View Full Version : My very small Butt Injection Experiment

07-04-2011, 12:02 PM
I did a little butt injection experiment for the 4th. I've done a dozen+ butts in the last year, but typically am only doing one at a time.

I did two butts, both the same, exact one got injected and one didn't. For the injection, I used Chris Lilly's recipe, but cut the sugar and salt in 1/2. After injection, I refrigerated for for about 20 hours. They were then both were rubbed with first Gary Wivott's Graduate Rub, refrigerated for about two hours and then rubbed with Simply Marvelous Sweet and Spice and let sweat for about 45 minutes. They were smoked on my UDS for about 15 hours at between 230* and 250* with Blue K and Hickory chunks.

The results were great:

The non-injected butt was really good. It had a lot of what I would call pure pork flavor with a hint of smoke. The darker sections were very tasty just straight from the pan. Pieces with bark on them were awesome. Some of the more white sections were juicy and cooked perfectly, but I found myself wanting just a little sauce to add some 'pop' to the flavor. The 'pure' pork flavor is good, but I think I've gotten accustomed to overwhelming flavors. I haven't taken the winter insulation off my UDS and it runs super efficient, without almost any smoke. Maybe a little more smoke would have helped....

The injected butt was really really good. I ate too much as I pulled it. It was sweet and just tasty. All of it. It didn't need any sauce what-so-ever. It tasted like it already had a light sweet sauce on it. It was just really good.

I pulled the injected one first and served most of it, what little survived was kept warm in the oven for about two hours. After two hours, more people showed up and I pulled the non-injected butt to serve fresh. The newly arrived guests were very pleased with the pork, but once one of my buddies found out that I was only serving up the non-injected he gathered up the half eaten plates and put a serving of injected pork on each plate and declared that everyone had to try that one. I took that as a strong vote in favor of the injection. But, I don't know... there is something about the flavor of the "pure" pork.

I did do a few things differently this time from usual. The injection rest time was longer than the 2 - 3 hours I normally do, but this was because we were going to be away most of Friday. I don't think this made any difference. Past injected pork has tasted this good, if my memory can be trusted.

I also cut the salt and sugar in the injection in half. Again, I don't think this made much of a difference in the taste. It tasted fantastic! I'm planning on cutting the added sugar and salt back even more next time I do a butt. I don't think that much is needed to get great taste, and maybe if I cut it back I can get a hint of the "pure" pork flavor.

It was a great experiment. I'm really happy to have been able to taste the two side-by-side and taste the differences. It was also great to get see people's reactions to the different butts.

Oh, and I also did a pair of fatties. BIG hit. A friend's husband is from the Czech Republic, and when he found out the pepperoni stuff fattie was "pork inside of pork" he exclaimed, "God I love this Country!" That made my day.

07-04-2011, 12:18 PM
Interesting and thanks for the results, I have not done injected pork yet, but, it makes sense that it would affect the end results, and if it is good enough for Chris Lilly, maybe I can give it a try. :crazy:

07-04-2011, 12:35 PM
I've done the injection before too and was pleased with the results. I don't inject for cooking at home any more as I'm not sure the benefit is worth all the work, but it does make a better product I think.

07-04-2011, 12:45 PM
Great story about your guest. Injecting with all kinds of flavors has been a hit here for quite some time. Mine jiggle like jello for comps., because they're so full. Plenty of ways to add flavor. Steve.

07-04-2011, 04:07 PM
I've done the injection before too and was pleased with the results. I don't inject for cooking at home any more as I'm not sure the benefit is worth all the work, but it does make a better product I think.

I'm not sure "better" is the right word. I don't think I noticed a difference in moistness or tenderness. But, it definitely had a different flavor that those of us in the sugar generation probably like. I think I'm going to continue to inject, but maybe try and tone it back to reclaim some of the pure pork flavor. I guess this is that authentic bbq thread from a few weeks back.

07-04-2011, 04:12 PM
Interesting test for sure. I have never been much on injecting pork but I think after reading this I might give it a try. I have injected lots of turkeys and chickens before deep frying but never a pork shoulder.