So I smoked 2 pork butts for my daughters 1st birthday party. Turned out super moist and tender but I thought the taste wasn't good at all. Wondering if you guys might give me some ideas on what happened here so I don't make this mistake again as it really just turns me off from doing pulled pork again. To me it just had a really weird flavor. Kind of bitter almost kind of like a lighter fluid taste but I don't use any kind of fluid. Hard to explain. Not sure if I somehow got a bitter taste from the wood or if the wood I used just way over powered the pork. Or maybe it was my rub. I've done chicken legs and a brisket flat using only my 50/50 mix of S&P with pecan wood and thought they turned out awesome flavor wise.
Process: I use a WSM 22.5" smoker. Used RO USA lump charcoal. Pecan Wood chunks
Rub: Tried to keep it simple. I have a 50/50 mix of S&P. Took 1 cup of this 50/50 mix and added 4 TBS of paprika, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne.
Heated up smoker to about 225. Got some tbs going and added meat. I usually keep 2 of the 3 bottom vents completely closed and use the other to control my temp. At one time the smoker temp got up to 260 so I almost closed the last bottom vent and almost closed the top vent to get the temp back down. Smoked it for about 4.5 - 5 hours, put them in a roasting pan, covered with foil and finished them in the oven so I could get some sleep as they need to be ready for 1pm party.
Not sure what happened here so any help would be appreciated. Also if their is any other info you need just ask.
One thing I just thought about was I haven't cleaned out the ash in the bottom of the smoker from the first 2 smokes. Not sure if this matters but didn't think it would since it was below everything including the hot coals.