July 4 is my birthday. I'm a firecracker. Each year we have a party and invite over a bunch of friends. I smoke some meat and make some cake and our friends bring side dishes. We eat, drink and watch fireworks in the neighborhood. It's fun.
This year was no different. I cooked pork, brisket and hot dogs,made a batch of baked black beans and two birthday cakes.
I got up early to a threat of rain for the day. Rain always puts a damper on cooking. I pulled out the cooker and set up a small tent over it to protect it from the rain. I fired it up while I got my pork out and ready to go on the cooker. I use a pellet cooker as it is a lot less mess and babysitting. I brought the cooker up to 450º put my pork butts on and reduced it down to 250º (go here for my pork butt recipe).
Once the pork was on it was time to relax. I ate breakfast, watched some movies, checked the cooker, mopped the meat and repeated. Around 11am we had some wind and the neighbor came over to let me know my tent had blown into his yard. He had set it back in place so I staked it down and put a cinder block on one corner.
At 12 I added the brisket. It was only the flat so it doesn't take as long to cook as a packer (go here for my brisket recipe). Both the meats were done around 3pm so I took them off and wrapped them in foil and let them sit in a cooler until 5 when I pulled the pork and sliced the brisket.
I find the residual heat continues to cook the meat a little more and the juices redistribute so I have a much more flavorful product by letting them sit for awhile in a cooler.
I also made a birthday cake, actually, two. One was a tie die red, white, and blue one and he other a flourless chocolate cake. The tie die one turned out cool looking and both were yummy.
Our friends showed up bearing sides to go with the meat and we had quite the spread.
|Grits, potato salad, fruit salad, chips, dips, and watermelon.