Two weekends ago I finally carved out sufficient time in my schedule to smoke a big Boston Butt in my new side-burner grill (along with two whole chickens, for good measure). I took some photos and meant to blog about it, but then I got caught up in getting ready for the big trip I took this past weekend with my family to Los Angeles and didn't get a chance to post anything.
Slow-smoking meat is a time-consuming process: for Boston Butt it takes about 1.5 hours per pound, and I had a 5 pound cut, so you do the math. I'm still getting to know my Char-Griller Super Pro, so much of my time was spent fiddling with the air vents and adding more lump charcoal and more hickory chunks, but after a few hours I had gotten the hang of it and was able to keep the smoker consistently in the 220 to 250 degree range.
For all my fighting with the temperature of the fire and general futzing around not knowing what I was doing, there were two remarkable things. First, you go through a ton of charcoal during an 8-hour burn--an entire bag of lump charcoal, in my case, along with half a bag of hickory chunks. Second, maybe it was just beginner's luck, but the end product was absolutely unbelievable--far better than I ever dreamed it would be. Tender, juicy, smoky pork with great burned ends and a good half-inch red smoke ring.
Here are some pics:
The meat prepped with a spice rub and ready to hit the grill
The end product: tender, juicy, and perfect for pulling
The day after: barbecue sandwiches
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