Today is starting before the sunrise, there is a chill in the air this morning and the three of us are running around with our miner headlights atop our heads.  If anyone was watching I’m sure they would be shaking their heads and chuckling, wondering what the hell were are up too.

No, we are not camping and there is no emergency that concerns us, this morning we are embarking on a most important mission – R & D recipe testing in hopes of creating the ultimate smoked pork butt so we can make a few sandwiches!

So here’s the plan; fill up the smoker with 15 pork butts that have been injected with the Ultimate Brine, given a five minute massage with one of our five newly created BBQ spice rubs, then placed in the refrigerator overnight to make sure we establish and start with a great foundation of flavor.

As most – if not everyone – has heard, great BBQ is all about “Low and Slow”.   To that end, in order for dinner to be ready at a reasonable hour, its 5:00 in the morning when the pork butts are pulled from the refrigerator, they will need at least one hour to come up to room temperature.  This gives us time to prep the smoker, get the wood chips soaked, and the mesquite chimney hot and stoked for this adventure.

Now it’s about 6:45 am, at this point we only have had time for one cup of coffee, we can’t find the new batteries for the temperature probes and the man ‘IN CHARGE’ swears he will blow up the smoker if the fire isn’t ready in the next 2 minutes!  Not to fret, the concern of an impending disaster has passed and the pork butts are safe and sound locked in the smoker.  Now it’s a waiting game.

Over the next 8-10 hours we have some work to do, mind you nothing that is going to kill us or cause us to break a sweat.  A few things of importance, first we must keep an eye on the fire, watching and recording temperatures.  And of course most important is to follow the number rule of barbecuing… drink a few cold beers and try to figure out why we even decided to do this in the first place. FYI – no cold beer today, we started with Layer Cake Chardonnay.

The day passed by just as planned and after 10 hours of cooking we turned out some darn good BBQ pork butts!  There is something sacred when you get to watch the sunrise, cook all day long with friends sharing some quality time and when it is all said and done have some great BBQ to enjoy around the table.

I highly suggest you gather a few close friends get cooking; it’s something you will never regret.


Submitted by Layer Cake Wines fan, Michael Laukert