Wood+smoke for pulled pork

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bblanco81, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. bblanco81

    bblanco81 Newbie

    Hey Everybody,

    I have my mindset on making some pulled pork. Will be my first time smoking a shoulder and thought I'd check with yall for some hints.  I make carnitas all the time, and love pork shoulder, hard to mess up, and delicious results.  

    But this will be my first smoke of a pork butt, and, since they are big, my longest smoke.  So a couple questions, what kind of wood is your favorite for pork butt?

    I like apple, hickory sometimes is strong, and I fear for that long of a smoke, may be too strong, which leads me to my next ?

    Should, during the smoke, should i ease of the smoke at a certain time, to not get that bitter taste?

    I need to find a new hobby other than cooking for trying to lose weight, oh well

    Thanks for your input people!

  2. I like to do a mix of apple and oak on my butts
  3. bblanco81

    bblanco81 Newbie

    Also, while I'm at it, who has a good rub some pork butt.  My rubs have been, well, lacking, i put good things in em, but they just dont taste right and i end up using some of the pappys.....

  4. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I prefer hickory for pork. I often use a mix of both apple and hickory for my butts.

    I tend to restrict mesquite for cooking beef. 

    As with anything smoking meat related, it's aways a matter of individual taste.

    To sauce or not to sauce and when,

    do you mop, spritz or cook dry,

    which wood,

    how spicy

    how much salt

    how done

    etc. etc. etc.

    Only you can answer so you get to try all of those options to varying degrees to decide what is right for you. Experimenting is a big part of the fun. If you're doing it right, you should still be experimenting until they put you in the ground.   
  5. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Cherry or maple.

    If you're using charcoal as your heat source and adding chunks of wood for smoke you might try adding wood every other time you add charcoal and see how that suits your taste. See Dick Foster's reply above.
  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cherry and Oak or Cherry and Hickory
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use hickory myself. As for lack of flavor, remember that a rub is primarily just on the outside of the meat, so you have two choices 1) inject the large pieces of meat to get flavor on the inside or 2) don't be afraid to make a strong rub, then when the meat is shreaded and mixed together it all evens out.

    One comment - you said you are getting a bitter taste from the smoker? That is generally caused by creasote build up in your smoker. Two most common ways of creasote build up are people closing off the top damper (that damper should never be more than 50% closed, preferably 100% open), or their wood is not getting hot enough and producing billowy white smoke & creasote. If you do have creasote in your smoker you will need to scrub the entire inside of the smoker, because once creasote is there it will continue to make future smokes taste bad.

    Hope the butt turns out good! [​IMG]
  8. bblanco81

    bblanco81 Newbie

    thanks for all the replies fellas.  Looking forward to some butt...
  9. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    I use hickory and jack daniels whiskey barrel chunks.  I smoke at 225 til it hits 160, then wrap in foil and run til 190-200. then wrap in towels and place in a cooler for at least an hour.  I also spray the butts with apple juice every hour til it hits 160,  Good Luck
  10. peixegato

    peixegato Smoke Blower

    I scrub mine out once a year for this very reason.  I do it as part of my annual maintenance. 
  11. My favorite wood for pork is about 80% white oak and 20% hickory or pecan.

    Meats that are BBQed for long periods of time, mainly pork butts and beef briskets, can easily be over smoked.  In fact, the number one problem that new (or many old) backyard cooks experience is over smoking. Your objective should be a very thin, blue smoke for about 4 hours or so. After that point don't worry about whether you can see smoke or not.  If you can smell it - it's there.  Trust me!  All of this assumes, on my part, that your heat source is wood coals/charcoal. HTH
  12. I'm am with ballagh on this one... This is pretty much exactly how i do my butts... Sometimes I'll replace the hickory for apple wood. The JD Barrel chunks are made with oak and mixes really well with the apple wood. I also mop with an apple juice and Jack Daniels mixture. I mop my mouth with the same JD and apple juice mixture as ofter as possible... It keeps my lips from drying out!!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010

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