A guest post by the Grill Man Extraordinaire, my son Chris:
This is a great time of year. The summer solstice has come and the days are long and warm. The kids are swimming and enjoying their time out of school which drives stay at home parents insane all across this land of ours. Most importantly though, we as American men, celebrate our independence by firing up BBQs and drinking cold beer. This, of course, is not something I reserve for the 4th of July weekend since I don’t need any excuse to drink a cold beer and cook a piece of meat over a good wood fire, as all of my jealous neighbors will tell you. I highly recommend dedicating an afternoon to making a tasty piece meat for the whole family to enjoy and for your neighbors to be jealous of because, after all, it’s the American thing to do.
Ingredients this time around*
A Big Pork Butt
Serrano and Chili Peppers, sliced
Salt and Pepper
*Ingredients are always subject to change based on availability and the mood of the cook. Feel free to use whatever sounds good.
Prepare the meat by first removing the skin. Place the pork in the pan ensuring the fatty side is up so the fat can drip into the meat, which helps it stay moist. Stab a minimum of 1386 holes into the pork to allow the juices to penetrate every inch of meat.
Cover the meat with the ingredients and make sure the bottom is covered with 1/2″ or more of liquid. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for about 2 hours at 350-400 degrees which steams the beer and flavor into the meat.
To set up the smoker I use natural wood charcoal and a chimney starter to avoid any chemical taste in the food. It also burns hot and evenly. This takes about 20-30 minutes so coordinate with the oven on this.
I placed a few pieces of grapefruit wood on top to add smoke and eventually to turn into coals. Feel free to use any good hardwood like mesquite, cherry or oak. Traditional BBQ calls for oak. Most pit masters recommend soaking the wood in water for 12-24 hours for pieces this big but I don’t usually bother. I generally add wood every 30 minutes as needed.
Put the water bowl in the smoker to ensure that the meat doesn’t burn but smokes nice and slow. Mine has been modified with foil since my kids like to kick it around the yard leaving a small hole in it which proves detrimental to a fire.
NOTE TO MEN: This is a lengthy process that requires much attention to the smoker providing an excellent excuse to “watch” the smoker in a lawn chair with a cooler full of cold beer all afternoon.