Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Work those thighs and butts

At seven A.M. on Sunday I fired up my new smoker. It's the Brinkmann, cheapo model but I wanted to test out smoking meat before I got any deeper in the sport. And sport it is, just visit our good food blog friend, Sylvie at Soul Fusion Kitchen and see all the honors her group has taken. I used her site as a tutorial for my new project. Many thanks to her for the encouragement and all the great into.

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.


Sylvie said...

Great first attempt. Looks good. To get the pork shoulder to fall off the bone you need to get the internal meat temp to 195. It is very hard to do with the Brinkman because of the attention it needs to maintain temps.

I first started out using a Brinkman when I first started doing this. The Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM)iw what i currently use. Watch amazon for sales. They sometimes go to $199.

Moon said...

Sylvie, thanks I thought it might be the cheapo reapo smoker because you talked so highly of the WSM. I also have thought it might be the Trader Joe's chunk charcoal. No consistency in the size of the charcoal so next time I'll use the Kingsford.

Doodles said...

for the first time I think it looks outstanding. So by the time we get there you'll have it down pat. Sure does look tasty seester!!!

Annes Aeon Lane said...

Looks great.

Posts like these are a perfect example of why I stopped being a vegetarian five years ago!