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Old 09-13-2017, 06:56 PM   #1
sudsandswine
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Default Pulled pork "fishy" flavor?

I've had a few different people over the past year or so eat pulled pork I've made and mention they detected a seafood taste to it. I always sample what I cook and I've never been able to detect it, but the fact completely unrelated people have offered that up unsolicited makes me believe they do legitimately taste it.

I usually use the "Chris Lilly pork injection" and fresh pork, so the only thing I can think of is that the Worcestershire sauce in it, which includes anchovies, is what they're detecting and perhaps it's kind of like cilantro - some people love it, and others think it tastes like soap - which is supposedly genetic.

I have been kicking around a few Worcestershire substitutes that still have an umami/savory note, just wondering if anyone else has heard this before. I'm not a real big fan of pork (I still like ribs) anyway, and maybe my palette just doesn't detect it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:04 PM   #2
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:08 PM   #3
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If you've not smoked fish on your cooker it could be overspicing it. Got to let the meat flavor come through.

Just my .02
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:20 PM   #4
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A tablespoon of Worcestershire isn't going to give you a lot of anchovy flavor especially being the second to the last on the ingredient list.

Several national brands sell anchovy-free varieties of Worcestershire sauce, often labelled as vegetarian or vegan. Orthodox Jews also refrain from eating fish and meat in the same dish, so they cannot use traditional Worcestershire sauce to flavor their meat. However, certain brands are certified to contain less than 1/60th of the fish product and can be used with meat. Look in the Kosher section of your grocery store. Also, Tonkatsu sauce is very similar, slightly thicker, and completely vegetarian.

What are you using as a rub?

I take it your cooker is clean and any drippings have been cleaned out before heating the smoker. When fats (including butter) start to turn rancid, they have a fishy or shrimp odor. If you have old oils, fats, or drippings in the bottom of the smoker or drain, maybe this could be a source?

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Old 09-13-2017, 09:16 PM   #5
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I spritz my briskets with a 50/50 mix of Worcestershire and water and use Worcestershire in my pork butt injection and Im don't think Ive ever noticed a fishy taste or had anybody complain about such. What brand do you typically use?
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:15 PM   #6
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That sounds more like a grease issue maybe. If you rub the pork with oil before or after applying the rub, make sure that it isn't rancid. A just a couple thoughts.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:33 PM   #7
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Cilantro taste like stink bugs. I like cilantro, don't ask me how i know cilantro taste like stink bugs.... Lets just say i am a fan of bizarre foods.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:18 AM   #8
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I would be surprised if it is the worcestershire sauce.
We use a lot of it, also when making biltong and bloody mary's and have never tasted anything fishy.
But, leave it out, try soy or maggi seasoning sauce instead, and see....

By the way, I love cilantro and yes, stink bugs taste almost the same (don't ask me either )
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:19 AM   #9
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Did you mistakenly grab the Old Bay instead of your pork rub?
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:29 AM   #10
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From what I've read there is a gland in there that can impart a funky flavor if not removed. I've only found it twice, both times I believe in full bone in butts from RD. I'm usually smoking either a trimmed butt from the local grocer or a boneless one from Costco so it could have been removed during the processing.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:33 AM   #11
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I have a friend who will not eat a bone -in- butt. He says the bone gives it an "off taste". I don't detect it- but maybe his nose and taster is more sensitive to me...

or he could just be nuts

/coin flip
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:52 AM   #12
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Is it possible it is a combination of injection and rub with the fresh pork as opposed to the pork that is enhanced?

Might be interesting to cook an enhanced butt using the same injection and rub and have your friends taste test it.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:30 AM   #13
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I typically use plowboys yardbird or eat barbecue zero to hero on pork and if anything I am probably on the lighter end of the spectrum for rub. Cooker is clean, in fact it's happened on multiple cookers. I always remove the only gland I am aware of when I trim the butt.

I don't get it, I've never tasted it and i think my pork generally tastes good (for pork) but enough unrelated people have mentioned it, I am starting to wonder.

I use Lea and Perrins brand Worcestershire
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:54 AM   #14
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Serve with tartar sauce and be done with it!

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Old 09-14-2017, 08:49 AM   #15
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I'm not a fan of injecting anyways, so I'd be curious to see what happens if you didn't do that.
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