It’s Saturday, June 22. Football season is 10 weeks away. And two friends just had new babies. So this afternoon, we’re watching some U20 Soccer and Atlanta Braves baseball on the patio. And in the meantime, I have a ridiculous 8.39 lb bone in Boston Butt cooking away on the Egg. Continue reading
Amazingly enough, after over a year, I finally got around to doing a rack of ribs on the Egg. Today’s post is more about prep, pics and sauce than anything. The 3-2-1 Method for Spare Ribs has been covered ad nauseum by the rest of the Internet so I don’t feel a great need to re-hash the technique at length. Continue reading
I have a good friend who recently received a Big Green Egg as a Christmas gift. He’s without prep space at the moment as he and his wife have been remodeling their kitchen and I am sad for his Egg as it sits lonely on his patio, all white and pristine. I thought I’d toss him a bone on the burn in procedure for the Egg and realized that, while I had a blog post for indirect heat, I hadn’t done one for direct heat. Continue reading
So today comes a new “inspired” recipe. This recipe was inspired by a trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel for the annual Christmas lights, shopping, engagement commemoration, etc trip that the wife and I take every year. We ate at the Cascades American Cafe restaurant there and I had their Sweet Tea Pork Tenderloin. They served it with finger potatoes and baby greens over a stone ground mustard sauce. The broccolini pictured below actually came from my wife’s Prime Rib Country Christmas feature that night. Add in a Maker’s Mark Manhattan and it was a pretty fantastic dinner.
I enjoyed dinner so much (sweet tea, bourbon and pork? yes, please!) that I came home from Nashville scouring the interwebs for a recipe. And I found Saraplicious and her Sweet Tea Brined Pork Loin. When I found out she made hers in the oven, I decided immediately that I was going to have to try making one in the Egg. Her recipe modified to cook on an Egg is covered below.
- 2 lbs pork loin
- 8 cups sweet tea
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 Tsp minced garlic
- Whisk together sweet tea and salt in a large container. Pour into a one gallon Zip Loc bag.
- Add pork and brine in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
- Remove the pork from the original Zip Loc bag. Discard the remaining liquid.
- Blot meat dry with a paper towel.
- Whisk mustard, brown sugar and garlic together in a small bowl. In my case, I used a second 1 gallon Zip Loc bag.
- Put pork loin into the second bag. Close the zipper and make like the little girl on the Shake and Bake commercials. This should leave you with an even coat of mustard and brown sugar covering the entire pork loin well.
- Let meat sit for 15 minutes on the V-Rack placed on an otherwise empty drip pan. Cover until it's ready to go over the fire.
- Setup the Egg for indirect heat and preheat it to 400F. Cook the pork until the internal temperature reads 160F. The 2.00 lb pork loin I used took right at an hour and 15 minutes. I followed Sara's directions recommending that you turn the meat halfway through the cooking time.
- Remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
Rather than serving ours with baby greens and finger potatoes, we went with black eyed peas and brown rice pilaf. The pork has a sweet, crisp exterior and retains its moisture on the inside
Being that my back patio is covered and there is 0% chance of rain. I can do this the night before too. If you recall, we started with a clean and empty Big Green Egg.
1. Insert the electric starter (if that’s what you’re using). Pour natural lump charcoal over the top. There are a bazillion different brands out there. I use the “official” stuff lately. Don’t be afraid to reach in there and move individual chunks of charcoal around. For indirect cooking, you want to build a stable, controlled fire.
2. (optional) Add a couple small chunks of wood for smoke. For the turkey, I’m going with Apple. For God’s sake, do not use mesquite for poultry or pork.
3. Add more natural lump charcoal. The idea is to get a full load of coal. At least to cover the holes in the fire bowl. And, for long cooks, you can go as high as near the top of the fire ring if you have to.
4. Plug in the electric starter. Open the bottom and top vents all the way for maximum air flow. For a high temp cook, I’ll leave this in for 6 or 7 minutes. for a low temperature cook, I may only leave it in for 3 or 4 minutes.
5. Close the lid. Let the grill pre-heat. Do not leave the grill unattended. You’ll want to start adjusting the vents when you get within 25 – 50 degrees of your intended temperature. For the Turkey, I’m looking for a “dome temp” of 350F, which means the cooking surface should be a slightly cooler 325F. Pro Tip: Be willing to spend time getting your fire right. Your brisket, chicken and pork (and hopefully my turkey) are worth getting this right. If I’m doing a cut of meat that people consider to have a high degree of difficulty (read: brisket), it is not uncommon for me to spend 45 minutes to an hour before I consider my fire to be “right.” One of my friends convinced me this was OK the day before my first brisket and I am glad that he did.
6. Once you’ve preheated and your fire is stable, add the ceramic platesetter. For turkey (for basically anything except pizza), I’m using it inverted with the feet facing up. This will leave room for me to insert a roasting pan to catch drippings. Close the lid and allow the temperature to normalize again. You may need to adjust your vents to permit more air flow.
7. Add the meat. In the case of the turkey, add the turkey, breast side up in a V Rack. I also have a probe thermometer in the turkey breast so that I get an audible alarm when the breast meat reaches 165F.
8. Stick with the grill for another 20 to 30 minutes to be sure the temperature holds steady. And then walk away. Sometimes I check the dome temperature every couple of hours. Sometimes I watch football. Sometimes I just sleep. Whatever you do, keep the lid closed.
Well, tonight is another slow smoke. This weekend was an Alabama away game in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We didn’t have tickets, so I thought what better way to support the Tide from home than by burning a pig in effigy. I had a 5.13lb trimmed Boston butt. At 1.5 to 2 hrs per lb to hit 195F plus an hour or more to rest, that meant getting up early. Kickoff was scheduled for 2:30 pm. Lunch was served about 2:20. #winning
Prepare butt for the Egg (the night before):
Prepare the Big Green Egg (3:15 am):
Add the butt to the Egg (4 am):
After 4 or 5 hours, you should hit a temperature plateau:
Lunch (2:20 pm):
Another Big Green Egg cook. Center cut pork chops. This is a crowd pleaser around the house. I cook pork chops with and without the bones. These just happen to be boneless this time. We served these with mixed vegetables for lunch.