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Pork Shoulder/Butt injection & bark

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,


Next week I'm going to be smoking a 8lb bone in pork shoulder (or butt....can't remember). I've had decent success smoking two pork butts before.I have a couple questions regarding injections and getting a good looking bark. I have an 18.5" Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker. 


Injection: I've used melted butter, apple juice and apple cider vinegar. That has worked really well for me. I was curious if anyone has any experience with a similar recipe but adding a hot sauce to it. Not a lot but just a little bit for a little pop. Not sure if it will work well with an injection or not. I'm a texas pete guy so that is what I will try depending on feedback. 


Bark: I've had success cooking 2 pork shoulders before. The first one made it to an internal temp of 200, the bone slid out and had a better bark. Was on probably for 6-8hrs. The second wasn't on quite as long and didn't develop the color of bark I was looking for. The first pork shoulder I did the time of the cook was not rushed by the my wife. The second one was. Also the first one I injected and rubbed 24hours before the cook. That was not the case for the second. 


This is the game plan for the smoke next week: I live in Ohio, and I'm smoking this pork shoulder for the OSU vs scUM game. Its a 8lb pork shoulder and I plan on lighting the smoker Friday evening around 8pm to a temp of 200degrees and starting the pork shoulder around10pm. Of course I'll be up off an on all night looking at it, but this way it should be done somewhere around Noon-2pm. Thanksgiving evening I will inject and rub. Olive oil will be the glue. I'll put my rub on in stages: 1) salt pepper garlic and onion powder 2) a red and very flavorful local bbq rub that is great on just about anything 3) chili powder, cayenne, and maybe a couple other spices. Need to investigate that more. Of course I'll pull the pork and wrap in foil in a pan with some melted butter and a splash of water at internal temp of 160-165 until it reaches 200-205.


Will the bark be pretty much set by the internal temp of 160-165? I'm hoping with the longer cook time and going back to the rub being placed on at 24 hour (and a light fresh layer just before cooking) that I will get a darker color. Is this fair to say? 


Sorry for the long post but I like to be thorough. Thanks for your input folks! 


post #2 of 4

Shoulder and butt are the same thing.


Suggestion - skip the injection.  If you want a little heat, try using Texas Pete's as the binder for the rub instead of olive oil.  I have been using Sriracha sauce lately as my binder and found that I really like it.  It loses most, if not all of the heat, but leaves a really nice flavor.  You could use a apple juice / vinegar mop with a little Texas Pete's in it to to add a bit more heat if you would like also.


Good luck.

post #3 of 4
I inject all of my pork butts. Applying the rub 24 hours in advance will help with the bark formation. You can also apply extra rub before putting it in the smoker. I get plenty of bark on my butts/shoulders.
post #4 of 4
Let's see if I got this right.

Smoker temp of 200? That's kinda low. It will work tbou.

You plan on foiling? That makes a soft bark.

I don't inject or foil. I rub the night before or right before going into the smoker.
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