Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cooking the Web – Good Eats Pulled Pork

I’m always eager to try out a new bbq recipe, and a few weeks ago, I was given that opportunity. A long time (30+ year) employee retired at my work, and there was going to be a party for him. I was volunteered to make pulled pork, so I decided to smoke two Boston Butts, one using Aaron’s excellent rub and the other with Alton Brown’s recipe for pulled pork.

Like many of Alton Brown’s recipes, this one starts with a brine.

I couldn’t find any pickling salt at the store, so I went with 12 ounces of Kosher.

The salt was added to 2 quarts of water and ¾ cup of molasses

AB says to use a 6 quart container, but at this point, I didn’t think everything would fit.

Here are the costars of the afternoon.

Two bone in Boston Butts, weighing in at about 7 pounds each.

I was worried that it would be a huge mess when I put the pork butt in the container that I did everything in the sink.

Amazingly everything fit. From there it went right to the fridge to wait for the next day.

The next day, I retrieved the pork butt from the fridge.

The molasses gave the pork a great color, I could only hope the flavor was there as well.

With the pork butt out of the brine and thoroughly dried off, I started to make AB’s rub.

First I needed to grind 1 teaspoon each of coriander, fennel, and cumin seed.

Next I measured out 1 tablespoon each of onion powder, chili powder, and paprika

Everything was then mixing together, damn clumping onion powder.

From there it was time to apply the rub.

In no time at all, the pork butt was covered.

While all this was happening, I was getting the egg ready for smoking.

You can’t have bbq without quality wood. It was chunks of hickory for this session.

Here are the two pork butts on the egg.

The Good Eats recipe is in the back.

A better, smokier look at the two.

After 7 or so hours of a smokey 225-250 degrees, the temp inside the pork butt reached 190.

You can see how much the meat has shrunk by looking at the bone.

It’s looking pretty marvelous.

The larger butt would need another hour or so, but I took this one inside and tented it with heavy duty foil.

An hour later, I was ready to look at Mr. Brown’s masterpiece.

Pretty stunning, but I was worried at just how salty the bark was.

Thankfully, the pork butt pulled like a dream.

This was the first time I was actually able to pull the pork and it was amazing.

You can really see a solid smoke ring.

In no time at all, I had the entire pork butt pulled and ready for the morning.

I was still worried about the saltiness.

However, once I got a piece from inside, it was simply delicious and very well flavored.

I’m not sure whose rub recipe I prefer. Alton Brown’s is great for simplicity, but Aaron’s has such a depth and variety of flavor. Of course, I’ll never stop trying new rubs, but for now I’m left to ponder just how does my big green egg bbq cook so quickly?

1 comment:

ham recipes cook from NY said...

This reminds me of Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, which rely heavily on an intricate array of spices and most recipes are made from scratch. Making rubs and such from scratch gives great flexibility in taste.