Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Dry rub mixtures are the perfect way to prepare dishes for the long cooking process of slow smoking.  They lend a deep savory flavor to smoked meats and as they are usually cooked over indirect heat, burning or scorching is not a problem. Dry rub mixtures can be made out of almost any ground spice or herb combinations. One of the BBQ lovin’ Southern favorite cuts of pork is Boston Butt. Boston Butt is generally the choice for the ever present pulled pork sandwiches so beloved in the south.  To begin with, the name “Boston Butt” is more of an historical description than an anatomical one.  The cut itself is the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg.  It may also contain the blade bone. Before the American Revolution a great many pork products were processed in the city of Boston.  They were then packed into barrels for shipment known as “butts” and two hundred years later we still use the term “Boston Butt” to describe this flavorful piece of pork.

Step 1:  Hand rub with preferred dry rub
Step One.
Always carefully rinse the foods to be cooked and completely dry each piece. Do
this ahead of time and place the items uncovered into the refrigerator for at least an hour before you add the dry rub. Remove meat from the refrigerator and hand rub each piece with a small amount of Avanti Savoia All-Purpose Cooking Olive Oil and a generous application of dry rub. Use as much dry rub as will stick (about 1/3 cup for a 4 or 5 lb. Boston Butt pork roast.  My preferred method is to rub in some of the seasoning with my hands and then sprinkle on some more.

Heart O’ Texas Dry Rub
  • 2 Tablespoons ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated Garlic or powder (not garlic salt)
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon (crushed) Juniper Berries
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Salish (Alder wood) Smoked Salt

Step 2:  Prepare you coal then add your choice of wood

The Fire
This depends entirely upon what equipment and system you are using, but the best smoking is always done over indirect heat. This can even be done on a very simple kettle type charcoal grill by simply arranging the charcoal in a ring around the edge of the grill. Like a doughnut with no charcoal in the middle over which the meat or whatever will cook. Amounts of charcoal will vary according to the size or amount of items to be smoked.  Do not scrimp on the charcoal because you do not want the fire to go out before you have finished the smoking process, a little experience will help you to make the right call. Light your fire according to your custom (lighter fluid or however) and allow it ignite to a full glow. Make sure the meat rack is clean and hot before you begin cooking.  Nothing ruins grilled or smoke meats for me quite as much as the burnt bitter flavor from a less than clean grilling rack.

Wood Chips for Smoking.
Packages of Hickory or Mesquite chips/chunks are available wherever grilling supplies are sold. Good enough, but there are many other choices that may be available out of your own backyard or at least your own area.  Almost any wood from fruit tree pruning will work well, instilling its own subtle character and flavor.  We have had great luck with wood chips from apple, pear, peach, plum, nectarine as well as terrific results from wild cherry trees that grow abundantly in our locale.  Wood from nut trees is really nice too, especially walnut and pecan.  I find that pieces of wood about 3 or 4 times the size of my thumb work best. Sometimes I soak them in water first and sometimes I use them dry, both methods work just fine but, I think I prefer using the chips dry. I find however that a water pan under the meat rack is very important in producing a nice moist meat. You can also use many different kinds of liquid in the “water” pan besides water (wine, beer, mint tea, soda pop that has gone flat, left over brine from pickle jars adds nice flavor too). The wood chips or pieces are added after all the coals are glowing and just before adding the meat.

Smoking and Serving
Step 3:  Fill the "water" pan with your choice of liquid
Remove the meat rack from smoker and spray the rack first with a cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place a big handful of wood pieces on top of the charcoal and pour your liquid of choice into the water pan.  Return oil sprayed rack to smoker and place the prepared and seasoned meat in the middle of the meat rack. Cover with the lid to the grill and let ‘er rip. You can adjust the amount of heat and smoke by leaving space between the lid and grill. Turn the Boston Butt about once every hour.  If you have a functioning thermometer on your smoker; bring to 250F to 300F degrees.  At this temp it will take your roast about 1 hour per pound.  Internal temperature of the roast should read 160F.  When cooked to desired doneness remove from smoker and wrap in foil until ready to “pull” or in my preferred method; slice.  Yes slice, after the meat has had time to rest for at least 15 minutes, I thinly slice the roast and serve it with Pop Lowery’s Texas Lemon BBQ Sauce ON THE SIDE.  The truth is that I’m not particularly fond of pulled pork.  Often I find that it is stringy, overcooked and swimming in a sauce that is either too sweet or contains too much vinegar.  So what I’ve really done here is adapt the Boston Butt to the technique used in Texas to smoke and serve beef brisket.
Step 4:  Let the smoking begin!

Pop Lowery’s Texas Lemon Barbecue Sauce
Yield: About 4 Cups   
  • Grated and finely chopped peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons of yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 12 ounce bottle of Chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated Garlic or powder (not garlic salt)
  • ½ tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sel Gris Sea Salt
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Cooking Olive Oil
1.    Mix all ingredients together and simmer about 20 minutes over low heat.  Stir often to prevent sticking.

Lookin Good!

Father’s Day Menu 2012

Step 5:  Quickly get inside before your neighbors know it's ready!
Father’s Day and cranking up the old grill to celebrate the occasion seems like a sure bet.  Most dads love cooking on their grills and so do we.  For this year’s feast we recommend something a little different.  Try dry rubbing and slow smoking a Boston Butt Roast – slice the meat instead of the more familiar “pulling” and wait for the compliments.   Start your dinner with an Italian/Southern fusion – Grilled Melon and Country Ham and add a little touch of Italy with Don Vito’s Pasta Salad with Oranges and Coffee Baked Beans.  Finish up this eclectic meal with our Jolly Blue Giant Blueberry Pie while local blueberries are in season.  Sweet tea and cold beer would be the Southern beverages of choice however; a dry Rose will please wine loving dads as well.

Smoked Boston Butt (above)
Jolly Blue Giant Blueberry Pie (below)

Jolly Blue Giant Blueberry Pie
This two crust pie will require the dough recipe to be doubled.
Pie Crust Dough
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 4-5 Tablespoons ice water
  1. Combine flour and butter in food processor and mix for short time.  Add shortening and blend again.
  2. With the food processor running add ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Remove from machine, cover and let rest in the refrigerator until ready to roll out and fill.
Blueberry Filling
  • 6 heaping cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar (depends on sweetness of berries)
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon*
  • ½ teaspoon Silver Cloud Vanilla Bean Paste*
  • 2 teaspoon Silver Cloud Blueberry, Natural Flavor*
  • 1/2 of a 9 ounce jar of Lowcountry Produce Blueberry Preserves*

  1. Combine blueberries, sugar cornstarch, flour, salt and cinnamon in a large saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often and gently.  Remove from heat; fold in Vanilla, Blueberry flavor and preserves.  Allow to cool.
  2. When filling has cooled; roll out bottom crust, fit into pie pan and add filling.
  3. Roll out top crust and top pie carefully sealing edges or form a lattice top.  Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a little more sugar if desired.
  4. Place pie into a 425 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow the pie to set a little while before serving.