I love real BBQ and I hate going to a restaurant that has BBQ on the menu, but no smoke coming from the roof. I’ll pass on the Q, thank you very much.
So let’s get started. We’re going to do pulled pork so go get yourself a couple of pork butts. I’ll wait…. No I won’t…
BTW, pork butts aren’t pork ass. Pork butts come from the hog’s shoulder. I don’t know why they’re named butts, but they are. Maybe I’ll look it up sometime if I ever care.
Sorry, back to butts.
I get my butts at BJ’s because I know they aren’t “Enhanced”. In other words, they’re not injected with a bunch of garbage I don’t want.
About 12 hour before the cook I start prepping the meat by trimming some of the fat being sure not to remove the entire fat cap. I’ll explain why later.
Next I apply the rub. Sometimes I use my own, other times I use store bought. For this cook I used Lawry’s Perfect Pork Blend. I rubbed those two butts real well, let me tell you. When done, put them back in the fridge.
I had about 12lbs of butt to cook for an afternoon meal so I started prepping for the cook around 10:30pm the night before by giving the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) a good cleaning, then starting the fire.
I filled the charcoal ring to the top with Kingsford and a few chunks of hickory. I would have like to have used some apple wood, but I didn’t have any. I then started about 15 coals over the Weber Performer’s starter. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m using the Minion Method for the cook.
Once the starter fuel was lit I poured it over the coals in the WSM and assembled the unit. When it hit 200* I started shutting down the vents to stabilize the temperature at 250* at the lid. That would give me about 235* at the top grate where I’ll place the butts.
I put the meat on, fat cap up to keep things moist, just before shutting everything down because I forgot an important step. The idiot writing this forgot to take the meat out of the fridge at 10pm to let it start warming up. The cook is now going to take longer than I planned.
I went to sleep around 2am and woke around 7:30am to find the WSM still holding at 250*. Then things went to hell and a hand basket. The wind picked up and it became difficult to maintain the temperature.
I took the unit apart, kicked the ash away and added new coals. This worked for awhile, but the temp started dropping again. I spent the rest of the cook fighting the temperature.
For a baste I went very simple and just used apple cider every 1/2 hour or so.
The temps from the pork settled in around 170* for a couple of hours while the goodness happened. That’s when the fat renders down and the connective tissues break down. Sometimes you’ll even see the internal temperature drop. It’s not unusual so don’t freak out if that happens.
Guests were to arrive soon and I still wasn’t at the 190* internal I needed so I tried cranking the heat some, but it just wouldn’t let me get it very hot. Fortunately, the butts finally reached their temp and I pulled them, wrapped them in foil and let them rest before pulling.
But they weren’t really done. You cook until the food is done, not a specific temp. In this case, while the temp was a good guideline to start checking, the bone wouldn’t pull out, so the meat wasn’t done to exact specs. It was cooked, just not where I wanted it. I also didn’t have time to let is go any longer. I was stuck.
After an hour I pulled the pork and all was fine. It was harder to pull than I would have liked, but it was till excellent.
So the mistakes made in this cook were, not getting the meat from the fridge ahead of time, not allowing enough time for the cook, (because) I didn’t have a wind break to protect the WSM from the wind.
I served the BBQ with sauce on the side. I never, ever put sauce on the pork. I let our guests decide if they want it or not. I’m proud to say my homemade sauce was a hit with everyone. How do I know? Simple, the bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s wasn’t touched, but mine was almost all gone. I’ll post the recipe in the near future.
All in all it was an OK cook, but it’s hard to totally screw up an 15hr cook.