Sometimes its not about what you cook, its about how and where and with what challenges.  Well today, much like cooking breakfast on an open fire, the challenge was not in what I was cooking or how I was cooking, it was the element of nature that produced the biggest source of problem in my cook.  In the midst of a blizzard warning this morning I fired up the smoker to smoke up some rosemary and brown sugar rubbed Boston butts (3) for some pulled pork.

Smoking in a blizzard

In spite of the snow and the massive drifts and the sometimes strong winds, I prevailed the smoked stayed going and the pork is now ready for some pulling.  Its not new, its not special but it was a challenge.  And if I do say the results look, smell and taste fantastic.

My apologies for the picture quality, they came from my phone. 🙁

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So today I made pulled pork, again.  But it was not nearly as dreadful as I make it sound, as an avid connoisseur of all things smoked, pulled pork is a staple.  Its fairly easy to make, requires a slight flexing of the smoking muscle and is almost impossible to screw up.   Today was no different, I had a ham roast in the freezer that was just begging for some smoker time and as it ends up I also had a rosemary shortage which prohibited me from making my preferred Brown Sugar and Rosemary Rub, so it was back to the drawing board.

BBQ Pulled Pork

In the end I ended up with an excellent stand in using some ready made rubs and and brown sugar.  And a spritz with some molasses, cranberry juice, bbq sauce and seasoning, again we didn’t have any apple juice.  The day was full of improvising. You will find the recipes for the rub and spritz below.

I threw the meat on the smoker about 7:30 AM and it smoked at 225ºF with apple and hickory wood until it reached 165ºF, at which point I wrapped it in foil and threw it back into the heat until it reached an internal temperate of 205ºF.  Then it was, while still wrapped in foil, wrapped in old towels and thrown into the cooler for 2 hours to rest.  I then pulled it, put it on a sandwich and enjoyed.  It was most tasty not quite as tasty as the Brown Sugar and Rosemary Rub but it is certainly still edible, and will likely be the source of lunch room envy tomorrow.

Mix and Match Pork Rub
brown sugar
bad byron’s butt rub

Mix together 2 parts brown sugar to 1 part each bbq3000 and butt rub.  When thoroughly mixed, spread mustard on meat in evenly.  Then rub meat liberally with bbq rub created above.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night or cook immediately.

Spritz Recipe
1 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp bbq sauce
1 c cranberry juice
1/4 c white sugar
1 tbsp bbq3000

Combine all ingredients until mixed well.  Mop onto meat every hour until meat reaches 165°F.

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This past Saturday was a great day for a smoke, an all day smoke.  We were stripping and polishing up the boat, so why not do it with the tantalizing smell of hickory smoke and cooking meat. That is just what we did.  This was a great smoke because while I enjoy pulled pork bbq, its not one of those things that is like wow, but I made it wow, at least wow to me.  It all started with a good rub, a brown sugar and rosemary rub that gave it great bark and great flavor.

I again used my Slap Chop to chop up the fresh rosemary and speed up that job of making the rub, which like most rubs is not labor intensive. I then mixed the rub thoroughly as I could with a fork, crushing up clumps as they formed.

Rosemary and brown sugar pork rub

Once the rub was ready I slathered my bone-in pork loin with dijon mustard and then rubbed evenly, making sure to get all the surfaces with the rub.

After that is was onto my charcoal Brinkmann Gourmet for a long days cook at anywhere from 225°F to 250°F.  Usually I aim for a more precise temperature but with the wind (15-25 MPH all day) and the Gourmet‘s lack of control this was difficult to do.  Even with the wind and temperature my 5.25 lb loin hit 205°F after about 11 hours, none to soon by our clock, we were hungry.  We let the meat rest for about an hour and then pulled it using a pair of forks.

And then we ate it on a bun with some coleslaw and bbq sauce, the meat on its own was really good especially when you got a good chunk of the bark where you could really taste the rub.  Rosemary and pork go together better than cake and ice cream.  That was yesterday.  Today it made it to its pinnacle, I put some pork and Famous Dave’s bbq sauce in the crock pot this morning and came back a couple of hours later to find, an incredible pot of pulled pork bbq, so again I piled it high on a hoagie bun with some coleslaw and it was awesome.  I later found out this is even better with homemade bbq sauce .

A pulled pork bbq sandwich

After all of that I kinda find myself excited about pulled pork bbq and can’t wait to make it again.  If you want the recipe for the rub I used, a brown sugar and rosemary rub, I have included it below.  In the future I will probably use this rub on some regular smoked or grilled pork as it compliments the pork so well.

Brown Sugar and Rosemary Rub
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 c dark brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Prepare meat by washing, drying and evenly coating in dijon mustard.  Rub meat evenly covering every inch with rub.  Grill or smoke low and slow until desired doneness.

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