Hi all! It's been many months since I've posted, but in the past several months I've had many successful smokes. LOTS of smoked salmon, ham, bacon, hardboiled eggs, etc. I make a chicken stock-based soup now with chicken, pork sausage, zucchini, kidney beans, and pesto. I cold smoke the spicy pork sausage for a few hours in hickory and it adds so much flavor to the soup.
Anyway, let me get back to talking about my butt! I bought a 2-pack from Sams and decided to de-bone one of them and cut it in half. Only reason being is the outside parts and bark are so delicious and smokey, and my biggest problem with pulled pork is that by the time I pull it and mix it all up, it never seems to have a very strong smokey flavor. It seems to get lost. So I thought if there were more surface area, I might get more of the flavor I'm after.
I'm double lighting my pellets and have half the tray loaded with hickory and half loaded with cherry. I always used to do all-hickory, but I'm running low, so I tapped into my cherry supply that I've been using for ham.
Here's the meat:
The very first pulled pork I ever did, I had some spicy store-bought rub and it turned out amazing. Ever since then, I've had terrible luck with rub. I've purchased other commercial rub and made my own, but never end up getting good flavor out of it. I've also made huge amateur mistakes by loading too much rub on and ended up with pork that had ZERO smoke flavor. I even went so far one time as to just add layer after layer of salt, pepper, a layer of mustard, onion powder, another layer of mustard, garlic powder, etc etc and just had a huge batter coating my meat. That may be my funniest learning mistake ever. I started omitting the rub altogether and found I got a much better smoke flavor out of my meat.
Anyway, on the butt I cut in half, I decided to give it another whirl. I mixed equal parts of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, sugar, and cyanne pepper. Then using my hand, I literally "rubbed" a very thin layer over the meat, just enough to see that there is some on the surface. I can tell just by looking at it that it's going to be much better than the massive amounts of rub I used to put on in the past. My wife wanted me to rub the other butt too, but I decided not to so a) in case it's terrible, I didn't ruin both and b) I can have a true side-by-side comparison when it's done.
I have it in the smoker at 275. I know that's hotter than what most people go, but what happens to me every time I go with a lower temp is a 20 hour smoke, where I get fed up and crank it up to 275 at the very end. I'm not planning on wrapping it at all, just letting it go until I hit 205. I'll be watching the halved pieces close as I'm anticipating those getting done before the whole one.
I'll post follow ups as I go!