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September 4, 2012

Pork Shoulder – part three

by BBQ Insanity

Welcome to part three of the great Pork Shoulder adventure.  In part one, I described preparation of the meat.  In part two, I took you through the cooking process.  But how did it actually turn out?
After about 10 hours, I took out the slab of pork shoulder. This was the loose slab of meat  below the joint.  It was cooked well, but I’ll focus here on the main joint as it was much more of a challenge due to it’s size and weight.   As the joint itself was a far heavier and thicker piece of meat with a bone inside, I kept it in the barbecue for longer.  A total of 14 hours in fact!

As mentioned in the previous posts, this pork shoulder was cooked on a Weber Smokey Mountain – Weber’s version of a water smoker, which enables you to smoke food at a low and slow temperature.  Only a dedicated barbecue smoker like this can be used for such an extended cooking session.
As you can see from the pictures above, the pork shoulder is well blackened on the outside.  Not surprising after 14 hours!  The regular basting of the Memphis glaze has added to the mahogany sheen.  On closer inspection of the photo on the right, you can see that the meat is still juicy on the inside, and there is a lovely pink “smoke ring” just below the outer surface.  I’ll talk about the smoke ring in a later post, but it’s important to be aware that this is caused by the smoking process and does not indicate “doneness”.  Believe me, after 14 hours, this pork shoulder was “done”!

In hindsight, while the meat was cooked, and had a great smokey,barbecue flavour, it wasn’t as tender or as moist as I wanted it to be.  It was a bit too dry…  I’ve had better results in the past, using Myron Mixon’s method of putting the shoulder into an aluminium foil.  This helps keep the meat moist as it cooks in it’s juices.  Myron also recommends injecting the joint with marinade before cooking, which helps retain extra moisture too. In a future post, I’ll give more details on that recipe.

Still, it was a valuable experience, and if anything, it proved to me that I can get 14 hours cooking time out of my Weber Smokey Mountain!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them below!

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