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Breaking in the Weber: Chicken Kabobs and Pulled Pork

When our cheap ass gasser broke I decided to go back to my roots and get a Weber kettle. It Our SNS arrived today just prior to the time to start the Kingsford. Thanks to the authors of pitmaster.amazingribs.com and for providing the Amazon links. This cook was a little unorganized as I was trying to do too many things at once (like put together a new patio table for my bride). Dinner was chicken kabobs. Boneless, skinless, free range chicken breasts are what my wife brought home. No time to brine, my preferred method for chicken breasts, so I went out to the garden and picked some lemon thyme, cilantro, and rosemary and threw them in the mortar, added some fresh squeezed lemon juice, EVO from an Arizona Monastery we had visited in the spring, and freshly ground pepper. Hit it all with a pestle then put it into a ziplock bag with the chicken and into the fridge for thirty minutes. Added some mesquite chips just prior to putting the chicken on ( picking up wood chunks today). Chicken went on the grill first and after 25 minutes added the kabob rack over the chicken with only the corn on it. Last to go on the rack was the veg. Cook was about 340 according to the Weber lid thermometer ( I know I know, my new maverick arrives Monday). While the chicken was cooking I trimmed and portioned two 7 pound butts and added the fat slab to the grill as a burnt offering (my wife: what smells so good?) the timing was good as the chips did not last long as you might have guessed. Things I learned, experimentation is a must and it can occur as you cook. I meant to mark the 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and full vent openings with a sharpie prior to cooking. That was critical as I both let the temp drop too low, 200 and too high, 500 for a few minutes each. I was very impressed with the sped in which you can change temperatures with the bottom vent. I did leave the top vent open 1/2 way for the duration of the cook, thanks to the advice of the fine pit masters. 
Sunday morning the butts will come out of the fridge and go on the Weber for an 8 hour love fest with smoke, really stoked about that. Thanks to all the pit master club members who help make us better providers of deliciousness for our friends and families. Keep scrolling down past the pictures for our first real low and slow cooked pulled pork.


 

Sunday, May 1, 2016 Pulled Pork

Started late, meat went on at 8:30ish. I followed the Perfect Pulled Pork recipe and the instructions from ABC Barbecue for the low and slow 225 degree cook on the SNS. It was 70 degrees outside but fluctuated up and down as the rain came and went. I moved the grill under the porch canopy for the day before it started to rain.

Friday night I halved two 7.5 pound butts. The first I cut along the bone giving me one bone in and one bone out butt, both with a narrower end on one side. The other I halved at the end of the bone giving me to uniform pieces and again one bone in and one bone out. I salted them all with pink Himalayan salt and sea salt through the grinder. They went into the fridge from there. 36 hours later, after the grill was started (giving me 15 minutes to prep the butts) the butts came out and were rinsed and patted dry. I made a paste of olive oil, dried sage, fresh oregano, cayenne pepper powder, minced garlic, bay leaves and my go to for everything, masala. The amounts were as follows:

Pulled Pork Rub/Paste #1

1/4 cup EVO

2 Tablespoons Sage

A bunch (a handful) of fresh oregano minced

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon Masala (this stuff is potent go easy until you get used to it)

1.5 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced bay leaves

The ingredients went into a mortar and got worked over by the pestle. Then it was on to the meat and then the grill being ready, I added the rest of the briquettes, wood, and water, and set the grill grate on. Next went the meat and the thermometers, then the cover went on the grill with a vow not to peak for at least six hours.

 

3:52 into the cook we are holding steady at 232 degrees BBQ. Meat temperature is 154.

4:10 into the cook we are at 225 and 156 respectively.

5:10 198 & 154

Added 10 charcoal and some wood of course temp plunged to 178 so I adjusted vents until it came to desired range and closed the vents to prescribed positions 

5:30 214 & 154

6:41 214 & 162

7:34 255 & 163

7:49 250 & 165

At about 8:30 temperature started dropping hard had to add 3/4 chimney of brqquetes and 4 wood chunks

9:00 back at 221 & 171

10:30 finished a tad high at 318 but dead on at 195 on the meat

Pulled the meat off the grill and through on some asparagus, onions, acorn squash, & butternut squash. The asparagus & onions came off when I finished pulling the pork. The squash is for tomorrow and will be on the grill for about an hour tonight.


So lets sum it all up.

Time: 10hrs 30 minutes. Target temp: 225 Actual temp: 178-318 Meat temp: 195

Ambient temperature and weather: 62-77 degrees raining changing to sun at 4pm

Fuel: Weber 17005 Apple Wood Chunks and Kingsford charcoal. 

Sauce ingredients:

3 cups vinegar

1 TBS minced garlic

1 TSP dried basil

2 TSP Worchestshire

2 TBS Pink Himalayan Salt

1 1/3 TBS cracked red pepper

2 TBS Hungarian Paprika

1 TSP fresh ground pepper

 Lessons learned: 4 butts is too much unless you want to plan 12 hours of work. Know your vent positions, your fuel, and thank goodness for the ET-732 and SNS! The Pit rocks! Check it out you will not be sorry.