Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Posts Tagged ‘pork’

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 1: How to Buy It

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 1: How to Buy It

The pork shoulder has everything a grill or smoke master could wish for. Heft. Flavor. Affordability. And remarkable ease of preparation. Although a whole pork shoulder tips the scale at 14 to 18 pounds and a Boston butt (the top half of the shoulder—the cut most commonly sold at the supermarket) at 5 to 7 pounds, this large hunk ’o meat always comes out tender. And that’s true whether you smoke, indirect grill, or spit-roast it—methods commonly used by hog-o-holics around Planet Barbecue. But not all pork shoulders are equal, and to get the biggest bang for the buck, you need to know about anatomy, animal husbandry, seasoning and grilling techniques and gear. We’ll cover all those topics in this three-part...

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“Secreto”: The Best Kept Secret in Barbecue

“Secreto”: The Best Kept Secret in Barbecue

There’s an old saying: “Even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while.” It came to mind when I chanced upon something unexpected while searching for duck at my local supermarket recently. It was an appropriate metaphor given that my find was a package of pork labeled “Secreto Ibérico de Bellota”—the “secret” cut from one of Spain’s acorn-fattened pigs. (Bellota means acorn in Spanish.) I first heard about secreto when Steven blogged about eating (make that devouring) it at the Imperial restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Chef-owner Vitaly Paley grilled...

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In Praise of Pork Chops, Part 2

In Praise of Pork Chops, Part 2

First the good news. In the last 30 years, pork has gotten a lot leaner. This means that from a fat and cholesterol point of view, today’s pork is a lot healthier. Remember the “other white meat” campaign, comparing lean loin cuts of pork to white meat chicken? Now the bad news. In the last 30 years, pork has gotten a lot leaner. That means less marbling and less fat, and an increased tendency for those same lean cuts to dry out on the grill. Well, here at BarbecueBible.com, we try to be...

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How to Make Bacon from Scratch

How to Make Bacon from Scratch

If you live in Miami’s Little Havana, you may remember a day last summer when you awoke to an aroma decidedly different than the cumin, garlic, and sour orange scents that normally emanate from the lechón asado (roast pork) parlors in this Cuban neighborhood. It was a pork smell, alright, but mingled with the smoke of slow smoldering hickory and apple wood. It was a smell you’d associate with a smokehouse in backwoods Tennessee. Which was no accident, because when James...

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In Praise of Pork Chops

In Praise of Pork Chops

Good things come in small packages? Maybe true for jewelry, but certainly not on the grill. If you want to know how good big can be, order the pork tomahawk at Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. I’ve written about this Italian chop house before and I’ll tell you a lot more about it in a future blog. But for the moment, all you really need to know is that to cut the pork tomahawk, Chi Spacca’s chef starts at the top of the backbone and ends at the bottom of the belly, giving you a...

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Barbecue University

Boston Butt Basics, Part 2

Boston Butt Basics, Part 2

In the last blog, Boston Butt Basics, Part 1, we discussed the anatomy of pork shoulder. So now you know the difference between a Boston butt and a picnic. You know what to look for when buying pork shoulder and you read how to season it with a mustard rub, smoke it, and serve it, South Carolina-style with Mustard Sauce. So it’s time to, er, bone up on pork shoulder grilling and smoking techniques and some basic prep before you fire up the grill. Prepping a pork shoulder: Keep...

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Barbecue University

Boston Butt Basics

Boston Butt Basics

Sorry, Stephen Hawking, but “the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.” So wrote a French food philosopher named Brillat-Savarin in 1825 (yeah, the same Brillat who gave his name to the obscenely rich French cheese and a rum-soaked cake for dessert). I don’t know what dish the Frenchman had in mind, but for me it would have been pork butt. Sure, pork chops, ribs, tenderloin—even trotters and snouts—have added much to human happiness. But when it comes to sheer barbecue bliss, I snap my fat-slicked fingers for pork butt. Without...

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RIBS

ANATOMY OF A GREAT RIB  So what constitutes a great pork rib? For me, there are five attributes: 1. Spice-crusted "bark" (exterior); 2. Visible red smoke ring; 3. Pronounced smoke flavor, but not so much that it overpowers the meat; 4. Intense pork flavor, which is why you gain so much by using a heritage breed like Berkshire or Duroc; 5. Tender to the tooth, but still with a little chew to it. Not so mushy or soft that it falls off...

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FATTIE

YOU CAN GRILL WHAT?!!! Here's a little piece of heaven from The Burn Co. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Meet the infamous "fattie", a porcine extravaganza featuring pork sausage, spicy sausage, and smoked sausage swaddled in a bacon blanket and smoked on a Hasty Bake. Yes, take an extra Lipitor, and no, I bet you can't eat just one slice.

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A Whole Hog Update

A WHOLE HOG UPDATE (AND RECIPE) The barbecue media blitz continues. This week, the Wall Street Journal covered the rise of the smoker, and I was featured on the Gourmet website (long live Gourmet!) in an interview about grilling whole animals that was accompanied by a recipe for Balinese roast pig from my book Planet Barbecue!. Here's a taste: Whole Hog with Balinese Spices Here's the roast pork that made Ibu Oka ("Grandma Oka") famous....

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