This past weekend I took on my biggest challenge yet (figuratively and literally). We bought a 13lb pork Boston butt from Sam’s Club. Most grilling websites and pitmasters will tell you that you should allow 1 – 1 1/2 hours per pound to properly smoke pork. So 13lbs pounds means anywhere from 18-19 hours. Friday night I prepared a marinade and injected some of it into the pork butt, then I put the meat in a 2.5 gallon ziploc bag with the rest of the marinade and left it in the refrigerator until it was time to prepare it for the grill. It marinaded for about 24 hours.
The best way we decided to do this was start late Saturday night, so I started the coals at 9:30pm, prepped the meat and started everything at 10:00pm. I have a temperature probe that will transmit via bluetooth to a receiver and, thankfully, it reached the bedroom. I set an alarm for every three hours to check the temperature. As long as the temperature was higher then it was at the last alarm, I just let it be.
We didn’t reach our first stall until about 6am; but after throwing some more coals on and refilling the water pan, the temperature was going back up. There wasn’t much that needed to be done throughout the day other than stoke the coals or add more to keep the temperature above 165 degrees. Around 4:30ish I took it off the grill, wrapped it in some heavy duty foil with some more brown sugar, butter and agave and let it rest for another hour (this helps the meat finish cooking).
I have to admit, with as much humility as possible, this has to have been my greatest success of smoking pork. It pulled clean off the bone (as you can see from the pictures below), and it just melts in your mouth. I couldn’t stop eating it as I was pulling it apart. Then you add some home made BBQ sauce to it and you start to have funny feelings in your special places. I don’t think I could ever top it, I just hope that I can always replicate it. Granted it is getting pretty late in the season now to have consistent weather for smoking (another month at best); so if this is the last thing I smoke for the year, then I went out on top!
- Take Your Time – Don’t rush it. Ever. Cook it for the full length and some if you think it needs it (based on temperature of the meat).
- Know Your Grills Limits – I learned no matter how many coals I added, I couldn’t get the grill hotter so factor that into your cooking time.
- Plan In Advance – Know what day you want to cook and watch the weather closely. The nicer and calmer it is, the better the cooking environment.
Enjoy the mouth-watering photo gallery below.