Injecting pulled pork? qview added

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bluebombersfan, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a ten pound pork shoulder I am going to smoke sat. for pulled pork.  I have never injected before but I was thinking about trying it on this shoulder.  Does anyone have any tips on what goes nice with pulled pork?  I was thinking apple juice or pineapple juice?  Do you inject just before smoking or do you let it sit overnight???

    Thanks!

    Brian
     
  2. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    I never inject pork shoulders due to the 4 hour rule.  Once an intact muscle is pierced by injecting or by a thermometer you then have 4 hours to get its temp to 140 F.  I just wanted to make you aware of this.  I know I have seen some people just simply inject apple juice.
     
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Like Tank said most of us don't inject butts, but if you watch the BBQ shows all the pros do. There are a million injection recipes floating around, just search "pork butt injection". Chris Lilly is the PP champ & his injection recipe is all over the internet. The thing I like about PP is the pork flavor so I try to keep it simple (pork + smoke). If you do inject it I think most of the guys do it while it's still cryovaced so the injection doesn't go everywhere. Then refrigerate overnight. Good luck & don't forget the Q-view!
     
  4. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Apple juice / jack daniel whiskey
    50/50 mix. Leave it in the wrapper while u inject so it don't squirt all over the place.
     
  5. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am a little worried about the 4 hour rule now?  I have been reading for 30 minutes now and little unsure what to do.  Inject after surface reaches 140???
     
  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member


     God, I would be dead by now if this is true. Are people using dirty needles or something?? I have injected and rubbed, then back in the fridge overnight. Then pulled it out in the morning only to inject it again and add more rub. My wife does keep a tidy ship, but I have never had any issues doing it this way in over 20 years. [​IMG]

     I have used Bitter Orange, Apple Juice and Mojo Crillio.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  7. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That does make me a little less nervous!  I have some of Jeff's BBQ sauce and I mixed it with pineapple juice to thin it a bit.  I think this would be deadly injected into my shoulder.  Last thing I want to do is make everyone sick!!!!!!!
     
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use 7 Up & Apple Juice to add some moisture to the inside of the meat

    Make sure you foil your drip pan and save the drippings. Stick the pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes, and the fat will harden.  Scrape off the fat and add the rest back into your pulled pork

    Todd
     
  9. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds awesome when do you inject? 
     
  10. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Good Luck I never inject either...
     
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry....

    I inject right before I smoke.

    I try to rub the night before, stretch wrap and sit in the fridge overnight.

    Since I don't use water in the pan, I think a large chunk of meat like a pork butt needs some extra moisture from the inside out.

    My 2 Cents

    TJ
     
  12. I started injecting many years ago when I competed. I also inject for catering. Never had any suspicion of problems. Used cool-cold apple juice and/or peach nectar, a bit of salt and sugar to make a light "brine" (for flavor, not preservation). My partner used other stuff in his injection for brisket like beef broth, balsamic vinegar, etc. and I've used vinegar in the pork injection, too. We usually injected the evening before and iced the meat prior to getting the cooker going. A lot depends on your time line and cooker and style of cooking.

    With the FEC 100 we usually injected and rubbed as soon as the inspectors finished with the meat and then chilled it until about 9 or 10 PM when we fired off the cooker. When using my stick burner I cooked hotter (competition, you know?!!) and we didn't fire up until 3 AM.

    Anyway, if you handle the meat safely and use clean injectors you will not have problems. Even "whole muscle" cuts have been violated since what you are getting at the store is NOT a primal and usually not even a sub-primal cuts. Piercing the meat with a clean needle and fresh juice and seasoning is the least of your worries. However, it is FOOD and should always be handled with respect.

    This is, of course, my $.02 and YMMV!!
     
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't inject, but it doesn't mean you can't.

    I recommend people don't inject large hunks of intact muscle, until they know their smoker well enough to be sure that they can get from 40˚ to 135˚ in no longer than 4 hours.

    Veteran smokers pretty much know if they can or can't.

    BTW: I also do not insert a temp probe before 3 hours at 225˚ in my smoker. After those 3 hours, there are no longer bad things on the surface, so if you sterilize your probe, you won't be dragging bad things into the meat.

    Bear
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  14. mco

    mco Smoke Blower

    I use a mix of black coffee and Cptn Morgan 50/50 and never had any complaints
     
  15. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I never did end up injecting ths shoulder but I thought I would post some pictures of it!!

    [​IMG]

    Smoking away and almost ready for foil

    [​IMG]

    Here is my MES with a stand that i built for it!

     [​IMG]

    A pic of my camping set up......Sorry didn't get any final shots of the Pork Shoulder it was a little dark and everybody tore into it!!
     
  16. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Never had a problem injecting i love it .Why limit your flavors with just surface flavors.I have my smoker at 300 when i put the meat on for a temp glide down to 250 to 235 till i hit 140 IT. You must take into account the cold thermal mass of the meat and the lid being open .In 4 hr I'm usually 150+ .You can use hot water in you pan to help with raising temp in the start up.I've found it easier to drop down into the temps.
     
  17. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    With the leftovers I searched around the site to find something to make.  I decided on quesadilla  s, and WOW they were the best I have ever tasted.  So many things to use left over pulled pork I am going to have to get smoking some more!!!!  And for sure going to try injecting next time!!

    Brian
     
  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I tried injecting before, here's my post on it

    Seasoning

    The night before, I prepped the Butts, removing as much fat as possible to promote more bark formation.
    One Boston Butt was injected with a marinade mix, equal parts of Apple Cider Vinegar, Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Apple Cider.
    The other was not injected. The marinade was also used as a mop (sprits). Rubbed both Butts, wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator.


     
     
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    Smoking

    I used Cherry. The Butts were spritsed simultaneously about eight times during cook The Butts were done sooner than I was used to.
    At approximately 6.8 lbs each, bone in, it only took about 8 hours (72 minutes per/lb.)

    I was surprised at how quickly they cooked, I was worried that since this was my first cook with the RF
    and the fact that I was a newbie at fire management on a stick burner, that I might have ruined the Butts.

    The Butt temps were about 195° but I was leery removing them so soon, because it had only been eight hours… I never had a Butt cook this quick, I kept moving the probe all over and kept thinking to myself, "what’s this Butt all fat", then I remembered a quote I had read from a blog or forum, can’t remember which, “To check for doneness insert a probe, it should slide in very easily like butter”, well this was definitely like butter.
    So with that in mind and the thermometer reading 195° internal, I figured it was safe to remove them from the smoker.


     


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    Resting

    The Butts came off the RF about a half hour apart, wrapped them tightly in foil and towels then placed them in the cooler to rest for about 90 minutes or so.





    Pulling

    After the rest I handed my wife two forks and one of the Butts in the pan and smiled. The Butts pulled beautifully and yes the bone was clean The Bark formation and smoke ring was perfect and the bark was not burnt.


    [​IMG]




    Tasting

    I was a bit skeptical so I had 6 family members pick at each one, getting input from each person. Everyone liked the pork 5 out of 6 preferred the non injected Butt and out of the 6 one like the bark on the injected one better, as far as the bark I think that was a fluke I can’t see how injecting could change the flavor of the bark.
    The 5 out of the 6 said although they preferred the non injected Butt better, couldn’t really explain why.


    I did not try any of the pork until everyone was done, I didn’t want to my tasting to interfere with the test.

    The Bark formation and smoke ring was perfect, just a hint of smoke and the bark was not burnt but was nice and chewy, not hard and crusty.

    The next day my wife tried both and said this one seems mushy…BINGO, that’s what I was looking for, it seems the injected one was a bit mushier probably due to the vinegar breaking down the meat, however, both were just as flavorful as each other and I believe the reason everyone preferred the non injected Butt was due to the texture not the flavor.

    Ok, so now its day 3 of eating pulled pork and it’s still moist.




    Conclusion


    My conclusion is that if I were to inject again, which I doubt, it would only be with apple cider/Juice.

    I can honestly say, without any doubt in my mind, that this was my best Pulled pork to date, I don’t know if that is because of the RF or maybe the temperatures were slightly higher, maybe a better choice of meat, but make no mistake… there will be much more testing.
     
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Excellent post SQWIB !!!

    Very informative and neatly illustrated !!!!

    Thanks,

    Bear
     
  20. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Awesome great post!  Thanks!!
     

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