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smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

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smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby jjoyce » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:29 pm

Anybody tried this? I'm aware that it will probably take much of a Saturday. What I'm wondering is...

What kind of charcoal should I use. Plain ol' Kingsford?

Where do you get the hickory wood chunks they recommend throwing in there for the really good smoke? And are there alternatives that people like?

I've got a rub that I like when I do this in the dutch oven. Anybody have one that works particularly well on the grill?
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby workboy7 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:44 pm

My two suggestions are to use a charcoal chimney, so you can add hot coals as needed and soak your hardwood in water (I add whisky as well) so it moistens the cooking area a bit, imparts some flavor, and lasts a bit longer.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:08 am

jjoyce wrote:Where do you get the hickory wood chunks they recommend throwing in there for the really good smoke? And are there alternatives that people like?

I got some at the Farmer's Market once, but that was a couple years ago and I haven't seen them since.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby chainsawcurtis » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:33 am

Because I'm cheap I've been buying the store brand charcoal at the Family Dollar. I works just as well as the brand names.

Conversely, I have decided that the Weber brand hickory blocks are the bomb. I'm not sure how much they cost retail. I bought my bag for three bucks in a scratch and dent store but would buy another bag. One block on top of some hot coals works great for an hour or so and I don't bother to soak.

I have about a third of my Weber lined with some lava rock and put charcoal on top of that. I seems to help retain some heat. Even though smoking is an indirect cooking method I like some temp in there to help kill any bacterial that may be hanging around. My grilling surface is pretty low tech and when I need to add more smoking blocks or charcoal I have to lift the entire grill up to do it. A grill with a swinging section that flips up is handy.

I have had great success with pork loin on the Weber but haven't tried anything like a shoulder. I'd say don't be afraid to cut into it in the middle of the process to see how it's coming along. It can't hurt it.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby rogue » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:09 am

1)Buy or make a dry rub. Apply & let sit overnight in fridge.
2) I use Kingsford with Hickory for charcoal. I usually don't add any other wood chunks.
3) Indirect heat for 4-6 hours on Weber. Coals to one side, meat on other. Add a few more pieces of charcoal every hour or so.
4) Wrap in foil and finish either on the grill or in your oven at 250 degrees.
5) Meat temp should reach 160 degrees - you'll know when the bone slides out without any effort.
6) Shred with fork and sauce to taste.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:18 pm

chainsawcurtis wrote:I have about a third of my Weber lined with some lava rock and put charcoal on top of that. I seems to help retain some heat. Even though smoking is an indirect cooking method I like some temp in there to help kill any bacterial that may be hanging around.


You're basically not smoking the meat then, you're cooking it. Big difference. When you smoke it and the temp gets to 160, you've killed the bacteria.

chainsawcurtis wrote:I have had great success with pork loin on the Weber


Two totally different cuts of meat. You wouldn't smoke a pork loin in the traditional method. There is not enough fat.

I've only smoked on a gas grill. I was gifted a smoke box and some hickory chips. You basically turn on one side of the grill, move any lava rocks off to that side and put your smoker box with soaked chips over that. I think you could get them at bigger chain stores, hardware stores or even woodmans. I had good success with hickory.

The key is low and slow. DO NOT cut into it. Test the doneness with a thermometer. I also purchased a thermometer that goes into the grill to make sure you are at the right temp(can't rememeber offhand, but you can look it up). It just sits on the grates. Lastly, LOW and SLOW. It took about 6 or 7 hours for me, but I did have a big shoulder. Be patient and you will be rewarded.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby c02 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:20 pm

For what it's worth, I take an aluminum baking pan and fill it with Hickory Chips (Home Depot) and add enough water to keep the chips from drying out too quickly. Soaking it over night is best.

I would place the pan in the middle of the grill with the coals around the outside of it and then place the meat over the (smoking) baking pan. Keep the heat low and cook it slow. I'll even throw a little apple cider vinegar in with the hickory chips/water mixture for some apple taste.
Last edited by c02 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:24 pm

c02 wrote:I'll even throw a little apple cider vinegar in with the hickory chips/water mixture for a some apple taste.


Ah, I totally forgot. I made a spray bottle filled with apple cider vinegar and would periodically spritz the meat(Hmm, good band name).
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby c02 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:52 pm

Just do whatever Stebben says. The spray bottle just put him over the top of the typical weekend q-er.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:23 pm

I've got my eyes on a Smokenator, a third-party accessory designed to make smoking in a Weber kettle a little less effort-heavy.

http://smokenator.com/

Comes highly recommended by EatWisconsin
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby jjoyce » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:49 pm

As an occasional user of FlameDisk for tailgating, I'm a huge fan of barbecue innovation.

The addition of a number, preferably in the thousands, only makes it more likely I'll buy this contraption.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby chainsawcurtis » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:46 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
chainsawcurtis wrote:I have about a third of my Weber lined with some lava rock and put charcoal on top of that. I seems to help retain some heat. Even though smoking is an indirect cooking method I like some temp in there to help kill any bacterial that may be hanging around.


You're basically not smoking the meat then, you're cooking it. Big difference. When you smoke it and the temp gets to 160, you've killed the bacteria.

chainsawcurtis wrote:I have had great success with pork loin on the Weber


Two totally different cuts of meat. You wouldn't smoke a pork loin in the traditional method. There is not enough fat.

I've only smoked on a gas grill. I was gifted a smoke box and some hickory chips. You basically turn on one side of the grill, move any lava rocks off to that side and put your smoker box with soaked chips over that. I think you could get them at bigger chain stores, hardware stores or even woodmans. I had good success with hickory.

The key is low and slow. DO NOT cut into it. Test the doneness with a thermometer. I also purchased a thermometer that goes into the grill to make sure you are at the right temp(can't rememeber offhand, but you can look it up). It just sits on the grates. Lastly, LOW and SLOW. It took about 6 or 7 hours for me, but I did have a big shoulder. Be patient and you will be rewarded.


I've got the Weber set up for indirect cooking. I'm definitely smoking. It takes about three hours to smoke a five or six pound pound pork loin (yes, I know it's a different cut. We just like to avoid a lot of fat and there's much less time involved) that's been dry rubbed. But you are correct about heat. I'm probably just overly concerned after working in restaurant kitchens since the mid-seventies.

Also I'm not a purist. I find nothing wrong with cutting into a big chunk of pork to see if it's done in the middle. That said, a thermometer is a good idea in any kitchen (or grill). I have an oven unit that sits inside the Weber.

Take pictures! I love looking at pix of food!
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:24 pm

chainsawcurtis wrote:I've got the Weber set up for indirect cooking. I'm definitely smoking. It takes about three hours to smoke a five or six pound pound pork loin (yes, I know it's a different cut. We just like to avoid a lot of fat and there's much less time involved) that's been dry rubbed


My bad. I thought you were saying you put the coals directly under the meat. I don't know why I read it this way. For me, I loves the fat. In a shoulder a lot of it cooks away and leaves a delicious juice to the meat. It will also give the cholesterol drug companies more business.

chainsawcurtis wrote:Also I'm not a purist. I find nothing wrong with cutting into a big chunk of pork to see if it's done in the middle.


I do tend to go the more purist route. Hope you didn't think I was trying to dis you. I'm more than confident that you can cook up a delicious hunk of pork. I've just had experiences in the past where I cut into the meat only to find I have to cook it a lot more and it tends to dry out in the middle because of the cut.

Next time I smokes me up some meat I'll snap some photos. Damn this thread is making me hungry.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby Petro » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:33 pm

I personally do all of my smoking in a Weber Smokey Mountain, but years of tracking bbq listservs and reading various forums has taught me a couple of things. I can't speak directly to smoking on the weber itself, but I can share some guidelines that apply to any sort of smoking.

1.) You want to keep the meat around 250. For a boston butt, you're looking at up to 10-12 hours to properly break down that collagen in the meat. Hitting 160F internally doesn't mean the end of cooking - you're looking to give the meat enough time at temperature to unwind the proteins and break down the collagen and leave you with moist, tender meat.

2.) Use hardwood lump charcoal. I've had good success with royal oak and cowboy, although the cowboy seems to burn a little hotter. It'll burn far more cleanly and leave less of a mess in your grill than briquettes. (Briquettes are loaded with adjuncts to make them easier to shape.)

3.) Soaking wood only leads to creosote, which doesn't taste good. Use hardwood chunks and distribute them sparingly throughout your charcoal. (Build a small base of charcoal and intersperse lumps throughout it, ending with a lump on top. Dump your lit chimney on this.) Don't be too hasty in throwing the meat on after dumping the chimney into the weber - let the billowing white smoke dissipate first. I usually only use 3-4 hardwood lump chunks every 5-6 hours.

You want a single, thin, nearly invisible tendril of blue smoke coming from the vent when it's time to cook. No more. Pork is much more forgiving of smoke than more delicate meats, fortunately - so, there's some wiggle room. Don't be afraid to close vents down a little to slow combustion and keep temperatures low. You might want to pick up an oven thermometer to help the first couple of times that you try this.

Having a water pan inside the grill can help stabilize temperature fluctuations and slow the process of the meat drying out. It's also convenient for catching drips. Note: be careful if you remove the water pan after cooking and set it on the deck. Dogs love it and the aftereffects can be ugly.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Re: smoking a pork shoulder on my Weber

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:51 pm

Petro wrote:2.) Use hardwood lump charcoal. I've had good success with royal oak and cowboy, although the cowboy seems to burn a little hotter.

Boy, have I learned that this summer. I'd been working my way through a bag from Whole Foods, and when I switched to Cowboy, man, did it take a long time for the bottom half of the kettle to cool down. It's almost too much of a good thing. I think the Whole Foods 365 brand tends to put off less ash than Cowboy, too.
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