Pork Shoulder and Mesquite Sawdust

July 24, 2016

Bought an 8.2 lb. pork shoulder at HEB on sale for $1 per pound Saturday morning the 23rd. Mid-afternoon mixed roughly 1/2 cup of yellow mustard with about 1 tbls of apple cider vinegar and about 1 tbls of Worcestershire sauce. Rubbed that over the shoulder then sprinkled on and rubbed in Stubb’s Hot Pork Rub. Slide in back in the bag and back into the refer.

20160724_1041056:15 am – Started preheating MES40 set at 260. Plan to cook with setting at 275. Ambient temp is 84° and humidity is 82%.

6:35 – Added meat to third rack from the top with alum pan below to catch drippings. Let the box come up to temp with the meat in place so did not have to open the door and let the heat out to place the meat. Added and lit the new AMNZN tray Kelley gave me for my birthday. Followed Todd’s (manufacturer) directions and “Fill up the rows to the brim, and then pack the sawdust down with your thumb; fill to the brim and pack down again”. Put it into MES and lite with the torch. Did not light like pellets as started very slow with only a little smoke. [Should have left it out until it was burning evenly. Also see note (1) below.]

7:30 – Raised setting to 275. Tray is burning nicely.

8:30 – A lot more smoke so checked it and the tray is black across all rows. Temp at the box control probe is 275-280 and air probe on ChefWorks is 265 on the grate about 1.5″ from meat and door’s glass.  (1)

9:30 – Smoke is only slightly noticeable

10:00 – Reloaded tray with level lower sawdust and re-lite. The tray burned up fast as sawdust should not be used for temps over 180° per SMF/BearCarver.  See note (1) below.

10:40 – Added shallow alum tray of red potatoes cut into quarters and rubbed with fruity EVOO. See separate post here. Tray is barely burning and very small smoke plume rising from it. Re-lite with an extended butane lighter until small flames. Whipped Thermoworks meat probe with Everclear and inserted into meat. IT is 154°.

12:40 – Pulled the potatoes and the meat’s IT is 174°.

3:45 – Found that the timer had timed out and the MES has been off for maybe more than 30 minutes. Box temp is down to 145 and IT is 176. Warmed convection oven to 325 and at 4 pm pulled and wrapped meat in alum foil and put into convection oven. Re-inserted probe and IT is 146–very odd. Rose soon to 178.

5:00 – IT is 203°. Turned off oven and left it wrapped inside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

The roast had a great flavor, very moist, a nice bark but not distinctive. The smoke taste was lighter than expected as this was mesquite but due to the new tray and sawdust flash burning there was times when there was no smoke being generated. Could have been spicier although as it was so moist we did not use any finishing sauce that would have spiced it up a bit.

(1) With the MES set at 275 the tray with sawdust burned across rows twice even though second time the dust was well below the top of the metal. Found the next day posts at SMF that BearCarver only uses dust for lower than 180° smokes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email