Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Bob does barbecue

I don't have cool pictures (barbecued meat is not nearly as photogenic as fresh produce or cookies.) But Sunday, I cooked up a six-pound pork shoulder (also amusingly known as pork butt).

And of course, after 10 hours of slow cooking (and letting it rest about half an hour), there's only one thing to do with a pork butt: shred it with your bare hands. There is no better way to feel like a caveman who provides succulent deliciousness to his family.

If, for some reason, you crave more details, they're at this link:
I pretty much followed Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn's scheme - I've got a 3-burner gas grill, so I turned on one burner, and put soaked applewood chunks and hickory chips over it. I put the pork butt on the other end of the grill, and just let it go for 10 hours. I threw more wood on every half hour for the first 4 hours, and every hour after that.

I'd like a grill thermometer I had more confidence in (the cheap oven thermometer next to the meat showed about 50 degrees less than the one in the grill top), but the meat thermometer worked just like it should -- creeped up steadily, stalled for a little at 150, and then hit 190 at about 10 hours. At which point the bone was falling out and a fork turned easily.

Then it was time for my beastman impression. RAHR!

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2 comments:

Sarah said...

I am SO impressed! If the pork butt was so tender at the end, why didn't it fall through the grill grate? The thermometer you bought when you were house sitting during our honeymoon nine years ago works VERY well for this sort of thing. Perhaps we'll have to venture out to Williams Sonoma and pick one up for you while we're in town . . . but only if you feed us some smoked pork butt.

Bob said...

reply to Sarah:
The pork butt didn't fall through the grill grate because (a) it wasn't literally falling apart into individual muscle fibers, it was just loose so the bone was easy to pull out and (b) I had the butcher tie up the butt so it wouldn't fall to pieces anyway. I had to cut away the charred string before I pulled the pork.

You are going to get fed smoked pork butt regardless. Getting a nice thermometer would strictly be a bonus. Incidentally, Goldwyn's thermometer comments/recommendations are here.

Incidentally, just saw the "Good Eats" episode on pulled pork. Alton Brown brines the shoulder, because he worries the modern pig might not be fatty enough, and he makes his own plant-pot barbecue. He rejects gas grills because he says the water vapor in burning propane is a barrier between the smoke and the meat. I think Goldwyn would totally reject that theory, and I think my meat got plenty smoky.