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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:29 AM   #1
rdstoll
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Default Pork shoulders on UDS - getting plan lined up

Howdy -

Got my UDS last weekend and did an initial run of baby backs that turned out great (posted pics the other day).

Anyway, I have a party of 40-45 people this coming weekend and am going to do pork shoulders. We are planning on eating around 3:30pm Saturday afternoon.

Went to Costco and got two large boneless pork shoulders, one 16lbs and the other 13lbs.

So first question is: should I definitely cut these two in half to get them down to two 8lb'ers and two 6.5lb'ers? Makes it easier to smoke?

Going to rub these down tonight and start smoking them Friday night. Just want to get my gameplan in order.

On the UDS I'm planning on smoking these things at 250 degrees as that seems to be the right temp to run at from all the posts I've seen on here.

So second question is: with this much meat, realistically how much time do I have to give myself in order to have these done, rested and pulled before 3:30pm Saturday? I was thinking of throwing them on at Midnight giving me ~15hrs of total time.

Third question, which influences the second is: I'm currently NOT planning on foiling these things at 160. But should I do that anyway in order to speed the process up and/or make better shoulder?

Fourth question is: I'm planning on using Apple to smoke the shoulders with maybe a chunk or two of Hickory thrown in there. Is that a decent combo?

Finally: just wondering how everyone likes to eat these things - what kind of bread to make sandwiches? Anyone like to put stuff like pickles or other "side" items on the sandwiches? I'm planning on having a NC-like BBQ sauce and then something more "traditional" as options.

Will of course have pics for the entire process. Thanks for the great info on here!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
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Divide and conquer.

If you leave the shoulders whole, you will be cooking for about 1.25 hours per pound at 250

That's 20 hours(!) for the 16 pound shoulder.

You should also consider injecting for a more flavorful product.

Definitely wrap at 160F - it makes the end product much more juicy. And cook it until it reaches at least 188F internal - 195F internal is better.

Divided the 8 pound pieces will take about ten hours. The six pounders about 8 hours.

Be sure to have a temp probe in them as they cook. Some pork seems to hit a plateau at around 165 to 170F for a long, long time. Other pork seems to only stay at the plateau for a short while. So it's important to keep a close eye on the internal temps.

I personally like your idea of the combination of apple with a little bit of hickory for your seasoning wood.

I like to eat pork in slices. Especially on a sandwich. Be sure to get really good rolls if you can. Most bakeries that make their own stuff will have some decent rolls or buns for sandwiches.

I like my coleslaw on the side - and not on the sandwich - but that's strictly personal preference.

Thanks for sharing this with us!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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I agree on the dividing

more surface area for rub and bark!

But I DO like the coleslaw on top!

;)
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #4
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If you have boneless pork shoulders from costco, you probably have 2 boneless butts per package that weight in the 6 to 8 lb range. So they are already divided so to speak. I'd tie them up, and cook till they probe tender. Might be a good idea to start the cook the previous night, so they'll be done 3 to 6 hours before serving time. Rest in a cooler/cambro till time to pull and serve.

250-275 would be a great temp range. Foiling? I never do it till rest time, but always have a very clean fire burning and use low sugar rubs, so I don't have to worry much about the bark getting too dark.

Apple and hickory is a great combo. If you ever get access to pecan, I suggest you try that along with any fruitwood. My fav wood combo for anything pork is half pecan, quarter apple, and quarter cherry. Hickory and pecan are very similar, but to me pecan has a sweeter aroma coming off the pit (makes the whole neighborhood smell wonderful), and it is hard to oversmoke with it.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #5
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You could have airflow issues with that size of a cook. You might want to place the shoulders in the UDS to see if they fit, and how you physically plan on cooking them. If you have 2 grates, depth could be an issue as well. Worse case, you could start one shoulder on the UDS, and finish in the oven after wrapping (if you wrap). Marinating with your rub is a very good idea. Then add another layer of rub before cooking. I would plan on finishing my cook at noon and allow the cook to rest for the remainder of the time. +4 Hour rest is great for pork.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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I cook 8 lb butts all the time at 275* and they are done in 7 or 8 hours IT 200* no need to cook 12 hours.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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I wrapped for the first time last weekend. It did make a big difference in the overall end product in a good way. It also cooked like 15 degrees an hour after the wrap. Speed things up dramatically.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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Thanks so I think I will go ahead and wrap at 160 degrees.

If I do that, I've seen people like to add some apple cider/juice into the foil to keep things moist. Do most of you do that and secondly exactly how much are we talking about putting in? Just a couple of ounces or something more significant?

My other question regarding the UDS - does it tend to be hotter towards the top? I have two racks so I was thinking of putting the two smaller butts on the bottom and two bigger ones on the top but not sure how the heat tends to get distributed within the UDS.

Thanks for the thoughts!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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You can add some juice if you want but really there is no need. Double foil and make sure it is tight. When you open the package there will be plenty of liquid in it.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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Sounds like you have what you need to make a good run at it.
Have fun and take lots of pics!!

Tuned in!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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+1 with what everyone is saying. Also, if you bought them from Costco, they are most likely 2 butts per cryovac. That's just a standard thing. Heat em up, eat em up! Take some pics.
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Unread 07-27-2013, 06:39 AM   #12
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So put the shoulders on at 12:45am and waited an hour a and a half to make sure the temp settled at 250.

Woke up at 4:30am and the one shoulder I had a thermometer probe in said 150 so went back to sleep for an hour.

When I woke up I found all four shoulders in the 175 area. So I missed 160 but foiled them anyway. Is it bad to foil after they've already gone past 160. Will be pulling these and coolering them at 200. How long might it take to get from 175 to 200? I've trimmed the heat back to around 240.

I also have realized I should have tied these boneless shoulders up. The "flaps" look pretty dry so hoping they can recover a bit in foil. Practice, practice, practice!

Last edited by rdstoll; 07-27-2013 at 07:19 AM..
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Unread 07-27-2013, 07:31 AM   #13
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Maybe a coupke more hours if you have foiled them.

Sounds like your getting the hang of the drum, being able to "trim" the heat.
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Unread 07-27-2013, 09:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdstoll View Post
So put the shoulders on at 12:45am and waited an hour a and a half to make sure the temp settled at 250.

Woke up at 4:30am and the one shoulder I had a thermometer probe in said 150 so went back to sleep for an hour.

When I woke up I found all four shoulders in the 175 area. So I missed 160 but foiled them anyway. Is it bad to foil after they've already gone past 160. Will be pulling these and coolering them at 200. How long might it take to get from 175 to 200? I've trimmed the heat back to around 240.

I also have realized I should have tied these boneless shoulders up. The "flaps" look pretty dry so hoping they can recover a bit in foil. Practice, practice, practice!
It doesn't matter if you missed the 160 mark for foiling. I dont foil unless my bark is getting too dark.

At 175 degrees you are probably just past the stall. So 175-200ish will go quick. On a side note, cooking bbq isn't a cook to an internal temperature of X. You will have to test each piece of meat if you want to come up with consistent results. For pork butts/shoulders the bone should begin releasing from the meat easily when you wiggle the bone. If you can't get to the bone just probe it with a bamboo skewer and if it slides in like it is going through warm butter the meat is done.
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Unread 07-27-2013, 11:13 AM   #15
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Thanks! Shoulders stayed in until 9:30am when internal temps were just over 200 and it was very easy t get the probe through. Now in the cooler for a few hours.

Will have pics later!
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