This is my first BBQ post – and I am no expert at the BBQ but just like my philosophy on training dogs I continue to practice, have patience, persist and most importantly have fun.
I am one of the few who does not own a kettle BBQ but I do have a pretty good hooded grill and the big green egg, which someone saw a picture of and wondered why I had a small space-ship in the back yard. It’s taken me about a year to master the egg (if master is the correct word) and my slow BBQ is coming on with I would say some pretty edible results.
I had a rolled shoulder on Grand Final Day, which I rubbed with oil and some sweet Texas rub and kept in the fridge overnight. And then I received the latest newsletter from amazingribs.com.
There was a really interesting article about what is known as the “stall”. I never knew there was a term for it but it was something I had experienced with slow cooking – i.e. the meat temperature rises and then suddenly stops rising and I go into a panic. I am no meat scientist so I won’t go into detail but basically what happens is that as the internal temperature of the meat rises, the evaporation rate increases, which then cools the meat (like when you sweat to cool down) and the temperature stops rising or may even go down.
The method described to overcome this is what is known as the Texas Crutch where the meat is wrapped in foil with a bit of liquid (apple juice or beer are good). This prevents the evaporative cooling and retains the juiciness of the meat.
So I followed the advice and when the pork got to about 65 C I wrapped it in foil with a bit of apple cider and let her steam away until the temperature got up to about 90 C – I was using it for pulled pork and not carving.
I must say, the result was probably the juiciest I have had and the smoke flavour was there from the initial cooking. So, if you haven’t done this before, give it a go.
I note that Meathead who puts together the amazing ribs site doesn’t use the Texas Crutch for rolled shoulder due to the small return but I still gave it a go and the result was as you can see in the picture. The pork maybe didn’t pull as easily as it had in the past but I put that down to the cut and size rather than the cooking method.
Heading off to America next week where I will be tasting the pulled pork from the pitmasters (among many other things) so keep in touch as I plan to write a few posts.