or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › "To rub, or not to rub? That the question is." -Hamlet as portrayed by Yoda (at a BarBQ)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"To rub, or not to rub? That the question is." -Hamlet as portrayed by Yoda (at a BarBQ)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Pulled pork- So I don't do a rub before smoking the pork. Always figured I'd be shredding it and drowning it in sauce, it wouldn't make a difference. But I have a friend who insists on a rub. So what do you guys think?

 

PS If you're wondering I have no Idea what's wrong with me.

Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
Reply
Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
Reply
post #2 of 15

Mr. Brown and Miss White need one another.  Mr. Brown needs rub.  Sauce, but don't drown.

 

This may need some explanation.  Mr. Brown is the outside part of the pork shoulder with the dark bark, lots of smoke, seasoning from the rub.  Ms. White is the delicate interior.  Sauce but don't drown should be clear enough.

 

BDL

 


Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/27/10 at 4:58pm
post #3 of 15

FWIW, I always use a rub when making pulled pork.

 

I also use a mop sauce as it slow cooks and smokes. But that's because I really like a lot of bark, and the caramelizing mop helps that to form.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #4 of 15

    it's a personal thing...

 

 

    I prefer to rub before and let it sit for a little while.  After it starts smoking I MAY open the smoker up once.  But with the dual probe wireless thermometer even once isn't necessary.

 

    Sauce?  I normally prefer just a little bit of an East Carolina vinegar based sauce, a South Carolina mustard/vinegar based sauce. Or my current go to sauce...a Tennessee tomato/vinegar balance.

 

   For me the bun must be just a minimal bun, so it doesn't get in the way.  I don't want anything too sweet or heavy...not too much grain and please don't add oil, spices and toast on the grill.  Just a minimal squishy bun.

 

   Most times I'm going to do some sort of injection on my shoulders as well as a rub too.

 

   If the shoulder is broke down especially nice, where the fat is a gelatinous mess within the meat I love a nice vinegar and oil based coleslaw. 

 

  dan

post #5 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the-boy-nurse View Post

Pulled pork- So I don't do a rub before smoking the pork. Always figured I'd be shredding it and drowning it in sauce, it wouldn't make a difference. But I have a friend who insists on a rub. So what do you guys think?

 

PS If you're wondering I have no Idea what's wrong with me.


 

 

   Hi boy nurse...I really enjoy reading your posts.

 

 

  Please don't take this the wrong way.  But when you mention shredding the pork shoulder, I initially think of a shoulder that's overcooked.  Oddly enough an overcooked shoulder would need a decent amount of sauce.  After my shoulder has rested I generally look at what I do to the pork as a squash motion, with the palm of my hand.  Sometimes some of it my need to be pulled.

 

     I've seen shredded pulled pork before  I've even been responsible for one or two of them myself   

 

   My apologies if I'm reading your words wrong>>>

 

 dan

post #6 of 15

As Dan eluded to....it's all personal preference. But there is a regional preference too.

 

In this neck of the woods..........it varies like the weather. Being as close as we are to the VA/NC border and very few folks rub their Pork Butt or shoulder. Brisket and ribs....pile it on. Shoulder gets brined or marinated in a vinegar based sauce or what would be called one of  maybe a dozen variations of NC BBQ sauce. I sent Kuan some info and even being from the great white north or close enuf too it.....he's hooked.

 

Personally I like a deep smoke on the pork but as well as the marinade. A pan sits under it or them while smoking to catch juices. Those are added back to the pulled (shredded) pork and then a light drizzle of sauce for just a touch of flavor. But this is added by the individual and never to the whole. Big fan of a good slaw on the pork when served as a sand.

 

The rub I use is my own but that's not unusual or unique but the ingredients are.  It goes on brisket and ribs thick and heavy. I've got it down to where the folks that come to our BBQ in the summer have started opting for sauce on the side or even no sauce at all. Even I have swung away from my Chicago based, caramelized sauce roots, toward it being used on the side or not at all. Guess it just depends on the mood. If I am going to caramelize the sauce on the meat, a lighter or just spiced version of the rub is used.

 

Burnt ends are another great by-product of the whole thing. I take the burnt crispies from the unrubbed Pork, chop them up and mix with the chopped, burnt crispies from the brisket and ribs. In KC they also add from the sausage that is served. Makes for one heck of a sand too and add the slaw....my version of heaven on a bun.

post #7 of 15

Rub, cook until tender, pull, add a bit of rub to the pulled meat and mix in. Serve on cheap white buns with some ketchup/vinegar/red pepper sauce. Never drown the meat in sauce, that is usually done by a cook trying to hide badly cooked meat.

post #8 of 15

I smoke my pulled pork the same as KYH.  Smoked over apple chips with lots of rub and a nice mop sauce.  Like to mix up the mops.  Always a vinegar base, sometimes with bourbon, sometimes with Harpoon hard cider.  Always a winner with the family.  Even my uncle from eastern NC.

post #9 of 15

 

canvas.png 718k .png file

 

Rub or rub not.  There is no in between.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

BDL- Good thing you explained that cuz you lost me at Mr Brown.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post


 


 

  Please don't take this the wrong way.  But when you mention shredding the pork shoulder, I initially think of a shoulder that's overcooked.  Oddly enough an overcooked shoulder would need a decent amount of sauce.  After my shoulder has rested I generally look at what I do to the pork as a squash motion, with the palm of my hand.  Sometimes some of it my need to be pulled.

 

   


I generally use boston butt, preferable bone in, with a generous slab of fat. I marinate in onions, guinesse, garlic and salt. By shred I mean picked, or pulled apart using two forks. This doesn't usually take much effort. Am I doing this wrong?

Oldschool- Love the idea of adding the drippings back to the pork. Think that would make an even bigger argument for a rub as the drippings would be highly seasoned.

 

As far as the bread, my preference is buttermilk bread, cut into texas toast style slices and toasted on the grill w/ garlic butter on one side.

Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
Reply
Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
Reply
post #11 of 15

To rub, most definitely "to rub."  I don't know what all this hippie "oh it's all subjective" nonsense is about.  Rub it, smoke it with a pan to catch the drippings, pull it apart, and splash the drippings back in with a bit of vinegar and mustard.  Jeeze.

 

post #12 of 15

Maybe it's because I'm not from the Southern Virginia/North Carolina border.  But there's something strange with extolling the virtues of not  seasoning.  Call me crazy, but Now With Extra Blandness isn't working for me. 

 

Those "drippings" you guys are talking about saving and mixing back into the pork must be intensely smoky, unless you're draining the all the time.  Personally, I like to go into the cooking chamber as llittle as possible.  Besides, I get as much smoke as I need during the first half of the cooking process. 

 

For that matter, I get more than enough extra moisture and flavor from injecting before cooking, and adding a little Carolina style sauce when I pull -- no matter what kind of sauce I'll be doing after, I pull with something thin and vinegary.  There's enough fat in there already, God knows.

 

If you're serious about barbecue, you should at least try injecting your pork shoulders.  Brining works better for some things -- spares, bbs, fish, fowl -- but for big pieces, it's injecting. 

 

What cut makes the best pulled pork?  Butt, picnic, or whole shoulder... it doesn't matter much.  The KCBS guys say butt; the MIM guys says whole shoulder.  Either way, the farther down the arm you go, the more skin you're going to see.  But somehow I don't see it as a problem one way or the other. 

 

I like the "cushion" for sliced pork.

 

My wife likes me to cut the skin and top fat off the picnic, rub the meat, then tie the skin back on.  PITA, but good.  Good pork, too.

 

BDL

post #13 of 15

But there's something strange with extolling the virtues of not  seasoning.

 

Not sure where you're coming from, BDL. I haven't heard this from anybody. The OP doesn't use a rub, but does sauce at the end---perhaps too heavily.

 

One person uses only pan drippings as flavoring. Almost everyone else uses rubs, mops, and finish sauces. Hardly extrolling the virtue of not seasoning.

 

I also have to wonder about the self-contradictory nature of saying, on one hand, that something must be extra smoky, but, on the other, that its extra bland.  You can't have it both ways.

 

That aside, I certainly agree with you about pan drippings. Left in a pan the length of the cooking time they can't help but be overly smoky (and, perhaps, bitter as well). And the idea of pouring fat back on to a pretty fatty dish doesn't appeal to me at all. But only two people mentioned doing that at all.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #14 of 15

Seasoning at the end -- especially with sauce, is not the same as salt, pepper and the other typical rub ingredients applied to the outside before cooking. 

 

The smoky drippings comment was not connected to the rub remarks.  As a matter of fact, I've drained off some drippings while smoking the Thanksgiving turkey -- fairly early in the process, and used them as part of the fat for the roux to make a smoky gravy with plenty of Madeira; but I did have to use some sweet butter as well to control the smokiness and a fair amount of pepper to play off it.  Huge success.  People were bathing in it.  Kind of disgusting actually.

 

I guess smoke is seasoning, but you can put all the smoke in the world into a piece of pig and still cook a bland meat.  Salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, etc., they're our friends.

 

BDL

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-boy-nurse View Post

I generally use boston butt, preferable bone in, with a generous slab of fat. I marinate in onions, guinesse, garlic and salt. By shred I mean picked, or pulled apart using two forks. This doesn't usually take much effort. Am I doing this wrong?

 


 

    When you used shredded pork and described using a lot of sauce on your sandwiches I got a visual of a pork shoulder overcooked.  When I hear shredded pork like that I think of that dry pork shoulder that's pulled (or shredded) into strands of pork meat (sometimes like pork string).  

 

    Overcooking in the crockpot can often yield similar results, but because of the excess of liquid it's cooked with some liquid gets reabsorbed.  Giving the illusion of both tender and juicy.  

 

   

 

   dan

 

    

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › "To rub, or not to rub? That the question is." -Hamlet as portrayed by Yoda (at a BarBQ)