but I would not think by 20 degrees.  My guess is the rest would not help in this case
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • Q1.  Don't bother too much with temp.  When your thermometer slides in and out like butter, it's done.  All butts are different, could be 190 one butt and the next 205.

    Q2.  Agree with Cookinbob, it wouldn't help in your case, but I always try to let a butt rest at least 15 min before pulling.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

  • I like to ftc mine for at least an hour but sometimes several...I cooked 2 at the similar wweights at the same time on the same egg...One hit 200 in 15 hours...the other was closer to 23 hours...the statement that each one is different is right on the money...
    Making the neighbors jealous in Pleasant Hill, Ia one cook at a time...
  • itsmceitsmce Posts: 293
    Thanks for the advice.  Can't wait to try again!
    Large (sometimes wish it were an XL) in KS
  • Use the fork test.  If it's about the right temp and the fork easily pulls it apart - it's ready to take off.  
    Dan, Columbia,Mo.
  • 205, FTC until ready to eat. Can keep more than 8 hours in a properly packed quality cooler like a Yeti.
  • I have started to foil then cooler for atleast an hour before I serve. So much more tender and has better flavor. Just my .02
  • flemsterflemster Posts: 260
    I shoot for 195-200 IT but have come home to find 205 and no issues. I like to FTC at least an hour, but have done 5hrs with perfect product

    Keywords: Gator, Nashvegas, LBGE, Looftlighter, Thermapen in Racing Green (faster than the red one!), PSWOO2, Spider with CI, IQ120
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