My first impression of using this smoker is how much smoke it put out. Yikes, I'd neglected to mention to my neighbors my plans and when I filled the neighborhood with smoke I quickly found one or two to assure them we neither cooking crack nor burning down our house. It does tame down after a while, whew, a relief. Here is something I learned later, wait until the smoke changes color before putting on the meat. Thanks to Jeff at Shifty Squirrel's BBQ for that one.
So what did I cook? I looked at three stores for a pork butt but all I could find was a 7 lb pork shoulder. I think they are pretty much the same thing. I'd promised daughter Maltese Parakeet, lil bird, and her beloved pulled pork sandwiches for dinner and I was aiming for that end. I'd also added a few chicken thighs just because I have two levels of grilling.
The pork roast was rubbed and it rested in the refrigerator overnight wrapped in plastic. My rub might have been a tad bit salty for my taste so I'll adjust next time. Rubs are a matter of personal taste. I did trim off some of the heavier layers of fat. After the fire got going I put the pork on the bottom grill and spent the next nine hours adjusting the fire. Only once did it get under 200 and not for long. I was like an old mother hen watching that thermometer.
Editors note: A remote thermometer was my birthday give from lil bird so I don't have to run outside so often to check, cool.
Chicken was the first out and after they cooled they went into the fridge for another meal. I used the same rub I'd used on the pork but I also brined the thighs for about two hours. They only cooked about four house and were very tasty.
The pork never got to that fall-off-the-bone stage I was looking for but when sliced it had a wonderful smoke ring, was tender and very tasty though I couldn't tell if it was smoky enough since I'd been breathing the smoke for nine hours. The family did agree it was smoky and quite good. I even gave my son-in-law a care package to take home.
Our menu was pork sandwiches with a coleslaw, I'll add that recipe at a different post because I thought it delicious, and baked beans. The bbq sauce was Rudy's, an import from Texas that lil bird picked up while in San Antonio. I've used their rub before, too and it's very tasty.
All in all I believe it was a success but I'll make some adjustments next time. I was very good not to lift the lid so I don't think that was the problem.
Things I did wrong:
- not enough coals in the beginning
- maybe a bit hotter temp
- cooled hot coals too quickly
- maybe longer cooking time
- different cut of pork
What's next? I love smoked turkey and can't wait to try it in my new smoker. So look for another post coming soon. Did I give up on the outdoor dutch oven? Nope. I just wanted to branch out a bit. I'm looking forward to my next project, outdoor biscuits.