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Presalting a Boston Butt

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58 minutes ago, Gebo said:

Gonna be tight to get it off by 170, I’m thinking.  My ETA home is 1 pm.

I know the feeling. That’s what I’ll be dealing with tomorrow. I’ll get up early. I have 2 6.5 lb butts, so I’m going to give myself at least 10 hours. Shouldn’t take that long, but if they get a little extra rest in the cooler, no harm done. That’ll be better than everyone showing up and I’m cranking up the fire to try and get them finished.


Good luck with your cook!

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I dry brined overnight and seasoned today - all in prep for a 5 am wake up. KJ charcoal basket is full and fire starter is already in position. All I need to do is light the fire, put the SloRoller in and put the butts on. 

I used Cholula Sweet Habanero as a binder and decided on R Butts R Smokin Cherry Habanero as the rub. It’s wonderful stuff and once I near the bottom of the shaker, I’ll try to replicate it on my own.


Can’t wait to get going tomorrow!

Beautiful color from the dry brine:




Seasoned up and ready to go:



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I trimmed most of the fat cap off, along with the membrane in between the muscles. I left enough fat cap on that will hopefully end up as cracklins that I can mix into the pulled pork for some extra bark - fat cap down! :)

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I’ve gotten to where I trim all my fat off. All I can tell is I got less mess trying to get rid of the cooked fat as I chop the butts up.  

I’ve been convinced by my extended family to add some apple juice and ACV at 170 and wrap the butts in foil the last 30 degrees.   I use one of those aluminum disposable trays and then cover that and seal it with aluminum foil. After resting for two hours all of the juice in my “boat” goes poured back in to the meat. 

After doing this on my last 3 cooks, my reviews are too high.  I think I’ve found a sweet spot. 


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I left a thin fat cap and was able to get the butts off the grill with a spatula, preserving a nice, thin crisp layer. I’ll dice it up and mix it in to add some crunch. I like the apple juice idea. I save a little of my apple cider vinegar mop sauce and pour it over the meat once pulled. 

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On 6/30/2022 at 7:11 PM, John Setzler said:

I always put my rub on early.  The rub contains salt, which will dissolve in the liquid it extracts from the meat and re-enter the meat through osmosis.  the rest of the rub ingredients will not absorb into the meat.  




Salt IS what makes dry brining possible so why would that make it impossible?  You can easily 'dry brine' with a typical rub that contains salt.



I think the point was that many people go with just plain kosher salt for a dry brine, then apply the rub separately (as opposed to your suggestion to use the rub as the dry brine), so if the rub has salt, it makes dry brining with kosher salt hard without over salting. 


I'm assuming based on your suggestion that when dry brining, you haven't noticed a difference between kosher salt and whatever type of salt is in the rub?  I haven't checked my commercial rubs, but I assume that most probably don't use kosher salt (or at least not a course salt) - but I'm far from a salt guru.


I've never tried using a store-bought rub for brining, but I've only dry brined beef, and since I don't really use anything but SPG, I just do the kosher salt a day before and add the PG and anything else closer to the cook time.  If store-bought rubs can work well for dry brining, then I'll probably try with more types of meat.






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My extremely limited experience is that "dry brining" (usually using kosher salt) does not cause the meat to taste salty.  I don't know if "whatever chemical reactions the salt induces" also affects the salt.  I am also given to understand that dry brining cannot be used to infuse flavors into the meat.

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