Bitter Bark Pork Shoulder

Discussion in 'Pork' started by odoylerules, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. I was hoping you all might have some suggestions for me.  I did my very first pork shoulder a few weeks ago and while it was super tender the bark was totally lacking in flavor and was actually super bitter.  My smoker is a Masterbuilt Gen II 30".  This was my first major long smoke and i used apple wood chips and loaded them up every hour or so.  For my dry rub i used Meatheads Memphis Meat Rub recipe from his site.  I did leave the vent wide open for the entire smoke  to try and keep the air flow up and the temp around 225 for the entire smoke.  

    I've searched around and read that this could be caused by several things such as stale smoke.  To remedy that issue i purchased a Amazen Pellet smoker and added a mailbox mod to my smoker.  However, i noticed something else that i thought might be causing it and i was wondering how you all deal with it.  His dry rub recipe contains a lot of sugar, which i really liked as i wanted a nice thick sweet bark, however it appears that in my smoker as the dripping fall down and hit the slanted catch pan in the Gen 2's, this sugary rub/grease just sits there and starts to burn since its close to heating element.  Is it possible this burning sugar smoke also caused this bitter flavor.  ,After the smoke was done i had to scrape the huge mound of burnt stuff off the catch pan, i wish i had taken a picture of it.  

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle the drippings on a electric smoker and if this burning is actually an issue or was it most likely stale smoke?  I've read that some people put a aluminum catch pan under their meat as it smokes.  Do you add water to this pan to keep the drippings from burning?  Maybe i was just too heavy handed with the rub or should have tried a different one to start out?  

    I'm going to try again this weekend with football season starting so i'm hoping for a better result this time. Thanks for any tips you all might have.  
  2. yotzee

    yotzee Smoking Fanatic

    1. Never used Meathead's rub but I hear it has rosemary and ginger in it which some may find bitter.  Try a different rub.

    2. Use a water pan under the butt to avoid burnt drippings.

    3. Keep an eye on your smoke.  It should be blue and barely visible.
    odoylerules likes this.
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I also do not se 'Meatheads' rub. Haven't tried  it , I have my own Rub...

    If you want a good seasoning on the Meat , find a rub with no sugar (or very little) and an hour before Pulling , sprinkle some "Turbinato" Sugar (Suagr in the Raw).Works on Ribs Butts Lions ,anything . This is a better  sugar also , not as bad as 'Refined White or Brown sugar). White Sugar is combined with Molasses for Brown Sugar.

    Try without sugars and see if it improves .  .. JMHO [​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
    odoylerules likes this.
  4. It's the sugar burning and becoming bitter. Rosemary ad was said before can be bitter as well.
    odoylerules likes this.

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