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A bunch of Firsts: Pork Shoulder, Rain, Night

Da Kine Green BBQDa Kine Green BBQ Posts: 178
edited 3:55PM in EggHead Forum
I did a whole round of Firsts earlier this week. Woosday, actually:

First Boneless Pork Shoulder, a small-ish 5 pounder

First Night Time Cook

First Cook in the Rain

I used my new Maverick ET-732 for the second time. It is a neat-o accessory. I was able to monitor the grill and meat temps while nice and warm and dry inside the house.

I have some questions, something was wrong. I know lots of Eggers cook in the snow and ice, so I wonder about this cold weather cooking. Any more senior eggers have some hints?

1) Outside/ambient temperature was about 50 degrees (southern CAL winter weather) and drizzling, which turned into rain later. I set my cooking temp to 250 to 275 degrees. The temps were higher at the start, around 300, but I just shut the alarm off and continued cooking.

2) I filled the fire-box pretty high, past the vent holes, figuring I might have some left-over lump, and not have to re-fill lump somewhere in the middle of the cook

3) I set the meat temperature target to 190 degrees, well done....

4) I figure this is a smallish chunk of meat, and anticipated 2 to 3 hours max...

4A) Somewhere in the late night, the temperature dipped way low, to about 200 degrees. I shut the noise off and took a nap, since the meat temp was still low.

5) The temp continued to drop rather than hold steady, so I opened the vents to get the temp up again.... it did, but after a short time the temp continued to drop, to about 180 degrees. I know from early experience this means I am out of fuel!

6) So I went out in the rain, took the meat out, and re-fueled....

7) Finally - at 4AM on a school night, the meat temp reached 170-something, and I declared it done.

I let it rest, and pulled/shredded the meat. Nice and juicy, with a crisp and dark crust on the outside. It looked a bit dry. But it wasnt. It was still very tasty!!

Here's some images. . . . . .

Ummm - A shot in the dark. . . .


With the flash turned on


Gettin cookin


Lookin real nice


Plated shreadded and ready to eat at 4AM!



  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,675
    Fill the egg to the top of the fire ring. You can always reuse the leftover lump
  • fiver29fiver29 Posts: 628
    I follow Elder Wards method for lighting a fire for overnight cooks. I do it each time I plan on doing an overnight and have never had a problem.

    Here's a copy and paste followed by the link here:

    Part I - The Fire
    This part seems simple but it is the key to successful long term cooking. Like tying on a fish hook, the details really do matter. Clean out your egg. Dismantle it and vacuum or sweep it clean. Reassemble fire box and fire ring make sure the hole in the fire box is squared with the bottom vent. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use anything but lump charcoal. NO fast start and NO briquettes.
    Now you're going to think I lost it here, but open your bag of LUMP and separate the coals into three (3) piles. 1) large pieces 2) medium pieces 3) shake & dust. This last is usually left in the bottom of the bag of even the best lump.
    In your sparkling clean fire box arrange the largest chunk dead center. This will be the last piece to burn up and, since it can't clog the bottom holes, it will allow the air circulation to remain at a relatively even rate during the entire cooking time. Place remaining large pieces like a jigsaw puzzle until it appears as even as you can make it with the large pieces. Next, fill in as many holes and cracks with medium pieces until it looks as even as you can make it. Then, using the smallest pieces, fill in more of the area. Last, take all that dust, for lack of a better term, and level out your bed of coals. (do not make a mound, just like I said LEVEL). Fill to the top of the fire box, but not above.
    DO NOT LIGHT YOUR FIRE NOW. That will be the last thing we do prior to cooking and I will address that in great detail later.
    We feel this method will start easily and burn at a controlled rate, and as the finer stuff on top turns to ash, most will remain where it was placed. It will be hard, if not impossible, to clog your air holes until the last of your fuel is gone. This gives us maximum cooking time and the hottest fire early when we need the unit to reach temperature soonest.
    O.K. gang that is all for now stay tuned,
    Elder Ward
    Strongsville, Ohio

    Yes.  I own a blue egg!  Call Atlanta if you don't believe me!
    [I put this here so everyone knows when I put pictures up with a blue egg in it]

  • Looks like you may have pulled her a little early at 170ish. I like to go to 190-195 to ensure all the collagen has broke down.

    Couple tips...

    Stabilize fire at 250 for 15-20 mins before adding meat. This will clear any wood chunk smoke you use as well.

    Add some liquid to that drip pan.

    Cover the whole butt up with rub to get more bark flavor in the pull mix.

    I have cooked 4-6 lb butts that take 8-16 hours to hit 190. Each one is different.

    Once the egg temp is stable outside temps and rain do not affect the egg temp much.
  • thanks for the tips. I did notice it was a bit tougher than I expected.... a longer cook is needed, as I have noticed when I do tri-tip. And I will put more rub on for the next one.

    Meanwhile I did a pork loin on Sunday morning - when it finally stopped raining. That was a good one, butter-flied and rubbed on the inside with rosemary and olive oil - Steven Reichlen recipe..... will post pictures later.

  • fiver29 -
    Excellent - thanks for the hints on sorting and stacking the lump. I've been wondering what to do with the dust at the bottom of the bag. I thought it might be useful for something, like homemade firestarters or something, so I have a coffee can of lump dust.

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