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-   -   Second attempt at traditional North Carolina pit firing (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=137372)

stepandfetch 07-01-2012 12:08 AM

Second attempt at traditional North Carolina pit firing
 
6 Attachment(s)
So I bought a 9 pound pork shoulder at one of the few butcher shops around here yesterday. I used a rub mainly consisting of paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and no sugar (to avoid bitter bark.) I rubbed the rub in at about 5:00 AM and it took about two hours for the pit to heat up. I used about 90% Shagbark Hickory that I split about 6 months ago. The wood has been seasoned for about a year. The other 10% was mostly red oak. The shoulder went on at 6:45, and it came off after about 8.5 hours. I kept the temperatures bobbing around the 210-220 mark, and often let it fall below 200, just to increase the amount of smokiness in the meat. I used a Lexington-style finishing sauce, which was mostly pepper flakes, brown sugar, a little ketchup, and a lot of cider vinegar. Anyway, the meat was terrific- not too smoky, very juicy, and far more flavorful than my first attempt.
I do not pull pork... in North Carolina, we beat the tar out of our barbecue with a cleaver, and I much prefer the coarse chop over "pulled pork." Not to say that one is better than the other, its just what I prefer.

:blah:

oh yea, one more thing- thanks for the help Bludog! I will use that rub again for sure.

Without further ado, here are the pictures:

gtr 07-01-2012 12:12 AM

Well I'd hit that! I've been wanting to do a brick or cinderblock pit.

Are you burning down to coals and shoveling into the cooker or are you feeding logs directly into the cooker?

stepandfetch 07-01-2012 12:18 AM

You ought to try it! The cinderblocks cost about 45 bucks, the expanded metal and wood were both free! I used play sand for foundation and to keep the heat in by dumping it in the blocks.

One warning- use a level and make sure the first row is as perfectly level as possible. If it isn't you will certainly notice later on. If I did this all over again, I would also probably use gravel rather than sand for the foundation.

I used that shovel to move fresh coals from the fire to the pit. Its a pain when it is so hot outside but its more than worth it. When the logs burn down, many impurities burn off in puffs of white smoke, leaving coals that only produce thin blue smoke (or no smoke at all.)

Oh and if you can't tell, we ate the que with baked beans, corn bread, and watermelon. What is in the metal dish was my serving.

gtr 07-01-2012 12:32 AM

Oh - just noticed the pic of the burndown pit - I should have known! :doh:

There's a space in our yard where my sons have a fort. I've got my eye on that spot for when they get too old for it. I'm sure my lovely wife has her eye on it too. It'll be an interesting conversation when the time comes.

martyleach 07-01-2012 12:38 AM

Way cool! Cooking in a pit is fun and produces some great food. I cooked a suckling pig in mine and had a great time doing it. Keep at it.

stepandfetch 07-01-2012 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gtr (Post 2116417)
Oh - just noticed the pic of the burndown pit - I should have known! :doh:

There's a space in our yard where my sons have a fort. I've got my eye on that spot for when they get too old for it. I'm sure my lovely wife has her eye on it too. It'll be an interesting conversation when the time comes.

haha yea enjoy that. I wanted to build this pit right next to the house, so I wouldn't have to walk far at night to re-fire the pit every 45 minutes, yet after many "negotiations" here it sits at the farthest corner of the property, next to the woods, yellowjackets, copperheads, etc.

That reminds me- with this traditional technique, you must add a shovelful of coals every half hour or so. The beauty of having coals right under the meat is that when the fat, collagen, connective tissues, etc burns off, it drips down into the coals, and then steam/ smoke drifts back up to the meat- this adds great flavor which you would miss with drip pans.

SmokeWatcher 07-01-2012 07:30 AM

So is that a cardboard tent over the meat??

jestridge 07-01-2012 08:30 AM

Looks great,

Enkidu 07-01-2012 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gtr (Post 2116417)
Oh - just noticed the pic of the burndown pit - I should have known! :doh:

There's a space in our yard where my sons have a fort. I've got my eye on that spot for when they get too old for it. I'm sure my lovely wife has her eye on it too. It'll be an interesting conversation when the time comes.

Be prepared to lose that battle.

Just sayin'

frognot 07-01-2012 08:44 AM

Great lookin' pork there & very informative about your cinderblock pit.

gtr 07-01-2012 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enkidu (Post 2116602)
Be prepared to lose that battle.

Just sayin'

She has negotiating powers I am unable to resist, and nor would I care to resist.

stepandfetch 07-01-2012 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gtr (Post 2116645)
She has negotiating powers I am unable to resist, and nor would I care to resist.

you don't have a chance. Beware, some may view a cinder block pit as an eyesore. :tsk:

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmokeWatcher (Post 2116522)
So is that a cardboard tent over the meat??

Yep- it helps keep the ashes away from the bark. When you move the coals around or add coals, if it is done too hastily, you will stir up a lot of ash.

Bludawg 07-01-2012 09:27 AM

Stepandfetch I'm glad it all worked out. I like your pit area and it proves what I have always said it "aint the pit it is the pitmaster"! You don't need a high dollar pit to make awesome eats. You went and made me hungry I need to break into my food saver stash for lunch.:becky:

stepandfetch 07-01-2012 09:33 AM

A high dollar pit wouldn't exactly be following tradition. I believe every single restaurant pit in the state is either brick or block.


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