Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Servings: 4
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1.5 hours

Brining makes for an incredibly tender and moist meat. A light coating of the Birch Island rub is perfect for grilling.


1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 quart water

2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds total)

Dry rub


Brine the tenderloins
In a medium bowl, mix salt and sugar with 1 quart cool water until dissolved. Trim the tenderloins of excess fat and silverskin and submerge them in the brine; let stand about 45 minutes. Remove the pork from the brine, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.

Season and grill
Rub the brined tenderloins all over with the dry rub just before grilling. Set up coals for indirect grilling. Position the pork directly over the hot coals, and cook (covered), turning once, until nicely seared on both sides. Move the tenderloins to the coolest part of the grill (over no coals), close the lid, and cook for 5 minutes more.

Birch Island Pork Shoulder Rub and Sauce (plus ribs)

Servings: 8
Preheat: 325
Prep Time: overnight brine, then 6 hours on the grill
Source: Birch Island Friends of Norman and Carol

One 7 lb pork shoulder butt feeds ~12 people. The bone-in cut is best.


1 cup molasses
1 cup kosher salt
8 quarts water

Brine bag

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Paprika
3 TBS Salt
2 TBS Coarse Black Pepper
2 TBS Granulated Garlic
2 TBS Granulated Onion
2 TBS Chili Powder
2 TSP Chipotle Powder
1 TSP Cumin
1 TSP Coriander
1 TSP Thyme
1 TSP Ground Mustard

1 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 TSP Salt
1 TSP Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 TBS Lemon Juice
4 TBS Worcestershire
2 TSP Mustard
1 TSP Chili Powder
1 TBS Oil
1 TSP Paprika
1/2 TSP Red Pepper – (optional)

6 to 8 pound pork shoulder


Pork Shoulder:
Heat 2 quarts of water and add molasses and salt, stirring until completely dissolved. Add rest of water and let cool before submerging meat in bag. Add pork and brine 12-24 hours.

Remove meat from brine and pat dry. Sift the rub evenly over the shoulder and then pat onto the meat making sure as much of the rub as possible adheres. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing latex gloves during the application.

Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to 325 degrees. Place a drip pan under the grate between the mounds of coals. Add fresh charcoal every hour or as needed to maintain 225 degrees. Keep meat away from coals, or the sugar in the rub will burn.

How much time will your pork butt or picnic take? A good rule of thumb is about 1 hour per pound. But always allow more time than you think you’ll need. Avoid opening the grill or smoker too often. You know what pitmasters say: “If you’re lookin’, you’re not cookin’.”

If your intention is to serve the pork sliced, you can remove it from the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 170 to 180 degrees F. If you want to chop or “pull” the pork (tear it into meaty shreds)—always my first choice—the internal temperature must be between 190 and 200 degrees F. Anything less, and the collagen and connective tissue will not have broken down sufficiently. Insert the temperature probe of an instant-read meat thermometer in several places to ensure doneness.

Shred pork when cool enough to handle, discarding skin, fat, and charred meat. Before serving, heat sauce and mix into pork.

Pork Ribs:
Spare ribs come from the the belly of the pig – where bacon comes from. Because they’re larger and tougher than baby backs they take longer and are more of a challenge to cook. However, they also have more meat than baby backs and more fat marbling which makes them more flavorful. The fact that they’re a greater test of grillmanship and they deliver more flavor makes them the rib of choice with people on the profession barbecue circuit.

St. Louis cut ribs – also known as Kansas City cut ribs – are merely spare ribs with the rib tips cut off. Removal of the tips makes the rib slab more attractive and helps it to cook more evenly.

Grill slowly, or the rub will burn. Plan for 4 1/2 to 5 hours:

Prepare to grill – indirectly if possible – at a low, steady heat of 225° F
Grill your ribs for 3 hours bone-side down
Wrap them in foil and grill, bone-side up, for 30 to 60 minutes. You can an extra special touch here by pouring a cup of apple cider or juice into the foil packet
Unwrap them and grill for 30 more minutes bone-side down.

Finally, add your sauce and move the ribs to the hottest part of the grill and remove when the sugars have caramelized and you have a nice pasty coating with crisp spots – not more than 20 minutes

Oven Ribs, Even Better

Servings: 4
Preheat: 200
Prep Time: 6 hours

… I’ve been tweaking my dry rub recipe almost as long as I’ve been making it, and I think this summer, I finally got it where I wanted it — with the shortest and I hope most balanced ingredient list to date. I still make them the way Harold MacGee taught us in 2010: tightly wrapped in foil packets in the oven for many hours, but I’ve also found a lot of flexibility in the cooking time, so you can make the recipe work for you, even if you don’t have 6 hours to wait it out. At the time, I lamented that I couldn’t make them on a real outdoor grill or smoker. These days, even if I had one, I don’t even think I’d bother when they’re so low-maintenance and perfectly cooked, every time, from the oven.

For 1 5-pound rack spare ribs; we estimate about a pound of ribs per person. We tripled this recipe for our first ribs party this summer, doubled it for our second. Makes about 1 cup rub per rack. (This is a thick coating and we prefer it this way.)


1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika (sweet, hot or smoked, whichever variety you prefer)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt (Diamond brand, which is very lightweight; for most others, use 1 1/4 tablespoons; more about why here)
Chipotle powder or ground red pepper (cayenne) to taste
As many cranks of freshly ground black pepper as your arm is in for
1 5-pound rack spare ribs

To finish: 2 teaspoons cider vinegar


Tools: If you can find it, a wide roll of heavy-duty foil makes the racks much easier to wrap up. You’ll also want a large rack (cooking cooling sheets, so long as they’re metal and thus ovensafe, are just fine) and a large baking sheet per rack of ribs.

Heat oven to 200°F.* In a medium bowl, combine all of the spices and seasonings. On a piece of foil large enough to wrap around your ribs, place rack of ribs, meatier side up. Sprinkle half of spice rub over rack, patting it on generously, including the sides. Carefully — it can help have a second person hold the foil down while you lift the rack — flip the rack of ribs back onto the foil so that they’re now meatier side down. Pat on remaining rub. Tightly fold the foil to seal packets.

Set a metal rack (a cookie cooling sheet works well here) over a baking sheet and place foil-wrapped ribs on top. Bake for 4 hours, then reduce temperature to 175°F for 2 more hours, or until a fork easily penetrates the meat.

Open packet of ribs very carefully and pour accumulated juices into a saucepan. I find this easiest with one person lifting/tilting ribs packet and the other one snipping a corner and making sure the juices only go where you want them to. Bring the saucepan to a full boil and reduce the mixture until it becomes thicker, syrupy and will coat a spoon — usually by at least half. Stir in vinegar. This is the “barbecue sauce” for those that like it on their ribs; it will be fairly salty and I always warn people to use it judiciously.

Meanwhile, cut the ribs apart and spread them on a serving tray. For extra caramelization, you can spread them back on their baking sheet (sans rack) and run them under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Serve ribs with sauce on the side.

* Let’s talk about timing: These cooking times and temperatures, laid out by the great Harold McGee, require 6 hours. But, real life ensures that I always start them late, and while “low and slow” is the barbecue bible for a reason — you’re always going to get the best meat from the longest gentlest cooking times — you’d be pretty amazed by the results of even 3-hour ribs. Long cooking times are not an exact science. As with humans, heh, some ribs are meatier than others and will take longer. Regardless, if you’re looking for guidelines, here are some other time and temperature combinations that have worked for us in the past:

2 1/2 to 3 hours at 300°F.
3 1/2 to 4 hours at 250°F.
4 hours at 225°F

We’ve also fiddled with combinations, such as a higher temperature at the beginning, and then, upon realizing they’d be ready sooner than we’d need them, turning them down to 175°F for the remaining time. And vice-versa, starting with the low temperatures in the original recipe, and realizing at the 4 hour mark, they were coming along too slowly and finishing them at 300°F. I hope these extra options make it easier, and not more confusing, to make yours at home.

Red Beans and Rice

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 3 hrs
Source: The New Orleans Cook Book
This is the way red beans and rice were cooked in the old days -loaded with meat and steeped in a rich, natural gravy. You must include a large ham bone, whose marrow gives the beans that creamy texture and distinctive smoky flavor. Many supermarkets now carry only pre-boned hams, and you may have difficulty finding ham bones. Ask your local packer which butchers still bone their own hams and buy the bones in large batches. Ham bones freeze well, and a good supply in the freezer will enable you to prepare red beans the right way whenever you wish. If you have any left over. red beans freeze beautifully. Just add a little water and perhaps a pinch of salt when you reheat them.

Be sure to use baked rather than country or smoked ham in this and all other New Orleans beans dishes. Smoked ham is too salty and will unbalance the seasonings. Pickled pork is pork shoulder marinated in brine for over a week; New Orleans markets regularly carry it, but elsewhere you probably will not find it. A good substitute for pickled pork is salt pork; with salt pork eliminate all other salt in the recipe.

2 lb. dried red (kidney) beans, soaked overnight in cold water to cover
2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. thinly sliced green scallion tops
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 1/3 Tbs. finely minced garlic
2 Tbs. finely minced fresh parsley
1 lb. seasoning (baked) ham, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lb. pickled pork (page 9), cut into large chunks
1 large ham bone with some meat on it, sawed into 4- to 5-inch lengths
1 Tbs. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper pods
2 whole bay leaves, broken into quarters
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. dried basil
2 qt. cold water, approximately
Boiled Rice (page 17 ~ double the recipe)

Drain the soaked beans in a colander and put them, along with all the other ingredients, into a heavy 8- to 10-quart pot or kettle, adding just enough of the cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer on low heat for 2 1/3 to 3 hours, or until the beans are tender and a thick natural gravy has formed. Add about 1 cup of water toward the end of cooking if the mixture appears too dry. During cooking, stir frequently and scrape down the sides and across the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent scorching. (If you use a heavy pot and very low heat – just high enough to keep the barest simmer going – you should have no problem with beans sticking to the pot during cooking.) Stir the entire mixture thoroughly just once about every half hour.

When the beans are cooked, turn off the heat. To serve, ladle about 1 1/2 cups of beans, with meat and gravy, over a portion (about ~2/3 cup) of boiled rice.

Key Lime Pork Roast

Servings: 6
Source: Gourmet, December 1980


Rub a 4-pound boneless pork loin with 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard and put it in a ceramic or glass baking dish just large enough to hold it. In a ceramic or glass bowl combine ¼ cup each of bourbon and key lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, spoon the mixture over the pork, and let the pork marinate in a Ziploc bag, basting it several times, for at least 6 hours.

Drain the marinade into a dish and reserve it. Press 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar onto the top of the pork and roast the pork in the lower third of a preheated very hot oven (450ºF) for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately slow (325º F.) and roast the pork, basting it with the reserved marinade occasionally, for 1 hour and 30 minutes more. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, let it stand for 10 minutes, and cut it into ¼ -inch slices. Arrange the slices on a heated platter. Skim the fat from the pan juices and transfer the juices to a heated sauceboat “

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Chops with Plum Sauce

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 4 1/2 hrs
Cook Time: 10 min
Source: Weber’s Real Grilling

½ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

4 bone-in pork rib chops, each about i inch thick


¼ cup plum sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons granulated suga


1. To make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients.
2. Place the chops in a large, rescalable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Turn the bag several times to distribute the marinade, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
3. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients along with 2 tablespoons of water.
4. 4 Allow the chops to stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Remove the chops from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill over Direct Medium heat until barely pink in the center of the meat, 9 to 10 minutes, turning once. Remove from grill and let rest 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm with the sauce on the side for dipping.

Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Herb Rub

Servings: —
Source: Fine Cooking 9/2001
For medium,thick pork chops (3/4 to 1 inch), I cook with direct heat. I sear both sides of the chops briefly over high heat to get a nice crust and then move them to an area of less intense heat, cover the grill, and let them cook through. To set up a charcoal fire for this kind of grilling, I have one area with a thicker layer of coals for a hotter fire and another area with a thinner layer for less intense heat. I also leave a portion of the grill with no coals in case a chop is burning, is caught in a flare-up, or is cooking too quickly. For gas grills, set one burner on medium high and another on low.

4 pork chops (bone in or boneless), ¾ to 1 inch thick (2½ to 3 lb. total), brined, 4 hours but no more than 6 hours before grilling (see the recipe below),

1 Tbs. chopped garlic
1 Tbs. crushed fennel seeds
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. coarse salt
2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

In a small food processor, combine the garlic, fennel seeds, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pulse several times to blend well. Lightly coat each chop on both sides with the herb rub.

Build and light a charcoal fire so there are thicker and thinner layers of coals for areas of varying heat. For a gas grill, set one side to medium high and the other side to low.

When the thicker area of coals is medium hot (you’ll be able to hold your hand just above the grate for about 2 seconds), set the chops directly over them, or over the medium-high area on a gas grill. If flare-ups occur, move the chops momentarily to a cooler area. Sear the chops over the hotter area for about 1½ min. per side and then use tongs to move them to the area that’s less hot. Cover the grill and continue cooking until the chops are firm and their internal temperature reaches 145° to 150°F, another 3 to 4 min. per side.

Transfer the chops to a clean platter and let them rest for 5 min. so the juices redistribute and the chops finish cooking.

Brown Sugar & Molasses Brine

This brine helps keep pork chops juicy and adds a subtle flavor. Yields enough for 3 to 4 lb. pork chops.

3½ cups water
¼ cup coarse salt
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. molasses
1 cup ice cubes
3 to 4 lb. pork chops

Pour the water into a large bowl or plastic tub. Add the salt, sugar, and molasses and stir until dissolved. Stir in the ice so the brine chills quickly or make in advance and refrigerate. Add the pork chops, set a plate on top to keep them submerged, and cover the bowl. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but no more than 6 hours (less for thin chops). Transfer the pork chops to paper towels and proceed with one of the recipes that follow, or else wrap the chops in plastic and keep them refrigerated for up to 2 days.