Wednesday, July 2, 2008
We moved to the Pacific Northwest from Texas. We found one main difference, aside from the rain, and it’s that there’s no real barbeque in Oregon or Washington, regardless of who says anything different. Now, someone who’s used to a regular diet of real Texas ’que can only last for so long without it. Then they do something entirely drastic, like mail order a serious smoker all the way from Texas, the kind that costs as much to ship as it does to buy since it’s so darned heavy. Even when they don’t know the first thing about smoke-cooking. Well, I guess when you live in Texas long enough and eat enough real Texas barbeque, you must inhale so much of that smoke that it just goes to your head, because that’s exactly what we did.
Luckily, it didn’t take us long before we had some tasty smoked pork coming off that serious smoker. And it didn’t take me too many margaritas before I was calling that smoked pork smork. I guess it’s got a good ring to it, because the name stuck.
Whenever we fire up the smoker, we load it up. Early in the morning, we throw on the pork butt, a brisket, and usually a chicken or two.
When the chickens are ready to come off, just in time for lunch, we put on the ribs. Sometimes, and only since it’s so abundant in this part of the country, we smoke a salmon fillet. Dinner’s a grand buffet, with glorious brisket.
Will you look at that beautiful smoke ring? And ribs that would bring a tear to your eye.
And, of course, plenty of fork-tender, melt-in-your-mouth smork.
We eat it all with spicy barbeque sauce and potato salad and coleslaw. Sometimes I actually wish we had gotten a bigger smorker. Oh, I mean smoker.
Smoked Pork Butt
1 7 ½-pound bone-in pork butt
¼ cup Lucy’s Chile Rub
Season the pork generously with salt and coat with the rub.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Fire up the smoker and let the fire burn down to coals. When the temperature falls to 250˚F, place the pork, fat side up, in the smoker as far from the fire as possible. Smoke the pork, maintaining the temperature between 225˚ and 250˚F and rotating the pork once half way through the cooking time, for about 10 to 11 hours, or until fork tender. The meat will shrink away from the bone and a meat thermometer will register 185ºF when it is cooked through.
Remove the pork to a platter, tent with foil to keep warm, and allow to rest for about half an hour. Shred the pork using a fork and serve immediately.
Makes enough to feed a small army. Serve with your favorite barbeque sauce. You can pile it on a bun for the best pulled pork sandwiches ever. We use about 10 pounds of natural hardwood lump charcoal and 3 pounds of wood, a combination of mesquite and oak, to keep our smoker going for about 10 hours. If you don’t happen to own a smoker, use smoked salt instead of kosher salt, and roast the pork butt in a 250˚ oven—it’ll be almost as good.