Pulled Pork collar

Before I really got into Low and Slow, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about with Pulled Pork. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but I’m also not going to say I’d go out of my way to get some. To me it seemed too juicy and soft, and not enough texture. I’m not a fan of the massive Pork Butt and super soft pork that you find in the middle. But like most things BBQ, there’s more than one way to it!

So I’ve experimented a bit and found I like using a Pork Collar cut for my pulled pork instead, and here’s the reasons why. Well if I’m honest, it’s one key difference that leads to many reasons. Confused? I’ll explain.

While both cuts share the same connective tissue and collagen that requires low and slow to break them down, the key difference is that the collar is much smaller and a tiny bit leaner. For me that means more bark vs non bark ratio, more of the meat is being kissed by the smoke, and the “inside meat” isn’t quite as soft (or dare I say it, mushy). So if you’re like me and you enjoy a bit more texture to your food, this method might just be for you!

If you need more meat than what a collar provides (this one came in at around 2.25kg or 5lb) then do two of them if you have the real estate in your smoker.

I’m smoking this pulled pork collar with Ironbark as my flavour wood. Ironbark to me is the Australian equivalent of Hickory; a great all-rounder for most meats, though pork will also be complimented beautifully by fruitwoods such as apple, plum or cherry. One thing you need to watch out with Ironbark is it burns hot, so be careful and don’t overload it.
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curious cuts: Spider or Oyster Steak

There’s much more to beef steaks than the popular ones that grace the front rows of our local butchers displays and our local grocer/supermarket.  If you look at these displays you’d be hard pressed to find items other than the “money steaks”.  These include the Rib Eye, Eye Fillet (Beef Tenderloin), Porterhouse, Sirloin (New York Strip) and T-Bone.  Depending on which side of the world you live in, they might be called slightly different things, but the themes are common.  Which is why as an unashamed curious cuts lover, I’d like you to expand on your horizons and consider something other than the norm (and maybe even save yourself some money).  So today, I bring you the Spider or Oyster Steak (not to be confused with Oyster Blade); the first of my curious cuts posts.

This marvellous specimen which you see above is a MB9+ Australian Fullblood Wagyu Spider Steak.  I’m going to sear it hot and fast over hot coals in my Akorn Kamado grill.


something different but without the big price tag


It’s hard to believe, but this special cut cost me no more than a standard Angus Rib Eye per lb/kg.  And it is so darn tasty with all the intramuscular fat from the MB9+ marbling.  Call me crazy but the Rib Eye is just so ho-hum to me now and I’ve never been a fan of Eye Fillet (Tenderloin) due to the lack of fat/taste.  I’m happy that everyone that doesn’t know can keep on paying through the nose for those cuts and leave these curious cuts as a secret just between us :). 

The Spider Steak is a marvel to look at.  It’s a little semi-circle shaped somewhat like a croissant.  It’s named Spider Steak in Australia for the spider’s web weave of intramuscular fat across the top of it.  Don’t worry about it being all fat though.  It’s relatively thinly spread on the surface, and it creates great flavour when seared over hot coals. 

As for the anatomy of the cut, it’s adjacent to each hip bone of the cow.  It’s a relatively small cut (average 0.5 lb/250g) and super flavourful, and the MB9+ marbling keeps it very tender.

Just freshly cracked salt and pepper for this beauty.  I’ll let the beef and the coals shine here! Read more >

smoked pork chops

Delicious Smoked Pork Chops
Smoked Pork Chops

Not all meats on the smoker require several hours of cooking and sleepless nights, or a lot of preparation. For those times when I’m time poor and I need an easy “go to” that doesn’t take too long to prep or cook, I’ll often go with some smoked pork chops.

Smoked Pork Chops done right are deliciously tender and juicy, smoky and tangy. These will be a hit with the entire family, I assure you! And you can pretend you slaved over this forever too.


affordable and available


Pork loin chops (often referred to simply as pork chops) are super affordable and readily available at your local grocery store or supermarket as well as any good butcher (just like another post – Chuck Roast Burnt Ends!). Resist going for the marinated portions.  Go for chops that retain some of the fat cap if possible to help keep it juicy (you can remove it before eating if you wish). I normally go for the bone-in chops. Boneless would work just as well and shouldn’t be any different in method.

Pork chops come from the loin area of a pig. There’s a few different cuts of pork chops that you can get depending on where exactly in the loin it’s taken from.  The most common is rib chops. It really shouldn’t matter.  If it looks like a pork chop and smells like a pork chop, you should get goods results!


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