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Perfect Pulled Pork and others

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    Perfect Pulled Pork and others

    This is my first attempt at pulled pork. I've done Butt and Loin but served them as roasts, sliced with tater salad, grilled asparagus, etc. We're having a big ol' get together in July and PP will be one of the proteins, so I figured I should give it a shot using the family as Guinea Pigs.

    I had asked a question or two in here about bark, having had some trouble getting it to form. As was suggested, it all came down to time. Since we were slicing the meat I was cooking it to it's internal temp of done, about 150. On a small roast cook time is too short. Also had a helpful discussion about controlling temps using a water pan.

    1) Tell us which of Meathead's recipes you used.

    I sure didn't want this to go bad, and since it was my first pulled pork go-round I decided to stay with known commodities, Meathead's Perfect Pulled Pork and Memphis Dust. In keeping with this plan, I made the Classic Deli Slaw, KC Style Sauce, and East Carolina Vinegar Sauce. I also put out some Sweet Baby Ray's regular flavor for those less adventuresome. Normally I'd make changes to the sauce and rub, but in this case I left everything alone. I like to know how something was intended to taste before I start changing things.

    2) Tell us what you cooked on (e.g. Weber Smokey Mountain).

    1939 Frigidaire by General Motors fired with Propane.

    3) Tell us how you monitored temps

    Maverick ET-733, one probe in the meat, one for the unit.

    4) List out step by step what you did to complete the cook.

    The Butt, a 13+ pounder became two smaller butts once I opened the package. Ok, I was going to cut it in half anyway. I trimmed and dry-brined the night before and wrapped them in plastic wrap. The rub, sauces and slaw all came next. Everything was completed a put in the fridge to ferment.

    Got up around 5 (really 5:20, because I made my wife hit snooze twice) and fired up the smoker, applied the rub, and put everything in. I had decided based on the discussions previously mentioned that I was going for the gold. No crutch, and water only if needed. The unit hummed along nicely at 226. I sat on the patio and drank some coffee while watching the sun come up, then prepped the corn.

    Corn is one of those things that, in my own opinion, needs to be eaten fresh. The sugar in corn starts to turn to starch within 10 minutes of picking. Being May, it's way too early for sweet corn here in Michigan. But the local Kroger had some imported that was still in the husk. No idea where it came from or how long it's been since picking, but having been through this before there are things you can do. I dissolved two cups of sugar in a pan of hot water, thinned it down with cold water and poured it in a cooler. I trimmed the silk off the end of each ear and removed any excess stem. After depositing the trimmed corn in the cooler it was topped with water and ice and left alone until time to cook. I like to use this method when roasting corn to infuse sugar, but you can also do it without sugar for fresh corn. The water in the husk lets the corn steam first so it's nicely done without burning, then you can brown or blacken to your own level of desired done. I usually take a few ears off as soon as it's done steaming for the 'no black' crowd, then a few more when there's a little brown, and so on.

    When the meat hit 180 I fired up my old Charbroil Offset to use as a grill. These things are huge, and I had no trouble putting 30 ears of corn on the main grill with enough room left over on the top for another dozen if need be. Even though I will likely never smoke on this again, it has earned itself a home as a corn roaster. The side box is still handy to use as a shelf to light the charcoal chimney.

    So, we hit the stall. And it stayed and stayed. As the day warmed, the smoker picked up heat. When it got to around 235 I decided to put a water pan in to control it. It was also a test to see if the water would even help since I hadn't yet used one in this smoker. Down came the temp, and over an hour it floated around 223. The test was successful, but I wasn't gaining much ground on the meat, so after about I decided to pull the pan and force my way through the stall.

    I had told people we'd eat around 4. The meat had worked through the stall, them temp rising slowly to about 270 in the smoker, but we had 10 degrees to go on the meat and we were approaching 5:00. It then occurred to me that I was monitoring only the large cut, so I moved the probe to the smaller one and checked. BAM! 201 degrees. Out came the sides, plates, condiments, etc., and by the time were ready the small one had hit 203. it was removed from the smoker and the probe was moved back to the larger cut. I shut the smoker down when the larger piece hit 199. It coasted to 203, which didn't happen until after we were done eating. Fortunately, the smaller of the two was enough for the meal.

    5) Post pics! When it comes to cooking, pics are worth much more than a thousand words.

    6) Tell us what you thought of the result. Overcooked? Just right? A little spicy?

    The meat pulled perfectly. Everyone loved the flavor. I have this one weird sister-in-law that does NOT like smoked food, or even charcoal flavor. When she comes over I typically have to fire up the gas grill and maker her a burger or chicken breast. She loved it. The sauces were perfect, and oddly enough most people tried and liked the Carolina style mop, even the weenies who don't like anything spicy. A little goes a long way, but I think putting out a selection of sauces from sweet to tart was a good way to go. It gave everyone a choice.

    Even my poor neighbor who has to suffer through the delightful aromas emanating from by back yard all summer got a taste. I have handed ribs over the fence to him in the past, but this time he came walking right over and demanded a sandwich, which I cheerfully provided along with a cold Labatt's Prohibition Series Bourbon Barrel Beer.

    Everyone wanted a carry out, so baggies of the pork, slaw, and buns went home. I had to slow my wife down a bit. She is goodhearted and was filling the baggies to the brim with meat. WHAT? STOP! Give them enough for two sandwiches. Assume the buns are small! I fully expect to eat this again tomorrow, so don't give it all away!

    The one disappointment was the slaw. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but we all agreed when topping a sandwich it should be a little creamy and sweeter. I won't make it again for a topper, but it is very good though as a side dish.

    So, a huge success all around, thanks to this site!


    proper! great read!



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