Smokin’ Butt – Hubby Edition
Special Hubby Edition of BBQ Pulled Pork
Gentlemen, start your grills! Grab a six pack, a lawn chair, and get ready to smoke some butt. Ok, it may not sound as appetizing as it actually is but trust me when I say that there is little in life better than the flavor of a slow smoked butt in your mouth. I like big butts. And I cannot lie. Don’t worry. Pork Butts are a part of the Pork Shoulder. NOT, as you might think, a part of the pig that is used for sitting on and other things we don’t want to think about while eating them. Follow this recipe for the best butt you will ever have in your mouth (unless your name is Kris Humphries).
First things, first. Real men grill. Real men barbeque. And real men know the difference. BBQ, so you know, is low and slow cooking on a grill. I learned how to use my grill about 2 years ago when my buddy Jim introduced me to www.amazingribs.com . This site is like porn for your taste buds. The man behind it is Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn. Anyone with the nickname “Meathead” has to know his way around the outdoor kitchen. And this website proves that he does. I learned more in one hour on his website than I had in my entire adult life grilling (more like “ruining”) meat in my backyard. So this recipe and this technique are essentially Meathead’s. I just made a few “minor” adjustments.
To learn everything you never wanted to know about Pork, read this article: http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/perfect_pulled_pork.html
Meathead say: Get a thermometer. Listen to Meathead. He is right. You absolutely can’t grill without a thermometer. Meat color might lie, but a thermometer does not. And you need a nice one. A reliable one. Go to his site and read his article on thermometers. Then buy one. Ladies, if you want to stop eating burned meat, buy your man a thermometer. For Christmas, for Hanukah, for his birthday, or just for Friday.
Wifey Note: Can I say how freaking excited I am that Ryan has gone off and taught himself to use his grill? Yahhooo!!! Nothing gives me more pleasure than to watch him run around like a chicken (or pig in this case) with his head cut off as he’s trying to manage his pork butt on the grill and plan his time accordingly to grill some corn and artichokes too. Men do not multitask. And my darling hubby gets lost on his way to the garage. Butt (he he) in the end this pork is out of this world. I’m more of a thick BBQ sauce kinda gal so I slop that on my sandwich with the same grilled onions and avocado as Ryan and dig in. WIFEY approved!
Step 1: Go buy a pork butt. I prefer them without the bone. The bone gets hotter than the meat and can throw off your thermometer. I usually shoot for a 5 lb pork butt. That’s plenty for one family. The bigger ones are great, but I like a lot of bark (the crunchy outside of the butt) at the end, so even if I’m doing a big party, I’ll get two five or six pound butts so I have more surface area for more bark (crust).
Step 2: Rub your meat. Rub it good. I’m talking about the pork by the way…weren’t you? I usually put my butts in a gallon size Freezer Zip Lock Baggie and throw some olive oil in there then smother it in Memphis Dust. The olive oil is KEY as it helps the rub to stick to the meat as well as unlocks the flavor in the herbs. I like to rub the meat the day before I cook it, then throw it in the fridge. Here is Meathead’s Memphis Dust Rub recipe. http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/rubs_pastes_marinades_and_brines/meatheads_memphis_dust.html
This makes a lot of Rub, which means there are leftovers for you to use on more meat next week.
Ryan’s (slightly modified) Memphis Dust Rub
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
Lots of Rosemary sprigs (I like the actual needles instead of the powder. I pull the needles off the sprigs and throw them in the rub)
¼ cup of Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup of Cumin
Step 3: GRILLING
Take the meat out of the fridge about 2 hours before you cook it. It’s a big hunk of meat and it needs to come to room temp so it can cook more evenly. You’re going to need to plan ahead here as the everyone’s grill is different, and every hunk of meat is different. A general rule is that you’ll need around 2 hours per pound of cooking time. Make sure you have enough propane/charcoal. I use a gas grill because I have small children and I don’t have the time to putz around w/ charcoal. Plus, it’s much easier to get a steady temp for a long period of time w/ a gas grill. Unless you have a Big Green Egg or something, which I don’t.
So assuming you’re cooking a 5lb pork butt, you are going to need around 10 hours for this bad boy. Although, you can speed up cooking by using the Texas Crutch, which I just tried recently and HIGHLY recommend. Read meathead’s article regarding the Texas Crutch. http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/texas_crutch.html
SETTING UP THE GRILL:
Set up the grill in two zone indirect grilling. You’re shooting for 225 degrees. On my Weber Genesis, that means I turn just the back burner on at a little more than a quarter. We’re going low and slow. You’re also going to want to put a pan of water on the side w/ the lit burner. The water moisture mixes w/ the smoke to make magic happen. Oh yeah, the smoke. I have a smoke box that sits right on my flavor bars, just under my grill grates. I found the box on…yep, you guessed it, Meathead’s site. If you don’t have a box, order one. In the meantime you can also use wood chips wrapped in foil w/ holes poked in it. But make sure to get it as close to the flame as possible. And don’t worry about soaking your wood. As Meathead says, “Wood doesn’t really soak up water. They make boats out of wood for a reason.”
So once my pan and smoke box are set I throw my butt on in the front where there is no lit burner and let my outdoor oven do its job. I then go back inside my house and hopefully watch sports all day while it cooks. Ok, probably not likely with two small children. But a man can dream.
I only worry about smoking for the first two hours. That’s about the saturation point according to Meathead. I keep my thermometer probe in the meat and turn it on to check the temp frequently. I’m shooting for 145 degrees. It shouldn’t take too long to get there. Maybe two hours. But then the meat will stall. Read this article on “The Stall”. http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/the_stall.html
If you just let the meat be, it will still keep cooking. But it will take a LONG time to get up to 190 degrees (our target temp). As mentioned above, this is where I use “The Texas Crutch”. http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/texas_crutch.html
Once my meat hits 145 or 150 degrees, I wrap it in foil w/ some apple juice and throw it back on the grill in the same place it was before. This will dramatically cut your cooking time down. I leave my thermometer in the meat, and wrap around it. Then I wait for the meat to hit 190 degrees.
Once it hits 190 degrees, I take it out of the foil, crank up all the burners to medium and throw the meat on to give it that “bark” that I mentioned above.
Once the bark looks good, take it off, loosely cover it in foil, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then TEAR that butt a new one! Or rather, tear it apart. If cooked low and slow, it should fall apart very easily. You can use a fork, but I prefer Bear Claws. Found these on Amazing Ribs too. They make the job so much easier.
I like my pulled pork on a slightly toasted bun. And I use Meathead’s Texas Mop Sauce all over it.
There are lots of sauces out there but I really like the richness of this one. Some like slaw on their sandwiches, but I prefer Mayo with some Avocado and grilled onions. But you don’t need any of it. The sandwich stands on its own. I will eat these leftovers for days so I always make sure to use a nice sized hunk of meat.
So there you have it. This is always a crowd pleaser. Tell someone you spent all day cooking this and they will immediately be impressed, no matter what it tastes like. And since this tastes amazing, you’ll be their new hero. The women have taken over the indoor kitchen. That’s fine. It’s cramped in there. And men prefer fire and smoke for our cooking. We’ve been doing it for centuries. So take back your birth right and smoke a big butt this weekend.
Now go forth and GRILL!