All In a Day’s Smoke: BBQ For a Little Girl
So I was assigned the prestigious and heady duties of procuring pulled pork for our daughter’s first birthday party. Even tho she can hardly manage a cheerio, I accepted the duties in full. I briefly scanned the weather charts and learned of the veritable monsoons that would impact our fair hamlet, naturally and precisely when I needed to smoke said pork shoulder. Now the reasonable minded cook would probably defer to his or her crock pot, I’m sure, or oven, but being I have a rep around here as a hardened pit jockey, I pretty much have to cook outside. No matter what.
The big day started fairly early, as most pork butts do, loading the fire bowl of the 22″ Weber Smokey Mountain with 20 pounds of charcoal. Yes, the entire bag. It’s a rather big cooker people, reminiscent of a Chevy Suburban and it’s awe inspiring 40 gallon gas tank. I suppose I could have dialed down the fuel costs on this smoke, but I didn’t feel like messing around. You know how it goes. It’s my baby’s birthday!
Anyways, the pork shoulder was seasoned the night before in the old stand-by, Miners Mix Memphis Rub, and dusted over yet again the next morning before plunking it on the smoker. The more time the pork has to marry with the spice rub, the better. The meat went on at 8 am, as I settled the giant porcelain enameled lid on to the smoker and surveyed the sky. It was gray over cast, with a minimal wind. Smoke curling straight up. I kept in mind the weather app on my phone is only wrong half the time. And the other half it just seems confused. We can do this!
By 9 am the first sprinkles dappled over the pond and the camouflage tarp I had strung up, just in case. It was lovely in it’s own way. A symphony of rain drops pattering like Beethoven in the key of nylon. I did the most proper thing I could think of, and simply sat in my BBQ chair and listened to the rain for a while, the sounds of pork sizzling in the pit, and watched the apple wood smoke pillar into the humid air.
By 10 am the rains fell considerably, like bed pans and hammer handles, pounding the pond side pit with gallons upon gallons of sky-born water. I dashed for the good cover of the house, and found sanctum on the couch with Netflix, and a lovely beverage there. Standard operating procedure for a hardened pit master.
By 11 am the rains came sideways as the fury of the tempest lashed like a thousand vipers outside my sliding patio door. To it’s credit, likewise to the engineers of Weber, the Smokey Mountain some how puffed contentedly away despite the Midwestern waterworks. Whilst the good critters of the world hunkered in their caves and holes, the rain continued to fiercely pound the land, and the wind bellowed from the north like Joshua’s trumpets. I could just make out my temperature gauge through the rain-cloaked window pane. The WSM was holding 250 degrees. Lo, this is how we BBQ!
By 1 pm the rain let up a trifle, good enough anyways that I could get the beans on the pit too, thus to lap up a bit of that good apple wood smoke there. They were your basic beans tightened up a bit with some ground beef, molasses, and some BBQ sauce. I was pleased also to see the butt, previously divided in half, had already developed a nice bark on it. A rough likeness suitable for a stand-in model of a good meteorite or something. But that’s how bark ought to be. It should raise the eyebrow of the uninitiated, and twist the grin of the seasoned pit maestro.
Around 2 pm the sun fairly exploded from behind curtains of gray, and the skies split into blue pastures, where song birds darted on the wing. Nice of it to wait until after I was done cooking, but that’s how it is sometimes at the pit. Mother nature gives us the finger. We adapt. And BBQ is accomplished never-the-less.
Around 3 pm all the guests arrived and sunk their chompers into this, a most succulent and well-deserved meat opus! Son-of-a-bacon-maker! Then they all celebrated one year of successful planetary living with our little girl: gathered around, watching her smile, opening gifts, crawling through multi-colored wrapping paper, and laughing like only one year old’s can for the benefit of our cameras, all the while unbeknownst of the previously mentioned rainy day smoking trials, patron to the pit. And after thinking about it for a bit, isn’t that precisely how it ought to be. Amen.
I must try smoking and of course do it with Miners Mix.
Those are some gorgeous lookin’ chunk-o-porkbutt there PotP!
Oh and another birthday wish to your little girl.
July 21, 2018 at 11:16 am
Aw, thank ya kindly Auntiedoni. She accepts your birthday wishes! Yeah, it’s hard to go wrong with pulled pork. A forgiving chunk of meat, and when you couple it with some Miners Mix, well, victory will soon be yours.
July 21, 2018 at 11:56 am
Looks amazing!!! Our good wishes to the birthday girl.
July 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm
Thanks guys. She accepts your good wishes and thanks you for the miners mix indirectly delivered to her via breast milk!
July 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm
Merry birthday to your wee one. Congratulations on your first year of fatherhood. Cheers!
July 21, 2018 at 4:58 pm
July 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm
What a fitting tribute for such an honorable occasion! Can it be a year already? Not possible. Happy, happy birthday little Patron of the Pit.
July 21, 2018 at 7:51 pm
Thank you Mrs Deerslayer. Good to see you! Yeah the time sure seems to dash on by doesn’t it? Which sure don’t seem the case on those midnight feedings, yet a year has some how transpired. That’s life I guess!
July 22, 2018 at 9:28 am
Amen indeed my BBQ brother …
July 21, 2018 at 8:03 pm
July 22, 2018 at 9:29 am
Reminds me of rib contest my son and I were cooking a few years back. Tornado sirens sounded, emergency alerts went off on my phone, people running for cover. My son asks “What are we going to do?” I simply replied “Finish these ribs.”
Happy cooking brother.
July 28, 2018 at 4:56 pm
July 28, 2018 at 4:56 pm
Nice! Lovely Story Mr Dodd, and sentiment, of how the BBQ show must go on! A good cooker will cook in some pretty horrendous stuff, given a good bed of coals. Question is, will the pit keeper?
Take care my friend.
July 31, 2018 at 3:37 pm
I cannot believe she is a year old already!?!?! Happy Birthday little one!
July 30, 2018 at 10:22 am
Thank you kindly, Mrs Debbie. I can’t believe it either. I guess that’s how it goes tho. Time flies.
Hey to David!
July 31, 2018 at 3:34 pm