2 years ago
I love grilling steaks, beer can chicken, eggplant, etc. But, there is a certain time of year where I hit a wall. Where grilling seems more of a chore than a pleasure. That point is about now when it’s 100 degrees outside and I have to put on 2 layers of bug spray just to venture into my mosquito-infested back yard just to cook a decent steak. It is this time when my mind starts to wander to thoughts of chili, turkey, queso dip, pulled pork, brisket and all the other delightful things I can cook in the comfort of track pants when it’s 10 degrees outside.
I used to be a pulled pork purist who wouldn’t imagine cooking pulled pork indoors. I had a huge Brinkman smoker with a side fire box. I would spend all day preparing to throw a pork shoulder on my smoker around 1pm and then spend a sleepless night tending to it while slowly getting drunk and watching a Twilight Zone marathon. This smoker was no “set it and forget it!” smoker. No, it was a dirty bastard of a smoker with unforgiving seams that would toy with me and my cook temperature all night long. Also, no matter what the forecast said, it would rain every fucking time I did an overnight smoke. What I got was some of the most delicious and rewarding, yet hard earned pulled pork I’ve tasted. It was such an exhausting process I did it at most twice a year. Fast forward to my family moving to fire-unfriendly Colorado and I unloaded my smoker on my brother.
Living in the mountains of Colorado is nice, unless you love cooking outdoors, then you’re screwed. Oh sure, I could have had a gas grill, but I’ve never swung that way. As the months go by my pulled pork cravings get worse. I ended up picking up a nice, deep roasting pan on Amazon along with some Butt Rub and decide to give cooking pulled pork in an oven a try. What I joyfully discovered was, in exchange for some smokey flavor, I was able to still cook some of the most delicious and rewarding pulled pork I’ve tasted. Not only that but, I was able to do it without setting foot outside or staying up all night. Now cooking pulled pork amounted to throwing it in the over before I went to bed and then pulling it out sometime mid-afternoon. So, instead of doing pulled pork once, maybe twice a year during Summer weekends I was cooking pulled pork for the Super Bowl, for the 24 season premiere, for Tuesday.
So, now that I am back in Kansas City, I have yet to pick up a smoker again. I may someday. It is still one of the best hobbies there is. But, for the time being I am happy to have it be part of my cold weather repertoire (along with this bitchin’ Paula Dean brisket recipe.)