Cook then serve next day
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Cook then serve next day
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Thread: Cook then serve next day

  1. #1

    Cook then serve next day

    Hi all
    Doin my first (2) pork butts for a family feed on Saturday. Due to weather I plan on doin the cook on Friday.
    So what do you do in a similar situation?
    Ive heard from towels and coolers to let it sit on the counter after reaching 203.
    Cool to what temp
    Pull it Friday or wait till Saturday

    Goin with just a dry rub. No brining or injecting on this one. Baby steps.


  2. #2
    There are different methods. I've done literally hundreds of pork shoulders over the years for parties, large cookouts (up to a couple hundred people), etc. and this is how I do them.

    First: I learned a long time ago to forget going by a final temperature and go by feel! Why? Because you are not cooking the meat to a specific doneness (like a steak; rare, med. rare, medium, etc.), instead you are cooking it until all of the connective tissues have broken down and it's fall apart tender, and that can happen anywhere between 190 - 215. The pork is done when it's done and not when a thermometer says so.

    So how do you go by feel? Whether you foil them part way through the cook or cook them naked the entire time (I prefer to foil them), once they are approaching the 190 I.T. mark (or a set number of hours), you will start probing for tenderness by inserting a probe into the middle (avoiding bones) and you will feel one of two things:

    1) The probe won't slide in easily and will meet resistance as the probe nears the center of the meat. If this is the case then the pork is NOT done, no matter what the temperature reads. Put it back in and check again in another half hour or so.

    2) Once the probe slides all the way in easily with little to no resistance (almost like soft butter), THEN it's absolutely done and ready to pull!

    At this point there is absolutely NO NEED to rest them meat. Why? Because the collagen & connective tissues have already broken down, so there is literally nothing left to rest! The only time I let them rest is if they're done a couple hours or so before I need them. In that case I place them in a cooler with some towels just so they stay hot.

    Second: BE SURE YOU PULL/SHRED THEM WHILE THEY ARE HOT and reheat the shredded meat the next day. Why? Because all of the collagen that took so long to break down will turn to gelatin once it cools and will act as glue, and the meat will never be as easy to pull/shred next day! THIS is why Alton Brown recommends cooking stew meat the day before and cooling it down. This way the meat keeps its shape in the stew instead of falling apart.

    Pulling/Shredding: The easiest way I have found to pull/shred the pork is to place the shoulder on a large cutting board, remove the bones, mash down on it (which starts to separate it), check for & remove any cartilage, large pockets of fat, etc. Give it a rough chop using a cleaver or large heavy knife. Turn the meat 90 and give it another rough chop. I call this the Chris Lilly method and it's quick and easy! Be sure you wear some protective gloves.

    Chris Lilly at BABBP chopping up smoked pork shoulder | PHUDE-nyc - YouTub

    Once you pull the meat it will cool down much quicker so you can bag and refrigerate it.

    Reheating: This will take about an hour or so, depending on your equipment. Put the pork in a crock pot or electric roaster (a roaster is a little quicker), add a little water with a small amount of vinegar mixed in (the vinegar freshens it up like it was just cooked). Turn the crock pot to high (or roaster to medium) and LEAVE THE LID ON IT FOR A GOOD 45 MINUTES before you open it to check and stir it! Every time you take the lid off you stall the warming process.

    Once the meat is hot, then reduce the crock pot, to low (or the roaster to around 140 - 150). this will keep it at a safe temperature. Don't forget to stir it it occasionally and add a bit of water if it starts to dry out.

    Again, this is NOT the only way. It's what I use because it works easily and consistently for me every time, without fail.

    Hope this helps and makes sense. Don't hesitate to ask questions.

    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the info Cliff. Lotsa good stuff there.
    I checked out that video too. Would not want to meet Chris Lilly in a dark alley. The way he handles that knife is the stuff that horror movies are made of.


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