Pulled Pork – Tryout for family party

March 12, 2011

I’ve had the MAK 2 Star for a couple of months now and done a few cooks, but nothing that really knocked my socks off. I was starting to sweat bullets because we are having a big family party next weekend here where I promised barbecue. Andrew and Henriët are coming from Chicago and Emmy is coming from Sweden. So, the pressure was on.

I figured I’d go back to basics and do pulled pork which I’ve done successfully a number of times. The plan: brine, rub, smoke. I used the Alton Brown recipe brine and rub. The brine is made up of molasses, pickling salt and water. The rub has coriander, cumin, fennel seed, chili powder, paprika and what-not. There is no sugar in the rub since it will be cooking so long, You can grab the recipe from the link above or from my recipe collection here. My cooking setup was different than the recipe calls for; my plan:

  1. Cook at 225 until the internal temp hits 145
  2. Raise the cooker temp to 255 until internal temp hits 195.
  3. Take off the MAK,  double wrap in foil and place in a cooler lined with towels. I only did this step for 30 minutes tonight; next week I’ll keep the butts in for a few hours.
  4. Pull and serve

Carla had Friday off and picked up a 7 lb bone-in pork shoulder (Boston Butt) at Haggens. I made the brine Friday evening after dinner and set the container in the garage refrigerator.

We went out to Jimmy Mak’s on Friday night to see Lloyd Jones (AWESOME) so I knew I wouldn’t be getting up early to start this; late dinner for the Thompsons. But I woke up at 6:30 and it wasn’t raining yet, so I figured get out and start when I could be dry.

Out of the brine and patted dry

The rub is on

Onto the smoker

The frog mat is curled up on the edges because I have an extra couple of Maverick probes in there to double check my temps. After a while I cut a piece of apple up and pierced it with a probe to rest on top. And I replace the other smoker probe with a meat probe.

I went back to bed and woke up around 8:30. The MAK is great: program it and let it do its thing

Internal temp hit  145 at 12:18  (about 5 1/2 hours after the start) and 195 around 5:45 11 hours after the start. I wrapped in foil and placed in a towel-lined cooler; this is known in the BBQ Biz as FTC (Foil, Towel, Cooler). I cleaned things up and came back to start pulling around 6:15

The bone in the background came right out clean as a whistle. Chelea’s dogs will have a treat this week! Chelea works in my group and has a couple of dogs who love bones.

Dinner is served

Not a traditional presentation, but Carla and I figured we didn’t need the bread. Next week we’ll have lots of buns. The barbecue sauce is from Epicurious.com / Bon Apetit. It is a sweet/red Kansas City sauce. It’s a little sweet for me. It’s dead simple to make; just put a bunch of tasty things together with a 1/2 cup of commercial barbecue sauce; I used Trader Joe’s Kansas City sauce. My copy of the recipe is here.

Definitely the best thing I’ve done on the MAK; and rivals the best of my pulled pork over the years. I’m ready for next week when I do two!

Rating: ★★★★  4 Stars

3 thoughts on “Pulled Pork – Tryout for family party

  1. Just sampled your creation. I did not have it your way; wanted the bun. Toasted a Bun in the toaster, added some pulled pork (cold)added two table spoons of BBQ sauce. All I can say is YUMMMY!!!!! Although, to spice the meal up, maybe next time you should dice up 1 small Habanero pepper and one large Jalapeño Pepper and place that in the BBQ Sauce; just saying 🙂 Nice job Howard I will be trying out the BBQ Sauce Reciept with my spin soon 🙂

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