Originally Posted by Wampus
is a recipe where Alton Brown brined and smoked a pork butt. If there's one person I trust knows more than most about the science of food, it's AB.
I have played around with the AB 'pulled pork' recipe for several years. This is what got me into smoking just like his home brew episode is what got me started with that obsession. However, with both hobbies I learned from him, I now know that he doesn't always know everything about subjects he presents.
When I brine my Boston Butts, I do use his 12 oz of pickling salt, and 8 oz of molasses with two pints of water. I then tend to add more ingredients to the brine such as; black peppercorns, Cumin, coriander, and some of whatever rub I intend to use on the butt. I have also had good luck throwing a few Bay leaves into the brine. I almost always let the butts sit in the brine at 36-38* F for at least 12 hours.
In my opinion, the brine allows all of the meat to get seasoned with salt, the one thing I hate the most is biting into some pulled pork and getting that unseasoned pork flavor.
For AB's rub, I think it is a good starting point for a basic homemade rub. The way I have done it is start with his rub recipe and while eating the PP think about what other flavors you would want in the bark, and then the next time you smoke add those flavors to the rub.
The main complaint I have against AB's recipe is where he tells you to leave the fat cap on the butt. I have done this before, and even after 14-18 hour smokes at 200* F the entire fat cap did not
render away, and I have been left with a nasty fatty goop on top of my pretty pork.
But as always, YMMV