Posted by Tim Vidra / Thursday, November 21, 2013
EAT The Whole Pig: Smoking a Boston Butt
Let me tell you, there has been only one person more excited about my purchase of a whole pig than me — our Weimaraner, Basil. This Boston pork butt did not even make it to the freezer when bringing all the cuts home, as I had plans for it way in advance — this guy was headed straight to the smoker!
It was almost an 8 pound butt, and during my recent trip to up to NYC, I came across a bag of Greenpoint Trading Company's El Capitan rub that I just had to try! I trimmed some of the fat and made cross hatch cuts across the fattest side of the pork, rubbed it down with the spices and placed it in a tin pan to sit in the refrigerator overnight.
That night I also soaked a mixture of hickory and cherry wood in water — I like to get a good several hours of smoke going once I add the meat just to start the process.
I have a simple electric brinkmann smoker that does just fine for my current needs. My only complaint would be you really cannot adjust the temperature once it is on — it maintains a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees and there are times I would like a cooler setting. A more advanced smoker is an investment for another time.
For the first 3 hours I do not disturb the smoker other than adding chips if I see the smoke stop. After 3 hours, I remove the top and spray the butt with straight up apple cider. I continue to spray every hour with the apple cider.
The general rule of smoking a Boston pork butt is 1 1/2 hours per pound of meat, depending on your smoker's temperature. For this butt we were good to go right at 9 hours.
After removing the butt from the smoker, I allow it to rest for about an hour. Resting makes it easier to handle, allows it to soak up its juices and makes the chopping better! I actually purchased a cleaver of sorts years ago exactly for this purpose — it is heavy, sharp and although noisy, makes for an nice easy chop.
To make the sauce, I poured the pan juices from the smoking process into a sauce pan, then added a mixture of apple cider vinegar, Blanchard's coffee, ketchup, brown sugar, and some of my hot sauce to taste. I really just added ingredients slowly, tasting as I went, until it was just right. I brought everything to a boil on the stovetop, then allowed to simmer and thicken before pouring over chopped meat. It made for a nice flavored sauce to mix in with the barbecue.
I cannot wait to show you the barbecue sandwiches with a homemade red cabbage and carrot slaw!
More from this series: EAT The Whole Pig
E.A.T. local E.A.T well