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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 06-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
mobow
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Default pork butt question

When I cook competition I always inject my pork butts. Am cooking for a group in a couple of weeks and am thinking I will not inject. For a competition eat one bite so want whatever extra flavor I can get. But with eating for dinner hot out of the cooler with sides and sauce to the eaters liking I am thinking the meat can hold its own without an injection. Any thoughts? Keith
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Unread 06-06-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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I've only injected once, and didn't really notice an improvement so...
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Unread 06-06-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
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I would think that you could consider these factors:
1. Type of cooker your using. If you aren't using a water pan type cooker you could add a small pan of water to the cooked to make a moister environment.
2. Are you cooking hot n fast or low n slow?
3. You could inject with just some apple juice type mixture and forgo the phosphates.
4. If you are just pulling vs. pulled and slices?
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Unread 06-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
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I always inject. If it's good enough for the judges it's good enough for my guest. However, YMMV!
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Unread 06-06-2013, 01:04 PM   #5
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I inject, but I have not catered for over 100 yet. Time becomes a factor.

Also depends on your injector. I have the cajun injector, and it will take a century if I still have it when I do a party of 200 or more.
There are injectors that will work faster than others.

Maybe don't use as much salt/sugar in your injection when cooking outside of competition.

Test, test, test. We BBQer's are much like scientist's. Trial and error.

Good luck.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
I always inject. If it's good enough for the judges it's good enough for my guest. However, YMMV!
Your opinion is one I respect quite a bit. What are your reasons for injecting? Also, what ARE you injecting if you can say without releasing a team secret?
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Unread 06-06-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Don't think I have ever cooked a butt that wasn't injected, but if I had to cook for the multitudes I might have to rethink that. Why not inject, not enough time? We do it for the judges because there is a benefit to injecting. 5 minutes per butt and it's done.
I don't use the phosphates in the injection when cooking outside competition and use the usual mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, salt, and Texas Pete's Hot sauce. Lots of good recipes, all pretty similar.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayman1 View Post
Don't think I have ever cooked a butt that wasn't injected, but if I had to cook for the multitudes I might have to rethink that. Why not inject, not enough time? We do it for the judges because there is a benefit to injecting. 5 minutes per butt and it's done.
I don't use the phosphates in the injection when cooking outside competition and use the usual mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, salt, and Texas Pete's Hot sauce. Lots of good recipes, all pretty similar.
I tried it once because so many people, especially competitors, on this site do. For me, it really didn't make a that much of a difference in moisture or really flavor to warrant continuing, and I don't get complaints. It would depend on what was injected though I'm sure.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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My competition injection has phosphates in it to help hold moisture. I just don't know if that is needed for normal eating. I have so much leftovers from a competition that my at home eating is reheated frozen leftovers. It is rare for me to cook a butt home to eat. But from my vauge memory of times that I have cooked at home I have not injected at all or used a Chris Lily type injection and I don't think I have ever had one I did not like. I would just cook one up and see but I don't know if it will fit into my schedule or not. Thanx for all the input so far. Keith
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Unread 06-06-2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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I recently did 10 butts for a vend, only 5 got injected. I cook them for 4-6 hours, foil till finished, hot hold and pull as needed. The non injected ones were fine when pulled but seemed to dry a little faster in the chafer. I just added a little juice that was left over in the foil and it perked them right up. Considering another vend at the end of the month where we will need 30+ butts and I'll be danged if I am gonna inject them.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
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I always inject for whatever, a comp, a farmers market, a catering job. Why would you not want to put your best product out for the people. If you want to please the judges, then you should also want to please your customers.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 12:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrise View Post
I always inject for whatever, a comp, a farmers market, a catering job. Why would you not want to put your best product out for the people. If you want to please the judges, then you should also want to please your customers.
So your telling me that you foil, use butter and brown sugar and sauce the chit outta your catering and vending food?
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Unread 06-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
So your telling me that you foil, use butter and brown sugar and sauce the chit outta your catering and vending food?
Honestly Bubba, I do. When my butts are in the smoker, (Lang 60) I let them go for 4 hours, then flip them over, fat side down, sauce them generously, let them go until they get to 175. At that point I put them in pans, pour sauce, apple juice & a little more rub on, then cover them with foil and let them go until 204, then we pull them and try to get them pulled as soon as we can handle them. Not to brag, but my pork butts are good, as far as customers go, they love them, a few of the comps we have done they won, then at others, the judges thought they were done too much for there liking.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #14
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Cooking for comp and cooking for 3 hundred people are 2 different things.judges are looking for specific tastes and textures.at catering gigs people just want great bbq.in a comp you mite pick 6 of your best ribs most ribs I serve would be deemed overcooked at a comp but my clients want fall off the bone
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Unread 06-14-2013, 02:28 AM   #15
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Bosshawgs nailed... you cook for comps and vend different. If I cooked at my shack exactly how I cook for comps I would never sleep and go broke... just like I do at comps ;)

The key is cook to your target audience. For vending no need to inject the butt has plenty of moisture! I do foil mine to power thru the stall when I'm in a hurry.

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