Saturday, February 26, 2011

BBQ Pulled Pork

In honour of the Super Bowl and related gluttony, we decided to cook up something appropriate the day before. For the biggest pigskin game of the year, I figured pig made sense, so I picked up a 4kg bone-in pork shoulder butt from Sobey's to make BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.

Now when I'm taking about BBQ, I'm taking about the real deal using charcoal and smoking it low and slow. It's a full day affair, but the results are certainly worth the efforts.

To start the day, I liberally applied a spice rub, namely Weber's Type-A, which I found in my copy of Weber's Big Book of Grilling. That book is a fantastic collection of rubs, sauces, meat, sides, techniques and bbq folklore and a great source of inspiration, particularly the forward written by Al Roker. That man knows his BBQ and has the physique to prove it.
Applying the rub.

The rub ingredients are dry/powdered: mustard, onion, paprika, garlic, coriander, cumin and of course S 'n P.

The ying and yang of cooking.

While I let the rub set (for about an hour), I went outside to shovel off the deck and get the BBQ started. Oh the joys of BBQing in Winter. Again, the results were worth the efforts.

Making room for the BBQ.

Now I normally have a lot of trouble getting the charcoal lit and up to a decent heat. Takes a lot of lighter fluid, newsprint, matches and cursing. So I decided to get a chimney starter. The idea is that you fill it with charcoal, crumple up newsprint to stuff the bottom, light the paper and sit back and watch, relax and have a homebrew. Then once the tops coals are red, spread them out. No problem.

Using a chimney starter to get the charcoal going

Unfortunately, I didn't save myself any lighter fluid or cursing because even with the chimney starter, it still took me a while to get the meat on (almost 2hrs), but that was my fault for buying charcoal in bulk and leaving it to freeze and crumble in the garage... there's always a donkey twist to my projects... But once I got the meat on, the rest of the day went pretty smooth.

Ready to go! Low and slow!

My BBQ manufacturer makes it easy to know if your heat is sufficient. Just make sure the needle is on IDEAL and everything will be A-OK.  
Ideal = ~275F

Of course, I like to have a little more knowledge and control over what's going on with my BBQ so I added a couple of digital thermometers to the mix. One to monitor the internal temperature of the meat, and the other for the cooking temp. I tried to keep it around 275F for the 6-7hrs of cooking time.

The smoker with dual-digital thermometers.

Every hour, I added soaked wood chips (hickory and pecan) and 8-10 charcoal briquettes to keep the heat up. This handy hatch makes that job pretty simple.
Adding wood chips.

The sight and smell of a big old piece of meat smoking on the grill is a wonder to behold...

To top up the sandwiches, I made a coca-cola bbq sauce and a mop sauce made from cider vinegar, a beer and some of the spice rub. On a related note, the secret recipe for coke is out now so I will not be able to resist making that sometime soon!

Coke BBQ sauce and beer vinegar mop sauce

We had some buttermilk that my wife also needed to make whoopie, so I whipped up a buttermilk dill coleslaw dressing, also found in the Weber book.

Buttermilk dill coleslaw dressing

So it took about 7hrs for the meat to reach an internal temperature of 190F. Then I wrapped it in foil and let it rest while we got the rest of the meal ready. The meat pulled apart almost effortlessly into smokey, succulent morsels. 

Some of the outside pieces with nice pink smoke rings.

I decided to serve the meat on slider buns because then we could have more sandwiches!!

Double pork sliders served with buttermilk slaw.

Fortunately, there were lots of leftovers to enjoy while we watched the game the next night. Unfortunately, the Steelers lost. I actually still have a big tub of frozen meat left that I'm going to use to make chili soon.

You can see all the pics from the day here.

1 comment:

  1. I think your neighbour's might want to be invited to your house for supper !