I cook some pretty good barbeque. Not boasting, but it’s good. That having been said, I don’t proclaim to be a grilling genius. I just do what I’ve learned to do out of necessity, because buying meat already cooked at a local restaurant or at barbeque joint is expensive. For a couple of pounds of good barbeque you’ll more than likely lay out 20-30 dollars. If the cook knows what he’s doing, then the price of the ribs, chicken or pork is well worth whatever you pay. I hate to fork over the money though when I can have fun doing the same thing at home.
To set the record straight, cooking good barbeque is not very difficult. Anyone can do it! The secret to great flavor is to allow yourself plenty of time to slow cook your meat.
When I’m cooking a pork shoulder or Boston Butts, I’ll usually start the fire at night about 7:00 pm so it will cook 15-18 hours. I wake up every couple of hours, add charcoal and a few soaked hickory chips! I’m usually in bed 5 minutes later while my cat Spike guards the barbeque.
I love cooking Boston Butts because the flavor is so great! It’s doesn’t take a lot of excessive thinking to turn out excellent barbeque. Because the results are usually so good, a lot of folks think it’s only the professionals who can work magic with the old smoker/grill. Well, it’s not exactly brain surgery, so here’s how I do it!
My smoker is the inexpensive kind you can buy at any hardware store. It has a tray for the charcoal and a tray for water to provide a little moisture and to collect the grease. I wrap this tray in aluminum foil so I won’t have a clean-up problem when I’m finished. I pour a small amount of charcoal in the tray, add a little charcoal lighter, and then strike the match.
This goes against the idea that your meat will taste like charcoal lighter. That’s why I use a small amount, get the coals glowing and then add more charcoal. This burns off any lighter fluid that might be hanging around.
While I’m waiting for the fire to get ready, I take the butts out of the wrappers, wash them in the sink and rub them down with my very own secret barbeque rub or sauce. Anyone can have their own secret rub and become an instant gourmet barbeque chef, if they follow these simple directions.
Go to the store and select from the many rubs on the shelves and bring them home. Add a little garlic here, a little cayenne pepper there and whatever else you need to give the rub a little extra zest. Then you will have your very own secret sauce. The aroma that will permeate your back yard will have your neighbors licking their lips!
This method works for me because I’m not energetic enough to start from scratch and make my seasonings. I go to the spice section of the store and find some already made and use them! I love the names of some of the rubs and marinades you find at your local grocery store; “Good Time Charlie’s Barbeque Sauce”, “Sweet Willie’s Marinade” and “Billy Bob’s Hog Sauce” just to name a few.
The next step after putting the butts in the smoker is critical. Don’t open the lid! Leave it alone! You want to keep the heat as constant as possible and you can’t do that if you keep opening the lid! This is probably one of the hardest things to do because after a few hours the smell coming from the smoker is irresistible and it’s so tempting to open the top and look at the meat. Don’t do that!
If you’re using a sweet barbeque sauce, wait until about 20 minutes before the meat is done before you slather it on. The sugar in the sauce will burn if it gets too hot. When the meat falls readily from the bone, it is done! I think that is equivalent to about 175 degrees. You’ll know when time is right to take them off the grill! The next thing to do is to enjoy the results of your cooking. See, it’s not all that hard to cook perfect barbeque!
Ciao from my side, see you on the other side.
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