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Pulled pork question

 
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Chico
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Joined: 01 Oct 2010
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Location: Aurora, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10 11 2:06 am    Post subject: Pulled pork question Reply with quote

For Super Bowl Sunday I decided I was going to do as much as I could handle. I did my chili (Super Bowl tradition) as well as 7 racks of back ribs, and pulled pork.

This was my first time doing the ribs or Pulled pork in the smoker.
(Everything was incredible, but I have a question...

In the interst of time, I went with 2 smaller chunks of bone in butt as opposed to one big hunk... (2 @ 2.5 lbs each). I realized that I would lose a bit more moisture, but I would gain some bark... a trade off I was willing to make!

I rubbed my butt (insert giggle) 36 hrs prior (wanted to go 24, but scheduling issues wouldn't allow me to get home on Saturday to do it) when I unwrapped them Sunday morning, there was quite a bit of liquid that was drawn out by the rub.. I was MORE worried about dryness at this point.

I got the box up to 225* got my smoke going (and had some apple cider in the pan) and put the meat in. I expected about a 5hr cooktime to get it up to 195*. I timed it so it would be rested and ready to pull before kick off (about 7 hrs out) instead, I didn't hit 195* until about the 4th quarter!!!

I rested for 40 minutes and pulled it... served it with 3 minutes left in the game. It came out well... not as dry as expected, and by ALL accounts, the best pulled pork anyone in the room had ever had (mind you most of them had only had it a few times and no doubt, it was poorly done and sopping with sauce).

The question is how do I acount for almost 10hrs of cook time as opposed to the 5 hrs expected (2 hrs per lb)?
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Jarhead
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10 11 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"It's done, when it's done" Wink
Grate level temp, measured with a calibrated and reliable thermometer?
I think I would have left it on the counter for an hour or so and hope that it reabsorbed some of the juice before putting it on the cooker.
Too long for the rub, especially if it was salty. You're lucky it wasn't ham, if it was.
The salt pulled the moisture out of the "good" fat that breaks down as it is slow cooked. (don't know on that, but it sounds good Very Happy )
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Chico
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Joined: 01 Oct 2010
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Location: Aurora, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11 11 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grate temp and meat temp checked with a new Maverick ET-73.

Rub wasn't overly salty, so it tasted phenomenal. The meat sat on the counter still wrapped for an hour before going into the box.

Like I said, it was my first time... I kept reading the "it's ready when it's ready" statements on many different threads... I guess I just didn't expect it to be THAT much different from the expected time!

I guess the moral here is "Who gives a damn... it tastes great!"

I will continue to try different things (rub times, vicinity to heat source, etc.)

Thanks for the input!
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Alien BBQ
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Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11 11 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of those questions that have people line up on different sides of an opinion. Because I have not done any experiments on this type of condition, I will give you mine and say that I believe Jarhead is on the money. When you talk cooking meat, you are really talking about the transfer of heat through the piece of meat. Meats with large amounts of fat or connective tissue are normally cooked longer because it gives the meat a chance to render out the fat thus moisturizing the meat in the process. Leaner cuts are normally cooked high and fast to maintain what moisture they have in them. It is the moisture in the meat that transfers the heat from the outside of the cut to the inside.

With that being said, you case is somewhat different. The amount of salt (or sugar) you had in your rub times the length of time it was on pulled a lot of moisture out of meat. Noticed I did not say fat because the fat and connective tissues are harder to render out with rubs. However, you did pull some moisture from them thus making them more dense. This would mean that it would take a higher temp or longer period of time to render the fat. Also, any moisture pulled out due to the rub might have left a void that was not replaced by a brine or injection. Voids (containing air or vacuum) have a insulative effect in the transfer of heat throughout the meat. Again, until that void is filled with some of the fluid from the rendering fat heat transfer is more difficult and will stall longer.

Anyway, that is my opinion and I am sure others may or may not agree.
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Chico
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Joined: 01 Oct 2010
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Location: Aurora, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17 11 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the explanation Alien...

Wheteher anyone else would argue it or not, it makes perfect sense to me. The next ti,e I will make sure that I can rub it and leave it overnight, as opposed to 2 nights out. As I said, it wasn't overly salted, and it pulled great, but it was drier than I expected (but not dried OUT at all)

I can't wait til the next one!
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