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Shootout! Mustard Vs EVOO Pork Shoulders

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    Shootout! Mustard Vs EVOO Pork Shoulders

    I wanted to make a new thread for the results of the experiment i'm conducting this evening. For those not in that discussion, here is the setup.

    The purpose of this experiment is to determine the differences, be it taste, texture, color etc., between using mustard or olive oil as a slather. Since I am cooking 2 butts, it was decided that I would double up the Mr. Wizardry and split those 2 butts into 4 and also test what effect if any adding baking powder to the salt during the dry brine has. Why baking powder? Dr. Blonder explains some of that here.

    I will try to stick with some naming conventions, BP = baking powder, EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil, P1 is that name of (P)iece number 1, and I guess that's it for now

    Following the Dr. Blonder guidelines I dry brined all samples with 1/2 tsp a pound of kosher salt, but the BP butts had a 1:4 ratio of BP to salt mixed in with the salt.

    Each of the 4 pieces got one of the conditions mentioned above, then covered in the usual amount of PBC All Purpose rub and placed in the fridge. They will all be cooked overnight to an internal temperature goal of 203. Since the primary purpose of this experiment is the effect on the outside of the meat, I will not be wrapping until cooking is finished and they are ready for the faux cambro.

    Here are the pieces and their conditions.
    • P1: BP, EVOO slather
    • P2: Mustard Slather
    • P3: BP, EVOO slather
    • P4: EVOO slather
    Here at 1.5 hours before start the ambient temperature is 43 degrees which is expected to dip to 34 overnight. Humidity is 70% but there is 0% chance of precipitation. Wind has been low all day, currently 6 mph, but should not affect cooking at all with the PBCs current placement. Barometric pressure is 30.19 inches so I better leave the lid on as much as possible (insert rim shot).

    I took more precautions than probably necessary but for any interested I prepare all of my meat with gloves on, I didn't want to cross-contaminate BP or mustard so each butt got its own glove.

    So what are the challenges, and what am I doing to mitigate them?
    1. This is an overnight cook, so I will get sleepy. Sleepy John has been known to do some questionable things.
    2. I have prepped all I can in advance, the biggest risk is losing which butt is which, I added 1-4 toothpicks depending on the condition numbers above.
    3. The pieces weren't perfectly cut. Despite 5 days thawing, my fridge was too cold and most of the butt was not thawed. I went ahead and cut the butts in half while mostly frozen, and I guess due to how they were packed and frozen, when they relaxed they were a bit thinner on one side than the other. Fortunately they all 4 were affected in about the same way.
    4. To get as consistent a cook as possible I trussed up the butts to similar dimensions.
    I think that's it, I plan on taking quite a few pictures, especially the results.

    Here are some to get started.
    Trussed, brined, and slathered.
    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    I will be using Kingsford Blue, 1/3 of my wood will be Hickory and 2/3 will be Apple. Also to try to counteract Sleepy John the meat will be on the grates the entire time.

    Update-1:45 AM: Full basket of coals, chimney started at 1AM with my new toy the Benzomatic TS8000, it doesn't care what the temperature is! Dumped shortly after, meat placed and operating temp reached. Since part of the experiment is bark formation in addition to the temp warnings from my probe, I set an alarm for 4AM and 6AM to take pictures and check on things.

    Update-11:02AM: Everything went pretty smoothly except sleep, the pit, and the weather. It never dropped below 40, and while it didn't rain it was misting really cold air all night long.
    I'm not used to meat on the grates and the PBC didn't run how it usually does. Instead of the normal 270 to 290 it was running 250-260 so I pulled a rebar out at 4 which kept the temp up at 260. By morning the coals were running thin, only putting out 225. Just before bringing in side I cracked the lid quite a bit to get one last spike to get over the 200 degree mark.

    Here are some pics, I have higher quality pics if the need arises but as you can see their were some issues, the light kept refracting off of the smoke making several pics pretty terrible.

    Pit up to temp, butts on the grate.

    4:07 starting to get a little color.

    4:57 AM starting to brown, haven't really looked closely yet to see if one group browned more or faster than others.

    6:06 AM Tons of smoke, but lots of browning as well. First temps taken, butts that were away from the coals most of the night still seemed to be in the stall at 154, the larger 2 were at 167.

    7:19 AM Really drying out and forming a bark, I will look closer to see if some went faster or seemed to retain more moisture.

    8:34 AM there is still plenty of time for cooking and they are in the 160-180 range so I left the pit alone at 235. Starting to darken a lot.

    9:25 AM the butts are finishing up, moving 2 of them to pan to tent and wait for the others


    10:21 AM Camera decided to get a little artsy I guess, I will try to back out some of that color later. They all looked really good and smelled amazing, I couldn't tell by looking any difference whatsoever.


    10:33 AM Double-wrapped in foil, numbered, and put down for a 2 hour nap.

    That brings us to now, I will update when it comes time to pull and taste. I plan on tasting some exterior and interior from each in turn and when a few of the guys coming today who know bbq show up they will get to blind taste test for me.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by _John_; December 21, 2014, 11:21 AM.

    Neat set up. You got a hypothesis and/or theory?

    The beep sound on the Maverick aggravates the ever-living crap out of me, due to hearing it so much in the middle of the night. Especially when I used to cook out the garage, instead of the back porch, and lose reception frequently.


      Couple of theories, but not sure with a cut like this how much they will matter. I think mustard will make a thicker, drier crust than the EVOO, and according to Dr. Blonder we should get more Maillard reaction with baking powder. If I'm not wrapping these things should end up meteorites either way, so i'm not sure it will make much difference. I am going to try to update it every few hours, so we may be able to see the reaction occurring earlier which could have an bigger impact on ribs or loin.

      The beep on mine isn't bad, the wife is sleeping in the guest room Luckily I have a door to the back porch in my master bedroom and the PBC is only about 4 feet outside that door.


      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeh, mine is close to the door too. Just hung 2 briskets and a 7 pound butt. Bout to head to wolly world to get the BBQ sauce for the burnt ends the wife forgot to get.

      Awesome thread John. I look forward to a LOT of pics!


        Awesome John - can't wait for the results either!!


          I second the others, great writeup thus far!


            Looking forward to this


              Yup, this is awesome! Can't wait to see the results!


                Great write up lots of research on your part John. Thanks for sharing.

                I thought that Doc said Baking Soda not baking Powder??


                  Nice catch, Barry! He said baking SODA. Hope its not too late.


                    Correct, the article calls for baking soda, but a few other articles call for baking powder. I used baking powder. Maybe Dr. Blonder can settle it, but for this purpose they should be the same, baking powder contains baking soda.


                    • fzxdoc
                      fzxdoc commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I always use baking powder too. I use the aluminum-free kind to avoid that tinny taste. I like the fact that it's double acting (at least in baking), so I tell myself I'm getting more bang for the buck.

                      I've only used it on poultry skin to encourage crispness so am curious to see whether it has an effect on bark formation on a PB.


                    Not sure why the images aren't showing in the post, they are all named based on time though so you can look that way until fixed.


                      Maybe it didn't like them up top, I will try em out here.

                      1:33 AM [ATTACH=CONFIG]n42347[/ATTACH]

                      4:57 AM [ATTACH=CONFIG]n42348[/ATTACH]

                      6:06 AM Mostly smoke ><

                      7:19 AM [ATTACH=CONFIG]n42352[/ATTACH]

                      8:34 AM [ATTACH=CONFIG]n42349[/ATTACH]

                      9:25 AM [ATTACH=CONFIG]n42356[/ATTACH]

                      10:21 AM [ATTACH=CONFIG]n42354[/ATTACH]

                      10:33 AM Rest time [ATTACH=CONFIG]n42355[/ATTACH]

                      Lets see if it will do a big one. Nope.

                      Last edited by _John_; December 21, 2014, 12:17 PM.


                      • Huskee
                        Huskee commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Did you try copying and pasting them into this post here? That may be why they're not working. I've found you must reupload them instead of copy & paste. FWIW.

                      • _John_
                        _John_ commented
                        Editing a comment
                        No i used the recommended method, checked the pic upload thread just to make sure!

                      John, I can't open the attachments for some reason


                        Me neither, not sure what the deal is. I will try again once I get the final ones edited.



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