Barbecue Experiment – mustard rubs

First, to establish terminology:

    “Barbecue” is low temperature cooking, usually using wood chips or chunks to provide a pleasant flavour. The meat you use, the brine you use, the seasoning rubs, the sauces, are all the subject of intense debate. This debate is fun, especially if you don’t have any reason to take sides, and experimenting with the combinations is fun. And delicious.
    Cooking food directly over propane or charcoal at high temperature is grilling. Steak, burgers, sausages, hotdogs, kebabs, and shrimp are grilled. And delicious.

I took 3 pieces of pork and brined them overnight in a salt and ground coriander seed brine, to test out one important BBQ question. Does the mustard you use make a difference to the flavour of your pulled pork BBQ?

One of the pieces was the control piece – no mustard. Piece 2 was rubbed with home made Dijon mustard. Piece 3, basic yellow mustard like you’d add to a hotdog.

I smoked the pork with hardwood lump charcoal and pecan wood chunks, spritzed regularly with homemade cider vinegar, then did the hard part – invited friends over to taste test and answer the important question above.

The answer to the important question is: Yes, the mustard does make a difference. But the difference is subtle. When you eat the meat as-is, without any sauce, you can clearly distinguish between the 3 options. When you add the sauce, the difference is not noticeable. If you prefer unsauced meat make sure you use a tasty mustard. If you apply a sauce, the differences will pretty much disappear.

Having said that, the Dijon slightly edged ahead of the control (no mustard) or the yellow mustard. The Dijon added a subtle vinegary edge that blended nicely with the meat.

Everyone had their own favourite, but we would all happily take any of the 3 because they were all delicious. I consider this a win/win.

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