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Today I attempt to Sous Vide a pork shoulder.

Renegadenole

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Started yesterday afternoon. Rubbed with favorite blend, Sous vide for 24 hours. I’ll rub with more spice blend when done then on the smoker for a couple hours at 275f to get some smoke and bark. Feels wrong. I’m old school and have smoked hundreds of pork butts over the last couple decades but thought I’d give it a shot. Love a Sous vide steak. I’ll try to follow up later this evening with a review.

Our daughters and significant others are coming over tonight for normal Wednesday family meal. Sides of cowboy beans and fried cabbage. Wife will make some cornbread as well.
 

Renegadenole

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I don’t think the Sous vide time is critical. Just needs to render and be pullable. I looked online and found a few recommendations. The time on the smoker will be by look and feel. I’m thinking at least a couple hours at 275. Might go longer. Don’t want the butt to get over 180 or so internal.
 

Charles Norris

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I don’t think the Sous vide time is critical. Just needs to render and be pullable. I looked online and found a few recommendations. The time on the smoker will be by look and feel. I’m thinking at least a couple hours at 275. Might go longer. Don’t want the butt to get over 180 or so internal.
Shouldn’t the temp be 195-203? Never pulled one at 180
 

Renegadenole

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Depends on length of cook but yes a a smoker or BBQ that is the case but you can go longer and lower
It's always the balance of tender enough to pull vs not too dry. Much easier on pulled pork compared to brisket.
My thoughts behind sous vide is, retains moisture, still get good smoke and bark at the end, specific done time, no hold after smoker. Also planning to reduce the liquid from the sous vide bag to make a sauce.
 

GarnetPild

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Sous vide and bbq just doesn't sound right to me, but I'm interested & it might be wonderful. Will look forward to pics & results.

Like others, when I smoke butts, I usually go pretty close to 200 internal temp. They say you can take it off at 185, but I find 195-200 renders more fat. Getting towards 205+, and to me it begins to get more on the dry side. Sous vide may be different because you can keep the temp at 180, 160, whatever, for as long as you want, without it climbing. Might render as much fat as a traditional cook, but at a lower temperature?
 

Renegadenole

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Just pulled it out of the sous vide. Was in there for 23 hrs. There was definitely still some surface fat deposits so I assume some more fat inside. It was ready to pull though. I dried it off to add some more rub before putting it on the smoker. Had to be very gentle to keep it from falling apart. Finally stuck a skewer through it. Now it's on the smoker at 275. Eating around 6:30 but I'll keep an eye on it and may pull ahead of time.

It's just a small shoulder cut, not a full Boston butt or picnic anything. Maybe 3-4 lbs.
 

Croot_Overlord

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Just pulled it out of the sous vide. Was in there for 23 hrs. There was definitely still some surface fat deposits so I assume some more fat inside. It was ready to pull though. I dried it off to add some more rub before putting it on the smoker. Had to be very gentle to keep it from falling apart. Finally stuck a skewer through it. Now it's on the smoker at 275. Eating around 6:30 but I'll keep an eye on it and may pull ahead of time.

It's just a small shoulder cut, not a full Boston butt or picnic anything. Maybe 3-4 lbs.
We gonna get pics of the finished product?
 

Renegadenole

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I would consider the method a bust. The pork had very little smoke flavor (on the smoker for 2.5hrs) and was a little dry (cooked to internal of 182f). It did not get any traditional bark but more of a hard crust. It wasn't bad, just wasn't traditional pulled pork.

If I were to try it again I would consider smoking the pork a few hours first then sous vide. I'd also try something less than 165f water temp and/or 23 hrs.

Where the method has merit is those times when the family wants to eat at 1pm and you have to fire the smoker up at midnight. If the method could be cracked, a person could put the butt in sous vide at noon the day before, pulled it out the next morning and put on the smoker for a couple hours. 91B70596-C994-4444-9E2C-8E05915A9FFD.jpeg
 

Croot_Overlord

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I would consider the method a bust. The pork had very little smoke flavor (on the smoker for 2.5hrs) and was a little dry (cooked to internal of 182f). It did not get any traditional bark but more of a hard crust. It wasn't bad, just wasn't traditional pulled pork.

If I were to try it again I would consider smoking the pork a few hours first then sous vide. I'd also try something less than 165f water temp and/or 23 hrs.

Where the method has merit is those times when the family wants to eat at 1pm and you have to fire the smoker up at midnight. If the method could be cracked, a person could put the butt in sous vide at noon the day before, pulled it out the next morning and put on the smoker for a couple hours. View attachment 10448
Meat looks perfect for some sammiches
 

GarnetPild

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I would consider the method a bust. The pork had very little smoke flavor (on the smoker for 2.5hrs) and was a little dry (cooked to internal of 182f). It did not get any traditional bark but more of a hard crust. It wasn't bad, just wasn't traditional pulled pork.

If I were to try it again I would consider smoking the pork a few hours first then sous vide. I'd also try something less than 165f water temp and/or 23 hrs.

Where the method has merit is those times when the family wants to eat at 1pm and you have to fire the smoker up at midnight. If the method could be cracked, a person could put the butt in sous vide at noon the day before, pulled it out the next morning and put on the smoker for a couple hours. View attachment 10448

Appreciate your effort and sharing the process with us. Bummer it isn't as good as straight up smoked bbq, but pork is still pretty good no matter how you do it. Hell, I've had pretty good pulled pork from a crockpot before.
 

Renegadenole

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The bark was more hard and thin almost like a candy crust. It picked up some smoke ring but only a trace of smoke flavor. I expected the opposite, smoke flavor but no real smoke ring.

I like my pork standalone. Here's a pic of the simple meal. Pull pork, fried cabbage, cowboy beans and cornbread. Family enjoyed it.
6D4CF355-6DA4-40E6-9928-D815BD8516B1.jpeg
 

Renegadenole

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Appreciate your effort and sharing the process with us. Bummer it isn't as good as straight up smoked bbq, but pork is still pretty good no matter how you do it. Hell, I've had pretty good pulled pork from a crockpot before.
That's the truth. I learned that when I moved to west central Ohio from my native Florida about 27 years ago. A lot of crock pot pulled pork and some of it pretty good. Just not traditional BBQ pulled pork.
 

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