Author Topic: Pork butts are a little bland  (Read 189 times)


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Pork butts are a little bland
« on: April 25, 2021, 09:56:10 AM »
I've done several pork butt smokes now and the meat always tastes bland. It is juicy, with good bark, but I have to add more rub and salt to the finished product to make it stand on its own. Sauce helps, but IMHO good BBQ does not need sauce. I have tried brining and injecting and I've used different rubs. I've tried leaving the fat cap/false cap and removing as much fat as possible to get the rub directly on the meat. I've varied the amount and types of wood with hickory, cherry, and maple, and I always get charcoal. Don't get me wrong, it ends up great, but I feel like I am cheating when I doctor the pork after it is pulled. Am I just expecting too much? Do others add rub/salt the pulled meat?

Thanks for any input, it is all appreciated!
Clay from Taylor, TX
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Re: Pork butts are a little bland
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2021, 03:21:47 PM »
I've always gotten great results from the smoked butts.  I don't brine, or use sauce but some folks eating the pulled pork will add some bbq sauce after plating.  In preparing to serve, I just make sure that the bark is well mixed in with the rest of the pork so all the smoky goodness is well distributed.  And I will say that it has a much different flavor than that from ribs, or an oven roast pork roast.  All different, all good.
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Re: Pork butts are a little bland
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2021, 10:08:11 PM »
I will add some rub to the pulled meat, just for a bit of added flavor. I do not add sauce to the serving dish, although I will have sauce available to add. I do like a vinegar style sauce on pork butt though.

But, if you are wanting more flavor, you could cut the butt in half so you get a bit more surface area for rub/bark that will mix in. Just another way to go about it.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Pork butts are a little bland
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 10:51:38 AM »
I just rub it pretty good with my favorite blend (salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper) and smoke it...  always comes out very flavorful.

Tell us about your process and maybe we can spot something for you to try there.
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Re: Pork butts are a little bland
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 12:19:05 PM »
Thanks for the input. These last butts followed this process:
  • Smoked 2 Tyson 6.5 lb boneless pork butts. I do not normally get boneless, but that was all the store had and they were not labeled as boneless so I didn't realize it until I started prepping
  • Trimmed off excess fat (I don't always do this, just thought I might get more usable bark)
  • Rubbed with yellow mustard
  • Pork butt rub from the Lazy-Q-Guide (shown below) applied liberally, including any crevices
  • Wrapped tightly in saran wrap
  • Refrigerated for 10 hours (normally this would be overnight, but I had a time schedule to meet)
  • Injected with Super Dave's pork injection from this site (shown below)
  • Smoked in my #2 analog at 235* with 8.7 oz of cherry to internal temp of 195* on the lower one, 204* on the upper one
  • All wood was charcoal at the end of the cook
  • Total cook time was 12 hours and 15 minutes
  • Wrapped tightly in foil and rested in an ice chest for 2 hours. They were still too hot to pull when I removed them

The meat was very moist with a wonderful texture, just not real flavorful. Maybe my problem is that I am just used to brisket?

   Pork Butt Rub
      1 cup brown sugar
      ¼ cup kosher salt
      ⅓ cup paprika
      2 tbsp garlic powder
      2 tbsp onion powder
      1 tbsp cayenne
      1 tbsp cumin
      1 tbsp coriander
      1 tbsp coarse black pepper

   Super Dave’s Pork Injection
      1 cup apple juice
      1/4 cup apple cider
      1/2 cup sugar
      2 tablespoons kosher salt
      2 tablespoons Worcestershire
      1 tablespoon rub
      1 teaspoon garlic powder

      Simmer to dissolve, cool before injecting. Use ½ oz per pound of meat.
Clay from Taylor, TX
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