Saturday, June 07, 2008

Learn to make pulled pork bbq

Who says you can't cook a pork butt on a kettle grill? You definitely can. However, it takes patience to learn good fire control techniques.

1. Start with a charcoal chimney full of burning briquettes (I prefer Royal Oak).

2. Place in kettle grill, banked to one side, and put the lid on.

3. Monitor temperatures in the kettle grill using a meat thermometer through the top vent.

4. Every thirty minutes, add an additional 10-12 briquettes to maintain a consistent temperature of 250 - 275 degrees (less if you can). Try to keep the lid closed as much as possible. Add more or less charcoal to maintain temperature.

5. Place a pork butt on the grate of the grill, fat side down, on the opposite side of the burning briquettes. I like to pre-season the butt with bbq rub the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator (in a plastic container).

6. Place an alumimum pan 1/2 filled with water over the fire side of the grate, if it's needed to keep the temperatures steady in the cooking chamber.

7. Cook the pork butt for 5 hours.

8. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should be around 160 degrees.

9. Wrap the pork butt in a double thickness of aluminum foil and place back on the cooking grate.

10. Cook until the internal meat temperature reaches 198 degrees.

11. Remove it from the kettle grill. Wrap it in a towel, place it in an aluminum pan, and let it rest for 20- 30 minutes keeping it warm.

12. "Pull" apart for bbq sandwiches.


David said...

any tips on pulling apart the pork in relatively quick order

The BBQ Guy said...

Based on my experience, cooking pork butts to 198 degrees makes it easy. The bone comes out easily and the rest mostly just falls apart.

Some people use Neoprene gloves to protect their hands from the heat, but we just use surgical gloves and haven't had any real trouble.

Tom said...

This is a good starter. I do butts in kettles all the time - the largest, a 13lb picnic. I can keep the temp at 220 with hickory and don't take it off until the bone is ready to pull out of the meat. The rub needs to be on the meat for at least 24 hours.

David said...

I did a couple butts on the grill this weekend and brought them up to 198, r/th the 165ish that I had been doing. What a difference in tenderness.

The BBQ Guy said...

At temperatures above 190 degrees internal, the collagen in the pork butts really begins to breakdown/dissolve. I've found that 198 degrees internal is just about ideal for pulling the butts from the smoker.

Barbecue isn't an exact science, but it is a good basic rule of thumb for pork butts/shoulder/picnic.

Migro said...

Thank's all for the tips!