It’s been a while since I posted. No, I haven’t quit eating. I had a 2nd kid, which makes it tough to cook fancy meals, and post to blogs. But, I couldn’t skip a Porkth of July, it is a tradition!
2016 was the year of simplicity. Since I got into barbecue, I used every trick in the book. I injected, I rubbed hours in advanced, I let meat come to room temperature, I put fancy liquids in my water pan, I wrapped my ribs with honey and brown sugar, I did everything that the championship pitmasters on TV and in books told me to do, and the food turned out delicious.
Unfortunately, being a husband, and father of two kids, my time is a little more precious. While sitting outside, babying my meat in the smoker, listening to some tunes and drinking some delicious beers is still my paradise, I don’t always get that “me” time.
I had a 10 lb pork butt in my freezer, taking up precious space, since last year, when I never got the chance to smoke it. Actually, I didn’t realize it was a ten pounder until I defrosted it. Instead of preparing this cut of meat 5 days in advance, I defrosted it, rubbed it and threw it on the smoker. No injection, no 24 hour rub down, no massages. I didn’t have 15 hours to cook this bad boy. So I cut the butt in half, well not half. I split it just below the bone, so one was larger than the other half.
I started the smoker at 9 am, and fired my Weber Smokey Mountain to 275 with some hickory and apple wood and used a ceramic planter instead of water for simplicity. The water pan just makes the cleanup process so much harder. Even when foiling the pan, it always leaked through.
I decided to wrap the biggie, and let tiny go naked all the way through, hoping the size difference would make them finish around the same time.. I probed biggie, and didn’t look at her again until it hit 160. I threw a quick spritz of water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. I spritzed them both, wrapped biggie, and put them back on. Once biggie hit 205 (7 hours later), I took it out, and tented it with foil, spritzed tiny, probed it, and closed the lid. Tiny only had 8 degrees to go, so I let it ride.
After it was all said and done, everything turned out great. Even though I didn’t take any fancy steps, everything was delicious. Tiny was a little more dry than biggie, which was to be expected since I never wrapped. But the bark was much better. Biggie was more tender but with a softer bark. But I pulled them, and mixed them all together and got the best of both worlds.
If I tasted these side by side, with a pork shoulder with all the fancy steps, I might have been able to tell the difference, but for my purposes, this was great. I won’t be injecting, or pre-rubbing, or putting liquid in my water pan any more. It isn’t worth the time and energy. With this method, I have more time to chase the kids around.