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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Porky Goodness

Ahhh it's that time again... time for smokin! I had planned on making a brisket for Memorial Day weekend, but those plans changed when I was shopping and BJ's (that's a wholesale club like Sam's or Costco, in case you didn't know that or don't have them in your area). They did not have any brisket at all the day I was there. So looking around I thought I'd go with ribs, but then like a light shining down from the heavens, the pork shoulder revealed itself to me. And at $1.59 a lb. it was meant to be!

Isn't that a thing of beauty! Oh yes. It was technically called a Pork Shoulder Butt Roast. Shoulder Butt... not sure how that works, but whatever.

So, the night before this baby is to go on the smoker, it needs to be rubbed. When I make a dry rub, I basically just look around at what I have in the house and toss it together. This was no exception.

3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1 T. dried oregano, 1 T. lemon pepper, 2 T. paprika and about 2 T. of Penzy's Northwoods seasoning (which contains salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic and chipotle).

Once it's all mixed together, the shoulder butt gets a massage and then gets put in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, and you better believe it needs to be early because this shoulder butt is going to take a LONG time to cook, get your fire going. I use regular charcoal and when it turns an ashy gray, it's ready. This should take about 20-30 minutes. And while the coals are getting ready, have your wood chips soaking. Generally I use hickory, but this time I tried apple wood. Make sure you have your water tray in place and with water in it (this fits in in the middle of the smoker).

As soon as you put your soaked wood chips on the hot coals, the smoke starts and you want to get the smoker closed and as sealed as you can, as fast as you can. Losing smoke is bad!

My smoker does not have as good a seal on it as I would like it to have so I usually end up needing foil to wrap around the lid and try and keep in as much smoke as possible. This time I got to thinking that if I make a foil lip and put it all around the lip of the smoker, then put the lid on, maybe it would fit more snugly. And it worked! It took a little longer than I would have liked, but it worked

Now, the shoulder butt is on and all we have to do is wait. This is where you have to learn to trust. Trust that the smoker is doing what it should be doing. And after 5-6 hours, add more coals to the bottom. But DO NOT open the lid, ever.

And unfortunately my friends, things did not work out well this time. After about 3 hours of smoking time, we got a huge downpour. I kept my trust in the smoker, that it was doing what it was supposed to, thinking it was pretty sealed up and therefore, still cooking. I added more coals (I used a charcoal chimney to get them ready) and I thought all was well. It wasn't. It was a very very sad day when, after 10 hours, I opened that lid.

Looks nice and all, but it was not even close to being done. So at 7:00 pm on Memorial Day, we had no pulled pork :(

The next day, the shoulder butt went into a 300 degree oven for 6 hours. And then, the heavens parted!! The angels sang!!! Harps were played!!! Porky goodness was achieved!!!

Oh yeah, that is a thing of beauty! It didn't work out exactly how I planned, but the end result was damn tasty. Take a look at this bark!

I served it on some nice Kaiser rolls, with vinegar slaw.

And we lived in porky heaven for close to a week! Yeah that was one big shoulder butt!


Abi12 said...

OMG Kath, that looks so scrumptious! Since I don't own a smoker, nor do I plan to get one, can I just cook the butt all day in the oven?

Kathy said...

Yes you can! Low and slow... depending on the size, 275 - 300 degrees for many many hours. Mine was already partially cooked and I cooked it for 6 hours, so plan on at least 8 (if it's as big as the one I got, which was around 8 lbs). Also cover it with foil until about an hour and half or so is left.

Abi12 said...

Thanks for the advice Kath, I plan on doing one of these next week, will let you know how it turns out!