In the short-term, we're hoping to get chickens for eggs this spring and perhaps next spring, we'll do a run of 30 broiler chickens for our own meat. That's the plan at least.
In the meantime, I recently managed to get my Big Green Egg setup and ready to go after our move. I can't tell you how happy this makes me as I've been unable to fire up the smoker in anger for months on end.
To celebrate, I did some BBQ this past weekend. Down south, that means pulled pork. As such, I secured a couple 8lb boston butts (you'll remember from the butchering posts that this actually isn't from the butt area of the hog, but instead its the top part of the shoulder area).
The process is pretty simple when you break it down - put some kind of spice rub on the meat. Get your cooker set for indirect (like oven heat as opposed to grilling heat) cooking and get the temp to about 225-250 degrees.
|Rubbed with Harvest Eating Carolina BBQ Rub|
At any rate, the idea is to "smoke" those butts until you have reached an internal meat temperature of about 190-205 degrees. At a cooking temperature of 225, that can take upwards of 1.5-2 hours per pound. I put mine on the Egg at about 1am and they came off about 15 hours later.
|When the meat draws back off the bone, your getting close!|
This was a cool pull for me because my five year old pitched in. Pulling is a pretty labor intensive process that requires you to essentially pull the pork meat apart in strands/shreds. Some folks like to use big knives and chop it all up but I don't like the texture that way and feel like it dries out too quickly. That's just my opinion - and in the world of BBQ, everyone has one.
The end result, after all the cooking, fat rendering, bone-removal, and trimming during the pulling process, we wound up with about 7lbs of pulled pork. I see pork tacos in my future! Left-overs are a wonderful thing and since it takes as long to cook two butts as it does one, you might as well cook plenty.
I may post some additional articles in the coming weeks to talk about some of the specifics of the process.
|I'm hungry again just looking at the pictures.|