OK, Here is how to make DELICIOUS MEMPHIS-STYLE BARBECUE with one of those crappy $40 grocery store grills:
1/ While you're cleaning out the grill and lighting the charcoal, heat up the meat in water. It's OK if it boils. This insures that the meat absolutely gets hot enough to be safe, and - if not quite thawed - it will address that issue as well. anticipated question:
"Will boiling the meat release too much of the fat ?"response:
huh...?? This is a PORK SHOULDER...?? (This ain't Texie-brisket stuff. This is BARBECUE
You can use cheap, crappy briquettes, some "real" charcoal (bought or homemade), leftover chunks, or a combination. This is a combination of all of those. I prefer to use a canister lighter (with newspaper in the bottom), but I feel kinda lazy around 7:00 A.M. :
Once your charcoal-stuff is lit very well, arrange it in a DONUT SHAPE (so as to resemble a round "heating element"). This allows for smoke to get around the meat better, and also puts a hot spot in the middle that will not burn the fat layer on the bottom of the meat. Add MORE (un-lit) briquettes (or, again, "real" charcoal) and - finally - go out in your yard (or neighbor's yard, etc.) and pick up some small chunks of good-smelling hardwood. These chunks are from a hickory tree on the edge of my property. Don't wet the wood. If the wood is burned up before the meat is done, just add more wood. Again, you're not buying those silly/expensive "hickory chips"...You're picking this stuff up off the ground. Oak, nut trees, sassafras, and many others (probably not
gum or elm) will do JUST FINE:
Here's the meat. Don't leave it in the boiling water any particular amount of time. Once the charcoal is ready, go get the meat. Put it in a cheap junky metal cake pan, and cover it with foil for easy clean-up. Put about 3/4" to 1" of water in the pan. This will help discourage burning early in the day. Later, that water will be gone and partially displaced by fat. The rack should be all the way up to the highest possible position. It's OK to BARELY have ANY clearance at the top between the exhaust and the meat.
Basically, shut the lid and go about your business for 6 - 8 hours (depending on outdoor temperature (which will have an effect on the temperature inside the cheapo $40 grill). You can cook it longer, if you want it even smokier. The smokier your exhaust, the smokier the meat. I'm able to get my meat to taste smoky all the way to the bone. If you're home, you can check on it's progress, but don't be endlessly opening the lid and losing the heat/smoke. You can add more wood (or even charcoal) if environmental factors discourage a good slow, even fire. If this is necessary, try to light that stuff off-site, and ADD them to the fire once they are lit. Be aware that you should not eat barbecued meat very often, as way too much smoky stuff in your food way too often (just like way too much smoke in your lungs) can increase the chances of stomach cancer. Barbecue should be considered a "special treat", and not "nightly fare"...maybe like a good cigar, etc...
The meat is "done enough" when the meat has retreated 3/4" to 1" off the bone. Again, if there is a nice controlled smoky fire, you can leave it on longer (timing for dinner / more smoky flavor / etc.). There should NEVER EVER be ANY flaming WHATSOEVER occurring in the fire! You can use either half of a pork shoulder: the "picnic roast" or the "boston butt". This one is a "boston butt". I PREFER to barbecue the "picnic roast" half. The "picnic roast" cost is lower per pound, because there is a huge bone (actually a joint) inside of it, but I believe the bone helps the meat to cook more evenly, and I believe the (yes, less) meat is more tender in the "picnic roast" half, once barbecued properly.
The rest of the pictures are self-explanatory. If you can find OPEN PIT "ORIGINAL" BARBECUE SAUCE, (though not "connoisseur") this will offer you a good honest "Memphis" barbecue flavor. AVOID CORKY'S barbecue sauce like the PLAGUE !!! If you put that nasty-sweet crap on gorgeous barbecue meat, you will RUIN your sandwich! Corky's has ONLY been in Memphis for a couple of decades. It is a johnny-come-lately tourist trap. They have NO CLUE about Memphis barbecue in my humble opinion. Their meat tastes to me as if it was baked in an electric oven for an hour, and their sauce tastes like cra...I mean Kraft.
You MUST put a GOOD slaw (one that suits your personal taste) on your sandwich. If you have slaw-o-phobia, FEAR NOT. Slaw on a barbecue sandwich (mixed in with that delicious meat and sauce) does NOT taste like slaw - much in the same way that sauerkraut does not really taste like sauerkraut in a Reuben sandwich.