As mentioned in last night’s blog about our Memorial Day weekend here in Big Canoe, one of our more popular blogs was about cooking BBQ pork butt on our Green Egg, so I thought I would rehash that blog with some more detailed info. I know some of you may be wondering what does this have to do with real estate? Well…nothing directly, but there is something conducive to outdoor cooking when you live in the mountains. Relaxing on the porch with friends and family with the smoker wafting curls of hickory scented smoke into the wind is hard to beat…particularly when the gentle green curves of North Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains are the backdrop. If you are not into outdoor cooking or BBQ, skip to the end of the blog for links to a couple new Big Canoe listings, otherwise here is my step by step on how to cook a delicious BBQ Boston pork butt!
Some of you may be wondering what a Green Egg is. I guess this is the part where I should mention that my wife refers to the Green Egg as “the other woman”. In fairness to me, after spending time with “the other woman”, I smell like smoked meat and not cheap perfume, so the other woman thing isn’t exactly right. You can read more about it on the Green Egg site, but the Green Egg is a ceramic cooker/grill/smoker based on an old Asian design. The first thing that needs to be done is to get the best looking Boston pork butt you can find. I have been to just about every store local to Big Canoe (including Fergusons Meats, Kroger, Ingles, and Publix), and I think IGA has the best pork butt. For Memorial Day weekend I picked out a 8.25 pound butt and paid a little over $10 for it. I like to let the meat lose some of the chill from the fridge before putting it on the smoker, so while I prepare the fire, I leave the meat out to warm a bit.
Next, I start the fire in my Green Egg and get a good bed of coals burning. I use hardwood lump charcoal, and I use the biggest pieces I can find in the bag. Once the bed of coals is going good, I spread the coals out so they aren’t sitting only in the center of the smoker. Then I add maybe 2-3 inches of charcoal on top of the coals, close the smoker up, and adjust the vents over the next 30 minutes to come to 220-250 degrees. Last, I toss in 2-3 chunks of dry hickory.
I don’t do anything real special to the butt other than to liberally apply cracked black pepper and rub the whole hunk of meat with plain yellow mustard. Then I place the butt on a rack with the fat side up. This whole assembly gets placed into the Green Egg over a drip pan. Keep an eye on the temp for at least an hour to be sure the temp settles at around 220-230 degrees. FYI, I usually keep my bottom vent around a quarter inch open and the top vent open a sliver. When working with the Green Egg, temp control can be a little daunting at first, and I recommend using the lower vent for big temp changes, and use the top vent for smaller temp changes. The best advice I can give on handling the cooking temperature is to make small changes and wait at least 20-30 minutes to check the results. It takes some time for temp changes to settle in.
Here’s the hard part. Waiting for the next 10-12 hours. As hard as it is, try not to peek! Opening the lid on the Green Egg really messes up the internal humidity and temp, so don’t open it unless you absolutely have to. So, sit back and enjoy the hints of roasted pork drifting through the air. After 10 hours, I usually check the temp. Once the meat hits 150-160 I take it off the fire. I usually let the meat stand undisturbed for an hour or so which is tough because my daughter loves anything that smells like bacon, and I do too. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree I guess. You know what to do from here. Slice it, pull it, eat it with or without sauce, you’ll love it! And I stand by what I said, it really does taste better up here in the North Georgia mountains !
~Karin Elliott is a resident of the North Georgia mountain Community of Big Canoe. See all Karin’s Big Canoe Real Estate Listings here. Read more about living in Big Canoe in her blog Life in Big Canoe, Real Estate in the Mountains.
Dan May 26th, 2008
Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate