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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
laveen1
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Question Pork shoulder - baste or not?

I have only done shoulders in a small oven, unwrapped @350. They usually come out very good. So now, something new.

I am smoking (WSM - 225º - 250º) a small (6#) pork shoulder tomorrow. I plan to bring it to 140-150, then wrap in foil for the remainder.

How important is basting?
When to baste?
Oil based mixture?

The Virtual Weber Bullet suggests using the Southern Sop (it has no oil). In the same article is another mixture WITH oil. ???

Suggestions would be appreciated.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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I don't baste and I don't mop either. I see no value to the practice for either smoking or roasting. I recently read an article that raised some questions about the practice at all.

Better to no open the smoker for as long as possible. everytime you open a smoker, you are adding time and creating an unstable fire potential.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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No basting here. I did do a bit once, many years ago and I couldn't tell the difference. One thing for sure: opening up the pit to baste is a good way to fark with the temperature. I've been told that every time you open the pit, you add 10 minutes to your cooking time, so if you open the pit every ten minutes to baste, you can theoretically spend the rest of your life cooking that butt and it'll never be done. Sounds like a good experiment to try when I'm retired.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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Based on my experiences, it's a waste of time, ingredients and heat. Some others disagree with that, but that's what I say.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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No Baste No Mop
shoulder has enough fat to stay moist and flavorful
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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The VWB puts out a lot of questionable advice.

People who like to foil usually won't wrap till internal temp hits the 160 area, then won't pull meat off cooker till it hits 195-205. Every pig is different and a picnic roast will be probe tender "done" at different temps. This means "never go by internal temp to decide when to pull a picnic or butt".

Keep it simple and don't open up the cooker till it's getting close to "done". The best way to know it's "done" is the poke, probe, or bone wiggle test.

It seems they like to make a very simple process very complicated.

Get the cooker stable at desired cooking temp. Look for thin blue to invisible smoke before tossing on meat. If the cooker is pumping out a bunch of white poofy smoke, it's not burning cleanly, and will deposit a bunch of nasty creosote on the meat. Google "minion method in a weber smokey mountain" That will give you good advice on how to properly start your awesome bullet smoker.

On the sop/spritz/mop. Don't even bother, all that does is extend cooking times and remove the naturally moist cooking environment created by a WSM. Leave the cooker closed, don't mop, spritz, foil or peek. You'll know when it's getting done by the sound the meat is making. Loud sizzling means it's in middle of the stall, as the sizzling subsides, it's almost done. That is the first time to peek, and check for "done".

Picnic roasts have so much internal fat and moisture, there is no need to add any to your cook. Keep 'er closed up and let the magic happen.

When a picnic or butt is "done", I like to wrap in foil and old clean bath towels and toss in an ice chest for a minimum of 2 hours. It allows the pressure to stabilize and the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. They can stay in the ice chest for up to 6 hours, and still be far too hot to pull by hand.

Good luck, and have fun.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:32 PM   #7
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I'm thinking maybe I have been overthinking this too much. It sounds like all I need to do is: rub it, cook it, wrap it, and pull it!

That would make this more pleasure than work.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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Now, I have to say here, Donnie got me thinking about this idea. I cook on a UDS or a kettle, and the holes in the lids are such that a person could spray into the cook chamber without opening the pit.

I can't help but wonder if there would be a benefit to spraying a mop through the holes, it would add moisture, put moisture on the meat and could be used to mop/spritz without opening the pit. I still doubt the value of basting, but, I do belive strongly in a moist air condition inside a pit.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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I spray mine with Apple Juice after about 5 hours then every hour until I foil, I also do not see the issue with loss of heat to any extreme. You want to do it fast but heat recovery does not take that long IMHO. Yes, even on my CG'r...
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:39 PM   #10
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Yeah, but if you just leave the cooker closed, it's plenty moist inside a UDS. Save the spritz for the veggies or something!

IMO, it's an unnecessary step in a closed cooking environment. Then there's the discussion on what the evaporation of said spritz does to the cook times. When we sweat, don't we get cooler as it evaporates? When that spritz evaporates, doesn't it cool the surface of the meat?

Now my brain hurts, gotta go to the store and pick up some short ribs!
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:40 PM   #11
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If I did spray thru the top vent, would an oil based mop work better than no oil?
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Ropo View Post
Yeah, but if you just leave the cooker closed, it's plenty moist inside a UDS. Save the spritz for the veggies or something!
Huh, where is the moisture coming from in a UDS?
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laveen1 View Post
I'm thinking maybe I have been overthinking this too much. It sounds like all I need to do is: rub it, cook it, wrap it, and pull it!
Hey, that's my secret recipe!
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laveen1 View Post
If I did spray thru the top vent, would an oil based mop work better than no oil?
Why Oil? I do not see any purpose in using oil other than making things greasy. I am open to hearing pluses on this, never tried it.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
I've been told that every time you open the pit, you add 10 minutes to your cooking time, so if you open the pit every ten minutes to baste, you can theoretically spend the rest of your life cooking that butt and it'll never be done. Sounds like a good experiment to try when I'm retired.
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