Sunday, May 17, 2009

Barbequing a Boston Butt

Summer may not officially begin until June 21st, but here in the Deep South, it’s been summer weather for weeks. With the onslaught of long, sunny days, I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than start to bbq.

A boston butt seemed like a good way to kick off the season, and as usual, Paul Anthony’s was more than able to help me out.

Starting with a fresh, never frozen, butt, the obvious next step was to work up a rub. Luckily, Aaron had made me a copy of his all purpose rub.

With all the ingredients and my spice grinder ready, I soon had a batch mixed up and ready to go.

Containing ¼ cup of Hungarian paprika, 2 tbs brown sugar, 1 tbs white sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp celery salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and discretionary amounts of cumin and cayenne (I used 1 tsp each), Aaron’s rub recipe tasted like a great compliment to the smoke and pork.

There really isn’t a clean way to apply a rub, so I just dove in headfirst.

Once every square inch of the butt was covered in rub, I put everything in the fridge and eagerly waited for the next day.

Early Sunday morning, I got my big green egg ready for the butt.

Making sure to have a good amount of cherry chips spaced throughout the hardwood charcoal,

I soon had the place setter and grill on the egg and my fire started.

With cherry smoke wafting out of the egg, I went inside to grab my butt.

The shoulder had been sitting out for an hour, and was ready for the egg.

Once on the egg, I made sure the vents were open just enough and the egg was maintaining a steady temperature, and then went inside to start work on my bakewise biscuits.

About 8 hours later, I was surprised to see my Boston butt had already reached 195 degrees. Maybe I lost track of time, but I wasn’t expecting this to reach that temperature until 10 pm.

Regardless, I opened the lid and was extremely pleased with what I saw.

With my foil lined pan waiting, I got the pork shoulder off the grill and into the pan.

Knowing the pork would only get better, I tented it with foil

And let it sit for an hour or so.

Unfortunately, as soon as I had put my biscuits in the oven, I went to shred the pork and the power went out. With some hasty packing, the pork shoulder was thrown in a cooler and taken to a hotel. Fast forwarding to the next evening, with the power on, I took a look at the refrigerated piece of pork.

Too cold to shred, I settled with slicing it up.

Not too sound like an ass, but I think that’s some pretty good looking pork.

With a closer look, you can really see the smoke ring and the delicious crust that Aaron’s rub made.

So, maybe this particular Boston butt wasn’t the auspicious beginning of the summer that I was hoping for, but you work with what you’re given. Despite the delays and slicing instead of pulling, I got nothing but rave reviews from the pork and the bbq rub. Thanks to Aaron and the stellar big green egg, I still think I started summer off well.

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