Monday, April 12, 2004

Smoking Pork 101, with Professor Duke Crevanator 



Well as promised, here is my recipe for smoking a pork shoulder to make a big 'ol stinking pile of pulled pork sandwiches.

Before we get started, let me make it clear that this recipe assumes you actually have a real smoker. It's possible this recipe could be jimmy-rigged somehow in your oven via the broiler or something, but since I've never done that, I can't say if something like that would work.

This recipe also assumes you are willing to spend 6-7 hours watching over your smoker. Par-boiling meat in advance to shorten the cooking time is FORBIDDEN! And I mean FORBIDDEN! If you're not willing to invest the time to make true BBQ, then you should be at McDonald's, not reading my recipe.

Whew! OK, with that out of the way, let's get started:

1. WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1/3 cup ground black pepper. (This means you buy the pepper corns and grind then yourself. I usually prefer to get garlic black peppercorns, but just plain black will work as well. Also, I will allow you to cheat by using a coffee bean grinder to grind the peppercorns. But NEVER, EVER use pre-ground black pepper, you lazy fucks).

1/4 cup Paprika

1/4 turbinado sugar (NEVER substitute this with plain sugar. If you're desperate, go to your local Starbucks and steal as many "Sugar in the Raw" packets you can stuff in your pockets)

2 Tablespoons salt

2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard (No, this doesn't mean scraping the scum off the rim of your mustard jar. Although that might work in a pinch for all I know)

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, an approx. 8 pound Boston butt pork shoulder

WHAT TO DO

The night BEFORE you plan to cook, mix all of the above ingredients into a bowl. It should look something like the pic below:



Make sure you stir them all thoroughly together.

Next, take out your meat (no, not that one, the pork)

In most cases, it should like this out of the package:



MAKE SURE you cut off all the fat from the outside of the meat. There is usually a big old slab of fat/skin along the front that wraps around to the bottom. This can be a major pain in the ass to cut off but it must be done. It helps to have a wife around to recruit into performing this chore. But it is not necessary (unless you are me).

This huge chunk of fat can be a pain in the ass to dispose of if you leave your trash outside and your backyard is a known habitat for beasts such as crows, raccoons, fox, coyote and the occasional barn rat. That is why is it quite handy to have a built-in garbage disposal. Below is an example of mine:



OK. Once the fat is removed, use approximately 2/3rds of the rub on the meat. Rub it in there pretty good. Don't overdo it, as you will damage the meat, but make sure the entire shoulder gets a rubbed with the spices. Once you are done, cover the meat with Saran wrap, and place in the fridge for the night.

The next day, pull it out of the fridge early in the AM (You may need 6 to 7 hours to cook). Use about half of the remaining rub on the meat again. SAVE THE REST OF THE RUB!

At this time, leave the meat out on the counter to let it get to room temperature. While that is going on, go outside and get some coals going in your smoker to get it up to temp.

(SIDE NOTE: ONLY USE LUMP CHARCOAL. SHIT LIKE KINGSTON AND OTHER BRIQUETTES ARE COVERED IN GAS FUMES AND IT WILL MAKE YOUR MEAT TASTE LIKE SHIT)

Once the temp inside the COOKING area of your smoker is up to around 250 or 275, you can put the meat in.

(NOTE: TRY TO KEEP YOU COOKING TEMP BETWEEN 275 AND 300 TOPS. ALTHOUGH ALL SMOKERS ARE DIFFERENT. YOU MAY NEED TO PLAY AROUND WITH YOUR OWN SMOKER TO SEE WHAT THE IDEAL TEMP IS FOR YOU)

For the first hour DO NOT ADD WOOD CHIPS to the fire chamber. Instead, mix the remaining rub, and about 2 cans of beer into a mixing bowl and stir to make your SOP. You may want to add about a 1/4 cup of vinegar and a 1/4 cup of oil. That is up to you. Once it is mixed, keep it warm (but not boiling) by keeping it on top of your fire chamber (if possible).

After one hour, BASTE THE MEAT WITH THE SOP. Once it is well basted, then add some HICKORY to the fire part for the first stage of smoking. See the pics below:





After this, only add a SMALL amount of hickory wood chips about every 90 minutes or so. Do not oversmoke the meat, once again, it will taste like shit.

Every time before you add hickory, slather the outside of the meat with your sop.

About 4 hours in, or when the meat temp. gets to 160, make sure you flip the meat so it gets cooked evenly on both sides.

When the meat gets to 180 or 185 (tops) you are done! Take it out of the smoker and bring her on inside. She should like this:



Now get someone who you're feeding to do the work to pull all this meat off the bone into a big old plate of BBQ. I don't put BBQ sauce on the meat after the cooking is done. If some of you prefer it that way (especially Midwesterners I've noticed), you can apply this now.

ENJOY!





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