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A little pork butt experiment...

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  • Frozen Smoke
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 1528
    • Northern Mn

    A little pork butt experiment...

    I've have long had the suspicion that laying a lot of rub on a raw pork butt and then smoking for 10 or 12 hours didn't lend much to the flavor of the meat. The rub is probably gone after the first few hours from fat rendering off and taking the rub with it. Besides it takes a lot of rub to cover your average pork butt on all sides and as we know rub is not cheap to make or buy. I've always thought pulled pork benefits more from seasoning it after it is pulled. Which I do as well.

    So today I got 8 pork butts on the smoker. I only seasoned the fat cap the rest of the meat just got a little over coverage from shaking it on the top and the bottom got nothing. Needless to say this saved me a ton of rub. I've always took note that most of the rub manufacturers or retailers are the ones always telling you to "spread rub liberally on all sides of the meat" and I think we all just took it as gospel. More is better right?

    So being kind of the minimalist I am when it comes to smoking I'm going to see if I notice a difference in the flavor of the finished product. I plan to use a little more rub than what I have in the past on the final pulled product but it still will cut in more than half the amount of rub I use when I cover the entire butt before smoking.

    I suspect I will get the argument that I won't get as much bark but I do spritz with apple juice and cherry schnapps and I always thought that's where I get bark formation.

    So see what happens I guess....

  • smokenoob
    Club Member
    • Dec 2017
    • 1133
    • Gulf Breeze, Florida

    #2
    wait, a minimalist who smokes 8 butts at once.......sounds kinda porky.......

    Comment


    • Frozen Smoke
      Frozen Smoke commented
      Editing a comment
      Well that fills only half the smoker so I didn't go maximus!!
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 13509
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #3
    Lookin' forward to the results.

    Comment

    • HawkerXP
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 6312
      • Virginia
      • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
        Thermopops
        Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
        Slo n Sear
        Cold beer

      #4
      8! Yes please let us know your results.

      Comment

      • overeasy
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 116
        • Sacramento Ca.
        • Ironside Cabinet CDR "coming soon"
          Karubecue C-60
          Old Country Pecos Offset
          Webber Kettle

        #5
        well, u won't have as much of the tasty "rubbed" bark flavor but I'm sure they will be good regardless.
        when i make carnitas i buy some extra pork trim, mostly fat, and after they are rubbed, all over,
        I place the trim on top then sprinkle more rub on that. On to a sheet pan and into an oven late afternoon
        for an overnight at 225. at work early am remove for orno and behold.. tasty chicharrones! chop them separately
        bear claws on hands shread and add more rub to finish seasoning. into a big, very big bowl and all that rendered fat gets
        poured in and mixed in. frys up and makes great carnitas. traditionally carnitas is pork simmered until the liquid
        evaporates then they fry in their own fat, and thats why i used to do, but i prefer this other technique. its easier
        and nets in my opinion, a better result.
        for pulled pork bbq style you wouldn't add the fat but the chopped up chicharrones? Amen to That!

        so... your what r u doing with all that meat?

        Comment


        • HouseHomey
          HouseHomey commented
          Editing a comment
          Crud man!! Are you kidding me. I ate a fat (Buches) burrito earlier and now I'm hungry again. Thanks for that.
      • Spinaker
        Moderator
        • Nov 2014
        • 10960
        • Land of Tonka
        • John "J R"
          Instagram: JRBowlsby
          Smokin' Hound Que
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        #6
        This is going to be interesting. I will be curious to see the difference in color, if there is any.

        Comment

        • Mr. Bones
          Charter Member
          • Sep 2016
          • 10010
          • Kansas Territory
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          #7
          Cool science experiment, I'll be watchin as well!
          Have a great cook!

          Comment

          • Skip
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 3702
            • Blue Earth, Minnesota
            • LSG Adjustable Grill/Smoker, MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

            #8
            Frozen Smoke thanks for doing the experiment! I too am anxious for the results.

            Comment

            • vandy
              Club Member
              • Aug 2015
              • 611
              • Olive Branch, MS

              #9
              Sounds like an interesting experiment for sure.

              Comment

              • Frozen Smoke
                Club Member
                • Nov 2017
                • 1528
                • Northern Mn

                #10
                Well I don't think I'm going to be going to far out on a limb here with this experiment. It's not like I'm risking ruining about 70lbs of pork butt. It's more satisfying a curiosity that I've had for awhile. and if it turns out the difference is negligible I'll save a few dollars in rub going forward.

                I'd have pics to go with it but my camera is on the fritz the battery won't take a charge and needs replacing I guess and I'm not savvy enough or interested enough to get pics from my phone to the computer to a hosting site and then finally to the Pit!

                Comment


                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You can email your iPhone photos to yourself and then save them to your computer that way.

                • PaynTrain
                  PaynTrain commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Frozen Smoke, side question, when you smoke 8 butts, do you move or rotate them to handle hot side of the grill? Thanks!

                • Frozen Smoke
                  Frozen Smoke commented
                  Editing a comment
                  PaynTrain I usually rotate once during the cook. Sometimes it's more to make sure things aren't sticking to the grate.
              • N227GB
                Club Member
                • Feb 2018
                • 350
                • Fort Myers, FL
                • ...

                #11
                I make my own rubs, so I'm not spending too much. But with my PBC Jr I wonder if having excess rub ingredients hit the briquets is not the best smoke flavor profile. Staying tuned!

                Comment


                • Frozen Smoke
                  Frozen Smoke commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've found making your own is no more cost effective than buying a good commercial rub. If your buying fresh quality spices that is.
              • PaulstheRibList
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 1579
                • Lake Charles, LA
                • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
                  1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
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                  Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

                  I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
                  I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

                #12
                I totally dig Side-By-Side tests. It's the only way to know the real difference. Can't wait to see how this goes!

                I know some BBQ joints don't put any rub on the butts when smoking, adding all the spice flavor when pulled.

                #SideBySideRules

                Comment

                • HouseHomey
                  Club Member
                  • May 2016
                  • 5555
                  • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
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                  #13
                  Looking forward to the results..

                  Comment

                  • dirtman
                    Charter Member
                    • Oct 2014
                    • 131
                    • Centralia, IL

                    #14
                    I have a buddy that makes great Q. He doesn’t season until after cooked. I researched this and couldn’t find any support of not seasoning and almost all against. His Q is great and that is what matters. I am curious to hear the result but think it will shock most of us. I cut off almost the entire fat cap and cut 1/2 way into butts to create more bark. I always assumed the rub helped turn this extra surface into something special.

                    Comment


                    • OSB
                      OSB commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm assuming he shreds then seasons. There is always more than one way to skin a cat.

                    • dirtman
                      dirtman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yes cooks, shreds and then seasons.
                  • Frozen Smoke
                    Club Member
                    • Nov 2017
                    • 1528
                    • Northern Mn

                    #15
                    I noticed no visible difference. I put them in the Cambro about 7:30 last night. I will be pulling and vac sealing later this morning. I will take a stab and say now that the difference is negligible. Probably be the way I go going forward.

                    Comment


                    • Skip
                      Skip commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks for keeping us up to date on your cook!

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