Today I smoked a pork shoulder aka Boston Butt on my beloved MAK 1 Star with the goal of having shredded pork for tacos at dinner. It takes a long time to reach an internal temperature of 203 degrees which is perfect for shredding. Fortunately, pork shoulders don't require a lot of time to prepare for the smoker.
I woke up around 6am & convinced my wife to join me at the gym for an early workout. While she got ready, I applied a dry rub to the shoulder. I used yellow mustard as a binding agent and spread it all over. Then I sprinkled a generous coating of a new rub (John Henry's Pecan Rub) that I picked up yesterday at a specialty barbecue shop that is located around 45 minutes from my house.
We worked out at the gym for a hour and then I returned home and fired up the MAK. I programmed it to cook at 225 degrees. We're well past Labor Day but I guess we're still in the last days of Summer because it got as hot as 97 degrees in the afternoon which is probably around 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.
My expectation was for the cook to take around 10 hours. My shoulder was around 7.5 pounds. I bought it a couple of days ago at Sam's Club which sells them in packages of two. I filled my MAK with pecan pellets from BBQ Delight. After the MAK reached 225 degrees I put the shoulder on the smoker and inserted MAK's MK4 probe into the end of the shoulder opposite from the bone so that I could monitor the internal temp on my iPad through a web browser.
After 8 hours, 15 minutes the internal temp was 163 degrees so I triple wrapped the shoulder in foil without any juice. This is routinely referred to in BBQ circles as the crutch to help boost the internal temp which usually stalls around 165 degrees. Interestingly, my stall happened immediately after I wrapped the shoulder in foil. When I put it back on the smoker, the internal temp dropped to around 160. I thought it would quickly jump back to 165 but it took 1 hour for the internal temp to reach that point.
By now the shoulder had been on the MAK for 9 hours & 10 minutes and the sun was beginning to set. I worried that the shoulder wouldn't reach the magical 203 mark until late into the night. Since the shoulder was wrapped in foil it was no longer taking on much smoke so I decided to speed up the process by increasing the internal temp of the MAK to 250 degrees.
The internal temp began to slowly but steadily increase.
After 12 hours & 5 minutes, my MAK sent a text message to my phone alerting me that the internal temp of 203 degrees had been reached. I always double check the temp with my ThemaPen (like getting a 2nd opinion at the doctor's office) and it read 205 degrees. BINGO! The shoulder smelled great & I was eager to remove it from the smoker and to let it rest for 30 minutes.
The shoulder was a beautiful dark mahogany color. The bone slipped right out and it was extremely easy to shred for our tacos!