August 7th, 2010
I was not a Navy cook, but occasionally, I throw a recipe here on the blog because I actually enjoy cooking. Today, I decided to BBQ a 6lb pork butt – we just finished eating it, and I must say, it was pretty dang good.
Living in the Memphis area, home of the best BBQ on the planet, it is almost a requirement that you develop skills in the art of cooking meat, outdoors, with coals and smoke. You must make an effort to season, prepare and cook the meat in such a manner that when a person tastes your product they feel compelled to utter the words, “good enough to make you wanna slap your momma!” Not sure why the desire to slap one’s momma is an indication of culinary success, but hey, when in Rome…
First, the seasoning – the rub. The rub is a delicate and precise mixture of various spices and other dry ingredients that is rubbed into the raw meat before cooking. Usually, I will buy rub off the shelf, but today, I got a little adventurous and made my own. I used brown sugar, paprika, ground pepper, salt, dash of garlic powder because it was next to the paprika, and chili powder. Mixed it all together and applied it to the raw pork butt, then placed the coated meat in the fridge until I was ready to cook it.
Next, I prepared my basting sauce. After about 3 hours of cooking, and about every hour after that, I would baste the meat to enhance the flavor and also to keep the meat from drying out. My sauce was simple. Mostly water, with some ketchup, vinegar, and crushed red pepper.
Note: The red pepper and the chili powder added some tanginess to the meat – they did not make it spicy as you might expect. Carry-on.
Oh, almost forgot, make sure you soak the wood chips you plan on using. I soaked my pecan wood chips overnight. (I use pecan for two reasons; first, it adds a real tasty, mild flavor, and secondly, my neighbor and I removed a pecan tree from his front yard…) No need to have a whole tree’s worth of chips; a good handful added to the heat source during the first hour of cooking is about all you will need. I add it just after I get everything up to temperature so the smoke can permeate the meat and rub before the sugar caramelizes.
I cooked mine for about 10 hours at about 235 degrees – internal meat temperature was about 190F. That equates to about 1hr 40m per pound of meat; your cooking times may, very likely, vary.
Once finished, I let the meat sit for about 10 minutes then commence to chopping it up. It isn’t difficult as the large chuck of fat comes right off the meat, and the meat comes easily off the bone. Ensure you mix the what looks to be burnt, but it is not, coating with the rest of the meat after you chop it all up – the flavors are outstanding.
Oh, BTW, I enjoy coleslaw on my pork sandwich. I have never made coleslaw, and more than likely never will attempt to make coleslaw because it is easier to send the wife to KFC and pick some up. KFC has pretty good slaw (its about the only thing they do well, IMO).
Place a portion of meat, slaw, and a couple of hits of hot sauce if you like, on a toasted hamburger bun, and…
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