Saturday, February 02, 2013

Grilling Boston Butt-in Pictures

One of the many axioms Alton Brown used in his excellent cooking show Good Eats is "Your patience will be rewarded." Not only is the man a cooking genius, he is absolutely right.

Witness the Boston Butt. I grill these fairly regularly for pulled pork, and until about six months ago, I'd cook them at about 350 for 4 hours. They were good, pretty good in fact, but I finally opted to try the low and slow method that many grill masters prefer.

Oh my, they weren't kidding that my patience would be rewarded, for the smoky flavor is deeper, the rub caramelizes nicely and the meat is easy to pull apart, something that I need with a shoulder that is still somewhat wonky post-op. Rather than write about it, I'll show you pictures of why low and slow is the best way to go when grilling.

This stayed on the grill for nine hours:
The 'stalagmites' as Chef called them are the result of me flipping the butt over, then back an hour later for the picture.
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The last two turns resulted in some of the fat cap coming off, a sign that this thing was ready. It got pulled off the grill short of the expected 10 hours.

Even with a less than cooperative shoulder, a half hour of pulling with two forks resulted in nearly seven pounds of this wonderful stuff. To finish off, I sprinkled with a bit of my rub and about a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar tossed into the fray.

This is the color you're going for on a butt. That is fully cooked, and the coveted 'smoke ring' of wood smoked pork. Yum.

Another sign: when you've cooked it long enough, all that's left after all of the pulling is a nearly clean shoulder bone.

The ultimate sign that I'm doing the right thing with this grill and pulled pork? Game Teen asking last night if we were having the pulled pork for dinner (he had to schlep pellets at the grill store for me.) I told him if I started it then, we'd have it for breakfast. His response was an eager "OK!"

Instead, he hovered/stalked the whole time I was pulling the pork! Then he thought I hadn't put any pig pucker sauce on it and wouldn't leave until I showed him he had it. Yeah, my kids are spoiled by this grill!

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