We are fans of good, messy barbecue around here. My husband spent a couple years living in Kansas, and his fondest memories include going on drives with the windows down in early summer, admiring the big sky, and eating good barbecue. Yup. Kansas is the place where he first fell in love with Arthur. I try not to be too jealous. So when we saw this idea, we knew we had to try. (Recipe for the pulled pork below.)
It is a good idea to have some plates on hand, you know, just in case.
We’re pretty hooked on this idea and have a couple other versions we want to try. If I can take some shots, I will share.
Here is the recipe I used for the pulled pork, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons table salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 boneless pork butt (5 pounds will do you), cut in half horizontally so it’s only half as thick
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you’re man enough)
You’re favorite BBQ sauce.
1. Seven hours before: brine the pork. Pull out your biggest pitcher or a large bowl. Fill it with water and dissolve 1 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar, put the pork in, cover, and let it mellow for 2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, combine black pepper, paprika, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and cayenne and set aside. Adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat to 325.
3. Five hours before: Roast the pork. Remove pork from brine and dry it with paper towels. Rub those spices all over the surface with the back of a spoon. Put the pork on a wire rack set inside foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover it with a tent of aluminum foil, sealing the edges to prevent moisture from escaping. Roast for 3 hours.
4. Remove the foil and roast for another hour to hour and a half, until the internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, shred it with two forks, and douse it with your favorite BBQ sauce.