SM025 First Pork Shoulder Smoke ISSUES

So I've been smoking on my SM025 for a couple of months now, primarily of ribs and have a fairly good handle on the process and have put on at least 25 lbs since my diet now consists of fantastic smoked ribs about once per week, LOL.

So for a big party this evening, I decided to smoke a 7.5 lbs pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches. I researched the forums here and decided on 225 with Jack Daniels soaked wood chips and estimated that it would take approximately 14 hours (based off research on these forums). I have my trusty Weber Style 6741 that I set for my target internal temperature of 190 (I put both probes in different parts of the shoulder) and put the shoulder in the smoker around 9:30 PM with hopes of pulling it out around NOON today. I was shocked with the Weber Style alarm sounded off around 3:30 AM after only 6 hours of smoking. I will attempt to attach pics of the before and after to this post.

My question is this; isn't 6 hours a little fast for a 7.5 pound pork shoulder? Wouldn't it stand to reason that the temperature was well in excess of the 225 I set it for? In short, I'm trying to determine what went wrong here..... I appreciate any and all help, opinions, theories, etc.


P.S. I haven't had a chance to taste the pork shoulder yet, as I was a little grumpy at 3:30 AM....

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Hello Sherpa,

I doubt the wet chips had anything to do with it, but most of us don't do that. I will defer to others on that subject.

Couple of questions. How did it taste? Were you able to shred it or did you have to chop it?

For me 190 degrees is not done. In fact I have experienced the same 6 hour temp only to find it in a stall and go back down into the high 170's for another 3 to 4 hours before hitting my target temp of 200. I really think you aimed a little to low for pulled pork. If you were going for chopped you were probably right on.

One other possibility is your temp probes were touch bone.

Another possibility is your set temp and your actual smoker temp is off. This is unlikely but possible.

It's also possible your meat was touching the internal smoker probe. This has happened to me when I overloaded it. Instead of 225 temp I probably got 300 degrees because the probe was fouled.

Just some thoughts.
Hi Padrefan98 and thank you very much for your thoughts. If I think back, the first alarm went off at around 2:15 AM when one of the probes hit 190. I fell back asleep for 30 minutes when the second probe hit 190 at 2:45 AM. I fell back asleep for another 45 minutes or so, and the internal temperature of the meat only crawled up to 193 or so, so maybe I was in a stall when I pulled the meat..... Perhaps next time I will shoot for 200 internal and see what happens. I will also do this during the day, as getting up at 3:30 AM after a long day of beer-drinking and fishing is NOT fun..... LOL.

I'm going to check the internal smoker probe, but I don't really think that was the issue.


The pork shoulder bone pulled out very cleanly and with virtually no effort. The meat pulled fairly easily, not the easiest, but also no where near needing to be sliced instead of pulled. The taste is very good.... maybe even very, very good, but not the slap-yo-mama and howl-at-the-moon great I was looking for. I've attached a photo of the pulled product.

Again, thanks for your thoughts and help. This is where the learning curve gets shortened and is the greatest value of these forums.

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It looks good, and if it pulled nicely then I guess it was done. I don't do a lot of pork shoulder with bone in, so maybe that's the difference here.

The good news is you can wrap them in 2x HD foil and a towel in a cooler and they will hold for up to 6 hours before pulling. I usually factor that into my timing. For early afternoon lunch/dinner mine go in at 10pm. I am usually taking them out around 10am and FTC them until 2-3pm.

Keep Smokin!
I haven't really heard of people using soaked chips in a cookshack, particularly on a longer cook. I am open minded, but how long do they last? I'd use some chips in a jam but the 2" x 2" chunks seem to work perfectly. Are you replacing the soaked chips regularly during the cook?

Also, 6 hours for a 7.5 lb pork butt cooked at 225 seems fast. I would put an oven thermometer in the cooker to make sure it was actually 225. I'd also check the meat thermometer in boiling water to ensure it shows 212, although in your pic the bone looks like it is sliding out so I doubt it is undercooked. Not sure
So the pulled pork was a smash hit at the party at which I served it. Nearly a week later and they are still talking about it, but I suspect that they are just starved for BBQ that's anything better than Applebee's.

That being said, I have come to a few conclusions...

First, I believe I pulled the pork shoulder a touch to soon. It is perhaps even likely that I was technically still in a stall. After pulling the pork and lightly saucing it, I placed the pulled pork in the oven at 225 for about an hour and it was practically NEAR PERFECT.

Secondly, there is practically no doubt in my mind that the temperature spiked during the cook. It seems impossible that a 7.5 lbs. pork shoulder would be anywhere near ready in 6-8 hours. Seems to me the only way to solve the mystery is to cook another pork shoulder and keep a close eye on it Razzer
Sherpa,

I am curious too. If you have a cost-co pick up the two pack boneless. Cook them both. My brother and I have done many of these in the SM025 and almost always go 12-14 hours minimum.

In fact we have done them with such consistency we don't even open the door for the first time until 12 hours in. No meat thermometer or anything until 12 hours.
I just did my first butt on my new sm025. On my old water smoker, everything went for 12 to 14 hours. All turned out good. I did the research on my new smoker and was a little confused about time and temp. I never did temp on the old smoker. For a 4 lb butt at 225 I could see the temp pause and then the rise. I pulled it at 190 after 12 hrs. I think it could have gone into the 200's at 14 hrs at least. It was good but not great. Learning still

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