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The Pork Butt Smokes at Midnight


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:


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.



That was it for the time being.


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


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.


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:



About ten minutes later, the yeast had proofed…


and the coals were ready. 


And pretty.


So, on went the pork.  Fat side up.


Time to get going on the bread. 

Stay tuned…

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