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Sun-kist Florida or Caribbean Pork Barbecue

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 May 2011 at 15:43
i am sure that someone somewhere has done something very similar before, but this was really good and i'd like to share with y'all.

here's the "formula" for everything. i am sure there is room for improvement or experimentation as with nearly any recipe, but this worked extremely well and i can recommend it to anyone wanting to put a floridian or tropical twist on something. i used it on spare ribs and country-style ribs, but there is no reason at all why it wouldn't work on baby back ribs and pork shoulder.


before applying the rub, squirt or brush on some lemon juice, then some lime juice (or combine the two). grapefruit juice might work, too. brush on a thin layer of yellow mustard on both sides, then apply the rub to your preference on both sides - i prefer it to be on there pretty heavily, but any amount will do. pretty much any "standard" rub will work - low sugar, no sugar or raw sugar is highly recommended. if you use a store-bought rub, i recommend durkee's st. louis style pork rub:

to this, add some lemon powder (recommended - made from drying and pulverizing lemon zest), lemon pepper or a seasoning that i had way in the back of my cabinet called "lemon and herb seasoning." add as much as you want to taste and then add a few crushed red pepper flakes to taste; keep in mind that the "spicy hot" properties of the pepper flakes will diminish on a slow cook, so add just a tiny bit more than you think you will want.

because of the lemon and lime juices, i only let this sit a few hours because i wasn't sure if sitting overnight would "harm" the meat. allow me to stress that for all i know, it could have sat overnight just fine. if someone can provide an answer to this, let me know. in any case, a few hours was fine, but overnight (as long as the acid in the juices don't harm the meat) would probably be better.

when i put the meat on the grill, there was a good amount of "juice" left on the platter from the citrus juices and rub - i dribbled this over the meat, taking care not to disturb the rub.

MOP - this turned out great!
  • 3/4 cup of squirt (grapefruit-flavored pop), or 7-up (or both)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice concentrate (pulp free if using a spray bottle)
  • 1/4 cup kikkoman (or homemade) teriyaki sauce (ponzu recommended)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • *optional - add some dark or spiced rum if you want (to taste), but i am not sure of the value of this addition
be sure to mix it up with a blender or shake it up well before each use in order to distribute the oil, which is important to the cooking process. use this mop as much or as little as you want while cooking, but give the meat on the grate a good hour or house and a half so that the rub can "set" and the meat can get up to some temperatures. a good time to add it is when you are tending the fire or adding wood chunks. speaking of wood, i used hickory for this and results were excellent. something else (lemon wood, perhaps) would probably have been just as good!


combine equal amounts (1/3 or 1/2 cup recommended) of
  • plain, yellow mustard
  • pineapple or orange (or both) juice
  • dark brown sugar (if you want to experiment, try molasses and let me know how it goes)
heat in a small saucepan over medium heat - be careful not to get it too hot, but make sure that everything is blended well together, then let cool a bit. brush a thin layer on both sides about 15 minutes or so before BBQ is done, then again just as you are taking it off the smoker. this should be a thin glaze that adds a bit of color and also a nice crackle to the ribs, can be used as a sauce if you want, but i don't recommend it that way.

if you have come this far, then your pork shoulder, spare, baby back or country style ribs are done. Here's how mine looked:
sectioned spares on the left, CSRs on the right, and some trout in the middle that we had caught the day before. 

right after this pic was taken, we brushed the glaze on both sides of everything and waited 15 minutes or so for sides to finsh up. i moved everything over for the picture, but note the chimney pipe extension, which means that i had to move a few things around in order to close the door.

results, as i said above, were great! the citrus flavors all went well together, the occasional mop was present but didn't overwhem, and the thin glaze did its job very well and provided a little kick that comes from making good ribs just a little better. for the whole thing, a very good balance between sweet, spicy, salty and tangy

let your BBQ rest as you would normally, then serve up according to your preferred method (if doing pork shoulder, a finishing sauce is recommended) - thinly-sliced lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruit (or any combination of the four) can be used as a garnish and also as a source of a little extra "finishing squeeze."

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