Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pork, the Other Wait Meat

Now, before you all start shooting off e-mails about one of the most egregious typos ever, I intended to type the word wait. This may seem a weird play on words until you realize the most important ingredient in cooking a pork shoulder is patience.

Until Labor Day, I have never cooked a pork shoulder outdoors. I've cooked near everything else, but the pinnacle of outdoor cooking, the pork butt, had not yet graced my grill. Yes, I know that many BBQ purists will insist that you can't cook a proper pork butt on a gas grill, but us urban dwellers have to make do.

I started the process in the morning by giving my butt a good rub down. My pork butt that is. While I am usually a totally make it from scratch kind of guy, I discovered that Bone Suckin' Sauce Seasoning Rub really works well. It is probably cheaper to make it myself but I couldn't resist the siren song of that product. After liberally coating my butt, my pork butt, with the rub I let it have a nice six hour nap in the fridge while I indulged in the Ghost Hunters marathon on TV. Hey, we all have our guilty pleasures. I took the pork butt out of the fridge about an hour before it went on the grill to allow it to come up to room temperature.

The one drawback of using a gas grill in an endeavor like this is the lack of a smoky flavor in the meat. Some of the more deluxe models of grills have smoker boxes where you can throw in some wood chips of your choosing. In my case, I had a cheap metal box that you fill with soaked wood chips and place on a burner before you start the meat. You could also just wrap some wood chips up in aluminum foil, poke some holes in it, and place that on the burners. In no time at all, my grill was generating a nice oak smoke. So nice that E forced me to close all the windows in the condo. The pork butt was placed in the grill and cooked over a nice low 250 degree indirect heat.

E had seized control of the TV so no more Ghost Hunters for me as the meat gently cooked away for 3 1/4 hours. It was a smallish butt, only about 2 1/2 pounds, so that's why it cooked up so quick. No you see the need for patience when 3 1/4 hours is akin to microwaving the dish! I cooked it to an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.

I let the meat rest for a while and began to pull. Well, hack at with a knife was more accurate. I did get a beautiful smoke ring and the meat on the outside of the butt was falling apart. The internal meat still had some body so appropriate measures had to be taken. It did have a lovely flavor. The flavor was enhanced by a vinegary, Eastern North Carolina type BBQ sauce. I just feel that this type of sauce works best for my palate. Feel free to slather on your sauce of choice if you decide to play along at home.

A good Labor Day it was. I finally tackled pork butt on the grill. I have a few tricks in mind the next time I do this to make it more like a true BBQ butt. Now if I could get E to allow me to put a smoker out on the deck.....


My Man's Belly said...

My butt...errr pork but is slowly roasting away in my oven as I type this.

I made a new rub so we'll see how this turns out. Hopefully as tasty as yours was.

TasteHongKong said...

Like your idea of wrapping wood chips. Thanks.