Need a little help with my butts/ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by keltonfoss, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. keltonfoss

    keltonfoss Newbie

    Hey guys, so ive been smoking stuff for about a year now, both on a weber and now my gmg daniele boone.

    My pork butts come out moist, well smoked, and i can never keep it around long enough, everyone loves it. The problem im running in to is while it is tasty, it seems to be missing something. Like it isnt flavorful enough to me. Can anyone mentor me on this and what im doing wrong? I run into the same woth my ribs, they are always tastey, have bite, but its like im doing something wrong with the rub perhaps? Just doesnt seem like it ever comes out crusty or ultra flavorful :(
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When exactly is it not flavorful enough for you?  Is it the day you smoked it, or the next day? 

    On the day you smoked it you could be suffering from nose blindness (I believe that's what it's called).  Happens whether you are smoking or cooking in the kitchen.  Just being around the food while it is being prepared can dull your sense of taste.

    If it is the day after, then it is a rub and spice problem.  Older spices will lose flavor.  I've had some last for years, and others that are flat and flavorless after six months. 

    Pork butts can be rather flat tasting, depending how they are prepared.  On big pieces of meat, like a butt, I pile on the rub.  If you are wrapping the butt at the stall, be sure to save the juices, separate the fat, and add the jus back to the meat.  You can also add more rub to the pulled meat at the end if it still tastes flat.

    Another thing you can do with pulled pork is add a finishing sauce.  Chef JJ's is my favorite.  All it takes is a little added to the meat on a sandwich to make the meat pop with flavor.  Use the search feature of the forum for "Chef JJ's Finishing Sauce" and you'll get the recipe. 

    On ribs, I prefer spares to baby backs.  I also prefer the taste of the pork, not the rub so much.  I lightly dust my ribs.  I also use a heavy wood, like hickory (mostly) and mesquite (when in the mood). 

    If none of that helps, we'll probably need more information.  You'll get there. 
  3. keltonfoss

    keltonfoss Newbie

    Might be a slight bit of nose blindness but im not 100% on that. I wonder if im using enough salt? The rub always seems a bit bland. All of my spices are used within weeks. I was just told not to use much salt on a rub or it could affect the finished product
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep, that's your problem.  Salt is a natural flavor enhancer, and can help meat be more tender and retain juices.  Here is my favorite pork and chicken rub recipe.  Note how much salt there is.

    Sweet and Smoky Rub

    1/4 cup kosher salt
    1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup smoked paprika
    2 Tbs granulated sugar
    2 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp onion powder
    2 tsp freshly ground pepper
    2 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger


    1. Stir all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
  5. keltonfoss

    keltonfoss Newbie

    Funny - minus the salt that is almost exactly the recipe i came up with on my own.
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Add the salt and you're in business!
  7. keltonfoss

    keltonfoss Newbie

    Funny - minus the salt that is almost exactly

    Thanks you for your help! Will try this out when our freezer supply is depleted haha
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Salt can make all the difference. If you normally eat an average amount of salt, shaker on the table and you frequently use it, then go light in your rub, you will find the pork bland. Salt only enhances. It not only stimulates it's own set of sensors on the tongue but the salt helps other taste buds to be more sensitive. Salt slightly dulls Bitter sensing taste buds and stimulates Sweet sensing taste buds. A small pinch of salt makes coffee less bitter and fruits taste sweeter. Salted cantaloupe comes to life. That is why a popular snack is Prosciutto wrapped Cantaloupe. Acid has a similar effect, hence Rays recommendation of my Finishing Sauce. My Foiling Juice will add to your Ribs and can be used as a sweeter finishing sauce. Don't be afraid to bump the salt in your rub...JJ

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses

    Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar ( Recommended!). Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork:  Make a Double batch, skip the Butter.

    If you plan to Foil the meat, add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten, the meat should be shiny and juicy but not swimming in sauce. Serve while hot...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    If you choose to Not Foil or Pan the Butt. Add the Finishing Sauce to the pulled meat before serving. Add the hot Finishing Sauce a little at a time until the Pork is moistened, again the meat should be shiny but not swimming in sauce.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ

    Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

    2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

    For a Lexington Style Dip  add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ

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