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pork butt / pulled pork (I'm a bit nervous)

OttawaEggOttawaEgg Posts: 283
edited 4:33AM in EggHead Forum
Well, here we go - wifie wants me to give the pulled pork thing a shot. I have some hungry lads (my fence builders), so I have 2 "picnic shoulders" (bone-in), totalling about 7 1/2 lbs.

After doing mucho reading, what I plan to do is....

(twilight zone music in background)

give the lil piggies a rub with some spices, herbs and dry mustard;
set up my egg, plate setter legs up, at about 220
(I'll be using hickory chips for this),
pop the lil piggies on with my thermometer set in the slightly larger one to go off around 200 (is that too high)?

My guess is that it'll take about 15 hours, so I gues it should go on around 4am (blink blink).

Questions: the shoulder has a ring of fat (and skin I think) do I trim this off before?

Also, with dindin for around 7pm-ish (heavy on the "ish") - is 15 hours ok? should I try the overnight thing? If I did the overnight thing, I'm thinking it would be read too soon.



  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    220° dome will give you about 190° grate. It would be safer to go 250° dome.

    Start checking the tenderness of the cuts at about 195° it should be ready anywhere from 195° to 200°.

    I haven't used Picnic Shoulders for pulled pork before, here are some thoughts.

    If you leave the skin & fat on you won't have much/any bark. Make sure you diamond cut the meat or no seasoning will get into the meat.

    For pulled pork, I would take as much off the skin as possible and reduce the outer fat if needed. Then mustard and season.

    Go to thirdeye's site and read his comments on pulled pork.

    One thing is pork is pretty darn forgiving and is a great eat.

  • florida Nickflorida Nick Posts: 101
    Hey OttawaEgg,
    there are plenty of cooks who are more experienced than me on here so I'm sure this will get confirmed.
    I'm pretty sure your cook time will be less than 15 hours if you have 2 picnics TOTALING 7 1/2 lbs. Meaning that one is 3 1/2 lbs and the other is 4 lbs (hypothetically). Is this correct? If so your cook time will be based on the individual weight of each piece. They should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound so I would estimate somewhere around 8 hours for the big one and a little less for the smaller one.
    If I read your post incorrectly and each picnic weighs 7 1/2 lbs than 15 hours sounds right.
    Now hopefully one of the pros on here will come along and confirm this for you ;)
    Good luck
  • WokOnMediumWokOnMedium Posts: 1,376
    Other quick thoughts.

    I read dry mustard. I'm not sure if you meant as part of your rub or not, but I lather on the prepared yellow mustard before I apply my rub.

    I think a dome temp of 250 will be a lot easier to maintain, and will ensure you're closer to your 15 hour mark.

    I just reread, and if you have two small ones, plan your time on the weight of them individually. Not the total.

    Lastly, just some food for thought. If you put the piggies on at midnight, or 1am, they would finish between 3pm and 4pm. You could wrap them in heavy duty foil, towels and place in a warmed cooler for up to 4 hours before you pulled the pork. They'll probably still be too hot to mess with. This would give you plenty of time on the front side of serving and you wouldn't run the risk of foregoing a resting period before you burned your hands while trying to pull them in a rush.

    Of course, its just my opinion. They are forgiving, and you probably won't have leftovers.
  • Panhandle SmokerPanhandle Smoker Posts: 3,018
    GG pretty much covered it. This is really an easy slow cook. Season and rub and let the Egg do all the work. I have found that the 250 dome is good for overnight cooks especially if you don't have the gadgets to keep your fire burning Like a Guru. I still check mine every few hours just to make sure. I did a few pork buts the other day expecting a 12 hour cook and the were done in 10 at 250 dome. I will go for an internal temp between 190-200. Take it off the Egg and wrap in foil. If you get done at 4:oo AM and plan to eat for lunch you could use the oven at 175 to keep it warm for a few hours or put it in a ice chest and insulate with newspaper and or a towell. It will stay warm for several hours until you are ready to pull it. Don't sweat it, Trust the Egg.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    go for 250 dome... the egg sorta "grooves" aty 250. 220 is a little low, frankly. my butts take nearly 2.5/3 hours a pound at 225
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I didn't catch the dry mustard. I use a good coat of wet mustard then season. When done you won't taste the mustard.

  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    You might want to try and cut and remove the skin in one piece.Then apply your rub and seasonings on the shoulder then lay the skin back on.This will baste the meat as it cooks and you have the benefit of the rub being right on the meat. Have done this many times and it turns out well. You can also take a little of the bark from the skin and pulse it a few times in the food processor and mix it in with the pulled pork.Just don't put any pieces in that feel real hard.Once you handle it you will know what I mean.Good luck.
  • Grand Oeuf VertGrand Oeuf Vert Posts: 1,631
    Hey Ottawa:
    I can't help you much because I've never done that.
    But it is on the radar for next weekend!
    Keep posting. I would like to know how your's turned out.
    Alexander Keith's for the Fence Builders again? :huh:
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Holding the done meat in a cooler works well and is popular among the forum members.

    I went to walmart and picked up 2 yards of fleece, like what one sees in a stadium blanket. When the meat is done on the egg. I pull and wrap in foil keeping the seam on top. Then I wrap in the fleece blanket and put it on the counter or in the oven (off of course). Remember and keep the seam of the foil upright so the juices won't leak into the blanket and on counter.

    I have kept ribs and pork hot for 5 to 6 hours.

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    You have a lot of good advice here. I assume you don't have a Stoker or Guru. You need to take a lot of care preparing the lump and lighting for an overnight. See Elder Ward's recipe in the recipe section for that. stike told you to go 250* and I agree totally.
    Even though I speak Canuckian fairly well, I don't understand two picnics totalling 7 1/2 lbs. Did you mean kilos? 3-4 lbs seems light for picnics.
    You might be wise to freeze one picnic and get yourself a shoulder butt as picnics can taste a bit hammy on their own. you can remove the fat, remove half of it or all of it. I usually score a deep diamond pattern all over it so the fat can run out and you still have bark.



    Caledon, ON


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,946
    As above, go with a 250 dome.

    I've done picnics several times before, and will assume that they are both about 7.5 pounds each. 3 out of 4 times, the picnics I have done cooked really quickly, between 9 and 12 hours for 7 - 8 lb picnics. So be prepared to have a good "cooler" to store the finished meat till serving. Double wrapped in foil, then 2 towels, and with a couple quart jars of hot water, a picnic I "coolered" when it reached 200+ was still 160 5 hours later.

    The first one I cooked, I scored the skin. The rub doesn't get to the meat very well, and the skin is pretty much inedible. The second time, I cut off the skin, but took off too much of the fat underneath. That almost was burned. Next time, I cut the skin off, rubbed the picnic, and laid the fat on for half the cook. The meat was moist, but the bark wasn't too good. Next time I was as careful as I could be, and just removed the skin. That was best.

    Be sure to have a really sharp knife for removing the skin. It is very tough. I have a pretty good small "deba" style knife, but if you have a "skinner" hunting knife that would be good too.

    Don't worry too much. The picnics are a very good cut of meat, and even if not pullable, are very tastey.
  • OttawaEggOttawaEgg Posts: 283
    Oh geez I love this forum! :)

    First, these are TWO "picnic shoulders", each about 3 3/4 pounds (twins if you like).

    From what the eggsperts here have been saying, I've revised my approach:

    - remove skin (I'm good with a knife - no problem
    - rub WET mustard on first, then season (I like dijon, - hope thats ok)
    - egg at 250 dome (indirect, plate setter, drip tray)
    - about 7 hours max, should be done (wifie and I were talking about this last night actually)

    Now I'm not certain I'm using the exact right cut, but I have done these in the oven before, (low and slow), and they do fall apart pretty good so I'm hoping this turns out.

    Lastly, I was thinking of using hickory - but I have others (apple, cherry, maple, mesquite). What's the consensus?

    PS: With the revised times, the little piggies will be going to egg-heaven on sunday about 10:30am for a dinner.

    Pics of course!
  • OttawaEggOttawaEgg Posts: 283
    Grand Oeuf Vert wrote:
    Hey Ottawa:
    I can't help you much because I've never done that.
    But it is on the radar for next weekend!
    Keep posting. I would like to know how your's turned out.
    Alexander Keith's for the Fence Builders again? :huh:

    Hehe, the Keith's was for me. Builders get "cold certified" near the end of the day LOL

    I'll put up a full set of pics tomorrow night.

    Cheers :cheer:
  • iBeeSmok'niBeeSmok'n Posts: 270
    Hey Steven how are you it has been a while.
    I am taking your advice and have a 7lb butt going on in about 15 minutes. Dome is set at 250 with the digq plugged in for the night.
    I will be looking forward to your pics tomorrow Ottawa Egg all the best over night.

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