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Liquid Smoke & Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork!
By RB Quinn & Mindy Merrell, co-
What is Liquid Smoke Anyway? Liquid smoke is a Cheater BBQ essential—a critical ingredient for making great barbecue without a fire. Liquid smoke is exactly that—smoke from smoldering hardwoods or fruitwoods condensed in water with impurities and carcinogens removed. It is not chemical or synthetic. It is safe, consistent, timesaving, economical, and environmentally friendly smoke in a bottle.
We call it bottled smoke. It tastes and smells like real smoke because it is real
smoke. It has been accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since the early
1960s. Just like traditional wood smoke, not only does bottled smoke deliver great
flavor it also still performs the age-
Consistency is the biggest challenge in outdoor barbecue. The weather, the wind, the wood, the temperature, the equipment, the time, the rub, the mop, the meat, the mood, everything is a determining factor in the outcome of barbecue. And that’s a big part of the fun. Bottled smoke paired with the controlled environment of the indoor kitchen eliminates more than half of these iffy variables. That’s fun, too.
Bottled Smoke in the Store -
Retail bottled smoke is usually parked near the barbecue sauces, ketchup, and marinades in supermarkets. You’ll likely find brands like Colgin, Reese, Figaro, Hadden House, Wright’s, and Lazy Kettle. Some soften the flavor with vinegar and molasses and even sugar. Others are simply smoke concentrate in water. Check for yourself on the label.
How Much Smoke is Just Right? Now there’s the barbecue question of all time with no real answer whether you are smoking over a wood fire or indoors in the oven. It’s up to you. The better question is how much is too much. With smoke, you know it when you taste it. Like lots of flavors and seasonings, smoke should be added to suit your taste. The only way to find that out is to get in the kitchen. No matter how much you like to use, bottled smoke manufacturers say the flavor does not diminish during cooking and can be added at any point during cooking. Start with the general rule of thumb of one tablespoon per pound of meat. In other applications, try a teaspoon per serving.
One small bottle of smoke is generally enough for one good size pork butt, brisket, or a three pack of ribs. Bottled smoke can also be dashed into dishes a little at a time like hot pepper sauce.
Smell Smoke -
RB Quinn & Mindy Merrell 'Cheater Chefs'are the co-
Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork
Okay, here we go. We’ll either have you at “Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork” or our book is headed straight for the library’s used book sale. We know that. You know that. So, let’s drop the chit chat and make some cheater barbecue.
In short, you drop a pork butt into the slow cooker, add dry rub and bottled smoke,
close the cover, go away for a while, pull or chop the meat and pile it on a bun,
add sauce, get out the pickles, open a beer. BOOM! That’s barbecue, baby. Can you
feel it? That’s Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork. Makes 12 to 14 servings.
One (5 to 6 pound) boneless Boston Butt pork roast or boneless country style ribs
1/4 cup Cheater Basic Dry Rub (or your own favorite, ours is just a blend of salt, pepper, paprika and a little garlic powder)
1/2 cup bottled smoke (you can use less, if this scares you)
1. Cut up the pork shoulder into medium (2 to 3-
2. Put the pieces in a large (at least 5 quarts) slow cooker. Sprinkle the meat with the rub, turning the pieces to coat evenly. Add the bottled smoke.
3. Cover and cook on high 5 to 6 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours, until the meat
4. Remove the meat from the cooker to a rimmed platter or baking sheet with tongs and a slotted spoon. Allow the meat to cool enough to handle.
5. Pull the meat into strands. It should shred very easily.
6. Serve the barbecue piled on buns with barbecue sauce and slaw.
7. To serve the barbecue later, refrigerate the meat when it has cooled. Pour the meat juice into a separate container and refrigerate. Before reheating the juice, skim and discard the congealed fat layer on the top.
8. To re-
9. While the meat warms, combine the barbecue sauce and some of the additional reserved meat juice in a saucepan. Heat through and serve with the barbecue.