Monday, January 9, 2012

From Cousin Jeff Chambers— Smoked Pork Roast

Boston Butt and/or Pork Picnic
This recipe is suitable for family reunions, funerals, weddings, church picnics, Christmas parties, house concerts, school luncheons, Red Cross banquets, and homeless programs. At least, that’s the use I’ve gotten out of it. I took a smoked pork picnic to a wedding/family reunion once. After pulling the meat off of the bone, I set the bone and outer skin aside. By the time all the eating was done, I found that the skin and bone had been scraped clean. Then I felt guilty for not cooking two roasts!
To quote the movie Napoleon Dynamite, “This isn’t that complex.”
This will work on any smoker. My preferred grill is the Weber 22 “ Kettle Grill. Using the Weber will save charcoal and hickory and yield every bit as good an end result as smokers. Plus, if the lid is kept on a Weber, flare-ups are virtually eliminated.
One 8-9 lb. Boston Butt or One 9-10 lb. Pork Picnic
McCormick (or store brand) Barbecue Spice/Rub rubbed on the roast before cooking
Hickory chunks, usually available at the grocery store. About every three years I make a trip to an area lumber yard which makes drumstick stock. The stock is sent to Vic Firth, Inc., in New England where the finest hickory drumsticks are made. The scrap is sold for $15 a truckload. I have all I need for a long time, along with any of my friends and co-workers who like to cook with hickory. If you should have to use chips, soaking for thirty minutes may be necessary.
Start the fire as you would any other charcoal fire for cooking. Using a chimney style starter will eliminate any possibility of the dreaded charcoal lighter fluid taste. After the coals are ready (white ash), in the Weber, scrape all the coals to one side of the grill. It’s best to have all the coals pushed toward the prevailing windward side of the grill. At this point, take three or four of the chunks and put the directly on the coals. Once they ignite, place the lid on the Weber. After just a few minutes, place the roast on the side opposite the coals. The vent on the lid should be directly above the meat. This allows the smoke to travel over the roast before leaving the smoker and going into the air to make all the neighbors envious.
During the cooking, periodically remove the lid to allow the hickory chunks to reignite and begin smoking again. While adding charcoal usually is not necessary, stoke the fire with additional hickory chunks.
After about six hours, begin checking the meat by tugging gently at the bone. If the bone wiggles easily, even pulling completely out of the roast, it’s time to eat. Remember, outdoor cooking with charcoal is an inexact science. Allow for weather conditions (wind, temperature, etc.) that will most certainly affect cooking times. If you must, use a thermometer and try for a reading of 160 degrees. Pull the meat off the bone and serve either as sandwiches or as a main course meat.
Barbecue sauce:
One cup of Wicker’s Marinade
Three glugs of thick barbecue sauce – To paraphrase my cousin Jim “It’s really important what kind of sauce you use.” Me “What kind?” Jim “Whatever you have in the refrigerator.” (He was talking about cheese in his famous macaroni and cheese casserole.)
My father put Worcester Sauce in everything so I usually put a few dashes in my sauce.

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