Down Home With The Neelys' Apple Injected Smoked Pork Recipe With A Twist

If you're all about comfort food, then Food Network's Down Home with the Neelys is the ideal show for you. Hosts Patrick and Gina Neely dish up everything from grits and collard greens to pulled pork, sharing recipes you can use to make their favorites at home. Another favorite? Their apple-injected smoked pork recipe.

This recipe for a pork butt uses apple cider to infuse incredible flavor into the meat. And luckily, recipe developer and food photographer Petar Marshall is sharing just how to pull it off. Of course, he's put his own spin on it, adding a few special twists to the mix.

While the original recipe from the Neelys uses a smoker to smoke the meat, Marshall was able to pull it off at home in the oven. It produces an incredibly flavorful, juicy, tender piece of pork to enjoy for dinner. And even better? It's surprisingly easy to put together in your own kitchen at home.

Gather the ingredients for this apple-injected pork recipe

Ready to dive in on this tasty recipe? Before you get started, grab all of your ingredients. For this recipe, you'll need a six-pound pork butt, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, honey, orange juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and salt. To make the special seasoning to rub on the pork butt, you'll also need brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Make the marinade for this apple-injected pork recipe

To get started on this tender pork recipe, you'll first want to make the marinade. This is what will add that delicious flavor to the pork. 

Start by adding all of the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Add the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, honey, orange juice, lemon juice, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and salt. Whisk until the mixture is combined.

Inject and marinate the pork

Next up, it's time to use the marinade! Grab a casserole dish and place the pork in it. Using a syringe, inject the apple cider marinade into the pork. "You want to inject it all over the meat, making sure you're adding flavor to the entire pork butt," says Marshall.

Once the marinade has been injected into the meat, you'll still have plenty left over. Pour the rest of the marinade over top of the meat in the baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap. Transfer the dish to the fridge and allow it to sit for at least two hours. "The longer you let the meat sit with the marinade, the more flavor you'll end up with," says Marshall.

Season and roast the pork

While the meat is marinating, make the seasoning for the meat. Add the brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder into a bowl and mix to combine. Once the meat is done marinating, pull it out of the fridge and drain the excess liquid out of the dish. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Use a paper tower to pat the meat dry to prep it for seasoning. Using your hands, cover the top, bottom, and sides of the meat with the seasoning.

Place the meat back in the dish and roast the pork for one hour. "Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check if the meat has reached an internal temperature of 180 F," says Marshall. "Cooking pork thoroughly is crucial." Once the pork is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and slice into thick slices before serving.

What we changed in Down Home with the Neelys' apple-injected smoked pork recipe

With 11 seasons of a Food Network show under their belt, the Neelys know their way around the kitchen. But to make this apple-injected smoked pork recipe a bit more approachable for all home cooks, Marshall wanted to switch it up.

Not everybody has a smoker, but this recipe allows anybody with an oven to make this recipe. "While you don't get the same smoked flavor that cooking it in a smoker adds, you still get an incredibly flavorful, tender piece of meat thanks to the apple cider injected into the pork," says Marshall.

Marshall put together a homemade mixture of brown sugar and spices to achieve the same flavor as the original seasoning recipe while incorporating the tasty marinade in the same way. "It's a great way to achieve similar results without as much effort," says Marshall.

Down Home With The Neelys' Apple Injected Smoked Pork Recipe With A Twist
4.4 from 7 ratings
This recipe for a pork butt uses apple cider to infuse incredible flavor into the meat. And luckily, we're sharing just how to pull it off.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
12
slices
roast pork
Total time: 1.17 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (6-pound) pork butt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
Directions
  1. In a bowl, add all of the ingredients for the marinade, including the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, honey, orange juice, lemon juice, dash of Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and salt. Whisk until combined.
  2. Place the pork in a casserole dish. Use a syringe to inject the pork with the marinade. Inject in several places all over the meat. Pour the rest of the marinade over the meat, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow the meat to marinate for at least two hours.
  3. To make the seasoning, combine the brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Drain the excess liquid out of the dish with the meat.
  5. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and season it with the dry rub. Cover the top, bottom, and sides, and place the meat back in the dish.
  6. Roast the pork for 1 hour or longer as needed depending on size until its internal temperature reaches 180 F.
  7. Once cooked, remove from the oven, slice, and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 413
Total Fat 22.6 g
Saturated Fat 7.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 106.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Total Sugars 14.5 g
Sodium 505.0 mg
Protein 31.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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