Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tiger Butt

A few weeks ago us Tech fans got our wish and we finally had a game kickoff later than 12:30pm against the Clemson Tigers coming in at #5 in the country.  For this momentous occasion I decided to cook a pork butt for the 12 hour tailgate (8am-8pm game time).  I had recently purchased a two-pack-o-butts from Sam's and froze it.  I pulled it out a few days in advance to defrost. I planned to cook the butt overnight on Friday and finish it in a cooler on the way to the tailgate Saturday morning.

I rubbed the butt generously with DP Swamp Venom (I was looking for a bit of bite with the bark of this butt) and wrapped it tightly and placed it back in the fridge overnight until it was time to cook.

After a rub-n-sit, this bad boy is ready for some heat.

I set the egg up for indirect and preheated it to 225º until it was stable.  I added hickory wood chucks and Jack Daniels barrel chips for smoke.  I monitored the grate temperature and butt temperature using my remote thermometer.  I let the butt cook through the evening with plans of taking it off at about 5am to wrap it and finish it by 8am.  However, I awoke at 2:30am to the alarm on my remote thermometer showing that the grill temp had dropped below 175º.  I went outside and noticed the outside temp had dropped into the 30s and opened the vents to heat the grill up and went back to sleep until 5am.  I again awoke and notice the grill was still hovering around 180º with an internal temp around 145º and decided that desperate times called for desperate measures and if this thing was to get done before noon I needed to finish it in the oven.  I preheated the oven to 300 and gave the egg one last chance to heat up. I left the lid open for a few minutes to try and get the coals going but to no avail.  I wrapped the butt in foil and finished it in the over for about 3.5 hours until the internal temp reached 195º.

Just getting going.

Chuggin away.

Despite my troubles the butt was very good.  It lasted all of 10 minutes and I wished I would have made the second one.  I came up with several excuses for why the egg would not increase in temperature and plan to avoid these in the future.  The sudden decrease in outside temperature probably initially reduced the egg temp and since only a few coals were lit at a low temp it would take forever for the other coals to catch.  In the future I will start a little higher in temp for overnight cooks during witch the outside temperature is expected to drop.  I also was using the end of a bag of Royal Oak Charcoal that had gotten damp. I thought I could power through with this but with 3 more bags in the shed I should have just opened a new bag.  I am planning a butt cook for the Titans/Falcons game this Sunday and will have a shot at redemption. Stay tuned.

The tailgate spread with the butt in the foreground getting devoured.
I need to get better about taking pictures of the pork after it has been pulled.

Storming the field after Tech won later that night.