I have gotten pretty decent over time on pulled pork. I have however thought that the amount of rub I have been applying has been prohibiting smoke from penetrating the meat, and everything I have seen is the maximum amount of rub you can get to stick is the right amount(Alton Brown being my primary source for this). The result has been an overpowering bark flavor with the inside fairly bland. Once pulled and blended though it has always been a pretty good mix - at least better than I can get from the store. The batches I have liked the best have been those that I was able to get done before a dark bark formed, I tend to like the moister/softer exterior. I have even thought about no rub at all, smoke it, then add the rub during the mixing and pulling process.
I did a forum search for the exact phrase "pulled pork brine" and didn't find anything. Is there any particular reason rubbing is the standard for pulled pork instead of brining?
I started an experiment last night that is currently on the egg. I took 2 cups of my standard rub, 2 cups of apple juice, and mixed it into a brine, then added water to this to cover the butts. I immediately realized 2 cups of apple juice was negligible against the gallon plus of water and have other plans for next time(frozen concentrate). This morning I put a very light coating of rub on the top of each butt and put them on to cook.
Does anyone else brine their butt before they cook? I am curious about alternative methods even though as a whole I am pleased with my current results, just want to get even better.
As an FYI the elder ward method I learned in this forum was my primary education on pulled pork.