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Looking to Jazz up my Pork Shoulder

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Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:27 pm

Posts: 18
Location: Woodland Park, CO
Hi all. Long time listener, first time caller. Picked up the smoking bug a few years ago. Working with a classic Brinkman smoke-n-grill which I have heavily modified to a very working unit. I've spent the last two years reading your posts, reviewing books, experimenting and learning things the hard way to the point that I can now serve very respectable meals to family and friends...now I'm looking to take it to the next level and could use some advice.

Thawing out a pork butt for this weekend's festivities. Want to move past the basic rub of salt, different types of pepper, garlic powder/salt, and other types of dry spices. Thoughts on marinades, brining, injecting, etc...??? Thanks in advance.

Post Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:42 pm

Posts: 18
Location: Woodland Park, CO
okay so the 8.3lb butt is thawed. Looking at the actual cut of meet it seems like the fat cap is a little lacking.
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but the rest of cut looks okay to me. No time to brine or do anything too different. Emptied the spice cabinet and use more and larger quantity.
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. Then put it to bed, and will wake it up tomorrow early.
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Post Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:36 pm
smokeybeaver well done
well done

Posts: 835
Welcome to the board cookingwithnbeer.

Yes, you can get all fancy with pulled pork, but I have my best success going simple. Hawaiian sea salt, wrapped in banana leaves over a mixture of hickory, cherry and mesquite has worked very well for me. I usually start with a coating of French's yellow mustard, as it helps the rub adhere.

Other "tricks":

-If most of your water has evaporated in your water smoker, and the majority of what is left is pork fat in your water bowl, I would suggest pouring the pork fat off. I did not last time, and I had porl fat lava everywhere.

-I do like misting every 1-2 hours with 1/2 Makers Mark/ 1/2 apple juice.

-I do cut my pork into smaller chunks, usually 3-4. This does a couple of things. One, it speeds up the cooking time. Two, it increases the quantity of bark to pulled pork, and this is a good thing.

Good luck with your cook.

What do you plan to use for wood? What is your cooking temperature goal?

Post Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:32 pm

Posts: 18
Location: Woodland Park, CO
Thanks SmokeyBeaver! Appreciate the tips...especially the makers mark idea. I've heard of using banana leaves before...I'll have to give it a shot next time. I'm using hickory wood chunks combo'd with Bubba's charcoal briquettes. I also have soaked hickory and pecan wood chips that I'll smatter across the coals for the first 4 hours...then I generally just rely on the chunks to give me a good smoke flavor. Maintaining temp in my smoker is my biggest challenge. I keep it around 200...but having to run kids out to sports usually results in it dropping below for a little bit. I'm planning on a 12 hr cook time.

Post Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:16 pm
smokeybeaver well done
well done

Posts: 835
All that sounds excellent. I have had great luck with pecan and maple.

If you are looking for new recipes, give Steven's BBQ USA a look. I remember seeing some regional recipes in there, including one that I believe uses coffee. I have wanted to give that one a try.

If it takes longer than 12 hours, that can be expected. If you take it to temp, either 195 or 205, you should have great results.

Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:45 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7495
Location: Stoughton, WI
Yes, I think that Steven has at least one rub recipe that features coffee. It might be for brisket but there's no reason it couldn't be used on pork.

How did the butt turn out, CWB?

Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:14 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5864
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
ScreamingChicken wrote:
Yes, I think that Steven has at least one rub recipe that features coffee. It might be for brisket but there's no reason it couldn't be used on pork.

How did the butt turn out, CWB?


Looking forward to pics if you've got them, CWB! Of course, if it was really good you may not have had a chance to snap any.... :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:15 pm

Posts: 18
Location: Woodland Park, CO
Thanks to all for the advice. The butt turned out awesome! Took about 13.5 hours...didn't help that I put it on at 5am, then fell back asleep until 8am...significant temp drop...but oh well. After hour 12 I wrapped in foil and finally got the internal temp up to 198....then let it sit for about 15-20 mins before I started pulling apart. I think the temp didn't distro across the cut as evenly as I thought it would. I might have to let it sit more next time...while most pulled apart, there were was a small area in the center that required slicing...but it was still really good. Had a decent smoke ring...and a great flavor. Snapped a few pics, but as the family huddled around and picked as I pulled apart, I got the "stop taking pictures and let's eat" cry.

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Fresh off the smoker
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Bone just fell out
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smoke ring
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Served with Dos Equis.

Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:34 pm
smokeybeaver well done
well done

Posts: 835
That looks great!

Post Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:26 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7495
Location: Stoughton, WI
"Bone just fell out"...yep, that's a good thing! :thumbup:


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