Porkth Of July 2016

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!

Tiny looking delicous

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.

BBQ Rub & Seasoning with Coffee & Garlic

BBQ Rub & Seasoning with Coffee & Garlic

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.

split, rubbed and ready to go.

split, rubbed and ready to go.

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.

All cleaned and up to temp!

All cleaned and up to temp!

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.

Biggie and Tiny

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.

Mixed together in harmony

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.

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Porkth Of July III (in August!)

Pre trimmed

Pre trimmed

I’ve had a pork butt in my freezer for a few months now. I expected to cook it on July 4th, for my annual Porkth of July, but things got in the way. So I ended up having to cook it in August. It took 3 days to defrost, and the weather wasn’t looking great. I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

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4.20.14 Easter Brined BBQ Chicken

So I haven’t posted in a while. I was busy making something else, a baby. Marisa and I are expecting our first child in June. I’m not going to get into the details of how I made that. But I did brine and grill a whole chicken for Easter.

The chicken floating in a bag of brine

The chicken floating in a bag of brine

I made a simple brine of water, salt, sugar, chili powder, onion powder, and some peppercorns. I let the brine soak in for two hours(osmosis baby!). I patted off the excess brine from the outside of the chicken. After that, I butterflied it, so it would lay flat on the grill and have more surface area to get crispy skin. After that I oiled the outside of the skin. I didn’t put any rub on the chicken, because I didn’t want to add any more salt, due to the large amount of salt in the brine.

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8.18.13 Pulled Pork Empanadas

Pulled Pork Empanadas

When you make 15lbs of pork for 2 people, you tend to get leftovers.  Sure I could make less, but why waste that smoker space?  I have to use the same amount of fuel anyways, and more meat doesn’t usually extend cooking time.  It just makes more sense to make more meat.  I have a vacuum sealer, and BBQ tends to freeze and reheat  very well, especially pulled pork and brisket.

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7.27.13 Vermont Maple Ribs

Meal:  Vermont Maple Ribs

Beer: Sam Adams Summer Ale

This past Saturday, I smoked some Vermont Maple Ribs. I found this recipe on Amazingribs.com Which is always my go-to Barbecue resource. There really isn’t too much to say, that I haven’t covered in other rib entries, and that is not covered in the recipe, so i won’t go into too much detail.

Real maple syrup

Real maple syrup

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7.4.13 Porkth of July II

The Porkth of July II
The second Porkth of July! This year I finally tracked down a pork butt. For some reason, in NYC it is near impossible to get an untrimmed butt. The Picnic is easy to find, but I wanted to smoke a good ole Boston Butt. After tracking one down at a butcher shop, and paying more than I should’ve (actually Marisa picked it up, and paid, sucker!), the first part was over. That got me thinking, now that I have my new WSM, why waste all that room? So I went to the grocery store, and picked up a picnic (on $ale! too)

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