Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Home-smoked, "Slow and Low" Barbecue Pulled Pork

When Kara was still a baby, I found myself exhausted so much of the time that my interest in cooking fell completely by the wayside. I also found that it was near-impossible to find the time. So it was that Matt found himself not only the "breadwinner" of the family, but also the cook.

One of Matt's early finds was this Pulled Pork Dry Rub recipe. It's been so popular around our place that made has made two double batches in the span of time since Kara was born.

I realized when we recently put out our very first barbecue on our patio that it was only a matter of time 'til the two met.

Today was that day. When Kara got up, I pulled the pork shoulder which had been in the fridge out to come to room temperature. Once we made our way downstairs for the day, I started soaking maple wood chips in a bowl of cold water. I also applied the dry rub to the pork shoulder. I lit the firestarter and got it nestled within the coals in the barbecue. After the wood chips had soaked for ½-hour, I drained them and scattered them on the lit coals. The barbecue lid was left closed for it to come to temperature, then I added the pork shoulder. By 8:45 am, dinner was prepped and cooking!

During the course of the day, the temperature on the barbecue fluctuated from 190° F to about 250° F. Around mid-day, when I tried to lower the temperature by opening the lid, I caused a flare-up, which resulted in a brief spike in temperature to about 400° F. I was able to bring that back under control and the barbecue stayed at about 220° F for the remainder of the day.

Only half of the shoulder was shredded for tonight's dinner, with "seconds" for Caty and me and a packed lunch for Matt. Tomorrow night's dinner will likely use up the rest.

There was a lingering smokiness to the flavour that I've simply never experienced in barbecued meat before, and the rub mellowed right out, having cooked that long. I can safely say that I've never had homemade meat that good ever before in my life and I think making it the best pork ever will come down to finding a complementary sauce for it. It's definitely a new favourite!



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