Cooking time and temp on a pork shoulder?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jblade, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. jblade

    jblade

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    Hey gang I picked up a 7lb pork shoulder that I wanted to roast for various "pulled" dishes and was curious on cooking time and temp, I need it to be fall off the bone tender but not dry, any insight to how to pull this off is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    For pulled pork it should be well done but not overcooked. A sure way to do this is roast it covered with foil and water or stock in the pan. In a preheated 375 oven should take 105 minutes to cook . Or internal temp of 155-160. Let it cool slightly when taken out of oven. It is easier to pull and shred when still warm.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Alternatively, cook it uncovered but basteit frequently with a liquid of your choice.

    Personally, the only way I make pulled pork is in the smoker. But a 7 pounder could take that many hours to cook that way, and you might not be up for that.
     
  4. jblade

    jblade

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    Thanks guys it's in the oven now.
     
  5. bishop

    bishop

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    When doing pulled pork, I take it farther than 160F. That temp is better for a pork loin that you are going to slice. Pork shoulder needs to cook long and slow to allow that fall apart tender thing you are looking for. I would go to like 185-195F. I know people that don't pull it off the smoker until it is 200-205. My suggestion is to try turning a fork to see if the meat falls apart at 160F. Then when it doesn't, cook longer.

    I also highly recommend cooking low and slow for that cut. I have a boneless butt in the fridge right now marinating in char siu marinade (minus the honey and hoisin). It will be tied up and cooked on the rotisserie until done and then glazed with the more sugary ingredients. I will try to take some photos and post here.
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm with Bishop, over 180 is better. At 160 it can be dry. Above 180, the collagen breaks down increasing tenderness and essentially rewets the meat making it juicy. Sorta counterintuitive, but once you understand the collagen breakdown and how well it works, it's a must do.
     
  7. bishop

    bishop

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    I just put this bugger on. The marinade is soy, oyster sauce, hot black bean paste, sesame oil, mirin, garlic, fresh cracked pepper, five spice, and red food coloring (I struggled with that decision but it is traditional). Some of the marinade was reserved and will be whisked in with hoisin and honey to make a glaze that will go on for the last little bit of cooking. Otherwise the sugar would burn.

    The rotisserie was just added to the arsenal earlier this Spring, so I have been putting nearly everything on it. For the smoke flavor I added a cast iron pan of applewood chips. I will update with more photos when finished.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jblade

    jblade

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    Yeah it's been in the oven now for over two and half hours and the meat is still tough so I cranked the heat down 325 degrees and am planning on another 2hours. We'll see how it goes.
     
  9. smokefill

    smokefill

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    This is a quite large cut of meat. If it takes 6 hours plus I wouldn't be surprised. I always cook mine with a good bit of liquid. I would smoke/grill if I had a whole day or put it in my slow cooker (All Clad, big enough to do this cut) and let it do it's thing all day.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  10. jblade

    jblade

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    Now, from experience I know better, it took about 6 hours for it to pull away from the bone.

    2 1/2 hours on 375 degrees the the remaining time on 325 and the last 45 minutes I left it uncovered to crisp up the skin and it came out nice.

    If my daughter didn't have my phone at the time it came out there would be a picture.

    But thanks for your feedback and input everybody.

    @Bishop that roast looks like it was tasty!
     
  11. maryb

    maryb

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    My target temp for pork shoulder is 195. I test at that point to see if it needs to go a bit further. Wrap in foil and put into a cooler lined with old towels and let rest for 1-2 hours.
     
  12. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I hear that a lot for 195. That's getting pretty close to boiling point at my elevation and it doesn't work as well as it does at lower elevations.
     
  13. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Technically, the shoulder is 'done' when it hits somewhere around 150 F internally. But it won't be too edible. To get to that falling off the bone state of juicy tenderness you need to get into the 185 - 190 range at least. If you keep a temp probe in it you will see that the internal temp climbs to a point somewhere around 165 - 180 and just sort of sits there for a while. That is the magic time when the connective tissue is breaking down into juicy goodness. How long this takes and at what exact temp is dependent of lots of factors, like the age of the pork, the fat ratio, etc. But when the temp quits fluctuating over a narrow range and starts a steady climb, you are good to go.

    I love good pulled pork.

    mjb.
     
    bishop likes this.
  14. durangojo

    durangojo

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    ky,

    what kind of thermometer do you recommend for a smoker?  would you recommend those digital type temp probes that you can leave in the meat and has a wire cable that comes outside the smoker with a magnetic display monitor. it gives oven temp, food temp and has a timer as well...what do you use? thanks

    joey
     
     
  15. maryb

    maryb

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    I use Polder thermometers with the wire probe. Go through a couple a year (dropped, get wet from sudden storms etc.) but they are cheap. Make sure the probe isn't near bone and they work well. Test them regularly in a glass of ice water and boiling water.
     
  16. durangojo

    durangojo

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    thanks mary,

     haven't heard of polder in particular, but it sounds like its the same type i'm talking about(i use a 20 dollar texas instrument probe for the kitchen,as i don't trust the even cheaper oven thermometers after awhile) wish someone would come up with one you don't have to throw away after 3 to 6 months(another thing for the landfill, i guess!)...so , just to clarify,you use the probe as your smoker thermometer as well as for the meat? thanks again...i am totally new to this, but it's something i would like to branch out into....to be able to offer smoked foods for catered events.

    joey
     
  17. bishop

    bishop

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    On the topic of thermometers. I don't have the cadillac yet, but will eventually be buying one of those themapen instant read jobbies. Right now I use two analog meat thermometers. I have been screwed on several occasions by the digital ones. Whenever the batteries get low, the temp reads are all over the board. It always happens when I am using other peoples gear. Twice in two years at pig roasts using two different remote digital meat thermometers. Lesson learned the hard way.

    Here is what I am using now.

    This is what I want.

    I took this roast to 195F before I started glazing it. The temp did exactly what teamfat described. It hit a plateau of about 180F and then took almost another hour to budge above that. The glaze was a little of the reserved marinade, honey, and hoisin sauce. The first pic is about 2/3 of the way through cooking. The second was while resting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. maryb

    maryb

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    My smoker has a built in digital temp gauge so I only use it for the meat. They will work for a smoker temperature gauge, cut a potato in half, stick the probe through it and put it on the cooking grate. If you lay it on the grate it may give you false readings.
     
  19. chef borden

    chef borden

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    on the topic of thermometers, I use an Infrared thermometer at work but I don't fully trust it. Has anyone ever used one? Does it actually take a accurate core temp?

    Bishop, that roast is beautiful. I was tempted to lick my monitor.

    I recently did pulled pork. I tossed the pork shoulder in my slow cooker with a homemade BBQ sauce and set the cook time to 10 hours. After 5 hours I flipped the roast over, and began basting the roast every 1.5 hours at that point (yes, i broke the cardinal rule about never opening the slow cooker). After about 8.5 hours of cooking it was perfectly cooked. I wish I had taken a picture, as this was my first attempt at pulled pork. 
     
  20. maryb

    maryb

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    Your thermometer will read surface temps only. You need a probe deep in the roast.