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Pulled pork loin?

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    Pulled pork loin?

    I see them pull the loin out of a whole hog all the time. I don't do whole hog (yet) but smoke a loin pretty often. I'm going to try something different this weekend and inject a loin with a mixture of apple juice and my rub, then take it up to about 170 or so and see if it will pull like it would coming from a whole hog.

    Any thoughts? Should I take it higher? (By the way, I usually salt my loins down 24hr in advance and they always have a distinct ham flavor/texture when I take them off at 150.)

    #2
    My thought is that loin is so good as chops or a roast, why use it for pulled pork when the cheaper cuts make great pulled pork.

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      #3
      Good question boftx. Never tried it myself, I'm guessing it wont pull at 170, and I'm also guessing that 170, and especially higher, will make it tough and miserably dry. Perhaps when done in whole hog it's mixed in with the rest so it seems better. I could be wrong this is simply an educated guess. My personal preference is as mgaretz says, slice the loin into 1.5" chops and take them to 145 max. Mmmm juicy goodness.

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      • boftx
        boftx commented
        Editing a comment
        This is mainly an experiment to see what happens when injecting a loin. I might just keep it at the 150 mark like normal, and then later push it up. In fact, I think I will cut it in half at 150 so I have reasonably similar conditions.

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Sounds like a good experiment. I forgot you said you were injecting. That will surely help.

      • boftx
        boftx commented
        Editing a comment
        My loins are always very moist at 150, so I expect it to be too moist (if that is possible) at that temp when injecting. That got me wondering if I could approach a texture similar to what is obtained in a whole hog by taking it higher based on what I've heard the final temp for that is, usually in the 180 range or so, by injecting.

      #4
      Cheaper cuts? Pork loin seems to be one of the cheaper cuts. Many times it is cheaper then pork butt and almost always cheaper then ribs. Don't understand that.

      Comment


      • boftx
        boftx commented
        Editing a comment
        Loin is pretty cheap here in Vegas, too. Butts and arms are usually $1.99/lb or cheaper, will post back when I see the current price on loin.

      #5
      Here's a 2.6 lb loin that I did using MH's injection. Rubbed the left side only. Cooked to about 142+ You can see the difference. Personally, I wouldn't pull loin. The other half (not shown) was cut into 1" chops.

      Good luck with your experiment! --Ed

      Comment


        #6
        Well, I got a 3.5lb loin ($3.29/lb here in Vegas), cut it in half, and salted it down for abut 18 hours prior to the cook. I injected both halves about 30 minutes prior to putting them in the smoker with a mixture of apple juice and what I would normally use for a rub (about 2 heaping teaspoons of rub in one cup of apple juice).

        I put the first one in at 1PM and the second at 2PM. The second one was my backup for supper in case the first one turned out bad, anticipating a final temp of 175 - 180 for the first. The cook temp was held between 225 and 250 the whole time.

        I expected the first half to be significantly higher in temp than the second, but surprisingly enough, both reached the same internal temp of about 155 when I took them off at 5:30. I could see that it was going to take quite a bit longer than I thought to reach 180 and we were getting hungry.

        I cut them in very thin slices compared to normal, about 1/8th inch thick to make sandwiches from.

        As usual, I had a smoke ring of 1/2" or more on both, and a distinct ham flavor and texture. If anything, the ham effect extended well beyond the smoke ring this time.

        Overall the final result was excellent for taste, tenderness and texture, even though it was a miserable failure at what I was trying to achieve. The takeaway is that the next time I do a loin I will salt like normal for 18 to 24 hours and then use a rub and inject at about 1 hour out and take it to 150.

        As for the ham effect, I can only speculate, as others have, that it is how I salt them down for so long that produces it. I might try injecting with salt water as well as salting them down and see what happens.

        Comment


          #7
          I have seen the term 'ham effect' before... but do not know that it means. Can someone explain?

          Thanks!

          Comment


          • boftx
            boftx commented
            Editing a comment
            The term "ham effect" as I use it refers to how my pork loins take on a distinctive taste and texture that reminds me and my family of ham. It usually is limited to about a 1/2" to 3/4" from the surface, so there has been speculation that it is linked to the dry-brining process somehow. (I dry-brine for a minimum of 12hrs, usually 18 and longer.)
            It is not a bad thing at all. I haven't really noticed it with pulled pork, but I suspect it would be more noticeable if I sliced instead of pulled.

          #8
          I'm hoping someone answers your question, Steve ( smarkley ). I've seen it tossed around here, along with "hammy" which happens when smoked pork tastes like ham, due maybe to too much moisture or too much salt (?). I'm not sure if those are the causes. Supposedly Meathead discusses it somewhere, but a search on the AR part of the site does not turn anything up for "hammy" or for "ham effect". I've seen people complain about it when smoking pork butts and loins.

          Kathryn
          Last edited by fzxdoc; June 2, 2015, 10:07 AM.

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            #9
            Loins are running ABOUT 15% more than butts nowadays! They don't make great pulled pork on their own, but blended with butt, thewy work will and they are a lot lower fat. As if we're worried about fat...

            Comment


            • boftx
              boftx commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm more worried about salt (sodium) than fat, oh well ...

            • Meathead
              Meathead commented
              Editing a comment
              boftx This article links to some recent science about salt and diet. In the past year several research publications have questioned the limits set on salt consumption (and fats). http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...nd_health.html

            • boftx
              boftx commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the link! I'll ask my doctor about the salt/sodium info since that is fresh from this year. They put me on a "water pill" and told me to restrict my sodium intake because of water retention that led to congestive heart failure early last year.

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