Bidenflation Pork Barbeque

Times are tough and quickly getting tougher. Barbeque originated as tough times food that added tremendous value to less desirable/underutilized “end cuts” such as pork shoulder and (at one time) beef brisket. This post is intended to help de-commercialize home smoke-cooked pulled-pork production; by avoiding high priced trendy equipment, gadgets and spice rubs. I waited patiently for a local supermarket to once again offer minimally processed (lightly pumped with salt & water), pork shoulder butts for 99 cents per pound, and this week it happened. The non-meat ingredients used were water, salt (at half the recommended rate), black pepper, sodium phosphate and hardwood smoke. Six large fibrous casing, costing a dollar and change a piece, were also used. Smoke-cooking consisted of a well used drum smoker, a small amount of regular charcoal briquettes and home harvested hardwood (hard maple) chunks. After raw materials, cooking shrinkage, utility usage and other supplies, the premium pulled-pork that we put into freezer stockpile ran us right around $2.25 a pound in out of pocket costs.

Just over 57 pounds of leaned-up pork shoulder butt cubes. After bone, fat and other objectionable material removal, the cost per pound of usable lean pork figured out to be $1.20 per pound.

No value was assigned to these good quality fat trimmings, but they were ground once through a fine plate to mix in with the lean pork cubes. Ground pork fat bastes the lean pork as it cooks.

Ground fat and non-meat ingredients were mixed in with the meat. 2 one gallon plastic bags of ice were placed on top of the meat mix and the closed cooler was wrapped in a sleeping bag to hold well overnight.

Soak large fibrous casings in warm water for 1/2 hour prior to stuffing them.

The meat was remixed the next morning than hand stuffed into large fibrous casings. I used cotton butcher’s twine to tie chub ends. Only 3 of the six total chubs are shown here because I conducted 2 separate cook runs.

Hot smoke-cooking start up; just prior to putting the cooker shroud in place for 6 hours. Partially lit briquettes are under the chunks of hardwood.

Closed cooker. Water was added down the fill pipe ever couple hours. Partially lit briquettes were added down the fuel/flue pipe after 3 hours and again after 2 more hours.

Chubs were removed from the smoke-cooker after 6 hours.

Soot was rinsed off the casings.

Casings striped off chubs. Internal temp of chubs averaged between 160 and 170F at this point.

Pan was tightly covered and immediately placed in a 300F oven.

Internal chub temperatures averaged between 190 and 200F after two hours in the oven. At that point the meat was done and pulling apart was started.

Hand pulled pork from the first 3 chubs.

Double wrapped pulled-pork in the freezer. We got 36 tightly stuffed sandwich size bags of pulled pork. This delicious precooked item maintains high quality well in 0F freezer storage.

Further: When retail trimmed butts are as inexpensive as they are this week, and I sell 6 pound Goetta bricks at $5 per pound, I could net $135 on a 36 pound batch. However, it does require a couple – three hours of combined labor.

Good luck making it through these hard times. I have plenty of good deer eating practices that I’ll teach if need be.