Athens Review, Athens, Texas

August 30, 2013

BBQ My Way: Back to basics, with pulled pork

by Dave Lobeck
CNHI News Service

— Recently I spoke at a local Rotary club about BBQ and grilling. Before getting started, I always ask for a show of hands of gas versus charcoal grillers so I know what areas to cover. Obviously is useless to discuss the process of creating legit "Q" with a bunch of people whose idea of a BBQ is flipping a frozen hamburger patty over gas flames. Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you.

I am always shocked. About 90 percent of those polled only do gas. Sometimes, no one in the audience used charcoal. Not a single one.

But, I'm a believer in destiny. And I truly believe it is my destiny to get some of you gas grillers out there to get excited about preparing legit pulled pork BBQ.

And you know what got me excited about this? I smoked two pork butts all night on my Weber Bullet smoker in preparation for the fantasy football draft. I texted out pictures of the end product to the attendees, and four of them threatened to show up at my house for breakfast.

Here is how easy this is. I got home from the office and started up two chimney starters with lump hard wood charcoal and briquette charcoal. As they were getting ready, I threw together the rub, smeared the butts in yellow mustard and liberally rubbed the butts with the spice rub (recipe below.) If that won't make Miley Cyrus start randomly twerking, I don't know what will. (By the way, what was the deal there anyway? Sorry, I digress.)

Pour the hot coals into the bottom of the smoker, layer another helping of briquettes on top and sprinkle with hickory and pecan chips. Place the water container in the smoker over the coals, fill with water, place the rubbed butts in the smoker, close lid and go mow the grass. The meat will smoke at 240 or so degrees Fahrenheit.

Before going to bed, take the top rack out, pull the unit apart and add more briquettes and a sprinkling of wood chips. Place the upper cylinder back on, replenish the water, put the top rack back on, put the lid on, take shower (unless you like to sleep exuding a smoky aroma) and go to bed. You will wake up to the most delicious sight: smoky, falling apart pork with a rich, sweet, spicy and crunchy bark. The bark is the rub and mustard mixture. It turns dark, crunchy and delicious. I've seen fights almost break out over a piece of pork with bark on it.

A Weber Bullet sells for retail at a price point of around $300 to $400, depending on the size. These units have been used to win national BBQ championships, so you don't need anything fancier. This time of the year, retailers are blowing out their grilling inventory so you might get a better deal. You can also go with a knockoff for less, but it won't last as long. In a few weeks, it's time for the holidays, and you haven't truly lived until you have fixed your holiday bird, ham or prime rib in a smoker.

Rub Recipe

I used this for two butts and still had a bunch left over. It’s also great to use when pan-searing salmon, tilapia or roasting chicken.

This is my destiny today. Go get a smoker and start making real "Q."

Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes the "BBQ My Way" column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQ-My-Way.com.