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smoking pork shoulder pieces

so today i went out to get a bone in boston butt to smoke tomorrow. mind you im very new to smoking. went to two different stores and they had NOTHING! i settled on what i thought was simply a deboned shoulder and i get home made my brine open it up to find out it was cut into pieces about 1/2-3/4 lb each! not what i wanted at all! my question is is it even worth smoking pieces this small? is it going to turn into shoe leather? how long at what temp should i smoke pieces that small... major disappointment but im trying to work with what i got.

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  1. It will be good. Will not need to be cooked as long as a bigger pieces.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kengk

      how long would you say? im at a loss...

    2. You want to smoke at the same temp as usual - 200-250. Very hard to say how long it will take, maybe 3-4 hours. If you're going to smoke regularly, you really should buy a probe thermometer. Just cook till the shoulder piece is at 200 or so.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sbp

        perfect! i actually have a probe so im good to go :) thanks! i was really worried

        1. re: Amm000

          Temperature is not what counts in smoking, nor is time. It's time at temperature that counts.

          With that said, forget the internal temperature and simply go by texture: take it off the smoker when you can pull it. That is, after all, what you're going for. You don't care what temperature the pork is when you take it off. All you care is that it can be pulled.

          1. re: 1POINT21GW

            Well, yes, it's time at temperature, but that's why I specififed a low smoking temp. And at that temp, it will take a certain amount of time to be pullable, at which point it's internal temp will be about 200. If you don't want to have to babysit your smoker and spend an inordinate amount of time checking it and pulling off pieces (or overshoot and leave it too long - it WILL still be pullable, if overcooked), you use a probe thermometer.

      2. Just smoked some so called boneless ribs yesterday, gave them 5 hours at 200 of smoke and
        then 30 minutes in the pressure cooker letting them cool down slowly in the broth. { I live at a
        high altitude. } came out perfect for pulling. They came out quite moist.

        1 Reply
        1. re: paul balbin

          I would run the smoker just about as cool as you can get it...225, tops, and at 3 hours start sticking a fork into the hunks of meat and twisting...when it 'pulls' you can reckon it is done. If they pieces of meat start to look like they are drying out you can tent a little foil over them to retain some moisture. I think you may get even more smoke flavor with more surface area exposed. If you are really worried and want to rely on your standard recipe, though, break out the kitchen twine and tie the hunks back into an approximation of a big roast...I've done it before when I had to be away from the grill for several hours and didn't want small pieces to dry out.

        2. There's also lots of recipes that require shoulder chunks, and many are really delicious. They can also be adapted to a BBQ instead of oven quite easily.

          Carnitas and Cochinita Pibil both come to mind. I have two whole shoulders I'm about to cut into chunks for that very purpose!

          1. The biggest problem with smoking pork is trying to keep it lit:)