One of our dear friends has become quiet adept at the art of southern BBQ, but despite our wishes, he doesn't have the time to smoke a slab of meat every time we get a hankering. As a result, I decided it was high time that I tried my own hand at smoking meat.
All of the following recipes came from an acquaintance of my hubby. The native Texan is a stock trader by day and a BBQ enthusiast by night. I had to make some slight modifications since I don't have a smoker. To my delight, my Weber Charcoal Grill worked like a charm.
To make the Texas-Style Pork Shoulder or Beef Brisket, you need to start with a rub. After scoring the fat side of the meat, the rub should be liberally applied and massaged into all sides of the meat prior to cooking.
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons chili powder
4 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
4 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons cayenne
4 teaspoons dry mustard
4 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine the ingredients, making sure it is well mixed. Extra rub can be stored in an air-tight container.
Once the rub has been applied, wrap the meat in aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator overnight. First thing in the morning, place the still wrapped meat on a baking sheet and cook it in a 275 degree oven for 4-6 hours, depending on the size (a monstrous 12+ pound hunk of meat will need a total of 12 hours cooking time).
|The pork shoulder, in two pieces, after it was pulled off the grill.|
When you have only 30 minutes left of cooking time, you will want to prepare your grill or smoker. I am going to tell you how to set-up a charcoal grill since that is what I used.
Simply, light a small amount of charcoal, approximately 20-30 briquettes, and allow it to burn until it is nice and white. Spread the charcoal in a single layer on one side of the bottom rack of the grill. Fill a smoker box with wood chips (I used hickory, but you could use apple wood, mesquite or whatever you have on hand) and place on top of the hot coals.
|A mountain of pulled pork.|
After the 4-6 hours have passed, remove the meat from from the oven and it's foil wrapping, and place it on the grill. Make sure you lay the meat on the side opposite of the fire. You want the meat to cook slowly over indirect heat. Place the lid on the grill, close the top vents and allow the meat to cook for an additional 4-6 hours, keeping in mind that you may need to add some additional charcoal or wood chips about midway through the cooking time.
Once the meat is done, remove it from the grill or smoker and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing the brisket or pulling the pork. We decided to try a traditional Texas-Style BBQ sauce with our meat. The recipe was easy to make and the perfect accompaniment to the tender smoked meats. It will definitely be a staple here at our house.
Texas-Style BBQ Sauce
16 oz tomato sauce
1 cup vinegar (cider or white)
1/2 cup molasses
3 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of BBQ sauce. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.