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Questions About Pulled Pork - Printable Version

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Questions About Pulled Pork - Tayster - 04-11-2007 01:21 PM

I have made less than ten Boston Butts in my short BBQ career - just over a year - all of which were made on my Weber Kettle grill, using either mesquite or hickory chips.

All of them have turned out nicely, as judged by the amount of sandwiches consumed by friends & family. (I was quite thrilled when my sister told me that it was the best pulled pork she's ever had. Of course, it may be the only pulled pork she's ever had :lol: )

Anyway, I still have a lot to do to make them better, so I have a few questions. (You don't have to give away any secrets, just a basic answer will be fine.)

1) I've read a few recipes where they brine the butt. I've never tried it, but does it really change the flavor or anything of the pork? And if so, does it change the flavor for the better?

2) Now when I do butt, I use a mop sauce every hour while I add more charcoal &/or wood chips. If I brine the butt, would I still continue to mop it on a regular basis, or does the brining cause the butt to stay moist?

3) Like I mentioned, I've only used hickory or mesquite in the past. Would using apple or cherry really change the smoke flavor all that much? Which is better to use?

I guess that's all for now. Any input on any of these would be helpful.

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - Gumbo - 04-12-2007 08:59 AM

1st, the smoker: The Weber kettle is a great cooking tool. But for long cooks like a butt requires, the Weber can be a difficult to maintain steady temp for the duration. You might save fuel by smoking it in your weber for 4-6 hours, then foiling and finishing in your oven. But a Weber Smokey Mountain or other smoker will really go a long way to improve your smoking experience.

2nd, the brine: A butt is a big hunk of meat with limited surface area. It really doesn't need a brine, but injecting with flavor isn't uncommon for butts. It's also easy to add flavor after it's pulled by adding more rub and/or sauce.

3rd, the wood: Butts can take a lot of smoke--and smoke is a personal preference. Apple or other fruit wood is great on pork. Hickory is too. Most would agree mesquite is too strong for pork. Personally I use apple or hickory.

Here's the recipe for Chris Lilly's pork injection:

Pork injection
 3/4 cup apple juice
 1/2 cup water
 1/2 cup sugar
 1/4 cup salt
 2 tablespoons Worcestershire

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - Tayster - 04-12-2007 09:28 AM

I appreciate the answers. I've become a fan of hickory. I started with mesquite - since that's what I had on hand when I first decided to smoke some pork - but have since used hickory. I really need to get some apple. Where's the best place to find apple wood?

I'm in the process of buying a smoker, but I'm deciding which one will best serve my needs. (Cooking great food for hungry neighbors in the comfort of my backyard.) I most likely will do the WSM, although, I would love to look out my kitchen window every day and see a BDS begging me to use it.

Next time I do some pork, I'm going to try the injection, hopefully with some apple wood.

Thanks a lot.

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - SoEzzy - 04-27-2007 07:41 AM

Tayster;p="4323 Wrote:Next time I do some pork, I'm going to try the injection, hopefully with some apple wood.

Thanks a lot.

I would inject with a syringe, or a power injector, the last time I tried injecting with wood they called what I did Kabobs. :lol:

- Tayster - 04-27-2007 09:05 AM

This is why I love this board. The people here will mock you when you write something stupid - which I do waaaay too much - yet at the same time give helpful tips.

Thanks SoEzzy.

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - SoEzzy - 04-27-2007 09:10 AM

You're Welcome! :wink:

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - Tayster - 05-02-2007 08:57 AM

Another question about pulled pork...

I have always used the "Boston Butt" cut for my pulled pork, but I noticed that some people around the net and in cookbooks use the "Picnic" cut.

Would I get the same results - or even better results - with a picnic roast, or is the butt the cut to stick with?

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - T - 05-02-2007 10:14 AM

YO Tayster, IMHO it's a matter of your personal preferrence. "Boston Butt", "Picnic Roast", "Pork Shoulder" or "Shoulder Blade Roast" are all names for shoulder cuts that make great pulled pork. I have used them all and have had success with each in one application or another. IMHO the Picnic will give you nice color changes, and the meat is sweeter next to the bone. It's up to you like I said. It's about what you prefer. Hope this helps?

keep it low- n - slow " T "


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Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - magnagun - 05-02-2007 11:26 AM

I have related follow up question. When would it be ideal to use mesquite chips? When I have used it on steak and chicken it has a sharp taste that I wasn't too keen on. What do you guys think?

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - Jaybird - 05-02-2007 11:39 AM

I only use it for burning down and grilling. Not a good wood for long cooks in my opinion. Use hickory, apple, pecan.

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - Tayster - 05-02-2007 12:01 PM

Thanks T. I figure if anyone would know, it'd be you.

magnagun, when I first started grilling, I used only mesquite because I like the way it tastes with steaks and other beef products. I have learned since that it's a very strong wood and not made for chicken or pork. You can use it for both of those meats, but don't use a lot of it.

As Jaybird said, try some hickory. (I would like to recommend apple & pecan, but I have not used those yet. I'm sure they are good, however, since Jaybird is a pro and all that.)

Re: Questions About Pulled Pork - magnagun - 05-02-2007 12:40 PM

Man, this forum is awesome. Thanks!