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First two tries at Pulled Pork


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Tried my hand a couple times now at pulled pork after all the recommendations of it being a good intro to low and slow.  I read the "definitive guide to starting a low and slow fire," and have used and keep a few of the isopropyl-soaked cotton balls readily available, but I've gotten pretty good with my electric starter.  After filling up the firebox with new charcoal, I just shove the electric starter in the mass and leave it for no more than 5 minutes.  After putting the smoking stone in and closing the lid, watching it pretty close, (closing the vents in "halfway" increments the closer I got to 225, settling around 0.75 bottom, 0.90 on top (yes, I'm an engineer)) since my last few tries at temperature control were all over the board.  Having a remove temperature sensor also really helped me here.  It was only after people's advice here to get a temp probe (and using it) that I've been able to get more consistent low temperatures.

 

As far as pre-work goes, I followed Chris Groves' instructions as closely as possible, except instead of mixing up his BBQ rub I just bought a bottle of Stubb's BBQ and gave it a good coating.  I don't think this butt was even 7 pounds, but it still took nearly the full 12 hours.  After it came off, I did the foil-towel-cooler trick for a few hours, then shredded it, mixed some slaw, and headed to my friends house for lunch!  He'd been in the hospital for the last two days, so I had a great excuse to go "full kamado" for him and his family.

 

Anyway, enough text.  Here's some pics!

 

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I think this is two or three hours in.

 

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3:30 a.m. wake-up call from my faulty receiver (no, I'm not over it yet ;))

 

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The finished product!  Shredded it with bear claws and took it over to a friends house for lunch.  He'd just come out of surgery as well, and hadn't had much real food in a while, so he was quite grateful. :)  I made a vinegar-based BBQ sauce to go with it, the recipe for which is in Chris Groves' kamado cookbook (so obviously won't disclose here).  I would highly recommend it.  Per his instructions, I use the sauce as a coleslaw salad dressing, which I really like, especially since I've never liked mayonnaise-based slaws (ick).  

 

Last photo here is of my second pork butt:

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I think this guy was over 12 pounds before it went on the grill, but ironically it finished sooner than the 7-pounder.  I had been baking some bread on it before this making this one, so I was trying hard as I could to get the temp down from 500F without actually snuffing out the fire entirely. :P  Surprisingly, I mostly succeeded.  But at my vent settings used in my last overnight cook the temp sensor was reading about 40 degrees under what I expected.  I got to 225, but when I'd close it down a little more the temp kept dropping.  Concerned about killing it, I opened the bottom vent almost twice what I normally do and went to sleep, thinking I'd have to let it finish up closer to lunch the next day.  When I got up, my remove receiver was still showing 225, but my dome thermometer was reading 250, which really is 300.  However the probe was reading so low, internal temp was over 200 so I pulled it off.  Made for another tasty lunch!  This time, friends came my direction, impressing even my Texas brisket friend. :-D  Enjoy!

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