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Unread 08-25-2011, 07:52 AM   #1
Big slick
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Default Pork Butt questions (advice needed)

So I have made a few dozen pork butts and I have to say it's one of my favorite things to make. I have always done the same routine every time. I trim the pork butt, rub with either mustard or olive oil and coat heavily with rub. Let it sit in the fridge for about 12 hours and smoke over 4 chunks of apple wood at 225-250 till I hit an internal of 165 and then wrap in foil and cook till I hit an internal temp of 200. Let it rest for about an hour and then chop it up.

Well now I am making PP for a family BBQ this Saturday and I really want to blow people away. Not the best time to try something new I know, but I would like to try a few different techniques for these butts.

For instance I would like to trim my butts tonight and season them so that they are sort of marinating for a good 30+hrs. Is okay to do that? Will the flavors penetrate deeper into the meat?

I bought a meat injector a few months ago, but have been too afraid to use it. Is there a big difference when you inject a pork butt or is it really hard to notice? If I were to inject my pork butt what should I inject it with. I'm more of a lover of sweet and spicy BBQ but not really sure what to inject the meat with.

2 pork butts is the most I have ever cooked on my 22.5" WSM at one time. Friday night I plan to do four. Normally I use about 4 chunks of apple wood so should I double up on the wood or is four enough? I like smoke flavor but I don't like a strong smoke flavor.

I planned to cook my butts in aluminum pans. I'm still on the fence with this one but if I did, do I cook them fat side up or down? Normally when i put them on the grate i cook them fat side down. Do I need to elevate them at all so they are not sitting in the rendered fat?

I know this is a lot of questions, bit I know that there are enough people on here that can answer these questions for me. Plus, you guys are great chefs and some of the best meals I have ever prepared for my family are thanks to you guys. So I value and trust all of you guys/girls and your opinions.

A great big thank you in advance!

Nick
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Unread 08-25-2011, 08:49 AM   #2
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Check out the Chris Lilly you-tube demonstration. He's fat cap down and injected because the marinade method takes too long to accomplish.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
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When I do a big or important cook, I stick with what I know that works. Sounds like what you are already doing will knock their socks off.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:41 AM   #4
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^^^^ Always good advice!


lot of folks inject with apple juice with or without a little peach nectar added.

Allowing it to sit for a couple of days with the rub on will help suck up more flavor, but I've found that I can accomplish very similar results by adding a bit of rub to the pork once pulled. I used to brine butts for 24+ hrs but found very little difference in the final product.


I wouldn't add any more wood than usual, it's not like the extra butts are going to "use" more smoke or anything... I would recommend staggering the times that you put the butts on, put 2 on and then an hour later put 2 more on... I've found that if I load up the UDS with several butts at once they end up creating so much moisture that they can take on a funky color, (maybe it's a UDS thing?) putting them on at different times gives them time to get rid of alot of the surface moisture.

I always cook fat side down, and I don't like doing them in pans, I don't think you get as much smoke on the meat. Put a drip pan below them if you don't want the mess.

Have fun!!
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big slick View Post
For instance I would like to trim my butts tonight and season them so that they are sort of marinating for a good 30+hrs. Is okay to do that? Will the flavors penetrate deeper into the meat?
Yes, Injecting will make your marinade soak ALL the way into the meat. I'm not sure even 30 hours of marinating would enable the marinade to penetrate as deep as the injection would.

Quote:
I bought a meat injector a few months ago, but have been too afraid to use it. Is there a big difference when you inject a pork butt or is it really hard to notice? If I were to inject my pork butt what should I inject it with. I'm more of a lover of sweet and spicy BBQ but not really sure what to inject the meat with.
There are many ways to inject your pork butt, but the most obvious solution is to use the same product you marinade with. Some use apple juice for a simple taste addition, I love butchers injection, personally. Be aware though that whatever you put in your pork is going to influence the flavor more than any rub will.

Quote:
2 pork butts is the most I have ever cooked on my 22.5" WSM at one time. Friday night I plan to do four. Normally I use about 4 chunks of apple wood so should I double up on the wood or is four enough? I like smoke flavor but I don't like a strong smoke flavor.
You shouldn't need to add any more wood. The amount of smoke in the cooker should not vary based on how much meat you have on.

You're right, it may not be the best time to expirament, so maybe you should just make what you're used to for a couple and maybe throw on an extra one to expirament with...
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Rogers View Post
You're right, it may not be the best time to expirament, so maybe you should just make what you're used to for a couple and maybe throw on an extra one to expirament with...
^^^Great idea! Do a couple or 3 the normal way you do them and experiment with one or 2. It could even be a fun taste test thing for the gathering.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:06 AM   #7
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I am a fan of injecting butts. I've used apple juice, cherry dr pepper and a concoction of beef/chicken broth plus onions, peppers, garlic, bay leaf then strain and inject.
I really would like to try a mojo injection. I know Chris Lilly has a recipe for a mojo inection. They are all basically the same and use orange juice/lemon juice or sour orange.
I would do three the way you are used to and experiment with one or two. That way your guests can decide which ones they prefer.
I also don't foil butts during the cook. only when resting.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #8
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Last pork butt I did I used Chris Lilly's injection. Really like the outcome. You inject apple juice, Worcester sauce, and some rub. No need to marinate.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnucklHed BBQ View Post
Allowing it to sit for a couple of days with the rub on will help suck up more flavor, but I've found that I can accomplish very similar results by adding a bit of rub to the pork once pulled.
I would strongly agree with this comment: Add a reasonable amount of rub to the finished product. I've been doing this for awhile and it seems to always brighten up the flavors.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:34 AM   #10
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If I were to inject the butts tonight and let them sit till around Midnight Friday would I run into any problems? Could I over flavor the meat this way?
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
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If I were to inject the butts tonight and let them sit till around Midnight Friday would I run into any problems? Could I over flavor the meat this way?
I don't think you'll run into problems, or over flavor the meat, but it's completely not neccessary to let them is that long if you're injecting them. Overnight is plenty long enough to get the flavor distributed. I've cooked immediately after injecting before, probably not ideal, but they turned out great!
That's the beauty of injections it gets distributed around the meat a lot faster than marinating.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james stanford View Post
Check out the Chris Lilly you-tube demonstration. He's fat cap down and injected because the marinade method takes too long to accomplish.

+1 to this. great video.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 11:11 AM   #13
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I use hickory and apple for smoke. Same as you I go with mustard and rub on the outside. I smoke em fat side up and inject with an apple cider vinegar mixture twice during cooking.


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