Friday, December 26, 2008

Smoked Pork Butt MMMMMM

Im from up north and honestly BBQ only means one thing to me and that is RIBS and SAUCE; nothing else. However, since I have moved down south I have warmed up to the idea Pulled Pork Sandwiches. But you have to be careful with what you call pulled pork and what you call BBQ. These people down here take this stuff serious and it is almost an act of war to disgrace the pig.

So for some time now I have tinkered with the idea of smoking my own Pork and I have had some success with all different recipes and bad results with others. All in All I have come up with my own idea of what I like in a pulled Pork sandwich and I will share that here.

1st- We have to start with a Pork Butt, I have tried everything other than pork butts and have had success but in all honesty the Butt is where it's at. I can't give you any scientific reasons I just know it responds so much better to smoking than other forms of meat.

2nd- You have to create a rub for the crust that will form over your meat. Now here is where many Smoked BBQ Nuts go crazy, you will hear all kind of crazy rubs and gypsy magic on how to create the perfect rub. I was suckered into all of this stuff too. But Im here to tell you that all of that is BS. Im going to give you 3 ingredients that you should use for your Rub to create your crust and they are: Salt, Pepper and brown sugar. Thats it, thats the Magic trick and here is why-

The Purpose of the Rub is to help incapsulate the pork with a hard crust. It is not to add flavor. If done right the crust will form and hold in all the moisture until the tempurature of the pork reaches the magical 170 degrees F. So what I like to do is break some fresh black pepper all over the Butt and rub it into the meat, then I apply a moderate amount of Sea Salt ( Im not big into salt only for taste so I don't use alot just even across the entire butt) and then I apply Liberal amounts of Brown sugar all over the butt and this is where something happens. The Salt pulls the moisture from the meat and the brown sugar soaks it up and forms a sort of syrupy mollases that sticks to the meat. I never let my rubs stay over night, I just pull the Butt out of the freezer the previous day and let it sit until room temperature and then apply the rub.

3rd- The most important thing is the fire. You have to get your fire right. The success to smoking butts is so dependant on the temperature that there is no wiggle room to mess this up. In order to get the fire going I use a coals to maintain the heat. Some purist will balk at the idea but again im not trying to win Americas favorite Butt Competition. The coals keep the temp constant and will help burn wet wood with out jepordizing the integrity of the Temp; Which brings us to Temp. What Temp?? This area will cause so much debate that I have literally lost my mind about smoking a proper pork butt. You will hear everything in the world about what temp to smoke your meat. Im going to cut through the chase and tell you to do what your comfortable at but always keep in mind that the very nature of smoking meat is suppose to be done slow and doesn't mean 10 friggin hours!!! My smoking methods keep me around the 3-4 hr time frame and that's because I get my fire going first to where it's really really hot and 3/4 of the coals both wood and the few charcoal peices are white washed and then I close the lid and maintain the heat to 300 and no higher than 350 degrees F. Before I add the meat I add wet wood to get the smoker really smoking and throw in some dry wood to keep it burning and don't forget to use old peices of burnt wood used in the fire place these are perfect to maintain the heat in the smoker.
4th- I place the meat into the center of the smoker and close the lid and remember the BBQ Pit Masters Mantra "If your lookin, you ain't Cookin." I let that set in there and every hr or so I raise the lid to see the development of the crust formation. You know things are on its way when the meat starts to turn red and skin starts to caramalyze. The most important thing is to keep that fire going, smoke and temp at 300 -350 and and it should be done around 3-4 hrs. Never poke the meat until the dark crust starts to form over the meat and then to see where you are at stick your thermomater in the meat and when it gets to 170 degrees you are done.
5th- Take your meat and wrap it in foil for approx 30 mins to let the heat continue to cook the tendons and when that is done you are left with the most moist piece of Smoked BBQ Pork Butt ever and I mean Juicy and succulent. At this time you should be able to pull your pork apart with a fork "LITERALLY" and work in the hard crust with the juicy tender meat, apply that to your bread or bun of choice with your favorite BBQ sauce, steak fries and KFC Cole slaw ( Im sorry there is no better Cole Slaw than KFC Period so I don't even try.) Bon appetit!

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