My father passed away 10 years ago from cancer. For the longest time I was upset with him but that is a different story. This is the first year on this day, that I have only fond memories of him. I thought to myself should I go visit him? No, that isn’t the way he would want it. Then it dawned on me: smoke a ton of meat. That’s what he would be doing if he were still around.
So this is my Father’s Day brought to you by Smithfield, Corkys and Masterbuilt. As I write this it’s 7am and the pork butt is already in the smoker, ribs to be added later, the smell of apple and hickory smoke fills the air. The weather is crap but it should clear by this afternoon. My dogs and I are sitting on our patio, anticipating the moment that we can be eating all this delicious pork while I am thinking of my dad.
My real job is a manager for a grocery store so, it is rare that I get day’s like this off. It is serendipitous that after all these years I get this one particular day off. In our family we bury our feelings and never really deal with the issues at hand, for me that is changing. Earlier this year I lost my bestfriend to cancer just like I lost my dad. So this whole day while we cook will be sad, yet joyful and full of memories.
Things I learned from my father:
Dad taught me to always purchase quality meat when grilling. That’s why I stick with Smithfield when it comes to pork. The butt and baby backs were cooking are both Smithfield. They have always cooked up better for us than other brands.
Another thing that I learned from my father is: when you find something that love stick with it. It took us years to find the right bbq sauce and that is Corkys. This is why we always use their sauces and rubs. Why mess with a good thing? This also could explain my wife putting up with me for the last 25 years.
I set our smoker to 220 degrees. Slather the pork butt with Frenches mustard before adding our Corkys rub. We will use an entire bottle of rub on one butt. It’s a big piece of meat so don’t skimp out, the rub also helps create our bark.
Once our smoker is up to temp we place our prepared butt in the smoker insert the temperature probe then add our wood chips, I use a 50/50 mix of Apple and Hickory. Now all there is to do is wait and wait and add more wood chips every hour or so. It should take somewhere around 10 hours for this to reach our desired temperature of 195 to 200 degrees.
At some point I’ll be throwing on some chicken thighs for a snack and later we will be adding our baby backs. Figuring 3 to 4 hours to smoke them. Until that time rolls around all I can do is reminisce.
As a family we spent many a summer Sunday on dad’s deck hanging out watching the kid’s play and all of that was topped off by a delicious meal off of his grill or the smoker. At the time you really don’t get to enjoy those moments that comes when looking in the rearview mirror like now.
It’s 10:30 and the rain continues and it’s getting colder. Those damn weather people were wrong again. This does bring back a memory of dad. It was a few days before he passed and we knew the end was near. I went over to have one last beer with him. He was bundled up on his deck wrapped in blankets. To sick to actually drink that beer we just sat and talked for hours. The deck that held his best memories is where he wanted to be.
Just threw the chicken thighs on, dusted them with Carolina Dirt. Should be good for a mid-afternoon snack. The rain has finally stopped the sky is getting brighter and the birds are chirping.
My dad had a great way to grill chicken parts with a simple marinade. Use only bone in skin on chicken and marinate in a 50/50 mix of beer and Italian salad dressing. Pat dry before grilling.
Just finished the chicken thighs and my god they tasted as good as they look. I even impressed myself with these.
So the ribs are in the smoker and the butt temp has plateaued. Time for one last dad story before I eat myself into a food coma.
My father had a large gas grill he bought from Sam’s club at a closeout store he stumbled upon a rottiserie for it. I think it cost him $20, anyway this sent him on a mission. He just has to roast a suckling pig on it. This was long before the internet so he had to call and visit butcher shops until he found one that could get him one.
He arranged a Saturday night cookout for all his friends where he would roast that pig. Apparently it went off without a hitch. I think he was more proud of that pig than he ever was of me. He had one hour photos developed and was showing them to everyone he could. It’s nice to see your parents act like children.
Anyway dad I know I wasn’t easy to raise and you did the best you could. Love you and miss you.