Brining Boston Butt Roasts for Pulled Pork

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokemonster, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Hello,

    I just tried my hand at using a charcoal grill as a smoker for the first time with two Boston Butt roasts for pulled pork this past week.  I did one on this past Thursday and the other on Saturday.

    This went very well and I was very pleased with the results, especially since I have never done this before.  The whole process took much longer than I thought it would based on a book that I purchased, "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen.

    But, as I am reviewing things and making plans for next time I am wondering about brining a Boston Butt roast?

    On these first two I used a mustard slather and a rub and cured for 24 hrs, and then used apple cider in a spray bottle and a baste while cooking.

    Now I am wondering about trying this exact same process next time, only adding a step which consists of a bourbon brine before the mustard and rub.  Could anyone please advise me about this?  I don't know if somehow this would be too much . . . or if it would be acceptable.

    Thanks very much!

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  2. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it where me I would try it, could be good, or it could not add anything to your final result, you'll never know until you try. I am sure it will be good, the way I look at it the more you fuss over a piece a meat the better it is.
  3. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just did one this weekend. Was suppose to brine but the cocktails got the better of me? I did get up early though & injected it until it wouldnt take anymore! I didn't mess the brine & it was awesome!!
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now I don'y know if you want to brine a butt. Maybe inject it with some goodnees or just rub it and I too don't think that brining will do much to the outcome of the butt. Now I would worry about it maybe changing the texture of the meat. But heck who am I to tell you so giuve it a shot and then just let us know.
  5. i bet it would be juicy as all get out, at least one could reason.
  6. Thanks very much for the comments guys [​IMG]  . . . collectively you have inspired me to try it.  The next time I do a Boston Butt for pulling pork I will use a bourbon brine for about 4 hours and then hit it with the mustard and rub and cure it for 24 hours, and I'll report back here to let any interested know how it turned out.

    PS  I'll try one after that just with the injector method to see how that compares as well.

    "We will be succesful[!] . . . or fail to do so." --Rev. Jim Ignatowski
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  7. I have been injecting my butts with apple cider, soy and worchester.  I did brine some country style ribs and I can tell you that they were more tender than the batch before without brine.  I removed them at 165 instead of 175, and they were more tender and juicy....same rub, same butcher on both batches. FWIW

  8. Hey about that bourbon brine? Can you share the recipe?


  9. porkaholic

    porkaholic Smoke Blower

    The first time I did butts I injected them and the second time I marinated them overnight in the fridge.  The second attempt was by far the best.  1 cup apple juice, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup worcestershire sauce.  It made a great difference in the final product.
  10. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    I usually just brine myself while waiting 12-14 hours for the pork to smoke..but that's just me
  11. Thanks porkaholic, I have a pair of butts for later next week. I'll try the marinade. Seems more logical than the needle to me.

    This is what I love about smoke and all works....just different.
  12. took me all day to get your driftt there may have the best recipe of all!LOL
  13. This is a really good one Monte--adapted from Steven Raichlen's recipe in How to Grill pg.129--I have used this on pork and turkey breast, and it is truly a 5 Star recipe in my book:

    1 cup hot water

    2 cups cold water

    3 tablespoons bourbon

    2 Tbl olive oil

    3 Tbl coarse salt

    3 Tbl brown sugar

    1/4 tea ground black pepper

    1/4 tea ground cloves

    1/2 tea allspice

    1/2 tea cinnamon

    2 bay leaves

    1 small onion thinly sliced (rings)

    Combine everything except onions and bay leaves into a bowl and whisk until brown sugar is dissolved.  Lay onions and bay leaves over top of meat and pour brine over meat. 

    Depending on what you are brining and how long you are brining it, turn several times in brine in refridgerator during process.

    This really is a good one!

    PS Thanks for the input Porkaholic very helpful.

    PSPS  Thanks also for your tip Lugnutz, although I think I already knew about that one [​IMG]

    "We will be succesfull[!] . . . or fail to do so." --Rev. Jim Ignatowski
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  14. Thanks for the recipe, looks great. I'll try it on one this weekend!
  15. OK SmokeMonster,....this Bourbon brine is amazing!  Brined and injected a 10 pounder overnight Saturday and it is really good!

    Stuff smells so good that the whole house and backyard smelled of spices.

    Thanks a bunch!
  16. That's great to hear!

    Also, thanks very much for the feedback about your experience with both brining and injecting a Boston Butt.  I think this is exactly how I will do my next one.

    Since you liked the brine recipe, I will see about getting my rub recipe posted.  I formulated this rub recipe using some of the same spices as in the brine.  Actually, I make what is known as Cincinnati Chili and I had this in mind with my rub recipe.  You might like this as well.  It is great on ribs and Boston Butt Roasts.
  17. That sounds really good SmokeMonster.  I will need to get a butt out and start it thawing.  Unfortunately, our butts are all frozen here in Western SD!
  18. you have to fuss over your meat! [​IMG]
  19. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for sharing the brine recipe - looking forward to giving that a try
  20. going to try the brine this weekend, may even brine myself  [​IMG]

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