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Saharah Desert Pulled Pork


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My first ever pulled pork cook (third ever low and slow cook) came out like the Saharah desert. What did I do wrong?


The piece was a 5lb picnic shoulder, I did it fat cap down. I used a water pan, and "spritzed" a few times as well later in the cook. I followed Meathead's recipe, troddled along on my Big Joe at 225 to 250F for the first long while. I didn't crutch since Meathead says not to when you're a beginner, but when I got to the 12 hour mark and was still stuck at 170F internal meat temp I started panicking. I bumped the Kamado temp up to 275-300F from then on and I finally hit 200F meat temp at 15.5 hours. It had a wicked crust and nice smokey flavor but only in a few places at the bottom was there any semblance of moisture or fat that hadn't completely rendered away.


I just did the boiling water test on my meat and pit probes and they both read 212. What the heck happened?





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15 hours for a 5 pound hunk of meat is a long cook time, I've cooked 9 pounders in half the time. Did you rest the meat? A brief resting period is necessary to redistribute the juices, about 30-60 minutes is good for pulled pork, up to a few hours. Next time, wrap the meat at 170° tightly in aluminum foil, this will keep the juices in and expedite the cook. 

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I've had pulled pork that folks cooked that seemed tough & dry.   In each case they raved about the stuff they injected into it.


My guess is the salt content of whatever they shoot it up with is detrimental to the end result.


Some pork cuts come packaged with a high sodium content. 


It can be sneaky, too....you have to read the fine print on the label.....getting harder for me to do as I get older...sucks having to take my reading glasses along with me in the store. :rofl:


I'm not sure why it turned out that way for you.   I've had some tough shoulder butts and brisket flats before.....they were on the smallish side....turned out tough & dry.  


I prefer smoking 8-10 lb butts.   I'll remove the crepe-like fatty connective tissue on the top.  The fat cap is left intact, just scored in 1/2" grid pattern.



In a kamado, I also run mine fat side down.  


If I use a probe, then I make sure to keep it away from the bone.  


250-ish on the temp.  


I don't worry about removing at  certain temp.....I bring it in when it probes tender all over.


I'll rest it a few minutes while I get other items ready to serve.


Remove the bone.  Shred/pull apart & then hit it with some homebrew finishing sauce.


Stand back and watch them go for the barked pieces first.





Dang.....now I'm hungry for some pulled pork. :)

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