Sunday, December 12, 2010
BBQ pulled pork is the King of Southern BBQ! Rich, tender, flavorful and smoky, for me at least it is a draw between Beef Brisket and Pork Butt I love them both. There are as many ways to prepare and smoke a Boston Butt as there are BBQ Pit Masters everybody seams to put their own little twist on it. I have tried many variations through the years some where fantastic and mediocre(There is no such thing as bad BBQ some may be better than others but it is all good!) I took what I liked from various recipes and added it to what I was doing and tweaked it here and there along the way to come up with what I feel is a very good product with well balanced flavors of sweet & heat, spicy and savory.
This is Low & Slow cooking done over many hours, although labor intensive the pay off is worth the price of admission. The Rub is key to quality BBQ in not only creating the "Bark" (dark crusty exterior) it carries the flavors that are associated with BBQ that when combined with the smokiness that is imparted from cooking with wood that make this so special. Enjoy!
Note: I know that some folks do not have access to a BBQ pit or may be living in an apt. in a concrete jungle. You can prepare this in your oven it will be good but will be lacking the smokiness that come form cooking over wood. Included here you will find a few pointers to help you over come this at the bottom of the page.
Prep time: 15 min Cooking time: Varies depending on the weight of the meat.
1 Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder (I look for about 8 lb bone in Butts)
4 oz Paprika
1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar
2 tsp onion powder
2 tbl lemon pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tbl kosher salt
( Combine the above spices in a 1 gal Zip bag seal and agitate to mix it can be stored in the bag or transferred to an air tight container with a shaker top)
Remove the meat from the packaging rinse under cold running water pat dry with paper towels.
Position the Butt with the fat cap up and score the Butt with diagonal cuts first one direction then the opposite direction. You should end up with a diamond pattern. This opens up the top of the Butt allowing the fat to render and baste the meat as it cooks and all so holds more Rub thereby creating more flavorful Bark.
Build the fire in your Pit and bring the temp to 230 - 240 º F place the Butt in the pit Fat Cap up and put the probe of your digital thermometer in a meatiest part of closest to the center of the Butt. Close up the pit and no peeking;If your looking you aint cooking!
Maintain the temperature in your Pit until the internal temp of the Butt reaches 190 º F. At this point you need to preform what I call the poke test.; using a wooden skewer press into the meat if it slides in with no resistance ( Hot Knife through Butter feel) it is done. if it offers any resistance continue to cook and check it again when the internal temp has increased by 5 º F. most will yield between 200 - 205 º F.
Remove the Butt from the pit and double wrap it in aluminum foil.. Line the Bottom of an empty cooler with news paper and place the wrapped Butt in the cooler.
Cover the Butt with folded bath towels filling up the space in the cooler allow to rest for at least 1 hour. I have left them like this for up to 8 hours.
Traditional BBQ sauce for this is a Western N.C. vinegar sauce, however my DR. Pepper BBQ sauce works well too.
As promised this can be prepared in your oven if you do not a BBQ pit. with some simple changes.
To the rub add a tsp of *cumin(adds some smokiness)
Inject the Butt with 1 cup of apple juice mixed with 1 tsp liquid smoke
Lower the rack in the oven to the lowest point and put the prepared Butt in a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
Set the oven temperature to 230º F and follow the above instructions.