Experimentation is at the heart of this blog, or at least as close to the heart as beer and meat. I’ve never used a marinade injector before, but I’ve heard good things.
I’m now officially a hypodermic needle user.
Lots of BBQ blogs espouse their own special marinades. Most include lots of liquid, with saltiness, sweetness, some kind of liquor or beer or wine, and often some pureed spices and perhaps fruitiness (like juice).
I went simple: PBR and some honey apple BBQ glaze my wife bought for me on impulse. I made a 50/50 mixture and liberally injected the shoulder all over from all angles – down to the bone, through the fat, along the sides, through the top… everywhere. I also consumed the rest of that PBR, then several others.
As I injected, bulbous sections of pork protruded. Each puncture wound oozed marinade, some more than others. In all, I injected the hell out of this meat. This butt got stabbed more times than a [insert horribly tasteless joke here].
Onto that went a simple rub of brown sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, seasoned salt, & Italian seasonings.
And the whole thing went on a Weber 22.5″ kettle over indirect heat with cherry wood chunks. I put a thermometer probe through an onion near the meat to get an idea of the grill temperature. Even a conservative amount of coals gave me a hot grill, at or near 300 degrees. That’s a full 100 degrees higher than my typical drum smoker runs.
About 3-4 hours later (who can say with any specificity – it was an 18 pack of PBR), the shoulder was foil wrapped with some BBQ sauce and a sprinkle of some more beer.
What a wonderful smell comes from a wrapped pork shoulder. Lots of bubbling, cracking going on in there.
Finally, a few more hours later, perhaps after 7 total, I pulled the meat off the grill and opened it to let it rest.
The end result, as usual, looks wonderful. Great smell & color. I’m excited.
What I notice in trying to shred the shoulder was that the meat was separating in chunks rather than typical shreds. I figure what happened was all the injected moisture boiled and steamed and percolated within the meat, which not only tenderized, moistened, and flavored the flesh itself, but also broke down fat and connective tissue. This lets the meat break into hunks of succulent sweet pork, instead of shreddings.
It was delectable! I’m thrilled with how it turned out, and I’m definitely making this again. Flavor injection is part of the BBQ regular rotation. Yes, I’m now a habitual needle user.
Leftovers? BBQ pork pizza the next day.