Salute to Meat 2018: Cooking Without A Net

When we last left our pork shoulders they were resting comfortably on the Big Green Egg, having gone on at 5:30 at 225. They were up to 171 at bedtime, but I was pretty sure they wouldn’t go through their stall overnight.


The two pork butts, just off the smoker. They rendered down to just over 16 pounds, from 18.

Sure enough, at 6 a.m. they were still at 179, and didn’t hit 190 until almost 9 a.m. They pulled beautifully.


Both butts pulled, ready for Elder Ward’s North Carolina-style vinegar sauce.

The sauce is simple, and the recipe is readily available, but here it is:

  • 1 C white vinegar
  • 1 C cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. sugar (raw sugar, if you have it)
  • 1 Tbs. cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper

Makes 2 Cups

The recipe and Elder Ward’s entire treatise on smoking pork butt is entertaining to read. It’s here:

Anyway, the pulled pork shoulder is now sauced and in the fridge. We’ll warm it in the crock pot tomorrow so it’s ready by 4 p.m.

I’ve decided to do the roast pork belly on the Egg, since I have a little grill time and we have things to do in the kitchen this afternoon.

Pork belly, rubbed and ready to rest, then roast

This is 10 pounds of pork belly, rubbed with a mix of garlic powder, cayenne, raw sugar, paprika, salt and cumin. It’ll rest in the fridge for an hour, then into a hot oven for 15 minutes to start melting the top fat, and finally onto a 325-degree grill for about 3 hours.

It’ll start at 500 degrees in the oven, which will melt a little of the top fat, and then I’ll take it out to the Egg. It’ll go at 325 for its entire cook. After 90 minutes I’ll throw a beer into the drip pan underneath, even though I don’t think it’ll need that in the Egg.

This will be my first time cooking it outdoors; all the other times it’s been just in the oven.

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