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Papa Don
12-05-2015, 05:12 PM
I posted awhile back that my wife stopped liking my pulled pork. Well, I'm on a mission to fix it. I'm cooking two big pork butts tomorrow and I'll try to eliminate the rub as the problem. Right before I got my reverse flow, I changed my rub from a commercial to a homemade rub. Famous Dave's is the only consistent rub I can find at the stores I shop. I've used FD's for a few years with good success and it's what I used the last time my wife enjoyed the pulled pork.
I'm using FDs with one butt and my rub with extra brown sugar on the other. I already know my wife doesn't liked my new rub so I'm kicking it up with the extra brown sugar to add more bark. Bark is something I always got with the Famous Dave's rub. It's one thing my wife said the pulled pork is missing. I have used the same injection since I started so that will be the same in both butts.

*This is the basic Pork injection solution I've used for years. I've changed it up to experiment and keep coming back to it.
Pork injection;
In a 1 quart mason jar;
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
4 TBs Worcestershire
Fill remainder with Apple Juice ~ 2 cups

This is the homemade rub I made in early summer. It's one factor that could be the problem.
Pork Rub;
2 – Cups White Sugar
2 – Cups Brown Sugar
2 – Cups Kosher Salt
1 - Cup black pepper
1 – Cup Chili Powder
1 – Cup Paprika
¾ - Cup Turmeric
¼ - Cup Garlic Powder
¼ - Cup Onion Powder
1/8 – Cup Cayenne powder

Randy3269
12-05-2015, 05:23 PM
Hope you find the magic again.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 05:23 PM
Cherry wood is ready. My wife has said the recent PP tastes like "boiled ham". I know hickory can give pork a hammy taste so, only cherry tomorrow.
I've read that you're only supposed to change one thing at a time to fix the taste profile. I'm way to impatient to do that.
In addition to using two different rubs and only cherry wood, I'm going to take a suggestion and choke down the exhaust. I've been missing the smokey flavor since I've been using the stick burner. I really think the air is following way too fast through the smoker. I could be way off here but we'll find out.

pjtexas1
12-05-2015, 05:29 PM
to us FD was really plain. maybe with your injection it makes it better. can't wait to see the pic of the little butts in that big Shirley.:shock: hope the wife gets happy again.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 05:36 PM
to us FD was really plain. maybe with your injection it makes it better. can't wait to see the pic of the little butts in that big Shirley.:shock: hope the wife gets happy again.

You know, my build list did get away from me. I still can't believe how big my smoker is.

Lordkifar
12-05-2015, 05:37 PM
You think the injection is what is making it taste like a boiled ham? I never inject a butt....comes out juicy on its own....why not try without an injection?

Doog
12-05-2015, 05:44 PM
2 big butts in that smoker. You would probably need another 60 to fill it. :grin:
I like smoking with cherry...Good Luck with your experiment!

tortaboy
12-05-2015, 05:45 PM
Are you cooking the Boston Butt or the Picnic? The Picnic always tastes hammy to me.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 05:52 PM
From all the stuff I've read, it's always been stated to keep the exhaust wide open. Against everything, I'm going to play with the exhaust tomorrow.
I have to say that all the other food I've cooked has been amazing. I really took a step back with my pulled pork. I'm hoping it's as simple as the rub and slowing down air flow. The two main things that are missing; Smoke taste and Bark.
The smoker pulls air hard and fast. There is a bunch of ash and chunks of wood under the baffle plate. I'm not sure if that's normal or not. Flames from the fire are even pulled under the plate.
The last cook on Thanksgiving I tried a suggestion of leaving the intake damper wide open and a smaller fire. It didn't work out. The turkeys were getting sooty so I wiped them off and closed down the damper down. Strangely, the temps were the same.
All this being said, I've only cooked on my smoker less than ten times.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 05:55 PM
Are you cooking the Boston Butt or the Picnic? The Picnic always tastes hammy to me.

I'm cooking Pork shoulders (Boston butts).
The two picnics I smoked recently had a injection solution added when packed. This could have been an issue too.

TuscaloosaQ
12-05-2015, 05:56 PM
You think the injection is what is making it taste like a boiled ham? I never inject a butt....comes out juicy on its own....why not try without an injection?



Hmmmm i have never injected a butt either... And always use hickory.... Unless. I have pecan wood... Then i mix it.... I am not sure what the problem is.... I have cooked many butts... With no rub at all.... Hope you get this solved....

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 05:57 PM
2 big butts in that smoker. You would probably need another 60 to fill it. :grin:
I like smoking with cherry...Good Luck with your experiment!

True.

I've only used the top shelf twice. It gets extremely hot. Good for chicken.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 06:00 PM
You think the injection is what is making it taste like a boiled ham? I never inject a butt....comes out juicy on its own....why not try without an injection?

The problem is that I've always injected my pork butts. It's the one thing I haven't changed.

hogs122
12-05-2015, 06:04 PM
Not to sound snarky, but why not go with a well respected commercial rub like Oakridge or Plowboys? I've yet to hear anyone say they dislike either of those. I've used both with and without injection and certainly haven't noticed any hammy taste.

SmittyJonz
12-05-2015, 06:07 PM
It's not the Hickory.

Exocet
12-05-2015, 06:19 PM
I've come across some Boston butts that are brined with a solution when packed. You haven't changed suppliers/brands recently?

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 06:31 PM
Hmmmm i have never injected a butt either... And always use hickory.... Unless. I have pecan wood... Then i mix it.... I am not sure what the problem is.... I have cooked many butts... With no rub at all.... Hope you get this solved....

I should state that in no way am I very experienced. I have cooked outside for a long time but I've only ever used kettle grills.
I'll work it out. This is my time to cook. I love the cold, this truly is my season. You met me, I got plenty of insulation to stay warm. I'm usually cook all winter long. So by summer I'll be ready to roll.
My theory is that different rubs and injections taste different in different types of cookers. I just need to find my groove. Again, I have to say that ribs are better and way easier to manage during the cook. The brisket has been excellent. Chicken and sausage cook themselves. On top of all that I'm having a blast.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 06:32 PM
I've come across some Boston butts that are brined with a solution when packed. You haven't changed suppliers/brands recently?

The picnics I recently cooked had it. Those I didn't inject.

SmittyJonz
12-05-2015, 06:38 PM
I say don't inject. Use PlowBoys Rub. Try one of these finishing sauces.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=212642

pjtexas1
12-05-2015, 07:30 PM
You know, my build list did get away from me. I still can't believe how big my smoker is.

that can easily happen. i cut mine back after some deep thought. no way i could ever fill the 55" much less a 70".:heh:

Rusty Kettle
12-05-2015, 07:51 PM
If it makes you feel better. I made a pork butt not to long ago that tasted off... It tasted just like turkey. Yep turkey flavor.

Talk about weird even my wife said it tasted like turkey. I thought injecting a cherry marinade for poultry would be a great way to get more cherry flavored pork. It was an epic fail. It tasted alright but it definitly was turkey flavored. Commodity pork will really take on any flavor.

Danielle of DivaQ taught us that commodity pork really will take on any flavor. I wasn't sure what she meant until I made the turkey flavored pork butt. Then it made total sense.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 08:27 PM
Not to sound snarky, but why not go with a well respected commercial rub like Oakridge or Plowboys? I've yet to hear anyone say they dislike either of those. I've used both with and without injection and certainly haven't noticed any hammy taste.

I totally agree about the rubs. The issue I have is you really have to plan well in advance to have those ordered and shipped in time.
Famous Dave's is sold in almost every store I shop at. Again, I agree that there are way better rubs. I plan on trying some in the near future. This past summer I really wanted to try and make my own, which worked out for the ribs and chicken.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 08:37 PM
Injected both butts with my injection and rubbed one with the Famius Dave's. For the other butt I mixed 2/3 cups of my rub with 2/3 cups of brown sugar.
They're going on tomorrow early.

IamMadMan
12-05-2015, 10:27 PM
If your wife says it tastes like ham, while it might be the hickory giving a strong smoke flavor that you suspect to be the problem, it could also be the amount of salt on/in the pork for too long of a period of time.

I think you are on the right track, go back to when the pork was good, and change only one thing at a time. Using a notebook to record your progress is invaluable, even when making rubs.



.

Papa Don
12-05-2015, 11:09 PM
It's not the Hickory.

I hope not, I really like working with hickory. It's easier to split than cherry and doesn't ash up as bad.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 01:42 AM
Rolling smoke with my insulated fire box!! I'm finally not sweating outside. This is fat man's weather! Love it. I'm starting out with hickory and man it smells so sweet!!

1/4 blocked exhaust - still rolling.
http://youtu.be/vANgK_qEUqA

ShadowDriver
12-06-2015, 01:59 AM
You're up early, brother!

I love your determination (I tell you, making Momma happy sure does that to you...)!

I'm not here to add ideas or thoughts or cloud your judgement... just cheer you on as you make this happen! You've got this. You've already sweated and toiled and worried and planned and schemed. You've got this.

More pics, please, as the day goes on.

You've got this.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 02:05 AM
Just about ready to put the butts on.
Famous Dave's on the left and my rub on the right.

tgstrang
12-06-2015, 03:22 AM
Looking good PD! You got this brother!

dwfisk
12-06-2015, 05:12 AM
Here's wishing you the best of luck & outcomes. FWIW I run my exhaust on my RF wide open (don't even have a damper on it) and control the fire with intakes and size/amount of the splits.

dport7
12-06-2015, 06:07 AM
Hope they turned out better for you this time.
I did two buts about a month ago, bought from a different supplier than I normally do.
They looked good in the packaging, but didn't have the taste that I usually get, nobody else thought so either, so back to Ingles food store from now on.

Mattb82
12-06-2015, 06:57 AM
Good luck! I'm interested to see how the smoke flavor is with the adjustments you made

Enrico Brandizzi
12-06-2015, 07:29 AM
I hope You will get onother big success with your Wifey. If so, You'll start wondering what worked among your changes.....

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 07:47 AM
I'm at the 5 hour mark. The internal temperatures are ~160. I've been putting on two splits every hour with temps peaking at 255 and once it lowers to 225, I add more wood.
This is the first time I'm opening it.
http://youtu.be/mXSOghUakeg

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 07:54 AM
This has been the intake damper for the whole cook. Temps 255-225
http://youtu.be/QqcSsdyuwcg

hogs122
12-06-2015, 08:29 AM
Those butts sure look lonely on that huge cooker :biggrin1:

Looking good so far. Hoping for the results you want this time.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 09:05 AM
$0.59/Lb chicken legs, bam!
6.5 Hr = 169 internal temp

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 09:08 AM
Looking good. 169 internal, 6.5hr.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 09:13 AM
The biggest issue at hand is that I cannot get out of my wife exactly what she want the pulled pork to taste like. These two butts are like pork candy. If it was up to me they would have SPG, that's it.

PatAttack
12-06-2015, 09:30 AM
Does she want it to taste like all run-of-the-mill Q joints that is swimming in sauce?

If she's not liking yours, what is she trying to compare it to?

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 09:48 AM
Does she want it to taste like all run-of-the-mill Q joints that is swimming in sauce?

If she's not liking yours, what is she trying to compare it to?

Here lies the problem. If I knew I wouldn't have this communication break down. I just keep trying to please her.
The Famous Dave rubbed butt is exactly how I used to cook it on my kettle so this will be a true test. My pulled pork never needed sauce in the past.
These cooks are a whole day event just for me to sit back and watch her eat. Then ask the ultimate question, "do you like it"? It's insanity really because she never ate any type of roast before I met her. At least I got her this far.

Rusty Kettle
12-06-2015, 09:53 AM
Papa Don I got to give you props for trying to hit on what she likes. I would have told my wife if she didn't tell me what she wanted she would just get what I cooked and have to deal with it until she told me what she wanted. In my case I am not a mind reader and I certainly never pick up on any subtle hints.

I hope your pork turns out the way you want it and knocks her socks off.

Got to love your determination.

Okie Sawbones
12-06-2015, 10:03 AM
Good luck with your cook. The only thing I would change would be your injection. You need four main ingredients, apple juice, salt, vinegar, sugar. I have injected and not injected -- the wife likes the injected better, so guess What I do? Inject. I don't see Worcestershire and pork together -- but that is my opinion.

Your homemade rub it exactly the same as Joe Pierce's Squeal like a Pig Rub, which I use all of the time. It is great. I wouldn't change it.

My diagnosis is the injection is the problem.

RDOwens
12-06-2015, 10:08 AM
For all the youngsters reading this thread, look at what a man does to satisfy his wife. :) Bravo, Papa Don! I hope one of these hits the mark with her.

IamMadMan
12-06-2015, 10:35 AM
Reading through your many replies here PaPa Don, I see that you also changed from a Kettle to what I believe is a Shirley stickburner.

This change can also concentrate smoke flavorings if you are using 100% wood. Keep in mind that the Weber Kettle used charcoal and just a few wood chunks. That will create a vast difference in the depth of the smoke flavoring in the meat. This would be especially true since her palate was not accustomed to eating smoked meat. Whereas we would see it a a positive change, it could become overpowering change for her fragile taste.

If today's cook yields similar results that she doesn't care for the smoke flavors, try wrapping the pork with butcher paper or foil half way through the cook next time. This will help to slow down additional smoke absorption into the meat.

As RDOwens pointed out, we commend you on your desire to make your wife happy....

.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 11:16 AM
Good luck with your cook. The only thing I would change would be your injection. You need four main ingredients, apple juice, salt, vinegar, sugar. I have injected and not injected -- the wife likes the injected better, so guess What I do? Inject. I don't see Worcestershire and pork together -- but that is my opinion.

Your homemade rub it exactly the same as Joe Pierce's Squeal like a Pig Rub, which I use all of the time. It is great. I wouldn't change it.

My diagnosis is the injection is the problem.

I did try vinegar in the injection but no one liked it. So I went back to the listed. It's from Big Bob Gibson.
I did get the rub recipe from Joe's You Tube video. So far it's the best I've made. It's awesome on ribs and chicken.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 11:25 AM
I got the idea to add extra brown sugar to my rub from the double smoked ham I cooked on Thanksgiving. I mixed Tango Spice, Midnight Espresso with brown sugar. The wife loved it, so we will see.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 02:19 PM
Just in case Wifey doesn't like my butts again.
Simple smoke; cover with BBQ rub and smoke.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 03:07 PM
Bark? Check!
Wrapped and waiting for the boss to get back from baby shower. She'll only have a couple of hours then church. She'll appreciate the effort, regardless how it turns out. I think I nailed it though.

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 04:22 PM
Famous Dave's on the left, my rub with 50/50 brown sugar mix.
The FD was almost inedible while the butt with my rub was great. Same size butts. The FD butt was just bad!! Both had the same injection. The taste and texture was completely different.

Tango Joe
12-06-2015, 04:34 PM
This is the first time I'm opening it.
http://youtu.be/mXSOghUakegOpening the door on the Shirley Pit is like choosing Door #1 on Let's Make A Deal.
The aroma had to be spectacular!

Papa Don
12-06-2015, 05:39 PM
Conclusion, My wife ate the PP, with my rub on it, and liked it!!
Learning points;
1) either hickory or cherry, it doesn't make a difference in taste, IMO
2) my homemade rub won out with the added brown sugar. I don't have to go buy a commercial rub. Shout out to, Squeal Like A Pig, thanks for your video.
3) I'll never use Famous Dave's again
4) low and slow is the way to go with PP on my Shirley.
5) ??? I'm not sure why the FD's butt tasted so bad. The only difference was the rub.
6) The type of rub you use on a stick burner matters.
7) choking down the exhaust doesn't help anything. The only way to get more smoke is time.

*Special note; my wife does not eat chicken dark meat. She ate three of the legs I cooked today and liked them. The only thing I did was put my rub on them and smoke.

Rusty Kettle
12-06-2015, 05:54 PM
Glad to hear she liked it.

otterpop
12-06-2015, 06:14 PM
Good job making the effort to keep her happy.

Okie Sawbones
12-06-2015, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the f/u, Papa.

pjtexas1
12-06-2015, 07:40 PM
For all the youngsters reading this thread, look at what a man does to satisfy his wife. :) Bravo, Papa Don! I hope one of these hits the mark with her.

preach! i have had guys at work tell me that i make them look bad to their gf or wife. my response is that it's not my fault they don't know how to treat a lady. good on you Papa Don for making it right for her.:clap2: it's not about who wears the pants crap...it's about give/take and respect. its no mystery.:heh:

Papa Don
12-08-2015, 09:44 AM
I’m here to proclaim that my wife and I are BBQ snobs!
Get this…When I got home from work yesterday I tasted the "bad" butt again. It wasn’t bad, just a little salty. I decided that maybe my wife and family are not the best to judge my BBQ. We have had so much of it lately that maybe we are a little too critical??? I have never shared anything at work so I brought in the bad Butt to get other’s opinions.
I got WOWs from everyone that tasted it. Go figure!!??
Now, how would my buddies at work like the stuff we think tasted good?? I think it’s time to start sharing the BBQ!

PatAttack
12-08-2015, 10:08 AM
I’m here to proclaim that my wife and I are BBQ snobs!
Get this…When I got home from work yesterday I tasted the "bad" butt again. It wasn’t bad, just a little salty. I decided that maybe my wife and family are not the best to judge my BBQ. We have had so much of it lately that maybe we are a little too critical??? I have never shared anything at work so I brought in the bad Butt to get other’s opinions.
I got WOWs from everyone that tasted it. Go figure!!??
Now, how would my buddies at work like the stuff we think tasted good?? I think it’s time to start sharing the BBQ!

Better than feeding the dogs or throwing it out, right?!:thumb:

pvcollie
12-08-2015, 12:05 PM
I was about to suggest you trade her in for a newer model but it looks like you turned the situation around. :-)

Woody Butthrie
12-08-2015, 01:40 PM
Your rub looks pretty basic except for the turmeric. I have never used that in a rub. I know my daughters didn't like it when I used it in seasoned rice.

Papa Don
12-08-2015, 04:29 PM
Your rub looks pretty basic except for the turmeric. I have never used that in a rub. I know my daughters didn't like it when I used it in seasoned rice.

It's a rub recipe that Joe Pierce from SLAPS made on a You Tube Video. I followed the recipe and took out some of the black pepper. For the butt in this thread I used it with a 50/50 mix with brown sugar. I was trying to find out what flavor profile the wife likes and she likes it sweet.
It's great as is on everything. I like it because buying a rub over the Internet is painful.

Okie Sawbones
12-08-2015, 05:31 PM
Turmeric is pretty commonly used in BBQ rubs. It adds a nice color to meats. I've seen some recipes for fajita seasoning using turmeric.