5/25/15 – Pulled Pork
Memorial Day means two things – Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and BBQ. Add to that a throw-down from my boss, who decided to challenge me to a Pulled Pork shootout!
I did a few things different this time around, but nothing dramatic.
- Detached the money muscle from both butts.
- Applied kosher salt on outside of the butts 24 hours prior to cooking.
- Injected Cosmos pork injection 12 hours before cooking (see details below)
- Rubbed with EVOO and a liberal coating of Meathead’s Memphis Dust (slightly modified – see recipe below)
- Cooked at 250 for most of the cook, bumping to 275 to help get past the stall.
- List a 12″ Amazin’ Smoker Tube full of 100% Hickory pellets and set it below the butts.
- Served with a modified version of Meathead’s Kansas City style sauce (see recipe below). I made this indoors, then put it in the smoker box on my MAK for a few hours to pick up some smoke flavor.
- Served on Pub Buns with my version of “chow” (red & green bell peppers, jalapenos, and onions), the KC sauce and pepperjack cheese.
- 3/4 Cup Cosmos Pork Injection
- 3 cups Apple Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Memphis Dust
Not sure I liked the taste of the Cosmos. If I inject in the future, I’ll probably make my own with apple juice, a little cider vinegar, some rub or other seasonings.
Rub (modified version of Meathead’s Memphis Dust from www.amazingribs.com)
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar in the raw ( I prefer this to white sugar. More molasses flavor, and larger crystals improve the bark).
- 1/2 cup paprika
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons rosemary powder
- 1 teaspoon Dave’s Insanity Spice (this adds a touch of heat)
Because the butts were salted 24 hours before cooking, there is no added salt in this rub. If you wish to use this as a standalone rub, you’ll want to add 3/4 cup of sea salt or more to taste. I prefer coarse ground sea salt on butts because it dissolves slower and adds tot he bark. For ribs, I’d use a fine ground sea salt.
Sauce (Modified version of Meadhead’s KC-Style Sauce from amazingribs.com)
- 2 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup yellow ballpark-style mustard
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (adjust to taste)
- 1/3 cup Bord-o-lay sauce
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup A1 Steak Sauce
- 1/4 cup dark molasses
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 ounces Captain Morgan Black Rum (just because)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dave’s Insanity Spice (this adds a touch of heat)
After making this sauce, I put the pan in the smoker drawer on my MAK for a few hours to pick-up smoke flavor. It sure made a difference!
I love BBQ, but like most Americans, really only grilled. I had tried cooking low-and-slow with my Weber Kettle but couldn’t control the temperature the way I wanted to get consistently good results. Turns out – I had the TASTE for BBQ, just not the PATIENCE.
In 2010 I went over to the darkside – Pellet cooking! I bought a MAK 2 Star General Pellet Cooker in June 2010 and started expanding my BBQ knowledge and skills. The pellet cooker helps take some of the black magic out of BBQ, making it almost a hands-off experience, and it imparts an incredible wood smoke flavor to everything you cook.
In June 2014 I built a Drum Smoker and continued my journey to learn more about BBQ..
My hope is to be a source of information for others that are looking to make the move to pellet cookers, or drum smokers.