Now Playing: It begins...
Today's the big day; I'm going to slow-cook me some North Carolina-style pulled pork. After poring over 102 pages of research culled from a variety of Internet sources, I'm ready for my first real attempt at the art of replicating this soul-of-southern-cooking specialty.
At 6 a.m. I rubbed a 9.75 lb. picnic shoulder with approx. equal parts coarse sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper, sweet sticky paprika from Penzey's Spices and dark brown sugar.
I won't be able to start it smoking until after I drop off the kids at camp, so if I can get it on the Weber by 9:30 or so I could conceivably be at it until about 1 a.m. when it gets to the magical internal temp of 190-200 essential for pulling.
Keeping the temp inside the Weber hovering around 225-250 degrees will be the tricky part. I'll be hoping I don't get a citation for stinking up the neighborhood with hickory and apple smoke!
Will keep you posted as the process progresses.
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The pork has been on the Weber for about half an hour, and at first the temperature was too high, well over 300, but now it is 230, which is perfect.
It's starting to smell mighty good and that's just the apple chips and hickory chunks; the swine isn't even melting yet. Now the challenge is to keep the temp from going too low, with a combination of continually adjusting the top vents and throwing on more coal and wood, while simultaneously writing an article about the food of Sicily for Global Writes!
I considered using all wood lumps instead of charcoal briquettes, but they tend to run hot and burn fast and I figured this would give more control over the cooking speed, which needs to be sloooooow.
I am terribly slow at everything I do--cooking, cleaning, writing, etc.--so to do something where lack of speed is a virtue is a rare treat!
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Cruising along now, looking yummy already although it may not be done for another 12 hours or so!! It has been at a nice steady 225 for a couple hours now, even without adding any coals. It's time to stop throwing in wood chips--it should be as smoky as it's going to get.