I decided to give that pulled pork thing another go and, having researched a lot since the last one, I was very very carefully convinced that this time would be awesome..
My awesome Husker neighbor Kevin bought a great 12lb chunk of bone-in pork butt (pork butt is actually closer to a pork shoulder just FYI). I covered the butt with yellow mustard to get the rub to stick on it nice and thick. You won’t taste the mustard at the end (remember?).
I mixed all the suitable rubs i could find and came up with a good tasting blend (couldn’t tell you what was in there exactly)
This Butt was going to go on for about 2 hours per pound at an average of 235 F, so The Egg was going to have to be loaded up for a looong cook. I anticipated around 22 hours and was not planning on lifting up the lid, let alone refilling the coals. According to the Guru’s on the interweb, the Egg is more than capable of this so..
I mixed the last of my cherry and apple wood and decided to break a cedar plank as well.
Egg, of course, setup for indirect heat with a drip pan because i don’t want any butt grease to drip on my BGE plate setter.
I put the butt on at 8:40 PM and started up the Egg about an hour prior. I filled the fire box up with alternating layers of large lump coals and wood. this way the fire will eat through the different layers over time and give the butt a nice even smoke flavor.
The Egg had stabilized at 235 F and Butt went on the egg at 8:40 PM on Saturday night. At the time the butt was at 59 F.
Butt on the Egg, great smells, great wine, great friends, bullshitting on our back porch, LIFE IS GOOD!
8:40 PM – Butt @ 59 F
Went to bed, and weirdly enough, slept like a baby!
6:40 AM – Butt @ 147 F and the Egg at 226 F. It cools down pretty good in Colorado and that reflected in the Egg temperature. At the end I found that the egg was anywhere between 226 and 250 F.
The day progressed as follows:
- 7:53 AM – butt @ 144 (!) The butt hit the first “stall” where meat proteins are tenderizing and breaking down.Fat begins to melt off as well. During this the temperature dropped, which is totally fascinating to me.. How can the temperature DROP while the temperature in the Egg stays at the same heat?!
- 10:40 AM – butt @ 172
- 11:40 AM – butt @ 178
- 12:50 PM – butt @ 185
- 1:12 PM – butt @ 183 (!) the second stall!! This is the stall where the meat gets really really tender. The collagen in the meat begins to “melt” and the fibers begin to separate starting the process of ‘falling apart”
- 2:22 PM – butt @ 181 (!) the Butt cooled down 4 degrees at the heat of the day!! The Egg temperature was at 250F at this point.. The only explanation I can come up with is that the process of breaking down collagen and melting fibers takes more energy than the heat can ‘put into’ the meat… really fascinating
- 4:09 PM – butt @190. I walked away for an hour and a half because the stress of declining temperatures was getting too much. Also, my good friend Kevin (the Husker) was getting hungry and on my case, but I had to dissapoint him.. 190 was not quite hot enough yet!
- 4:40 PM – butt @ 194
- 5:10 PM – butt still @ 194 and i decided to pull it. I wrapped the butt in tin foil and a large towel and put in in a cooler.
At 5:25PM the butt had increased in temperature to 196 F. I let the butt rest in the cooler for another hour and at 6:20PM the butt was ready to be pulled!! Over the 22 some hours on the Egg, the butt had developed a great “bark”. This isn’t burnt, it’s just BBQ perfection
The butt was really really tender. True pulled pork. I had two forks and just pulled the meat apart!
This is some real hard-core authentic Barbeque! I consider this the final test and I am ready to move to Texas (MOVE TO TEXAS?!?!, yes moving to Texas, see a later post)