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The Pork Butt Smokes at Midnight

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Well, it smokes at one a.m., anyway.

Yep,  it’s the middle of the night, and I’ve just put a 9+ pound pork butt in the smoker.  It should be done around twelve hours from now.  Lunchtime tomorrow.  Or, actually, lunchtime much later today.

My husband thinks I’m nuts.

I probably am.

See, he and a friend are brewing a batch of beer tomorrow.  The friend is bringing two of his three kids along as well – they’re the same ages as Alex and Julia, pretty much, and so it’s a play date for all ages.

Brew day has become, over the years, an occasion for a Really Good Lunch.  Sometimes I’ll cook it, sometimes Bill will, or sometimes it’ll be a group effort.  It very often involves grilling something or smoking something. 

And so, with that in mind, I suggested that we thaw the pork butt in the downstairs freezer and have that for lunch.  And even after doing the math – lunchtime minus smoking time equals middle of the night time – I remained enthusiastic. 

I volunteered to babysit the pork butt through the night.  Bill tried to talk me out of it, but the more I thought about it, the more fun it sounded.

I know – if this is fun, I need to get out more.

Anyway, things got underway around noonish earlier today…well, no, it was really yesterday, technically.

I made the rub:

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I used one of the dry rub recipes in the Weber Big Book of Grilling as a launching pad and improvised as I went along. 

Here it is:

2 tablespoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon each:  granulated onion, granulated garlic, coriander, cumin, jerk rub, and sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon each (roughly) ground black pepper, hot paprika, and cinnamon

I rubbed this mixture all over the pork butt, put that in a bowl, covered it, and put it back in the fridge.

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That was it for the time being.

Tick…tick…tick…tick

11:00 pm.  I took the butt out of the fridge to let it start coming to room temperature. 

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I mixed apple juice and water and salt and sugar and set them aside.

I also put milk and water and yeast in the bowl of my stand mixer. 

12:15 am.  I couldn’t wait any longer, so I went outside and started the coals.

Then when I came inside I started injecting the apple juice mixture into the pork.

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After that, I went outside to check on the coals.  While I was walking through the cool, misty back yard, I was attacked from behind!  Without thinking, I bashed the attacker in the head with my flashlight, tied him up with the clothesline, and gave him to our lizard as a snack.  She didn’t like the clothing.  Synthetic fibers – ick!

Anyway, that didn’t really happen, but I thought you might find it entertaining.

The coals weren’t quite ready, but they certainly looked pretty, like fireworks:

 

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About ten minutes later, the yeast had proofed…

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and the coals were ready. 

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And pretty.

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So, on went the pork.  Fat side up.

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Time to get going on the bread. 

Stay tuned…

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