Pork Butt - Defrosting and Injecting

Discussion in 'Pork' started by thunderdome, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    ..for Pulled Pork.

    I have smoked a lot of these, but have always bought them ready to cook.

    This time I bought a 2 pack at Costco, split them, and food save'd each one.

    01.What is the preferred method for defrosting these?
    02.I see that some people inject a pork butt. I never have since it' seems to have plenty moisture/juice as is. What would the benefits be, and is it worth it just to try (and w/ what)?

    Wait...i just thought of another one....

    03. I usually wrap the shoulder after it hits 170 or so, and I've never added juice (other than the spritz). If I pour some apple juice in with it in the foil, will it soften up all my bark?? I see some even submerge them in aluminum pans to finish off, should I give this a whirl?

  2. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    1. I defrost them in the fridge. Allow 3 or 4 days depending on the size of the butt.

    2. Most that inject butts do so for flavor

    3. Yeah it will soften it up, but you can take it out or just open up the foil (watch the liquid though) and let it firm up over the last few degrees in the smoker.
  3. roksmith

    roksmith Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Google "Chris Lilly shoulder injection" for an easy butt injection. The dude knows his pork!!
  4. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    2. Is it noticeable worth it to inject

    The Chris Lilly link looks like good stuff.

  5. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think it is noticeable, depending on what & how much you inject. The Chris Lilly is a good starting point if you have never injected.

    I don't bother with it at home, but I do for competitions. It is just one of those "try it" kind of things.
  6. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    Any injections you'd recommend [​IMG]
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have never injected my butts either. But I have heard in here that alot of folks do it for the flavor it adds the the meat and not so much to add moisture for the butts.
  8. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I just picked up a pork shoulder today, they were out of butts. Anyhow I just injected it with 14 oz. of beef broth that I mixed with a tablespoon of sea salt. She took it like a champ. I then rubbed it with Kroger chipotle dry marinade and its studying for tomorrow, hopefully it will pass the test.
  9. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Maybe try dissolving a little of your rub in some apple juice and inject that if you like your rub
  10. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    What do you guys suggest as far as adding moisture to the foil, or panning it w/ a liquid after it hits a certain temp?
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Personally I use a spray bottle and spritz with a 3 parts apple juice to 1 part Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum about every hour after the first 2 hours then if foiling I just add a good heavy spritz when I foil. I don't always spritz and I sometimes use straight apple juice or cherry juice when I do its kinda a matter of what sounds good that day
  12. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    I always spritz in a similar fashion. I just see some folks throwing them in a pan and almost braising them at the end, so I'm always tryin to figure out the why's and hows to everyone's methods.

    If I wasn't so cheap, I'd be all over the Captain Morgans...I wonder if theirs a no-name brand of spiced rum out there?
  13. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I'm sure there is and I also think about any alcohol will work some say its helps with bark formation I honestly don't know if it does of not. As for the foil pan or plain foil they would both braise once sealed
  14. I smoke by butts for about 6 to 6 1/2 hrs. After 5 hours I but them in foil and put apple juice and wickers and wrap them up and cook the rest of the time or until meat reaches 168 degrees. The apple juice and wickers just makes it moist plus adds to the flavor. I take them off the smioker, pour out the liquid and then wrap and let set up for about 30 min. before I pull apart.
  15. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    This is just how I do butts... I don't inject. I think most people are able to tell the difference and the flavors I want to impart to this wonderful cut are limited. This is one of the juiciest cuts and therefore it packs a load of flavor. The only flavors I want to add are smoke, some spritz with apple juice and water and my vinegar pepper sauce as the finisher. I do rub the butts with a good BBQ rub to enhance the bark flavor. The entire process can take me up to 16 hours. I don't rush em, I smoke em slow and steady at 220-230. The smoke ring is gorgeous each time and some of them come out looking like hams, all nice and pink inside.

    I pull my butts at about 190 degrees and spritz and wrap in foil. I then wrap a towel around it and stick it in a dry cooler. I'll do this to each piece of butt I'm smoking when it hits it's temperature. Get in and out of that cooler fast. I don't much care to smoke one butt at a time. I figure if I'm gonna fire up the smoker, I'm going to fill the racks up. I like to smoke about 25-35 lbs at a time in my Brinkmann Smoke n' pit. Pork handles the freezer very well.

    When you foil and store, you are softening up the bark and allowing the juices to redistribute. The meat also will continue to rise in temperature and allow the collagen to melt way. This guarantees a perfectly juicy and tender butt every time without fail, without guessing, and it offers a great way to hold the meat at a safe temperature for some time.

    As for defrosting, I'm with the other guys here, there is one truly safe way, and that is in the fridge. Try to plan ahead and remove it from the freezer a few days in advance.
  16. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If I'm runnin short on time... like yesterday.... I'll thaw the butts in a cooler. I have four of them packed in cryovac I thawed out today. In the winter I'll just add cold water and make sure the water temp doesn't get above 38 degrees. They are mostly thawed by that time and I take them back out and put them in the fridge. If it were summer I'd put some ice in with the water. If I have time I'll put them in the fridge to thaw. That's the easiest and best way but sometimes just takes too long.

    I've never injected a butt. A butt will have 3 distinct colors of meat in it. A dark, a light and a red. They all have a different flavor of their own. Next time your pullin one check it out. I like em so much the way they are, I've never considered injecting them. I like the seasoning on the outside.
  17. ismoke

    ismoke Meat Mopper

    As far as no name Captain Morgan, there is Admiral Nelson (no joke). I'm sure its not as good, most likely, but I can't taste the diff mixed with coke. I'm going to use that next time.
  18. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    We have a lot of radio ads in our area for Sailor Jerry's spiced rum. Seems knock off's of the Capt aren't rare. :)
  19. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    Thanks guys.

    I'm going to have to look for the Admiral before Saturday!

    Also, I forgot to pull the butt from teh freezer to the fridge last night. So I'll do it today on my lunch hour. I'm guessing Saturday morning, it's still going to need some thawing
  20. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it is not completely thawed, don't sweat it........just allow for a little more time.

    And be careful should you try to inject if it is still frozen in the middle........you can get some impressive spray back when you withdraw the needle.

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