This evening’s dinner was a 6 lb, bone-in, heritage breed pork butt. I smoked it at 250° F with apple wood chips for 13 hours.
It was the best pulled pork I’ve ever made.
I got a Berkshire pork butt from the Organic Butcher of McLean. The first thing you’ll notice about this butt is that it is a deep red. This is not the “Other White Meat”. This is real pork with all the fat and flavor.
If you were here, you’d also notice that it smells like pork. Even coming out of the fridge cold, I could smell it. Not like the bland stuff from the supermarket. All that aroma means more flavor.
I grew up on a hog farm. This is what pork is supposed to look, smell and taste like.
For the dry rub, I used Meathead’s Memphis Dust recipe from AmazingRibs.com. Meathead is kind of like barbecue’s Cook’s Illustrated and Mythbusters rolled in to one. He has lots of good advice on recipes, equipment, meat and techniques.
When I follow his advice (which isn’t every time, unfortunately) the food is always better for it.
Speaking of advice, the last time I smoked a pork butt in the Egg I was disappointed by the lack of smoke. I had spread the wood chips through out the charcoal. Because the Egg is so fuel efficient (It only used 1/2 a load of charcoal for today’s 13 hour cook), only 1/3 of the wood burned. This time I put all the charcoal in the middle of the fire. That fixed that problem.
After that, it was just a matter of time. I let the Egg get a little too hot (around 350° – 400° F) right at the start. I had it stable at 250° F for about 20 minutes, so I stopped paying attention. It seems that at the beginning of the cook the Egg is stable while the charcoal gets going. Once the fire is really moving and the Egg starts to heat, the temperature goes up, even without adjusting the air vents.
I’ll have to watch that next time.
After I got the temperature under control, I held it around 250° F for the next 12 hours. Low and Slow.
It took a solid 13 hours at that temp to get the butt to 190°. By that time, the bone pulled out clean and the meat pulled apart with no effort.
Add a little roasted corn with cumin, lime and queso fresco and it was a meal.