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Pulled Pork Decisions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

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?

post #2 of 9

That's one way to do iticon_lol.gif. 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.

post #3 of 9

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!

post #4 of 9

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

post #5 of 9

Some great advice already but I'll add how I do mine, this is on the stickburner

Quote:
Originally Posted by travisgordon87 View Post

 

  1. Meat Selection- Boston Butt or Picnic? Bone in or boneless? Both I have had best results with using Butts with Picnics. Bone in or Boneless don't matter to me.
  2. Over night meat preparation- Rub with mustard or rub without mustard or rub with vegetable oil or brine or not at all? Inject? I brush mine with Worcestershire, Soy and JD then I use my Philly style Rub.
  1. Smoker Placement- Fat up, fat down, or fat trimmed? Fat trimmed and I will rotate/ Flip the butt during the cook. Fat can be chopped and fried and reincorporated into the pork. wonderful little crunchies. I usually render the fat along side the pork then fry up later.
  2. Mid-smoking- Mop or not? If you are with a brush or spray?  Foil or no foil (aka Texas crutch)? I foil and do mop
  3. Post-smoking- How long to let it sit? During Rest, pork is Foiled Toweled and into the cooler 2 hours, after two hours, pork is removed from the cooler towels removed then foil is tented.

 

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. Type of Shred/pull will also give different results. I would also consider a drip pan to catch the drippings for a finishing sauce, I have had my best results with a finishing sauce

 

What do you guys think?

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisgordon87 View Post

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?


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.

post #7 of 9
post #8 of 9

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by travisgordon87 View Post

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?  I like bone-in Boston butts best but there is nothing wrong with a picnic.  I tend to get more product from the Boston butts.  I like the bone-in because it gives more flavor!
  2. Over night meat preparation- Rub with mustard or rub without mustard or rub with vegetable oil or brine or not at all? Inject?  I no longer apply mustard - don't feel the need.  My dry rub on a moist butt.  No brine, no injection.  I rub the butt the night before the smoke and wrap in plastic and foil.  This creates a wonderfully thick paste overnight then the next day I apply another coat of dry rub before putting the meat on the smoker.
  3. Smoker Placement- Fat up, fat down, or fat trimmed?  I now trim the fat off my butts.  There is enough fat in the butt to keep it moist.  I trim off all the fat and keep it for sausage or burgers.
  4. Mid-smoking- Mop or not? If you are with a brush or spray?  Foil or no foil (aka Texas crutch)?  I don't mop.  If you're lookin you ain't cookin and moppin is lookin.  I don't foil because I like the bark, foiling significantly reduces bark.
  5. Post-smoking- How long to let it sit?  I wrap mine loosely in foil for about an hour or two before pulling.  If you are trying to keep it warm, double wrap in foil then in towels and into a cooler.  This will keep for about 6 hours and stay hot.

 

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?

Good luck,

 

Bill

post #9 of 9

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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