Recipe fantasy to food reality.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I always thought I was good with gadgets

I have several lovely pork butt pictures on my ancient digital camera, but am not sure I'll ever get them off of the camera, let alone all the way up onto Orexia. So, I've given in to a pictureless pork butt summary. For now.

The recipe itself was not at all complicated. Brine your butt overnight in a mixture of water, salt, and molasses. Rub it with a mixture of spices. Set in smoker, and leave at 210 degrees F for 10-12 hours. Remove from heat, wrap in aluminum foil, and allow to rest for one hour. Then, most importantly, enjoy.

I did all of those things. It was a little stressful at times, and keeping a constant temperature was not really possible. I can't be sure if this is Alton Brown's fault, due to an unsound concept for a terra cotta smoker. It could also be my fault, since the equipment I used was not quite ideal. The contraption is supposed to be made out of two terra cotta pots that can be stacked mouth to mouth, with a grill in the middle to hold the meat over some smoking hardwood chips (heated by an electric hot plate underneath). The two pots we had did not quite have mouths of the same size, but we compensated by insulating any openings with a towel. After some early morning trouble getting an acceptable temperature, we did get several hours of good smoking time (while we were fiddling with the smoker, I threw it in the oven at 210, so the meat would at least be done by the time guests arrived). Dinner went off without a hitch, and a good time (and a lot of beer) was had by all.

This was my first barbecue experience, and I have honestly never eaten anything like it. I thought I'd crave it evermore. I did prevent that from happening, however, by making a small mistake: the towel used to insulate the smoker, smelling unbelievably like smoke, got stuck into my laundry hamper. It took a few applewood smoke-infused days to figure out why the smell had not left my home.

We did smoke another pork butt the following weekend, though we couldn't get the Alton Brown smoker to work. Instead we set the apple chips inside a gas grill, did some fiddling with temperature, and let it sit. This also produced admirable results, but by now, I believe I've inhaled at least a quarter pound of charred applewood, and I need a little rest.


At 6:43 AM, Blogger deafeningsighlence said...

Barbecuing is an art form. That's what makes it so cool. Welcome to the world of barbecue lovers.


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