I have been making pulled pork since I started smoking and really like it. However, I never tried injecting it before smoking as I thought it tasted so good, how much better could an injection make it. I had picked up a 9 1/2 pound pork shoulder on sale and had friends coming over and I decided to give it a try.
I started at 8:30 in the morning the day before the meal. I always cook my pulled pork the day before so I don't have to worry about long stalls.
I cut the skin off the pork shoulder
I made up an injection fluid with:
125 ml (1/2 cup) apple juice
50 ml (1/4 cup) water
50 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
10 ml (2 teaspoons) salt
15 ml (1 tablespoon) Worcestershire sauce
I put the pork in a roasting pan and started injecting every inch. I left any that squirted out in the roasting pan.
I used Louisiana Grills Smokey Spicy Sweet Hot rub on the outside.
I put a cup of apple juice in the pan and put the pork on a rack over it. I let this sit in the fridge for an hour.
I put the pork in the grill I had preheated to 240 F with hickory pellets. It went on about 10 am.
After 5 hours (3 pm), I checked the internal temperature and it was 150 F.
I brought the pork in and put it in the pan and covered it with foil. Then I put it in a 250 F oven.
It cooked along and hit a major stall at about 177 F. It wouldn't budge for hours. Finally, about midnight, it hit 190 F and I started probing for tenderness by pushing a wood skewer in. It took until 1 am to get to 195 F but the skewer went in easily.
I took it out of the oven and let it rest for an hour.
I unfoiled and pulled the pork. As usual, the bone pulled right out and the fat was easy to pull off.
I covered the pork and put it in the fridge and tottered off for some well deserved sleep.
The next day I took 1 1/2 pounds of the pork (enough for 4 heavy eaters) and mixed it with a finishing sauce. My finishing sauce is based on Soflaquer's Finishing sauce (see http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/51933/soflaquers-finishing-sauce-for-pulled-pork). I have changed it to my tastes and used the following for this serving:
50 ml (1/4 cup) cider vinegar
15 ml (1 tablespoon) maple syrup
1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) black pepper
1/2 ml (1/8 teaspoon) cayenne
The cayenne and pepper give just a touch of heat. Use less or more as you like.
I tossed the 1 1/2 pounds of pork in the finishing sauce and put it in a covered casserole and reheated in a 250 F oven for 90 minutes.
The rest of the pork was put in containers and frozen for future sandwiches.
I didn't do a plated shot as I had guests over and we were visiting. Sorry.
I was amazed at the extra flavour and complexity the injection gave the meat. You don't really note the individual flavours just a rich sweetness and a touch of spice. I will be injecting from now on. From the way the guests ate it, it was obviously popular with them too.