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Another pulled pork testing opportunity

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    Another pulled pork testing opportunity

    In the past I have done frozen vs. thawed, mustard vs. EVOO, wrapped vs. unwrapped. I am cooking up 2 nearly identical butts tomorrow or Saturday and figured I'd open it up for testing ideas.

    Reviewing suggestions from last time the only test mentioned that hasn't been done that I know of was related to injecting with MSG vs. not. I have MSG and am not opposed in any way to using it, so it is still on the table.

    If you have any ideas, post em, and it doesn't have to be just the meat, it could be a PBC test of some sort.

    #2
    I'd like one of them butts to be taken off at 200-ish. Put on a rack, and allowed to cool at room temp (wrapped in foil). Then refrigerated and reheated in an oven at 250 (taken out the fridge a couple hours before reheating).

    I'l like to know how long it takes for that thing to get to about 180 internal on the reheat. I'm thinking that would be optimal temp for pulling. Wanted that checked too.

    I do this with briskets, but only slicing and chopping, no pulling, so I go to about 165 internal.

    Once my briskets come down enough at room temp, I put them in the freezer til they are cool to the touch, so that they don't heat up the fridge too much.
    Last edited by Jerod Broussard; March 26, 2015, 02:02 PM.

    Comment


    • _John_
      _John_ commented
      Editing a comment
      Sounds like a good test, but not sure i'll be able to wait that long. Maybe I can cut what we need, wrap the rest and test it for leftovers.

    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment
      Whatever works. I need to do one....one day.

    #3
    I say use identical rubs/seasonings on each. Then:

    Do one on your PBC, standard method
    Do one on your 22" Web. Do an indirect setup, two bricks if you have 'em. Setup a Minion method, add a few small chunks of wood periodically so as to actually smoke the butt.

    Try to keep temps & times the same if possible. A full chimney Minion with proper vent control can easily get 6hrs on one load in a kettle. I'd guess at least 4 or 5 (or maybe more) if you aim for higher PBC-style temps.

    Then you can get a side by side PBC vs smoked taste test.

    Comment


    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      _John_ Undoubtedly. The PBC has meat dripping on the coals causing the smoke for flavoring. The Web indirectly with wood & coals would be only smoke flavoring.

    • _John_
      _John_ commented
      Editing a comment
      Drippings, gotcha.

    • JeffJ
      JeffJ commented
      Editing a comment
      Is it OK to use wood in the PBC? On a different thread Jerod said that he does not and instead relies on smoke from the drippings. What I would LOVE to see is a side-by-side between a WSM and a PBC. Same rub, same temperature, same type of meat and just compare/contrast the 2.

    #4
    JeffJ I think everybody wants to see that one. I use wood every time. Charcoal works fine, but I like the added layer that the wood adds.

    Comment


    • JeffJ
      JeffJ commented
      Editing a comment
      I REALLY want to see it because I am between a PBC or a 22.5 WSM for Christmas this year.

      It seems like members of this site are more passionate about the PBC but it's also a fairly new product. I've been to the WSM forum and some of those people have a borderline fetish relationship with their WSM.

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      JeffJ people tend to love what they have. Their dog, house, truck, etc. Smokers too. It's all good, we all have our preferences but you can make tasty stuff on anything if you use the basic core principles of meat quality, time, and temp and AR's mythbusting.

      Try to picture the faults or the "doesn't haves" of either the WSM or the PBC, and if those faults would be annoying to you on down the road. Perhaps lack of side door on the PBC, or the more tinkering necessary on the WSM, those kind of things.

    • JeffJ
      JeffJ commented
      Editing a comment
      I hear what you are saying, Huskee. And that is precisely what I am trying to do - weigh the pros and cons of each. Overall I think I like the WSM a tad better, but the 22.5 costs more and the PBC is just really cool in a novel sort of way.

      This is something I am going to weigh throughout the year. I already learned that the 14.5 WSM simply produces better back ribs than my Bradley electric. That was the unanimous opinion when I did my side-by-side a few weeks ago.

      Quite honestly, for me, I am desperate to do perhaps a half dozen cooks on both changing only 1 variable at the time and see which cooker pleases the crowd more. Unfortunately I don't have a donor for this noble experiment.

      I will soldier through this summer and fall with the warriors that I have and hopefully by late fall through experience, research and "Pitdom" I will settle on one of these 2 cookers.

    #5
    Well I decided to try a couple things, I read an article somewhere about cooking even hotter than the PBC normally does, and I also injected one with an apple juice broth solution and the other with the same, but with MSG added.
    About 5 hours in I added one more test, dropped on the coals vs. not... These butts were pretty big and would barely squeeze between the rebar, one of the hooks snagged on the way out and the whole thing fell. It only sat there for about 5 seconds while I pulled the other and took out the rebar, but it was enough to lose a small piece which is now burning and creating some pretty bad smoke.
    5 hours in and these had good bark, I had to be on a conference call and the temp dropped to 270 but I averaged above 300. I don't suggest that hot for a long cook unless you have a lot of coal, a full load normally gets me 8-10 hours where this one looked like it would have gone about 6 without coals.

    Comment


    • Dr ROK
      Dr ROK commented
      Editing a comment
      So you added the msg to the apple juice or did you add it to the rub?

      Maybe that's your next test, msg rub vs msg injection.

    #6
    Oh John, I gasped when you said that one butt took a nose dive into the coals. Bummer.

    Let us know how the taste is affected with the added MSG. I'm always curious about these sorts of tests.

    Kathryn

    Comment


      #7
      "dropped on the coals vs not" Lol. Scientific test, of course.

      Comment


      • _John_
        _John_ commented
        Editing a comment
        Its a really good methodology, didn't even know which one was dropping until it happened.

      #8
      Ok, these were the blackest butts i've done, looked like charcoal briquettes. Cooked the whole way unwrapped, but even after injecting they were too dry, but a lot of that was likely the high temps.
      As far as MSG goes, it will be the default for now, really excellent flavor.
      On a side note I tried a little education as well, I separated each butt into the money muscle, the tubes, the horn and other. I had everyone try each piece and was surprised that everyone didn't go after the same pieces. For me the tubes are best mixed with some bark from the horn, money muscle just after. Father in law was all tubes, then horn. Wife likes a sammy so she likes a mix of it all. Mother in law likes BBQ sauce so she could be eating a tire for all she cares. Daughter eats it with ketchup, so really not sure what to do with her at all.
      Dropped tasted just like the other but a bit more dry, but a big piece of the crust got left off so a lot of that heat got inside so no real surprise.

      Comment


        #9
        John, it sounds as though everything turned out fine. After all, taste is in the taste buds of the diner. Those were cute comments about your MIL and DD. It was good to know the results of the cook.

        Where does one obtain a jar of MSG? At an Asian grocery store? Sorry to sound dense here but I guess I'm out of that particular loop. I've always heard it maligned (by people who were allergic to it) so much that I never really looked for it.

        There's always Amazon. It has everything, including PBCs. How much MSG did you inject?

        Kathryn

        Comment


        • Dr ROK
          Dr ROK commented
          Editing a comment
          fzxdoc, msg is simply Accent. You can get it at any supermarket or Wally world or wherever.

        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks! My mother used that back in the day but I guess I never paid attention to what it actually was.

          Kathryn

        #10
        Dropped on the coals vs not.
        I'm with Huskee, the standard deviation and coefficient correlation on that has got to be OFF THE CHARTS!!!

        Comment


        • Jerod Broussard
          Jerod Broussard commented
          Editing a comment
          DWCowles sorry, statistics was about 18 too many years ago.

        • DWCowles
          DWCowles commented
          Editing a comment
          Ok

        • _John_
          _John_ commented
          Editing a comment
          DWCowles I do stats pretty much daily, those are all words, but not particularly in a statistically significant order.

        #11
        Originally posted by fzxdoc View Post
        John, it sounds as though everything turned out fine. After all, taste is in the taste buds of the diner. Those were cute comments about your MIL and DD. It was good to know the results of the cook.

        Where does one obtain a jar of MSG? At an Asian grocery store? Sorry to sound dense here but I guess I'm out of that particular loop. I've always heard it maligned (by people who were allergic to it) so much that I never really looked for it.

        There's always Amazon. It has everything, including PBCs. How much MSG did you inject?

        Kathryn

        This seems to be the most commonly available product, I found it at all the local places once I knew what I was looking for. It is a really crazy flavor, I instantly think salt and meatiness. I got about 6 ounces of liquid in each, using about a teaspoon of MSG.

        Comment


        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, John. There is already so much flavor in the PBs I make using Meathead's instructions, it's hard to imagine that there can be an even greater flavor boost with MSG. But what the hey, it's worth a try. I'll write that down in my BBQ notes--1 tsp Accent per 12 oz liquid for injection.

          Kathryn

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