Smoked butts - is it just me?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jerick, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I smoked my first butts this weekend. Everything went well, I was able to pull the pork very easily, nice and tender... but I'm a little disappointed with the flavor. Basically, it tastes like cooked pork - not a lot of smoke and little, if any flavor from the rub and basting. Tell me where I went wrong.

    These were two 4+ lb shoulders, fresh from the store. I washed them, slathered them with yellow mustard and rubbed them with Famous Dave's Rib Rub - about an ounce per butt. Maybe that wasn't enough, but I don't know.

    Smoked the butts using hickory on my ECB converted to gas. The temp pretty much kept between 220 and 240. After they reached 100 degrees internal I sprayed liberally once per hour with apple juice. I kept the smoke going pretty steadily until they reached 164 degrees - about 6 1/2 hours.

    Wrapped them in heavy duty foil with another good spray of apple juice and moved them into the oven at 250 (which varied from 230 to 270 according to my digital thermometer (which I LOVE). It took a long time to get to 196, but when they did and I wrapped them in towels and stuck them in a cooler to rest for about 1/2 hour.

    Took them out of the cooler and opened the foil to let them cool for a bit. The bone basically fell out and the meat pulled apart very nicely, then into the fridge until Sunday lunch. I saved the extra juice, cooled it in the fridge to skim off the fat, then added it back in when we warmed up the meat for sandwiches the next day.

    They were very good with barbeque sauce added and everyone like them. The meat was tender and moist. I just thought that the meat alone was a little bland. I didn't even notice much from the apple juice. I can't imagine how, for example, adding some spiced rum to the spray would even be noticed.

    Any ideas? Not enough rub? Was I expecting too much?

  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What temp didya foil? Was there a "barq"? Rub amount COVER the sucker as thick as will hold. Use a mustard slather first to help. What wood? And plain ole apple juice os OK but consider some cider vinegar, CBP, and I like that mop. Maybe it was the girly "spritz" that did it hehehe...
  3. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like you did everything correctly but as Rich indicated, if a bark was not present(dark crust on the outside of the meat) the smoke flavor won't be nearly as intense. Did you get any pics to post?
  4. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    More rub.......I probably spill an ounce on my shoes. [​IMG]
  5. I agree with the need for more rub, one can't put too much on a butt. Gotta have it!!
  6. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Stop cooking with gas. [​IMG]

    More rub, everything else sounds textbook!

    Don't rub the night before, load it up while the pit is warming up, just pulling moisture out of the meat lwtting it sit.
  7. Richtee - I foiled them at 164, and used hickory for the smoke.

    lcruzen - There wasn't really a "crust", I guess. The outside of the meat got very dark, but there wasn't anything that could have been broken off, for example. Is that what it should be like? I wasn't exactly sure what to expect.

    I slathered them with mustard, but it sounds like I didn't use nearly enough rub. Is the rub what causes most of the bark (barq?)? Does it hold a lot of the smoke flavor? Does it seem like they didn't get enough smoke to begin with? I thought I kept it going pretty well.

    I do have pics and will try to get them posted this evening.

    Thanks for the ideas - keep them coming!

  8. Good Call! I admit I thought the same thing right away when I began to read this post.

    Deffinetly use more rub next time. I usually coat the roast one time with as much as I can get to stick, then let that start to soak up and get wet looking, then add another layer. MORE RUB!

    One other thing, the last time I did little butts like that I thought there was much less juice that came out and eventually was put back with the meat. I prefer the 7-9 lb buts. More fat= more flavor.

  9. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'll take mine to 170-ish before foiling. You need more rub and I like to use a mop sauce as well. Did you have any smoke ring to speak of? A pink/reddish band around the inside surface of the meat?
  10. krusher

    krusher Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    that says it, I COVER with rub after the mustard and then when that gets wet ( and it will in about 10 minutes ) I COVER it again. that will put a nice bark on it for ya.

    hope this helps.
  11. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Definitely man up on the mop too. I use meowey's 3-1 apple juice/spiced rum or apple juice/Jim Beam. That along with MORE RUB should form a nice tasty bark. [​IMG]
  12. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG] LOL

    Yep, gotta have bark. More rub or a different rub.

    What smoker do you use, horizontal or vertical?

    Edit: Sorry saw you used an ECB vertical. Did you do a fat cap DOWN or Up? Down gives you a much better and deeper bark.

    Nice bark forming
  13. There was a smoke ring. Maybe 1/8 inch thick.

    I had the fat cap down.

    The consensus seems to be that the biggest problem was not enough rub. I'm also thinking I'll get Jeff's rub recipe.

    Thanks, everyone! Now I'm eager to try it again!

  14. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I know where you are coming from and different rubs will definantly give different taste. Also more bark with some than others, but all in all, you need some sauce to kick it up a notch in my book, once the pork is pulled.
  15. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Later foil, 170-175 internal, or even no foil.

    use charcoal or wood, gas and electrics lack in the smoke flavor a bit.

    Try an injection [​IMG] .

    After the pull, toss some of the juice back on the finished meat along with a sprinkle or two of the original rub, mix it well with your hands!
  16. jack2u2

    jack2u2 Smoke Blower

    And give SoFlaQue's finishing sauce a try. Best thing I ever did for my butts. You'll be glad ya did!
  17. bwsmith_2000

    bwsmith_2000 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree that it sounds like you need to use more rub. As was mentioned, slather, coat, let moisture come through and rub again. I also like to use larger butts (more moisture). My last one was 10.7 lb and it took a whopping 22 hours to get to an internal temp of 200*. One other thought ..... everyone likes there own way and I understand that. However, for myself, I seldom mop or spritz my butts. Also, I don't foil and I smoke the entire time. Also, IMO, there's nothing better to do than to use SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce after pulliing. I simply won't do butts without the sauce. Try it and I gaurantee you'll be hooked. Good luck!
  18. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    BINGO!!!! Best suggestion yet. :)
  19. yup ya didn't use a finishing sauce...makes all the difference to me...
  20. crusty ol salt

    crusty ol salt Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I know you used hickory as the smoke/flavor element, did you have good continous TBS up until you foiled?

Share This Page