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Smoked cooked pork is no doubt the best cut of pork meat however, if it’s not smoked and pulled out when it reaches the correct temperature then you might end up with pork meat too tough to enjoy or unevenly cooked. You don’t have to be a pit master to make mouthwatering tender pulled pork in the comfort of your home, all you need is an understanding of how long to smoke for and the perfect recipe.
You must understand how to smoke pork shoulder at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and how long to smoke for if you do not want to undercook or overcook it. Smokers are pretty forgiving, unlike grilling, it’s one of the best ways to achieve a juicy, tender classic smoky flavor you love.
How long you smoke pork shoulder at 225 degrees is going to depend on how large the meat is, and also, not all smokers are created equal when it comes to how consistently they can maintain temperature. Smoke pork shoulder at 225 degrees for around 10 hours, 15 minutes if your pork is around 8 lbs. The time to smoke pork at 225 degrees may vary slightly but ensure you cook based on temperature.
Smoked pull pork is not a difficult thing and can be amazing when it’s done right. However, there are certain rules to follow to smoke shoulder pork at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. To get pork meat that is moist and tender, let’s find out how long you are meant to cook it for and the perfect way to smoke pork at 225 degrees.
At What Temp is Smoked Pulled Pork Done?
The ideal temperature when smoked pulled pork is done is between 195 and 205⁰F. This temperature ensures your pork is tender and juicy with a rich flavor. You are looking to ensure pork shoulder is at 205 degrees, this is a good range, and you can remove it from your smoker and let it rest for 20 minutes or more.
It is important to consider the best temperature to smoke your pork. Generally speaking, using a meat thermometer is the only way to ensure that your pork meat gets to the desired temperature. But the temperature registered by an expert to remove your meat from the smoker is 165 degrees.
This temperature allows your pork shoulder to slowly break down thereby giving you a tender cut with a good ratio of fat and lean meat. The lower temperature can help prevent the fat and marbling that can make the meat dry out.
Low and slow is highly recommended by experts, the internal temperature of your pork should be kept at 225 degrees F during the cooking. For pulled or shredded pork, you should smoke until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees; ensure not to open the foil yet, and let it rest for at least an hour.
How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225
There are lots of factors that will determine how long to smoke pork shoulder at 225 degrees, such as the humidity in the air, how consistent the smoker holds temperature the outside temperature, and many more. However, you should plan on smoking pork for at least 60 to 90 minutes per pound.
At 225 degrees, estimate that a cut that weighs 8 pounds will take 8 to 12 hours to cook to the target temperature.
225 degrees is no doubt the perfect temperature for smoked pork shoulder, the low temperature help to dissolve the fat and connective tissue thereby resulting in pork meat that is tender enough to be shredded with a fork. So, an estimate of how long to cook would be 60 to 90 minutes per pound.
The total cooking time of your pork shoulder will depend solely on how reliable the temperature of your smoker is. For those using a charcoal grill smoker, the time it takes to cook at 225 degrees will be slightly different. It can take about 1 hour and 20 minutes per pound, so this means about 8 pounds need 10 to 15 hours or less.
Take note that if the temperature of your smoker often goes skew high, it means the meat can cook through more quickly. Also, if it’s cold or windy, your smoker will have a hard time maintaining the set temperature which would prolong the set cooking time.
So, the rule is to cook for 6 to 90 minutes per pound at 225 degrees until it’s tender, if you have purchased 8 pounds of shoulder or butt pork, expect it to cook fully for 8 to 12 hours. keep variables like temperature and humidity in mind and plan accordingly.
How to Tell Pork Shoulder is Done
It’s impossible to tell that pork shoulder is done by just looking at it hence why a calibrated meat thermometer is highly recommended.
Checking the internal temperature which should be at least 145⁰F is the ideal way to gauge the doneness of pork shoulder. You can also do a poke test probe with a skewer to see if the juice run clear. But this method won’t tell you if your meat has reached a safe temperature.
The thermometer probe is the best and ideal option for both beginners and pit masters. Simply insert the thermometer in and be careful not to touch any bone or cartilage so you don’t get a false reading. When the internal temp indicates 145 or 160 degrees, it can be taken off the smoker to rest for an hour.
Tips To Smoke Pork Shoulder at 225 Degrees
Smoking pork shoulder at 225 degrees is the best way to get juicy and tender meat. Smokers have to adapt to the low and slow cooking process which is what gives the meat enough time for the heavily worked muscle in your pork shoulder to break down into tender, succulent shreds that are also rich in flavor.
However, to ensure you get it right, here are some simple tips to help smoke pork shoulder at 225 degrees.
- Start by preheating your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit
- To monitor the pork shoulder’s internal temperature, always use a meat thermometer probe
- Avoid opening the lid often, this can cause a drop in the temperature and increase the overall cooking time
- To infuse the pork shoulder with flavor, brush with flavor or mop with a sauce periodically
- Choose the right fruit wood, use hickory chips for an extra smoky flavor or cherry for a sweeter milder flavor
- Once it reaches the set temperature, let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
With these tips in mind, your pork shoulder should be cooked perfectly. It is also important that you are patient and remember that pork shoulders can vary in size and factors like humidity and temperature can affect how long to cook it for.
Ultimately, it is up to you how long you end up cooking your shoulder pork but you should follow the guidelines above. The basic guide is to preheat the smoker to 225 degrees, monitor the temperature and let the pork shoulder rest before slicing or pulling it apart.
So, 225 degrees is the preferred temperature for smoking pork shoulder, it provides enough heat to fully cook the meat to a safe internal temperature while also maintaining the right texture and flavor. The simple rule is to have a thermometer so you do not overcook or undercook it.