Thursday, June 14, 2012
For most of my life I wanted everyone to ignore Father's Day. I considered it a silly holiday and I really don't like being fussed over. About 8 years ago I decided that I would enjoy Father's Day a lot more if I did the fussing so I began by grilling what everyone liked so I would have an assortment on the grill at the same time. No complaints from the family but my wife and daughters were worried that I was losing it. Then a few years ago I started fixing the entire meal and I chose the menu. Still no complaints and my wife and daughters knew I was losing it.
Two years I bought a cheap charcoal fueled smoker and began smoking meat. That opened a whole new world for me and I like the fiddling with rub and marinade recipes to get the right combination for different kinds of meat. I like mixing different smoke woods to get just the right smoke flavor profile. I like learning how to maintain a consistent temperature in the smoker. My $35 smoker(El Cheapo Brinkmann (ECB)) fell short in the maintaining temperature department but, with a lot of helpful modifications and fiddling frequently with the air vents it cooked some great Q. A year ago I replaced that small cooker with an 18" Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker (WSM) and temperature control got a lot easier plus I had more space on the meat grates so I could cook more at one time. Some say I should have bitten the bullet and paid the price for the WSM but I wasn't sure that BBQ was something I could do well and I learned a lot using my ECB. My friend who bought the ECB still thanks me for giving him such a good deal on a good cooker. I will never badmouth the ECB but I believe that, dollar for dollar, the WSM cannot be beat. Oh yeah, I paid $250 for it and my wife was OK with that purchase because she loves pulled pork.
Some folks might say that I can't live a more healthy lifestyle eating BBQ on a regular basis. I know I can. When I cook a big chunk of Pork Butt at 223 to 250 degrees for 10 to 15 hours I render out most of the fat and I go light on the sauce. BBQ sauce that is.
My wife likes her ribs heavily sauced on the smoker. I keep part of the spareribs with a dry rub only and I eat those. The ribs cook from 5 to six hours low and slow. Tender moist and tasty. Chicken comes off the smoker the same way. I don't have to eat too much to get the taste of the Q but I can eat enough to satisfy me without breaking the calorie bank.
I have two Boston Butts in the fridge thawing out and I will be injecting the marinade tomorrow night. Saturday night I'll put on the dry rub and have them on the smoker before midnight. I want to do a long cook at about 225 degrees and they will be ready to pull before dinner at 6. When I bring them into the kitchen to pull I know that all the adults will walk over to me and take a piece of that thick dark smokey bark that covers the outside of the pork. That makes all the work worthwhile.
I highly recommend that you continue with your usual method of celebrating Father's Day. I'm sure my wife and daughters have it right. I have totally lost it and I am NOT normal. However, from my slightly warped world normal looks very overrated.
Enjoy your day and enjoy the ride,