Hey, posted a couple of weeks ago to get some advice on finishing my new table. I went with Teak Oil, and am happy with the look so far, seems to resist staining, so covering it with porgy blood once in a while shouldn't deter my vegan wife from firing up her veggie wok. Also finally got my custom granite slap in, and got it installed just in time to smoke my first pork butt.
The plan: I was hosting a bachelor party (of sorts) on Saturday afternoon - 6 of my closest friends were coming down to load up a few canoes with camping gear and enough beer and rum to drink like Captain Jack Sparrow, then setting sail for Long Island Sound and our own private island that I'd scouted out a couple times previously. I figured an 8-pound pork butt would serve as perfect pirate fare, so I picked one up and followed the Elder Ward rub recipe on Thursday night, kept it in the fridge until Friday, then stabilized my egg around 240 at 8 pm on Friday, using a mixture of PBR and the Traditional North Carolina sauce in my drip tray. Threw it on and put in my new remote Maverick, set it to 196, and (did my best) to forget it.
Not the case. At 12 a.m. I woke to the loudest gosh danged beeping I think I've ever heard. I turned over and told my wife to turn off her alarm, I wasn't ready to get up yet. She informed me it was my pork butt, and as is usually the case, she was right. Hmm. Threw on my headlamp and stumbled out to the egg. Still right at 240 on the dome temp. Confirmed the pork temp with a regular meat thermometer, and it read a measly 160. Hmph. I bemoaned my $40 purchase, shut off the Maverick, then closed it up again and decided to go back to sleep and check it in the a.m.
I woke again at 4 a.m. to a terrible nightmare. I was sharing my pulled pork with a cartoon rancher, and after taking a bite, he proclaimed, 'Sorry kid, not tender enough.' It couldn't have been a good sign. I again strapped on my headlamp and headed outside to the egg. Yuck. I was met by pint-sized raindrops and blustering wind. Dome temp was now just a bit below 200, so I opened each vent a bit to try to power through the storm. I must have been quite a sight out there, wearing nothing but boxers and a headlamp. The temp seemed stable so I went to catch a couple more hours of sleep.
7:30. Out to the egg. Just about out, temp has fizzled down to 50. No time to panic! I wrapped the butt in foil, added another pile of fresh lump, started 'er up and leveled the temp at 250. Doused the little guy in a bit of the NC sauce, wrapped it up, and tried the Maverick again. I think I may have hit a bone or some fat on the first try so I decided to give it another go. I checked on it a few hours later and the Mav seemed to be reading a good 10 degrees higher than my analog meat thermometer. I figured I'd try to err on the high side, so I shot for about 196 on my analog, pulled it, wrapped it in a towel, and let it sit for a couple hours.
Just before we departed, I dropped it in a big foil tray and the thing was just falling apart - I tore it up into larger, more swash-buckling size pieces, covered it in foil, and we set sail. Just after sun set, opened up the foil, mixed in a bit of my NC sauce, and kept it covered at the base of our fire for a bit, then dug in. Sides? We're pirates, dammit, we don't need no stinking sides! Judging by the 9 minutes or so it took the 7 of us to down the whole tray, I'd consider it a success! Really just about the best food I've ever made - full of flavor, perfectly tender, and great for transporting a few miles via canoe.
No pics of the meat, but one of my finished table. Thanks for all the great advice on here, couldn't have done it without it...