My First Smoke

Just in case my mom ever finds her way past email to the interwebs, let me start by saying that this post is about smoked pork shoulder. This cut is also referred to as Boston butt and, while that lent itself to a lot of great headline ideas, I decided I would never get this written if I stopped every five seconds to giggle. After consulting my BBQ bible, it seemed that pork shoulder was a good place to start — mostly since I’ve read it is hard to mess up.

First, I had to pick a rub. Legends of Texas Barbecue has a recipe for Stubb’s Hot Pork Rub but it produces massive quantities and I had most of the ingredients but not all. Given that I often improvise my own rubs, I figured I would just eyeball the proportions and leave out anything I didn’t have. Even though my rub turned out fine, I thought it was a bit salty — will probably take my friend Clint’s advice and use a rub like Dizzy Pig next time. Confession: I didn’t let it sit overnight in the rub — just an hour or so on my kitchen counter while it came to room temperature. (I know, not very Zen all of this rushing and short-cutting. What can I say? I am a work in progress.) It sure did look purty though…

Okay, maybe I went a little crazy with the rub…

I set up my lovely Big Green Egg for indirect heat and steadied it out at between 210 and 250 degrees. I decided to skip the water pan (I know, you BBQ enthusiasts are just shaking your heads now) with the thought that my mop (aka basting sauce) would keep things nice and moist. The mop smelled so dang good…

I used some limes that I had on hand but lemons would definitely be better…

Here’s the mop recipe I used: Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup Wesson oil, 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, one smashed garlic clove, a quartered medium onion, and one quartered lemon. Bring it to a simmer and baste every 30 minutes.

After about four hours, my heat started to drop (still perfecting the really long smokes) but I figured we were in good shape. I pulled the pork shoulder off, tented it with foil for about 10 minutes, and then sliced it into steaks. (The hubby was hoping it would just fall apart. It was tender but not quite that tender. Water pan, anyone?) We plated it up and dug in…

This was a weeknight, so we added a yummy salad. (Recipe to follow.)
Hey, I’m no Paula Deen…

The flavor was superb and the meat was crazy tender. I put a bit of bottled Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite BBQ sauce on the side that first night but didn’t really need it. No sauce needed = success, in my book.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you some grits to meditate on over the weekend…

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Categories: Pork, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “My First Smoke

  1. Looks like a yum. Nice work. Can’t wait for Fe grits. Mmmm love me some grits.

  2. Food Stories

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