The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

NFL Week 5 Menu: BBQ Boston Butt

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I tried. I really did. This year I made an honest effort to cook things other than pork on football Sundays. Basically, I made it one whole month before the perfection that is the combination of pork, football and beer commandeered the voluntary part of my brain and made any further resistance futile. Some things are simply made to be enjoyed together. Pork, football and beer just may be the Big Kahuna on this list.

As long as you’ve got some time and plenty of gas for your grill, this is actually a pretty easy thing to make. The reward far outweighs the effort you put in. I started with a three and three-quarter pound boston butt. I seasoned it with a dry rub that I often use made with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and brown sugar. Rub it in over every side and surface area. You can season your meat the night before but I never taste any difference when I do. This is my way of telling you to feel free rubbing your meat anytime you damn well please. Frankly, this time I did the night before simply for convenience.

Before you start cooking, track down some hickory chips. I get a small bag at the hardware place around the corner. It’s easy to find. Arrange a generous helping of chips onto a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle the chips with some water. Then wrap and seal the foil around the chips. My grill has three rows of burners that go across horizontally. So I shape my hickory chip packet so it can sit over the single burner that I use.I like to punch some small holes or slits into the foil to help it burn.

The idea is to get the chips to a slow burn so they release a long and steady amount of smoke. Just a little bit of smoke adds a lot of flavor. I often make boston butts without using the chips however. It’s really optional but I like what it adds to the dish. I have to lift the grates of my grill and put the chip packet down underneath. You can see the chip packet sitting over the rear burner which is the only one I use for this dish.

Then I put the pork in, close the lid and get the temperature to around 225 degrees. 225 to 250 is a good range but the lower and slower the cook, the more tender the pork becomes. I also like to spray down the surface of the pork with a apple cider/cider vinegar every couple of hours. This helps bring out more flavor from the rub and to carmelize the outer bark of pork. Here it is about halfway.

In the past, I have pulled the pork off the heat after it reaches 190 degrees. But I think that the closer you get to 210 degrees the better everything turns out. This time out I pulled it when it hit 208 degrees and had been on the grill somewhere between 10 and 11 hours. Once it’s off, I moved it to a cutting board and let it cool awhile. A boston butt has a weirdly shaped bone in it and you know you’re in good shape when you can pull that bone out of the meat pretty easily. The outer portion of pork should transform itself into a chewy, seasoned bliss of bark that is not only delicious but also helps protect the juicy, meaty interior.

I like to use my hands to pull the pork. Sometimes I use a knife or a large blade to chop it up. If you’re going to use your hands, be careful because it can be pretty hot to handle.

On this particular day, I strayed from my regular barbecue sauce. We were running low and all the store had when I went on my “Oh shit, I forgot bbq sauce” grocery run was something called Williamson Bros. and plenty of other choices produced by America’s finest agri-business conglomerates. I opted for the Williams Bros. This was a tomato-based sauce that was a little too sweet but not so much that it ruined the end product. Normally though, I have to hand it to Johnny Harris. They make themselves one hell of a vinegar-based bbq sauce with just enough twang in each bite to remind you you’re alive. On this round, we missed you Johnny. We really did.

The final touch is to mix in the amount of sauce you like, then decide. You want straight pulled pork or you want yourself a pulled pork sandwich. If you go with the sandwich, don’t be afraid to add cole slaw on top because that is some good shit. Either way, you can’t lose.

Fucking delicious.

I want to close this entry by backtracking on one of my earlier positions. Previously, I had written in this space that I was so sick of Brettt Favre that I refuse to write about him any more. Well, that is still true, with the exception of anything related to Brett sending pictures of his manhood to a female Jets employee while he was the QB there. That story, I just cannot get enough of.


Written by the bee dub

October 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

One Response

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  1. I know I keep leaving the same comment over and over again, but that food looks awesome! Great photos…


    October 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

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