Originally Posted by osbornj2
Thanks for all the great info so far! So, it seems that it certainly won't "hurt" the meat to marinate (with a "t" !! ) with apple cider, even if does not greatly benefit or enhance the finished flavor.
Based on your experiences, it seems then that the wood itself will play a far greater role in the flavoring (esp for pulled pork).
This is good stuff! I appreciate your time and sharing so far, and am looking forward to even more responses...
Just saw this. I am sure its not always, but it seems it always. I always rub pork with brown sugar just before putting on the smoker. Sugar goes from crystaline state, to liquid. Then with the smokers heat it caramelizes encapsulating the meat in a sweet sugar sheath. I think it helps hold the moisture as well as the spices rubbed on prior to the sugar on/in the meat. Its kind of like a M&M with its candy shell, melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
Bigger pieces of pork, I rub and wrap two days ahead of the cook. No, I don't use mustard or even EVOO, I massage or rub the spices in. I do not apply salt or sugar. because of their dehydrating abilities. I save them to apply just before placing the meat in the smoker.
I do not believe that brining adds moisture, it only allows the fluid mobility of flavor enhancors into the meat, injection is the same although without the osmosis.
If I marinate, its beef, big beef where injection would also work great. I marinate small meats, or slices or cuts that need the flavor heavily enhanced becasue it just not a good piece of meat. Its the type meat I wouldn't normally cook without a disclaimer. LOL
Something to think about, do you taste the smoke (wood)? or is it the aroma that makes your mind think you taste it? Just something to ponder. Remember Smoke was not originally applied as a "flavor modifier", it was a way to keep the bugs away from fresh meat.