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BBQ Q's... flavor great, tenderness lacking...

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BBQ Q's... flavor great, tenderness lacking...

adamclyde | Sep 7, 2004 05:38 PM

OK, I got some great advice here a few weeks ago from some experienced Q'ers... so I'm hoping they can weigh in again.

I've been BBQ'ing a few things lately to great flavor results. However, for some reason, I can't get my pork as tender as I'd like.

In the last two weeks, I've done pulled pork and baby back ribs. First, the pulled pork. I boned a pork shoulder and used that (weighed, after boning, about 4 pounds). I used indirect heat, of course, keeping the grill somewhere between 190 and 220 the whole time. I had a probe thermometer in the roast to check the internal temperature... after about 9 hours, it was finally at 165. Books I've read haven't shown it needed that much time... so once I finally reached that temperature, I decided to yank it off the grill, thinking it would be fork-tender. Unfortunately, the flavor was great, and it was pretty tender, but not enough to really pull it like I wanted.

OK, so experience number 2. The other day, I did bbq baby backs. I did two racks... and keeping the grill, again at around 200 to 220 or so degrees, it took about 3+ hours to get to 165 degrees. I decided to pull them, but I didn't have that fall-off-the bone tenderness that I wanted. Flavor was great, and they were pretty tender, just not that great tenderness that I was hoping for.

What went wrong in both of these? Should I ignore the internal temperature and just keep going until it is tender? Or would further smoking just make it tougher? (not sure if it matters, but was using charcoal briquettes, with soaked mesquite chunks for the smoke flavor). Maybe because I fluctuated temperatures too much (though never going outside of that 190 to 220 range) it made it tougher?

Your advice is greatly appreciated! I need to have a good home run with the slow BBQ before the cold weather comes...

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