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Friday, November 4, 2011

Pulled Pork

Just so you all understand, I'm more of a kitchen guy. I was taught by my mother and grandmother to cook, watched my dad grill, worked in restaurants (not bbq places with a smoker, mind you)... I've...never smoked a pork butt. That's right, this is my first...and I'm using a gas grill. Brave, I know.
I set up the grill for indirect cooking by putting a pan with some water over 2 burners (left off) and turned on the third burner and placed a cast iron smoker box, filled with hickory chips on the heat distribution plate.

We don't have a butcher close by, so I headed to the grocery store to get the butt. I decided to go with the picnic half of the butt. I like a challenge and felt this was the piece to use. I oiled the butt (hehe, childish humor) and rubbed it down (more hehe) with some Willie's Hog Dust. The butt was just over 5 lbs. You typically smoke it for about 2 hours per pound and around 225-250.

Now a lot of recipes tell you to remove the skin and most of the fat. Again, I went against the norm. Since I went to the grocery store, it was mostly trimmed already. I left the on remaining piece of skin & fat on and placed the butt skin side down on the grill.

After smoking it for a few hours, I turned the butt over and sliced the skin off, leaving some of the fat. I placed the skin next to the butt for a little more smoking and dusted the remaining fat with some more rub (crazy, right?). I have plans for this skin, so it needed smokin'. :)

 The smoker box didn't need refilling but I did throw a small foil pack in after the first hour for a little extra smoke. When we hit the "halfway mark" (about 5 hours) I checked the temp and we were at the dreaded 150. Having not smoked a butt before I might have freaked at only being at 150, but I did my research and have talked enough with some of the bbq folks enough that I've heard of the "stall".

I decided to give it some time to see if the meat would pull through the stall on it's own, but once we got to 2 hours till dinner and we hadn't move past 160 I broke. I grabbed a sheet of heavy duty foil and wrapped the butt. I did not add liquid to the foil, which is a technique some like to use. Placing the butt back on the grill, I grabbed the smoked skin and closed the lid.

I let the butt sit in the foil pack for about 1 1/2 more hours and then popped it open for a sec to get the temp. It was 185! I let it roll for the last 1/2 hour and checked it again. We were over 190. I pulled it off the grill and let it sit in the foil with a vent hole for about 30 more minutes so it could rest. After that, I put it in a foil pan and using two serving forks I pulled the meat into shredded awesomeness! See how clean that bone is?! The pork just fell off.
I removed all the bones and the big pieces of fat. I then mixed it thoroughly to assure pieces of the crispy outer crust were evenly distributed with the soft tender pieces.

I took the piece of skin we had smoked and sliced off two small strips and removed some of the congealed fat. My son and I each enjoyed a crispy piece of the skin. The actual purpose of the smoked skin though, was a tasty treat for our dog. After it cooled, we let him rip into his treat.

We all grabbed a plate and some burger rolls and picked out our favorite Doomer's "Q" Sauce to top the pork. For mine, I had three with Doomer's Original, one with Doomer's Hot & Spicy, and one with slaw & Doomer's Original! Excellent!

If you've never smoked a pork butt, don't panic. It can be done and you don't have to be a pro. Just take your time and trust the cooking process. As I like to say, Just "Q" it! Till next time...


  1. Great job! Butts can be intimidating, but it looks like you won the challenge! Nothin wrong with a gas grill, IMHO. As long as you have smoke, you're good to go.

  2. Nice job Todd! You "pulled" it off on a gasser. Excellent!
    Picnics are too big for me. I stick with the butts.