Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How NOT to Inject a Pork Butt

Not only do I tell you of my successes in my outdoor cooking, but I'll tell you about my failures as well. Failure may be a strong word in this case because the pork butt ended up very good, but the injection was surely a failure.

My buddy and I decided to "tailgate" at home before the NCSU/FSU football game last month. (Don't look now, but NCSU may get bowl eligible after a horrendous 1 and 5 start.) I had a couple pork butts in the freezer and moved them to the fridge on Wednesday night to be put on the smoker Friday night. The game was at 2:30 central time, so we want them done for lunch. If you remember from my last pork butt injection, I didn't really see a lot of difference with the injected butt. This time around I decided to use my Eastern NC vinegar sauce as a base, because I love the sauce. I strained the bits of pepper and stuff out of the sauce and mixed it 1:1 with apple juice. All is well at this point. I pull the butts out of the fridge and set one aside (uninjected, to compare). I start to inject the butt and realize to my dismay that the butt is still slightly frozen. It's not frozen hard. I can get the injection needle into it, but when I press on the syringe the liquid just runs out of the hole in the meat. I tried several different areas of the butt, but only got the injection to stay in the outer couple inches of meat. After messing with it a little while, I said "screw it" and just threw em' on the smoker. Slightly frozen meat does fine on the smoker, by the way. You'll actually get a bigger smoke ring.

So, the long and short of it is to never try to inject a semi-frozen pork butt. I should have checked it earlier in the evening. 30 minutes on the counter would have worked wonders. I was in a hurry the next day and didn't get pictures, but you can follow the links to beautiful pork butt pics.

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