Slow Smoked Pulled Pork
This is the first post in the Big Dinner Solutions category.
I strongly recommend you follow the hashtag #cutroadcooking on Instagram and Twitter to review the amazing culinary delights emanating from 48 Cut Road.
This section will be used as a blog to track the trials and tribulations of my Weber Smokey Mountain smoking exploits.
the WSM has been seasoned using the Harry Soo method and this Pork Butt was the first real cook. Plan made. Plan adjusted. Lessons learned. Food munched!
5lb 10oz Bone in Pork Butt
Want to eat it at 7:00pm on Sunday (have to allow for about 10 hours)... So...
Note - All temps are in Fahrenheit.
I trimmed some of the fat and scored and heavily salted the skin (note: I should have removed the skin completely and just left a fat cap ant this point).
Brine the butt overnight in salt, vinegar, lemon juice and water.
I removed the butt from the brine a d poured away the brine liquid.
I took the skin off (which I should have done the day before). I scored the fat where the skin was.
I dried the beast with paper towel and left it for a couple of hours in the fridge to dry out further.
I then applied a slather all over the butt with French’s Yellow Mustard.
Next came the rub. I used kosher salt, black pepper, a little onion and garlic powder and some smoked paprika. Be generous.
I then left it to rest for in the fridge overnight.
8:00am: Took meat out the fridge to bring it to room temp.
Beautiful morning. About 72°F. No wind. No rain (yet).
8:10am: I put some water in the water bowl and then loaded up the fire pit (using the Minion Method) with a full load of Weber charcoal briquettes (to the top of the ring). I made a volcano crater and added a good handful of applewood chips (sadly, I didn’t have chunks).
I lit a chimney a quarter full (about 20 briquettes) and got them hot (about 12 mins).
8:25am: I poured the hot coals in the crater on top of the applewood and added some hickory chips on top.
I put the smoker on to the fire pit and left all the vents wide open. I let the smoke blow through.
Note: the smoke was initially quite dark gray and thick, then thick white gray to 8:35. It cleaned up a little from 8:40. Much cleaner by 8:45.
8:35am: I put the meat on the top grill and put the thermometer in the meat.
The aim is to smoke it up until the pork gets to 140°. Should be about three hours.
Smoker was at about 195° but with the lid off, etc, it dropped back to 150°.
8:35am: Meat temp was 45°.
The smoke stopped at 9:30am. It took a really long time to heat up. I think the layer of applewood in the crater may have blocked the coals below from catching. Also, the water in the pan was cold AND the meat was cold. Smoker temp stalled at 225° for a long time.
9:35am: Meat internal temp was 85°F.
9:43am: I opened the door to add some more chips. I wanted a little more smoke in there. The extra air seemed to give it a little boost and the smoker finally hit 250° at 9:46am.
Once the smoker hit 250°, I closed one of the intake vents. And tweaked another to 25%. I left the third wide open. I adjusted the exhaust vent to 75%. The aim is to keep it around 250°.
10:20am: Smoker temp had dropped to around 220°. I opened up all of the vents. I kicked the legs to shake some of the dead coals. I opened the door and poked around to move the coals a bit. I blew on it hard. It started to pick up a little bit.
10:30am: Meat temp was 124°F.
11:10am: Meat temp was 142°F.
11:30am: Now that the pork had an internal temp around 140°, I wanted to pump the smoker heat up. It was about 250° at this point. All the vents are already opened. I lit about five briquettes in the chimney and added them through the door at 11:45am.
I then lifted the lid and gave my charred butt a spritz from the hose. The spritz may have been a little heavy!
With the spritz and the lid off, the temp dropped to 230° but quickly climbed back to 250°
I want it to get the smoker lid up to 275°.
Noon: Meat temp was 154°F. I’m leaving it and hoping it will pick up to 275°. It never picked up to 275°!! It stayed at 250°.
This should be left now for about three to three and a half hours, spritzing every 45 mins to an hour.
12:45pm: Meat temp was 164°F.
1:45pm: Meat temp was 169°F.
2:30pm: Once the bark on the fat cap splits, then it’s ready to wrap. Spritz and add any sauce, wipes, glazes etc. Wrap tightly with foil.
Internal temp should now be around 170°.
Internal temp was 171°F. It may have stalled! I gave the coals a poke and a blow through the door.
I spritzed, wiped with hot sauce and then tightly wrapped in foil, stuck it in a baking tray, put it back on the smoker and closed the lid.
The smoker slowly climbed back to 250°.
Now: Cook the pork, wrapped, for a couple of hours.
3:00pm: It’s been raining for about 10 mins. Little spots.
4:00pm: Raining still. Now a consistent drizzle with heavier spots!
Pork internal temp was 204°F. Smoker temp was about 200°.
I poked and blew the coals through the door.
5:00pm: I took the butt out of the smoker (still wrapped in foil).
Closed all the dampers on the pit and the exhaust on the smoker.
Smoker temp was about 165°. Now a steady drizzle of rain.
I kept the butt covered in foil and covered that with a tea towel. It’s now time to let it rest.
You want the butt to be 200° to 205°. My butt temp was 212°F but when I got it upstairs and poked it in different places with Alys’s needle thermometer it read between 203° and 208°. All good as far as I’m concerned.
6:00pm: Make the sauce:
Mix together soy sauce, brown sauce, olive oil, warm water, Worcester sauce, cider vinegar, Aunt Jemima and some hot sauce. Mix in some of the meat juices. Heat it up then pour in a gravy boat.
Meat temp now down to 180°.
6:30pm: Get all your accompaniments and accoutrements together.
I made a bowl of coleslaw, shred some cheddar, sliced up an avocado, chopped some scallions, and got a couple of lettuce leaves on a plate.
PULL THE PORK:
When you unwrap try and keep all the juices and mix them in with the meat (and the sauce).
The bone should slide out easily (it did).
Shred the pork (with you fingers, forks and tongs.
I heated a couple of corn tortillas and It hit the table at 6:45pm.