Soak my butt?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
Glendale, AZ
Good evening SMFers,

   I've been smoking off & on for a few years now, but have yet to do any Boston butts for pulled pork. I've done turkeys, chickens, chops & ribs, even some fattys & abt's, but no pulled pork yet. Well, Im going for it this weekend for an "after the hangover" party. Planning on smoking 2 with different rub recipes to compare the final results.  I've read a number of posts here and elsewhere that many people do and do not brine pork butts. I've brined turkeys and chickens and they turn out great. What do you guys think about brinning pork butts, probably for 24 hours, and what brine recipes do you like if you do brine them?

Ive done a lot of reading and have a pretty good handle on the rest of the process. Thanks in advance.
No you don't need to brine pork butts, they have a good amount of fat in them so they will stay moist almost no matter what you do to them. They are a very foregiving piece of meat.
I've never brined my butts I always just inject the night before and then rub them that night and also again in the morning. I like using apple juice, cherry coke and some other things.
Thats good to know. Im wondering why you find so much on the net about people doing it? Do you think they are just buying into some hype? or is there a small, insignificant difference?
Thats good to know. Im wondering why you find so much on the net about people doing it? Do you think they are just buying into some hype? or is there a small, insignificant difference?
If you look out in the net you can get any answer you want from folks that think they know what they are doing- what you get from sites like ours is experience and knowhow

That is the real difference

The majority of the pork you buy in the stores nowadays have had some kind brine solution injected into them (anywhere from 8-15%). Unless you raise and process your own pork everything else is going to be enhanced so there's no need to brine a butt that's been sitting in the meat case with a brine solution in it.
Thanks for weighing in on brinning, everyone. Barbequeen, I read your thread on the Pulled Pork Christmas presents you made. Looks fantastic. Quite a lot of ingredients in the brine over the basic salt, molassis, brown sugar & water brine. So you use brining mainly as a flavor tweeker? Are there certain ingredients that you find come through with an obvious flavor in the end than others? Or is the brine flavors subtle? One of the threads I read said a pork butt will soak the brine flavor all the way through the meat after a 24 hour soak as opposed to injecting, which will create "pockets" of flavor in the meat. Did you find this to be the case? And do you find the final outcome to be significantly more moist meat than non brinned, or about the same?

I may be knit picking with this whole topic as I see a lot of great results posted without brinning. But for this party, if my wife & friends are going to chew on my butt, I dont want it dry!

I'm like just about everyone here and I have never brined a butt. There's enough fat in the butt to keep it moist and tender and easy enough to pull. So smoke it to about 205° and let it rest andf then pull it. While it's resting that is usually a good time to take some Q-view for us folks out here in smokeyland.
 I have never brined one either, but I like to experiment with different things to see for myself. For sure it's not needed

to get good pork but I don't know what it would do for the flavor. My suggestion is brine one and report back to us. I

know I would be interested in your results. That is of course 1 brined, 1 not brined and all else equal.

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