One of the oldest means of cooking, traditionally smoking happens over the indirect heat of an open fire. Smoke naturally imparts its unique flavour as the heat cooks it. Pit masters take years to master their perfect formula but smoking pork is within reach of every home cook. Most of us have gas fuelled barbecues and you can absolutely do a smoked pork butt on your home barbecue. It does take time, lots of it. Depending on the size and shape of your pork butt it can take anywhere from 6-10 hours to smoke. So, the lesson is start earlier than you think you need to. Here are some tips and a basic recipe to get you started.
Tips for smoking on a barbecue:
- Heat your barbecue or grill to 225°F-250°F and maintain this temperature throughout the cooking time. Use an oven thermometer to ensure your barbecue is at this temperature throughout the smoking process. The more often you open your barbecue the more difficult it will be to maintain the above temperature.
- Some people like to spray the pork with apple juice, beer etc… however the more you open the barbecue the more heat you let out and the longer it will take to cook.
- Set up a drip tray underneath the pork to catch fat drippings.
- Make a smoking package by wrapping 3 cups of wood chips (hickory or otherwise) in heavy duty aluminum foil and cutting slits in the top of it. Place it on the grill when heating it up. Then transfer it to the side where the burners remain lit.
- On average it takes 1 ½ -2 hrs per pound to properly smoke pork butt.
- Cook the pork using indirect heat. Once the barbecue is at temperature turn the burners off on one side. Place the pork on that side of the barbecue.
- Use an instant read digital thermometer to monitor the temperature of the pork.
- When the pork reaches 160°F wrap it in aluminum foil and return it to the barbecue. Continue to cook it until the internal temperature reaches 200°F-210°F.
- Rest the pork for 30 minutes before shredding it and eating.
Smoked Pork Butt
- 4 – 5 lb pork butt, trimmed
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 1/2 cup all-purpose seasoning
- Rub mustard all over the exterior of the pork butt. Then season generously with the all-purpose seasoning blend.
- Place the pork on the indirect side of the barbecue and insert a heat proof digital thermometer. Ensure the thermometer does not hit the bone. Set the temperature to 160°F. Close the lid and cook undisturbed.
- Once the thermometer reads 160°F remove the pork from the barbecue. Wrap the pork in heavy duty aluminum foil or butcher’s paper. Place the pork back on the barbecue and insert the digital read thermometer again. Set the temperature to 190°F-205°F.
- Once the thermometer reads the final temperature (as above) transfer the pork to a baking sheet and allow it to rest for 30-45 minutes.
- Unwrap the pork and remove the bone. Cut the pork into pieces and serve. Mix back in any juices that have come from the pork – don’t waste this flavour! Set up a drip tray underneath the pork to catch the fat that drips.
- Toss pork with barbecue sauce and serve over rice and beans.
- Toss pork with salsa and use as a filling for tacos or as a taco bowl.
- Serve beside grilled vegetables and potato salad.