Salute to Meat 2018: The Cooking Starts

It always starts with the pulled pork.

Saturday's pulled pork

Two, 9-pound boneless pork shoulders from Costco, rubbed and ready to go on the Big Green Egg. I will shape them properly when they go on, for even cooking.

There’s 18 pounds of boneless shoulder on the Egg, with a full load of Rockwood lump and a chunk of hickory the size of a small child’s arm. There are two of them, on top of each other on what’s called an adjustable rig, a contraption that allows tiered cooking on the BGE.

There is a book, and a movie from it, called “God is My Copilot,” but this weekend my copilot is the BBQ Guru CyberQ, a device that allows me to keep the Egg’s temperature, and my sanity, constant.

It is a little computer with a web server that plugs in outside and runs a small fan that attaches to the draft door at the bottom of the Egg. With the help of a temperature probe that attaches to the grill inside the Egg, it will adjust the draft so as to keep a constant 225 degrees. Additional probes go in the meat to tell me how they’re doing. The web server lets me monitor the temperatures on my computer or my phone.

This thing alone has given me the ability to have fun at my parties when I’m smoking something on the Egg, and to sleep when I’m cooking something overnight. It even has a ramp feature that lowers the temperature when the meat temp gets close to done.

Of course, it’s cheating. I don’t care. I want my party, and I want to sleep. I have enough stress in my life.

I put the shoulders on the Egg at 5:30, not quite two hours ago. The temp on them is already over 100 degrees, but I know they have at least 10 hours left in them, and probably close to 14. I never wrap them, or brisket either, to get them through the stall, and it can be several hours long.

Time to think of something else for a while.


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