★ Cackalacky® Barbecue 101
This simple pork barbecue recipe is our tried ‘n true “traditional plus” Cackalacky® method that we’ve perfected over the course of more than two decades of tasting events, festivals, barbecue competitions, and family gatherings. Perhaps more importantly, though, most folks can easily replicate it at home.
Please feel free to make any changes to the recipe that suit *your* tastes and adopt it as your own. And, remember: there is no such thing as "bad barbecue." Only...shades of greatness! So, relax. Have fun. And, enjoy!
1 2.3 Oz jar Cackalacky® Pepper Powder
1 16 Oz Jar Cackalacky® Secret Sauce™
One 10 Lb (approximately) pork butt
Plain hamburger buns
Susie’s Slaw (See recipe, below)
We HIGHLY recommend offering your guests any of our three “Traditional Plus” Cackalacky® BBQ Sauces as a topping when serving
Score the “fat cap” side of the pork butt in a crosshatch pattern forming approximately 1” squares pattern, as shown. (The blade of your knife tip should cut through the fat cap by a few millimeters – allowing the Pepper Powder and smoke to penetrate into the meat under the fat cap barrier of the butt.)
On a clean surface, or, large cutting board, evenly coat and “pat” the pork butt with the entire contents of one 2.3 Oz jar of Cackalacky® Pepper Powder, as shown.
Set (or, target) smoker/cooker temperature to 250* F
Using INDIRECT heat, place the pork butt fat-side-up on the grill grate and smoke/roast pork butt with 50/50 mix of Hickory wood and Applewood for 4 hours.
At the four-hour mark, using a spray bottle, spritz the pork butt with a 50/50 mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and water. Then, wrap in foil and replace back on grill to finish the remainder of the cooking time.
Resume cooking until internal meat temp reaches 198* F. Pull the meat off cooker and let rest for ½ hour in an insulated cooler, or, Cambro®.
(The USDA guidelines recommend that you cook “pulled” pork to 203* F. The meat will continue “cooking” while the last few more degrees you are hot-holding in the Cambro® and will hit the target temperature of 203*)
3) Shred, chop, and sauce!
After resting for half hour in the “hot box,” remove cooked pork butt from foil and place in large chafing dish style pan and shred with a pair of forks - then, using a cleaver or large kitchen knife, chop larger and longer pieces into “thumb-size” bites with a meat cleaver.
After chopping and shredding the fully cooked pork, using a pair of kitchen tongs, mix-in approximately one 16 Oz jar Cackalacky® Secret Sauce™ until all of the meat is well coated.
Serve immediately in a warm chaffing dish along with traditional hamburger buns, Susie’s Slaw (recipe link), and your favorite Cackalacky® barbecue sauce.
Notes, Tips & FAQ’s
How long does it take?
At 250 F* the cook time = about 1.5 Hours per pound of meat. E.g., a 10 Lb pork butt can take as long as 15 hours to cook using this tried ‘n true “low ‘n slow” cooking method.
A pork butt will lose about 35-40 % of its original raw weight when cooked. E.g., a 10 Lb butt will yield about 7 Lbs of fully cooked meat.
How much meat per person?
Plan on 1/3 Lb of cooked pork per adult. E.g., an uncooked 10 Lb pork butt cooks down to (approximately) 7 Lbs of cooked meat and will yield about 21 servings.
Why let the meat rest before shredding & chopping?
Allowing almost any meat to rest - whether thick steaks, thick chops, whole turkeys, briskets or pork butts - helps keep meat moist and improves the texture & tenderness of meat.
Fat side up!
Placing the pork butt “fat-side-up” self-basting as the fat renders throughout the cook.
Why Hickory and Applewood?
Hickory is the traditional cooking wood of choice here in the Carolinas – inarguably the birthplace of American barbecue. It imparts a distinctive and sharp flavor that pairs especially well with pork. Applewood is a much more mellow smoking wood than Hickory, and we discovered that its inherent sweetness compliments the strong flavor of Hickory very well. That said, feel free to experiment with your own combinations of smoking woods such as pecan, post oak, and cherry.
It takes approximately 12 - 15 hours to cook a 10 Lb pork butt. No two butts cook exactly the same and some take longer to cook than others - so, plan for success accordingly!
Don’t open the lid!
Remember: if you're lookin' you're not cookin'! Every time you open the lid on your cooker, you are adding 15-20 minutes to your total cooking time. And, as a matter of good form and barbecue etiquette, for goodness’ sake, never EVER open the lid on someone’s cooker without first asking the pit boss.
Rules to remember!
Have fun and relax. It’s just barbecue. There is no such thing as bad barbecue. Only…shades of greatness!