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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-13-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
ThatOneDude
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Default Tasteless Pulled Pork?

Has anyone ever experienced tasteless pulled pork? I made my pulled pork the way I have always done (except for three variables); rubbed and sat overnight, and pulled from fridge about an hour before cooking. Variable one: I mixed some apple juice with my rub and injected the shoulder. Variable two: Cooking on an offset smoker instead of a weber. Variable three: cooking two 8 pound shoulders at once instead of one.

First let me say that these were the juiciest moistest shoulders I have ever done. The bone pulled with zero effort and the texture was awesome! Bark color was really good and I used a ton of hickory chunks. The pieces of pork that had the bark were flavorful of the rub. But NONE of the meat had ANY smoke flavor and there wasn't really any smoke ring present.

My initial thoughts; the temperature was too high and seared/sealed the meat before the smoke could penetrate? Or the apple juice injection "watered" everything down? has anyone had this experience before?
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Unread 05-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Were they enhanced with a solution when you bought them? What temp were you cooking at?

I usually apply my rub an hour or two before hitting the smoker.

Letting them sit overnight can sometimes give it a hammy flavor.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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Unread 05-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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I am not an injector, but I suspect that its presence did not allow the rub to penetrate or the smoke to work its magic on the outside.

What was the temp?
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Unread 05-13-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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and if you are using an offset u should use small sticks as your heat source primarily try to shy away from the chunks if possible... burning sticks gets the smoke flavor deep inside your meat.. and helps get that smokey flavor throughout..
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Unread 05-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Along with what the others have said.....

If you spend too much time near the smoker, the "over exposure" to the smoke can numb your sense of taste.

Bottom line you know what your variable are so you can go back to your last good tasting pork. The fact that you cooked 2 vs 1 should have no effect on the matter.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 04:42 PM   #7
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We went to Plant City Pig Jam last year and tested out tons of bbq. One place, that literally had won hundreds of awards for pork, had the most tasteless pork i'd ever had. Don't know why but it's as you described, just absolutely bland. Never had pork like that before or since.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 04:57 PM   #8
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I would bet that cooking on the offset made the biggest smoke flavor difference. Three chunks and some charcoal can be plenty of smoke flavor in a Weber, but on an offset, you need to keep feeding sticks of wood. Keep trying. I bet that once you get your technique/ procedures dialed in, you will get the flavors that you are looking for.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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Did you taste the outer meat before mixing it all up? Smoke flavor will only penetrate maybe a half-inch, at best, into a big roast.

On an eight pound butt, you may have six or seven pounds of meat that gets no smoke.

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Unread 05-13-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
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My best guess based on the info provided is>> Offsets are Big Boy Pits and there is a reason they are called Stick Burners you will get more flavor with a pure wood fire. If you look at the overall CI of your Offset compared to your Weber and the flow through the cooker it will explain most of your issue. In the Weber the heat & smoke flow up and around the meat and the area is more compact so your flavor will be stronger VS the Offset where if not designed properly the Heat and Smoke will rise to early and pass over the top and out the stack so it has little contact with you meat Plus when you add the extra Cubic inches of volume it is more dispersed. Think about adding a Baffle and some tuning plates and switch to all wood for heat, some lump in the beginning to help establish a coal bed is fine and preheated splits to maintain your Zone.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 02:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
My best guess based on the info provided is>> Offsets are Big Boy Pits and there is a reason they are called Stick Burners you will get more flavor with a pure wood fire. If you look at the overall CI of your Offset compared to your Weber and the flow through the cooker it will explain most of your issue. In the Weber the heat & smoke flow up and around the meat and the area is more compact so your flavor will be stronger VS the Offset where if not designed properly the Heat and Smoke will rise to early and pass over the top and out the stack so it has little contact with you meat Plus when you add the extra Cubic inches of volume it is more dispersed. Think about adding a Baffle and some tuning plates and switch to all wood for heat, some lump in the beginning to help establish a coal bed is fine and preheated splits to maintain your Zone.
Thanks to everyone for the replies, sorry for the long delay in replying (unexpected trip out of state).

After much thought, this post accurately describes what happened. The position of the shoulders (opposite end of the firebox), and the heat in the firebox (about 600 degrees) I've come to the conclusion that the smoke never touched the meat. The smoke went up, over, and out without any contact whatsoever! Never even considered that prior to cooking!
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