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My first Pulled Pork on the Egg

Well, I finally did it. I made pulled pork on my Large Egg. Let me first say that the egg worked superbly. The account that follows is merely a reflection of my novice egg cooking status. Next time will be different.[p]
1) I started with a home made rub consisting of brown sugar, salt, brown mustard powder, ground sesame seed, cumin seed & black peppercorns (bloomed then ground), Garlic powder, onion powder & freshly ground cocoa nibs. The rub was fantastic. [p]2) I moistened the surface of the pork butt (7.3 lbs) with cider vinegar, and applied the rub to all sides.[p]3) I inserted 8+ whole cloves of garlic into the butt.[p]4) Cleaned egg & filled to 1/2 up the fire ring with lump (BGE)[p]5) got egg to temp (250 degrees f.)[p]6) added soaked aplewood chunks on top of grid[p]7) 2:40 pm. Put butt on 14" circular cast iron plate for indirect cooking. Put cast iron on grid in egg.[p]8) walked away. Periodic checks to make sure that temp got back up to 250.[p]>>>Problem 1>>>9:00 pm .No smoke. my apple wood was not smoking. >>>
>>>>>>I tried to resolve this by moving the wood from the grid to the coals.[p]9) 11:00 pm. Checked egg temp & went to bed.[p]>>>Problem 2>>>Did not temp meat before going to bed.[p]10) 5:30 am. Woke up terrified that the egg ran out of fuel & all was lost. [p]11) 6:00 am. Terror finally overrides desire to continue sleeping. Get up to complaints from sleeping wife that it's too early to be awake for a Sunday. Wife falls back asleep.[p]12) 6:05 am. Sun not up. Outside in jammies with a Petzl LED head lamp checking egg temp. 290 degrees. Huh, 290? Scratches head.[p]>>>Problem 3>>>Outside temperature did not plummet into the high 30s like it did the night before. The egg was too hot all night![p]13) bolt inside and find probe thermometer, and then bolt back out to the egg. . . go back inside for probe. Oops.[p]14) Open egg. (It's really black in there. The meat, that is. The headlamp illuminates things quite well.)[p]>>>Problem 4>>>wood chunks STILL have not smouldered. Some of them have browned a little bit. I had no smoke in my pulled pork, but worse was to come.[p]15) Probed pork butt (with the thermometer, you twit! Get your mind out of the gutter.)[p]>>>Problem 6>>> All termerature readings maxed out my probe thermometer after 220 degrees. I carbonized a beautiful pork butt. Since pork is done at 165, it may well have been perfect when I went to bed the night before. Alas.[p]16) go into crash mode to salvage what is left of the pork. 2 hours and 2 pounds of pork waste later (including all the outside portions that absorbed the little smoke that was generated by my apple wood) I was left with a 5 pound bowl of hand shredded (slightly overcooked) pulled pork.[p]17) make BBQ sauce. I made a killer sauce last time, but lost the recipe. This time around I used tomato paste, cider, cider vinegar, left over rub (ground extra fine), and other spices to taste. simmered it in a double boiler for several minutes, added water to thin. Added a splash of oj. simmered again. [p]18) combined pork and sauce. Served on sliced onion rolls.[p]The end result was not bad, but I need to figure out why my apple wood didn't smoke. Did I add too much charcoal? The top charcoal was not even beginning to burn By the end of cooking time. Obviously I need to temp my food more frequently. Once I build a table, I'll have space to keep a probe thermometer, but right now wthings are akward because the egg is just on feet on my patio. [p]


  • edbroedbro Posts: 300
    Tom E,
    - I cooked pulled pork to 200 degrees, not 160
    - Invest $30 in a Maverick remote thermometer. It pays great dividends during an all night cook, especially when cold outside. The Maverick will monitor both the grid temp as well as meat temp.
    - I put wood chunks/chips directly on the coals. Sometimes, I don't even soak them.

  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,995
    Tom E,
    Sounds like you have a few problems.[p]1. You don't need to go above the firebox with the lump. Going to the top of the firebox is sufficient even for long overnight cooks.[p]2. You don't need to soak your wood to get it to smoke, but you do need to have it directly on the lump and near the burning lump for it to smoke.[p]3. Roast pork might be done at 165° but pulled pork won't occur until about 195° to 200°. If you're looking for a roast maybe go with another cut with less connective tissue in it.[p]4. The EGG doesn't care what temperaturee it is outside so you don't need to adjust the tmeperature based on the weather.[p]5. Always write down your recipes so you don't have to lament how good the last batch was and not being able to repeat it.[p]6. Save those onion rolls for a nice sandwich, pulled pork is awesome on white bread or on a cheap hamburger bun.[p]Just some hopefully helpful hints.

  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    Tom E,
    I think your indirect settup is putting too much heat into the meat. Platsetter or firebricks are much better. The iron plate was directly on the grid with the fire right under it? The fire was heating the iron plate and thus the butt. I suspect the bottom of the meat was were a big part of the waste came from. Barring a platesetter/firebrick set up something like a roasting pan with V-rack would be better. The meat is shielded from direct heat and suspended above the pan so it is truly cooking indirect.

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Bobby-Q, good comments. However, I do think you need to go halfway up the firering for an all nighter. [p]However, make sure you start your fire on TOP of the pile of lump. From onew comment he made about the fire not getting up to the smoking wood, it makes me think he started the fire and then put more lump on. Once the entire pile lights, it's hard to hold the temperature down. I put my smoking wood right on after I light the fire and then put the meat on while the temperature is rising. I've never had a lack of smoke.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    thanks for saving me the typing!

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Tom E,
    with the meat resting ON the cast iron, you aren't very indirect.[p]there needs to be air under and around the meat, with the cast iron plate between the meat and fire.[p]once your cast iron was heated up, it was frying (maybe more like sauteing) the butt.[p] the cast iron transferred the heat straight to the butt.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Tom E,you've received wome excellent adivce here, but I think it will be helpful for you to read a little about making pulled pork. Try these tips/methods from The Naked Whiz's site:[p]North Carolina Style Pulled Pork — Elder Ward[p]and[p]Pulled Pork, Naked Whiz Style[p]With these tips and a Maverick ET-73 you will be cooking pulled pork like a champ in no time. And bookmark TNW's site for future reference.[p]Cheers

    [ul][li]Naked Whiz Ceramic Charcoal Cooking[/ul]
  • Thanks for all your comments. I guess that I have to clarify a few points. [p]First, I catually did have the pork off the iron grid using the little rack from inside the toaster oven. It was too small, however and some pork was sizzling away on the hot iron skillet. I do need to invest in a plate setter. They're just darn expensive.[p]Second, I started the fire from the bottom. I got my egg used, and Ol' Fred told me that fire burns upward. "Start your fire below the lump for a good burn" he said. I have started my lump from above using a chimney starter, but that produced dome temps that were way too high to slow cook with. What is the best method for starting a top down burn that is not too hot. Once the egg gets to high temperature it's near impossible to get it to cool down again.[p]I like the vrack idea. Those are really cheap, and will fit into my egg with room to spare. [p]Lastly, I have a weakness for onion rolls, but you are right . . .pulled pork doesn't need the extra flavor. Better to save those rolls for a boring roast beef sandwich.[p]Thnks for the help![p]Tom E.
  • Tom E., many people, including myself, light their lump with a Mapp torch. You can pick one up at Home Depot or Lowe's, and one will last you at least a year. For a low and slow over-nighter, just light it in a couple of spots near the center on top. 90 seconds with the Mapp torch will do it. You can also use starter cubes/chips, or a petroleum free starter gel such as Eco-Start. [p]Eco-Start.jpg[p]Never use lighter fluid. And as you've noticed, a full chimney will light too much for a low and slow. I've never tried using a chimney that wasn't full, i.e. just a few pieces and placed on the center of your lump. I don't know if that would work.[p]Good luck
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Tom E.,
    for a lo and slo, i use one starter or a couple small chunks i've chunked off a starter log. it's all the same stuff. paraffin and sawdust.[p]i light in the middle. sometimes, if i get the feeling my fire might give me trouble, i'll light three small spots on top. first burns down, too.[p]no need for a platesetter. build a raised grid from three 6" stainless bolts with washers for feet and a sapre 18" weber grid. under that goes the mass (water pan or bricks).
    on top goes the pork. easier still is the vee rack. it'll help you pick up the meat when it's done, because it WILL be falling apart

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • EddieMacEddieMac Posts: 423
    Wow! That was a complicated (and unfortunate) series of events to cook perhpas the easiest of the Low-n-Slows meats....the good ol' Boston Butt....I know the platesetter is darned expensive...but it really is a necessary piece of equipment...So the $35 or $40 or whatever they cost is well worth it...[p]Sounds like you had a decent fire going...It's no problem to cook a Butt between 250 and 275 and 300 ain't gonna kill a butt either....So...Don't think that 250 is the end-all rule where a Boston Butt is concerned.....250 - 275 is ideal really....As for the chips / chunks...I put a big ol' chunk right where I stared the fire...the "hot spot" if you will...and get all the smoke I could ever want...[p]Do yourself a BIG favor...Read the and WessB's...and learn all you can there...and then I'd get a Dr. BBQ's Bigtime Championship BBQ Book...and read that cover to cover...They've compiled GREAT information and it's all at your fingertips....[p]And some of the best BBQ minds on earth are right here to help...But make the effort to read those fantastic websites and the Doc's cookbook and you'll be a BBQ SuperStar your next time out....[p]Ed McLean....eddiemac
    Ft. Pierce, FL

  • stike,[p]Slightly off-topic, but haven't you in the past remarked that you make starter chunks from so-called "fireplace logs"? Just curious (and if the preceding statement is correct), what have you found to be the best way to cut up one of those logs? Any tricks involved?[p]Thanks. (I'm not against spending money if there's a pay-off, but I do hate wasting it.)

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Texas Geezer,
    don't use premium (duraflame) logs or anything with 'colored' flames. those are just salts, borax, etc, giving the color, but they are a waste of money. [p]i haven't tried a true "starter log", which they have to use with real logs. i think it actually might burn faster and cleaner, and will buy one next time.[p]usually, though, i just grab one two-dollar bargain basement el chepo fire log. leave it out in the sun. unwrap it, and stab it apart with a flathead screw driver. i got two one-gallon ziplocs filled with the stuff, and they have great rough edges. we cook often, and one lasted about 9 months i think.[p]give them plenty of air, or they smolder.[p]they'll burn off by the time you want to cook. and if you want a high temp sear, toss in four or five. they are cheap enough

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stike, thanks. I have about 3 of those el cheapo logs on hand, and think I'll give one a try seeing as how my electric starter seems to be on its last legs.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Texas Geezer,
    if it's warm from the sun, you can tear it to bits in a few minutes

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • egginatoregginator Posts: 569
    Tom E,[p]While you're reading the naked whiz site, take a look at his section on fire bricks. They cost $1 each at any stone/brick dealer. [p]Ed
  • Close the lid on Mr. Egg, open the bottom vent all the way and open Miss Daisy all the way. Let's stop here and explain why I have done it this way. The smoke will flavor the meat before the heat sears the meat and seals in the flavor. Since the fire is small, and Mr. Egg cool, we will get maximum smoke for a long time if the top vent is kept narrow (for those using slide metal vents).

    This is off the Naked Whiz site. Am I missing something? Open the vent AND the wheel all the way? When do you close the wheel? the vent? I feel like I'm not getting something.
  • stike,[p]
    don't starter logs ala duraflame have nasty chemicals in them that you would want to avoid putting in your egg?[p]-Tom E.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Tom E.,

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • 1. Indirect means that the heat is directed around the meat and not directly into it. By having the meat on a iron plate or skillet you have just pan fried your pork butt.
    2. Pork butt will start to break down and fall apart around 195-200 degrees. Even though the temp that Julia Child may say that pork is done is 160-170, it is not! At that temp, it is done in a sence that it is safe to eat but the butt has not started its break down by that point in the game
    3. Light your fire from the top in one or two small places. If the temp does not climb high enough in a hour then make a small ajustment to the vents. Small!! Also realize that when you add the meat to the cooker the temp will drop some. Don't be too over anxious to make an adjustment. Remember that this type of cook is an "over nighter".
    4. Jump back on the horse and try again! Learning what the egg can do and how to do it is most of the fun! The rest of the fun is eating your results!

    Good luck and keep on eggin!
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