Pulled Pork Decisions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by travisgordon87, May 9, 2013.

  1. I'm pretty new to smoking and am doing my second ever batch of pulled pork for an engagement party. The first batch went well as I really just followed cooking directions my dad gave me. As I'm getting more into the idea of smoking I decide I want to make it my own so to speak. In doing so I've read dozens of recipes and methods for pulled pork and to summarize it seems like there are so many decisions to make that vary from person to person. I wanted to know you guy's opinion on these different options
    1. Meat Selection- Boston Butt or Picnic? Bone in or boneless?
    2. Over night meat preparation- Rub with mustard or rub without mustard or rub with vegetable oil or brine or not at all? Inject?
    3. Smoker Placement- Fat up, fat down, or fat trimmed?
    4. Mid-smoking- Mop or not? If you are with a brush or spray?  Foil or no foil (aka Texas crutch)?
    5. Post-smoking- How long to let it sit? 
    Did I capture everything? Right now I'm planning on buying boneless boston butt from Costco (only reason why it will be boneless), rubbing with mustard overnight and injecting with applejuice mixture, placing on the smoker fat down with not mopping or texas crutch and letting it sit for an hour on the counter before pulling.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's one way to do it[​IMG]. I just start the fire, rub the meat(after trimming the fat cap off) and put it on the grate(after the cooker is at or above my target temp) and cook away. I take an internal temp/probe after 6 hours, no sooner.
     
  3. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Travis, Welcome to SMF, you have come to the right place for answers. Also please swing by Roll Call and introduce yourself to the rest of the SMF Family.
    1. Meat Selection- Boston Butt or Picnic? Bone in or boneless? Go with a bone-in Boston Butt-with the butt, there is less connective tissue in it vs. the Picnic-though if your willing to do a little extra work, the taste of the Picnic is great.  You want the bone in a butt because when the butt hits the right temp for pulling, the bone will slip right out clean as a whistle
    2. Over night meat preparation- Rub with mustard or rub without mustard or rub with vegetable oil or brine or not at all? Inject? When I do an over night prep, I just put the rub right on the pork. The salt in the rub will pull moisture from the meat and turn the dry rub into a paste. Just before putting the butt into the smoker I'll add some more rub to the pork. The only time I use a mustard slather is when I'm short on time and can't do the over night rest.  Injecting is a personal preference.  I don't inject, but that just me.
    3. Smoker Placement- Fat up, fat down, or fat trimmed? Fat placement up or down depends on the smoker.  In my GOSM propane burner and my electric UDS the fat go down and act as a barrier to any potential flare-up.  On the Lang it's also fat down just cuz I like to keep the bark intact.  If the butt isn't already trimmed by the butcher, I'll trim it down to about 1/4 inch.
    4. Mid-smoking- Mop or not? If you are with a brush or spray?  Foil or no foil (aka Texas crutch)? This is one of those personal preference things- I used to use a mop that I sprayed on-using a brush can knock the bark down.  Foil- I used to but don't anymore. Using foil helps get past the dreaded plateau (stall). The stall usually hits at about 167° and that when folks wrap the butt in foil. Some will even put the butt in a disposable aluminum pan and then put foil over the top. If you're prone to punchering the foil and losing all the juice-the pan trick is a nice way to go. Remember that each time you open up your smoker to spray or mop, you'll be losing heat and it will take about 10-15 minutes to recover (come back up to cooking temp). As some will tell ya-"If yer lookin-yer ain't cookin"!
    5. Post-smoking- How long to let it sit? Personal preference thing here too-I like to let the meat rest at least 20-30 minutes. If you find yourself ahead of the game and are waiting for other things to finish cooking or waiting on guest, place the butt in a towel or blanket lined ice chest and it will stay hot for several hours.  If you don't already have the butt wrapped in foil, wrap it, then wrap the foil wrapped butt in a couple of old towel and then into the towel/blanket lined cooler. 
    I should add if your thinking about making your own sauage down the road-keep your fat. Put it in a freezer type ziptop bag, lable it and put it in the freezer. It's hard to find pork fat in the grocery stores unless you happen to be buddy's with the guys in the meat department.

    Others will come on and give you their input so in the meantime~

    Enjoy the Smoke!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    isucyclone likes this.
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Travis, Dutch has everything covered...I couldn't add a thing!  Good luck, and remember we love to see your results...so please let us know how it went with picutures!

    Red
     
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Some great advice already but I'll add how I do mine, this is on the stickburner
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  6. friz

    friz Newbie

    1. I personally like bone in butts.

    2. I just use a home made dry rub about 12 hours before I smoke.

    3. Fat up.

    4. I spray with apple juice about every half hour for the first 2 hours. I wrap after 2.5 hours.

    5. Let it stand for about 30 minutes.

    These tricks always work for me to have a butt that you can just pull apart with two forks.
     
  7. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Alright, you asked and we shall deliver!  Here is how I do my butts.
    Good luck,

    Bill
     
  8. OK I will chime in and confuse you even more. If I am going to be using BBQ sauce, as in sandwiches, I don't use rub. I just put it right on the grill. I have been running my grill like a horizontal drum, so I put the fat down. After I make my mods I will probly trim the fat simply because I want to make some sausage as well. I used SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce and love it. I think (in most cases) simpler is better. I only foiled it to rest it in a cooler wrapped in towels. I was told NOT to change anything!! Any way you choose I don't think you will go wrong listening to these guys........and gals!!
     

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