Pork Butt and Babyback Ribs Taste Like Ham

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mdublu, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. mdublu

    mdublu Newbie

    The last two items I smoked, a pork butt and babyback ribs, had to much of a ham flavor to them. It wasn't so much a problem with the portk butt because it was just the outside 1/4 inch and was mixed in when the pork was shredded. The ribs tasted too much like ham. I used a Weber kettle set up for indirect smoking and kept the temp between 225 and 300--most of the time at 250. I put the rub on less than an hour before smoking. What would give me the ham flavor--the temperature, too much smoke or something else? I've never had this flavor using my Weber or Caldera Tall Boy smokers before now. 
  2. mdublu

    mdublu Newbie

    More information...this is the rub I used on the pork butt and ribs:

    3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup paprika
    1/4 cup Morton's kosher salt
    1/4 cup garlic powder
    2 tablespoons ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
    2 tablespoons onion powder
    2 teaspoons rosemary powder
  3. When buying pork, avoid the ones that are enhanced with some type of solution.  It's done so the pork will still be juicy after cooking the crap out of them (like most folks tend to do with pork), but what it really does is cure the meat before you even cook it.  Hence, the ham flavor.  Every time I tried to smoke ribs that came from Wal-Mart, that's what I got.  Now, I only buy them at the butcher.  It costs more, but I don't have hammy tasting ribs.
  4. BTW, interesting rub.

    I find rosemary a bit overpowering on pork, but like it on beef.  Hmmm  To each his own [​IMG]
  5. mdublu

    mdublu Newbie

    This is the first time I've used that rub recipe which came from amazingribs.com.

    I didn't expect my meat could be the cause...I expected temperature, smoker, amount of smoke, charcoal, rub, or cooking time to be some of the possible causes. The butt came from Costco and the ribs were from my local grocery store meat case. Neither indicated being enhanced wih any solution.
  6. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Did you brine them?  Just trying to give you a bump so others can chime in with their 2 cents worth.

    I get my meats to smoke from Costco and have not gotten the "ham" issue.


  7. Overcooked meat could cause it as well I think, but I'm not sure as TBH, I have never overcooked ribs.  <==  can you feel the sarcasm?

    Your rub isn't overly salty, so it wouldn't have done it.  Certainly not in the short time you had it rubbed.

    I'm kinda lost here on this one.  Doin' what Kat did, giving you a bump to see if anyone else has an answer.
  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    even tho the ribs were from the local grocery... were they the ones that are in the cryovac pack ? any of the cryovaced ones I've seen have been pre-"seasoned"... Myself, I can't see where smoking them with indirect heat would give you the "hammie" flavor...
  9. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The cryo vac'd packs of St. Louis Ribs I get from Costco are not pre-seasoned....still wondering if some one else may have a thought or two.

  10. The Costco ribs and pork buts are very good. I had a similar problem once when doing a Kirkland Signature Boneless Sirloin Tip Roast but wasn't sure what caused it. They came in a four pack and only the first two tasted this way. The other 2 which I slow roasted did not. I figured it was something I did in the seasoning but was never sure.
  11. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I've cooked enhanced ribs that tasted "hammy" and I've cooked enhanced ribs that tasted great.[​IMG]

    It maybe just a case of "Murphy's Law"( or the rib cooking variation of it)
  12. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brown sugar, white sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder are included when i make Canadian bacon and if there is a cure in the loin, it's ham.
  13. mdublu

    mdublu Newbie

    I didn't brine either piece of meat and I'm pretty sure but not positive neither of them were injected or enhanced. The ribs were not cryovac--unless the butcher removed the bag before placing the ribs in the meat case. They sell both cryovac and non-cryovac at this store so I doubt that was done. Both cuts of meat are from my regular sources and I have not had this in the past. I just may have to try more ribs this weekend with a different rub to see if there is any difference. 
  14. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's the smoke. I've had that happen to ribs before. they just got a REALLY good dose of smoke, which does in fact "cure" the meat. The butt got it on the outer part only because of it's size, but the ribs, being much thinner, got it all the way through. How or why this happens I'm not entirely sure, but it's happened to me and the only difference was I had used more smoke wood.

    Did they look like this but all the way through?

  15. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Never had that happen before...

    I will say that your temp range is pretty wide though....225 - 300 is not something to shoot for.

    Not sure I agree that the smoke did it but since it happened to both the butt and the ribs that IS the most likely suspect other than the rub.

    Did you perhaps inject?

  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly---Forget all the other guesses.

    It's the Smoke Ring. It never happened to me, because I use an Electric smoker, but those who get smoke rings all the way through can get that Hammy taste. I would love that, but I have to use cure to get mine that way!!!

  17. mdublu

    mdublu Newbie

    The skinnier side of my ribs where the meat was as thick as 2" or more was pink all the way through and really tasted like a bite of ham but the meat still had the normal rib texture to it.  I forgot I used Wicked Good lump on both these pieces of meat--which I've never used before--instead of my regular Royal Oak lump. I added a few extra apple wood chunks when I smoked the port butt but not the ribs.
  18. patriot-bbq

    patriot-bbq Newbie

    I just had the same result.

    Got a new pellet smoker - mix of hickory and apple wood.

    Got the pre-seasoned baby back ribs from Costco - lazy I know but wanted to see what happened.

    Smoked in a 3-2-1 method almost, 20 minutes here or there.

    Meat had a smoke ring but a big pink ham flavor to it.  Plenty juicy, almost too much so.

    I won't be this lazy next time - will try fresh butcher ribs to see how good it can get.

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