Oink! We little piggies smoked a pork butt.


We little piggies went to market, and we little piggies came home. We little piggies bought a pork shoulder…

We marinated the shoulder in a spicy brine last night. Like a man who dreamed of lip-licking bbq goodness, my husband got up early this morning and massaged that shoulder with a kickin’ rub (and enough lust in his eyes to make me jealous). The pork went into the smoker with Mesquite chips, and we waited, and waited. At about 130F, the smell that wafted into our kitchen was so delectably juicy we thought about pulling it off right there. But no. We had another 50+ degrees to go. My tortured husband watched as the temp increased at a painfully slow rate. And….10.5 hours after that lid went on….we were the proud cookers of fabulously fork-tender, perfectly aromatic pulled pork!
Not sure if you can see it here, but we managed to achieve a wonderful, 1/4inch pink smoke ring! The meat was so good we didn’t even bother with sides. We did cook up a few homemade BBQs. Simply. Excellent.
Three Food Science tips to get the best smoked pork:
1) A chef friend, and BBQ pro shared this one with me: After you blend your dry rub spices, let the rub sit for a week or two before using. The volatile oils in the spices will develop and marry together, giving you a much tastier finished flavor.
2) The meat will begin absorbing smoke (& smoky flavor) immediately. However, there won’t be any additional smoke absorbed after internal temp reaches approximately 140F.  If you leave your meat smoking after 140F, the resulting flavor will be bitter. Instead, pull your meat from the smoker at 140F, wrap it tightly in foil, and finish it off in the oven under low heat (or, pull the smoking chips out).
3) Always let your meat rest before digging in. We let ours sit for 30 minutes. Resting the meat will “seal in” the juicy, juicy goodness in that flavorful hunk of meat.

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