Chef JJ – There are any number of things the Q Joints are doing before and after the meat is pulled. Brines and Injections before smoking and/or Adding a good dusting of Rub, a thin Vinegar based finishing sauce, a thin Sweet Apple Juice based finishing sauce, a thinned version of their BBQ Sauce, even just Salt and Pepper and a flavorful liquid with the addition of Liquid Smoke is not out of the question. Could be a combination of ALL the above, which is what I do. I add rub and finishing sauce to my Pork and in the depths of winter, it’s Oven roasted PP finished with same plus Liquid Smoke. Your procedure is solid, start playing with additions to the meat at the end…JJ
Scholtz – Have you considered using an additional smoke source like the A-Maze-N tube smoker? I use it with my pellet smoker with good success. Usually with hickory in the smoker and I put mesquite in the tube. I also brine my butts overnight (12-15hrs) in a large 2 1/2 gal zip bag with a cup of pickling salt, 8 oz of dark molasses and 2 quarts of water. Note: if the butt is already ‘enhanced’ by the mfg then cut the salt to 3/4 cup.
Rubs vary but my standard go-to is:
2 tsp whole cumin seed
2 tsp whole fennel seed
2 tsp whole coriander
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon paprika, not smoked
Then it’s 225-250° until done.
Noboundaries – I’m not in the restaurant business, but there could be two reasons.
1. They are adding more rub after the meat is pulled. For roasts that are NOT “enhanced” (pre-brined with up to a 12% salt solution), the meat can taste bland after smoked. I add more rub to the pull after the smoke, and that stepped the flavor up quite a bit.
2. They could also be using pre-brined, “enhanced” pork butts and picnics. There’s no need to add rub to the pull at the end of the smoke. The enhanced meat is definitely saltier. I’ve tried injecting and brining to enhance my own, but haven’t been able to duplicate the ones by Hormel and Smithfield.