Memorial Day Barbecue at Stately Tanner Manor, Washington, DC: Preparation

We’re having a few people over tonight and I’ll be cooking barbecue.  I have the key ingredients: a couple of medium pork butts, about 6.5 pounds each; well-soaked hickory chunks; hickory chips; and French Market coffee (for me, not for the meat):

mem day 1

And for the fire, Kingsford Charcoal and a Weber grill (there are no substitutes).

mem day kingsford

I use a smokestack starter which I’ve filled about 5/6ths full.  That’s actually more than I’ll need today.  I’m not doing much meat today.  On Independence Day, I have three 8-10 pound butts on each of my grills.  The more meat there is to absorb the heat, the easier it is to maintain that low and slow cooking that you need.

mem day smokestack

And I like to trim some of the fat from each butt.  Not too much, though.

mem day trim

I don’t season the meat.  I’ve found that it doesn’t make any difference in the flavor of the pork butts.

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