Nailed it

I got this one right. The final tale of the tape was 10.5 hours. At the end I was up in the 230-degree range on the grid temperature, but I didn’t care because it was all about developing the bark at that point.

Something I neglected to mention in yesterday’s post was the fact that I set this up as a bi-level cook with the 6-lb main section down below (and monitored) while the smaller pieces were up on the secondary grid unmonitored. I knew the upper pieces would cook more than the larger pieces down below, but I figured it wouldn’t matter (and it didn’t).

When I took the meat off the Egg I wrapped all of it together in four layers of foil, then loaded it into a styrofoam cooler. We took off for dinner and when we got back three hours later I started pulling the meat into the crockpot that Carla will use to reheat and transport it. I burned my hands on more than one occasion. I didn’t even have any towels in there. It stayed plenty hot.

I said in yesterday’s post that I’d share my rub recipe if I like how it turned out. So here it is:

2 Cups Turbinado or Maple Sugar***
1/4 Cup Paprika
1/4 Cup Chili Powder (I like Fiesta brand)
1 TBS Garlic Powder
2 TBS Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Onion Powder
3 TBS Cumin
4 TBS Salt
1/2 TSP cornstarch (only if it’s being stored)
1/2 TSP Turmeric

***Or enough maple syrup to cover meat. Wrap in plastic wrap or cover tightly with foil overnight at least.

This is basically a modified version of the Flame Tree BBQ rub from Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I reduced the black pepper from the original, substituted some amounts of the other spices to replace the seasoned salt the recipe calls for and tweaked the sugar specifications. For this particular batch I mixed up the dry parts of the rub sans sugar and applied it very, very heavily to the meat, then dumped a bottle of maple syrup over the whole thing and rubbed it in. Then I applied the remaining rub just for good measure.

The photos pretty much tell the tale (you can click them to get a better view). The first shot shows the basic setup and the second shows some details of how the bark developed. The third one shows the main section of the pork and the last shows just how ridiculously little fuel was burned in the 10.5 hours. I think I added too much lit lump charcoal initially — the chimney starter was 3/4 full — and I think the widespread coverage of ash screwed with my air flow. I can keep rock-steady temps for six hours, but then I have to do adjustments. I’m going to go with maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 load of lump in the chimney starter next time and try to get it to sit more in the middle rather than spreading out. Just to see. But the big improvement this time is that there was a strong, established fire from the beginning and that made all the difference as time went on.

The irony is that I’ve only been able to eat a very small amount of this batch. I’ve definitely tried it, but the whole reason I did this batch was for a retreat Carla has tomorrow. It’s not that many people, so I’m hoping some will come home.

Or I’ll just have to make another batch. Darn.