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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:30 PM   #1
sammyman
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Default Stubborn 4lb Pork Shoulder

I started at 11am last night figuring I would be done by 9am at the latest. It is 1:30pm and it still hasn't reached the 190. I did step out for 1 hour to go to a parade so I am not sure if it got there while I was gone, but the internal temp was around 180 when I got home.

Then I decided to move it to the oven so I can start my ribs, and it ripped in half when picking it up. I wrapped it in foil and put it in the oven at 270 and now at 1:30 it is around 180 still. Am I cooking this twice? Or should I hang in there and get to the 190 mark? Thanks!
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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
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If it fell apart, it may be done. I can't believe a four lber is taking that long. What temp are you cooking it at, and are you using a good thermometer to take the internal temp? If it's bone in, does the bone wiggle?
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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:37 PM   #3
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I wonder if it's your thermometer. It's been cooking for over twelve hours and fell apart when you moved it? It's probably done. How does it feel when you put the probe in? (I'm resisting the urge to make a joke about that)
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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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I would say it is well past the done mark. I would also test the thermometer. Unless you were cooking at an incredibly low range of temperatures. The falling apart really suggests done as well.
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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:44 PM   #5
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You have a screw up thrmo.
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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jestridge View Post
You have a screw up thrmo.
LOL!
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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:45 PM   #7
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It was steady through the night. Got up a couple of times and it was 225 constantly. It may be the thermometer. It is a cheapo $9 from target.

What happens if it never got to the 190 mark? Is it dangerous to eat? It does feel very soft.

Last time I did a 4lb shoulder, it took me 10 hours. Not sure what I am doing wrong. It is a boneless shoulder, so no bone to test.
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Unread 07-04-2011, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jestridge View Post
You have a screw up thrmo.
Not sure if this breaks them, but I have let it sit inside poking out of the meat for like 2 hours at a time. Since it isn't instant, it takes a few minutes to get up to temps. Its a little over 180 now. This is frustrating.
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Unread 07-04-2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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I'd say it's done. It's definitely safe to eat. See if your thermo reads 212 in boiling water (assuming you're not at high elevation).
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Unread 07-04-2011, 04:01 PM   #10
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You're allright safety wise. It sounds like it finished and your thermo might stick at 190. It's ready when it can be pulled apart easily. Since it fell apart, it was definitely done, and with how long for just 4 pounds, maybe overdone. Was it dry?
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Unread 07-04-2011, 04:17 PM   #11
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I just pulled a little piece and it was a little dry (not terrible). It did get up to 190 just about 20 min ago so I pulled it. I am letting it rest in a cooler right now wrapped in foil. Hopefully I didn't botch it. Well, we have ribs too so hopefully something turns out.

Happy 4th!
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Unread 07-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #12
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I once had a lot of trouble with a 5# butt. I got several responses that the small butts always seem to be difficult. I'm not sure what it is, but I think the surface area to volume ratio of an 8# to 10# just works better for the cooking temperatures we're using. Of course, big pork butts are difficult to find out here in yuppieville.

As far as safety, pork is safe at 160*. At that point, it is cooked. 190* to 200* is when all the connective tissue breaks down and it is really tender. And these are just general guidelines. If you probe around the butt, you will find different sections of the butt cook much quicker than others. This makes giving one temperature difficult. And every butt is different. Thermometers, imho, should only be used to tell you when to start probing for doneness. Doneness should be judged by probing.
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Unread 07-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #13
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Next time you out stop at Lowes and buy one of those cheap Talyor thremo they cost around 19 buck but a very good thrmo for that pric, been using them for years only trouble I have ever had from them when I leave them in the smoker
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Unread 07-04-2011, 04:39 PM   #14
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Thre real key here, learn to judge by feel. Your feel of the meat will never let you down. I use a pit thermometer (a cheap Taylor as it happens) to determine pit temperature only. In terms of meat, once I know what my kettle is running at, I let it sit for what I think is right. I will probe with a skewer or use my fingers and squeeze it. In general, I can get a good feel for the meat. If I am working and cooking, I use a remote, mostly to remind me there is meat cooking. I never go my temperature alone.
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Unread 07-04-2011, 07:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
What happens if it never got to the 190 mark? Is it dangerous to eat? It does feel very soft.
This is why I boil my probes before every cook. If they're close, it's all good, if they're off by a few degrees, it's all good. But if they're off by more than 20, in the trash they go.

The point is, I test my thermometers before every cook.
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