Skip to main content

Yesterday I picked up a 14lb Kurobuta shoulder with plans to smoke it in my 08 on Friday. The butcher prepared it for me in advance so that it would fit in my smoker. I would like to hear from anyone who has smoked this cut of pork to see if there is anything unique with the Kurobuta. I have read enough here to know what I am going to do so far as the rub procedure, amount and type of wood and cooking temp. Going to start the CS08 at 235F. The timing has got me real concerned as if I expect 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs per lb that is a very long smoke to reach my ideal internal temp of 205F.
Any valuable comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Kurobuta will smoke the same as commodity shoulders.

205 finish temp is to high IMHO. Follow TN Q's bone pull guidelines or use a probe needle to check tenderness. You're paying a hefty price for the added flavor/fat content of the Berkshire pork. It would be a shame to dry it out or cook it to "mush". My guess is that 190+ will be right on the money.

Let us know how it turns out for you.
Thanks to the above posters who offered their thoughts on my inquiry. I believe I read somewhere in one of the threads that Smokin' cooked his shoulders to 205. I took so many notes over the past month I forget exactly where I saw that temperature. I really do not want to wreck this meat as I paid $8.00 per pound for it. I will definitely do the bone wiggle test and probe at 190.
Would like to hear what most people think I might expect for a total cooking time. Just a smoking inside an 08, temp at 235, no basting just opening the door to probe at 190.
If you hang with the Memphis comp guys,they like 16 lb bonein shoulders.They use a base of 225* and tend to "think" about 195* internal after 16 hrs.They inject and naturally use the probe for tender.

As we cook more,we should get away from thinking there is a straight line of weight X temp = doneness.

Think about cutting a 1/2 thick slice across a shoulder and frying it in a 325* skillet for a couple mins on each side.

It is certainly "done" and maybe near 300*.

Can we make "pulled pork"?

Of course not.

Lo/slo is about breaking down collagen and rendering fat.The more time in the plateau may be the better meat.

These times we read about are from buying a two pak of 8+ lb butts that the box stores sell.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Also ,cooking heritage pork may give a different "mouth feel" than judges are used to.

Difference may equate to strange,which equates to bad scores. Frowner
Originally posted by Tom:
...they like 16 lb bone in shoulders. They use a base of 225* and tend to "think" about 195* internal after 16 hrs.(

That cook time is a real head scratcher. No where have I read that a shoulder could be ready to be pulled after a 1hr/lb cook at 225. Were it not you Tom saying this I would discard it outright but now I am rethinking when to put it in and the earliest/latest it might be ready.
To follow up here is what happened with my first shoulder smoke ever.

1. Placed a few drops of mustard on the shoulder and rubbed
it to form a very thin coating all over.

2. Rubbed using a little of this rub with a little of that rub.
Just a combination of a few favorites. Then slapped the shoulder
for a few minutes for good measure. Wrapped in celophane and into
the fridge for four hours.

3. Out of the fridge and applied another coating of rub with some
added dark brown sugar. Placed on the rack I would use in the Cookshack
that was sprayed heavily with Pam. Then on top of a cookie sheet to
catch any drips. Cover again and left on the kitchen counter to slightly
knock the chill off for two hours.

4. At 2:30pm placed the shoulder into my CS08 that was loaded with
6oz of hickory chunks. Inserted the probe into the meat, set temp
to 235F and closed the door.

5. At 7:00am the next morning the temperature probe read 170. The meat
then gained 5 degrees an hour and four hours later when the probe read
190 I opened the door. Was greeted by a big black thing laying there as

6. I used another probe to poke around and did the bone wiggle test.
All seemed fine but I decided to let it continue to 195.

7. Removed from the smoker 1 1/2hrs later after a 22 hour total cook.
Tented loosely with foil and left to cool for an hour.

8. Using just my hands I easily slid out one very large bone and another
smaller one and began to pull. It was just perfect! It was still pretty
hot inside as this was almost a 15lb shoulder. And the God
this Kurobuta pig was something I had never experienced. I have eaten pork
all my life and a gazillion pulled pork sandwiches, burritos, enchiladas,
tacos, mixed with country gravy over mashed potatos etc etc etc. Unless
your taste buds are destroyed you will know you are eating something
very very different from what we can buy in the store.

I mixed in some of Smokin's finishing sauce with a small portion of meat
and found the taste of the pork was much better the next day than right
after dousing it. Personally I wouldn't use it on all the meat.

So all an all a total success and really all because of those very generous
posters who shared their tips here on the forum.

If you can find a "heritage hog" in your neighborhood I'd say go for it.
I paid $8.00 per pound for mine and although quite a bit more than what
you'd pay for a standard cut at your local market, it is way way less
expensive than some cuts of beef plus you wind up with a pile of meat.

Next up...I want to find a duroc!
To help us reproduce our successes,or gradually incorporate our changes,Smokin' recommends keeping great notes.

Some would be what was the ACTUAL cook temp at the spot we were cooking-not the cooker setting.

Every time we opened the door,add at least a half hour to the cooktime.

Meat weight/shape/anything unique about it.

If we checked the meat at a temp like 190º,did we do the bone wiggle and probe tender test and might it be ready?

If we foiled and held the large meat a couple hrs,did we account for the rise of at least another 5+ º and was it ready then?

All these help reproduce that product consistently.
Max,at the restaurant shows,there is usually a couple of "better meats" booths that cater to chefs like you.
Many in the Midwest.Some of your local providers can have their products shipped in and saves you the shipping.
Try Vanda Rose.Buckhead meats could be your beef,and other.

You may find that besides taste,the mouth feel can be different.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.