Thursday, August 7, 2014

Smoked Pork Shoulder Update

Yeah, so...  A couple of years ago, I attempted to make a smoked-pulled-pork roast, and I yammered about it here.

Since that time, I blathered about taking a BBQ class and, as a result of taking that class, I believe I have nearly-perfected Smoked Chicken.  I've made it several times - with little variation in the recipe.  It's proven to be quite a reliable recipe!

Last time I was at Smart & Final, they had big ol' honkin' pork roasts on sale for cheap.  So I bought one.  (Ten Freaking Pounds Worth!!!).  And - once again - I bought the WRONG kinda roast!  I bought a Picnic Shoulder Roast - should have purchased a Boston Butt, dammit!

Ah well, onwards and upwards...  I decided to throw the pig in the smoker, yesterday - and it came out MUCH better than previous attempts, so I figured I'd throw a quickie-post up - just so I can reference it later :-)

No prep-work (brining, wrapping, yada-yadas) the night before - although I do think that wouldn't hurt to soak it in apple-juice overnight (probably make it even better, actually!).  Trouble is - I never know "the night before" if I'm gonna be able to allocate adequate TIME, the next day, for smoking.

Smoking is very time-consuming, and somewhat hands-on - but not the ENTIRE time.  Of course, it's not like you can toss a slab o' meat into the smoker and then just leave the house, either!

Anyhoooo...  Gonna dial-back the rambling and just focus on "what I did" - Deal?!  DEAL!

Based on my BBQ Class Notes:

  • Pork roast - takes appx 1:00 - 1:10 per pound to cook in a smoker (mine runs around 225*F).

    So, 10 lbs: In at 9:00am, out at 7:00pm (best case scenario).
  • Halfway point, put the roast into a big aluminum pan, wrap with foil, and allow it to continue cooking

    (Smoke - this late in the game - makes no difference)

8:00am - I took the roast out of the fridge and let it come a bit closer to room temperature. Hacked a few diagonal slices on the fat-cap.
8:30am - I grabbed a bunch of Apple and Hickory wood-chunks and tossed 'em into an aluminum pan full of water.  I also removed the roast from the package, gave it a good rinsing in cool water, then moved it into a large disposable lasagna pan.  Coated the roast with garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil, and rubbed the whole thing generously, with Bad Byron's Butt Rub.  Left everything 'soaking' for half an hour. (Wood nice and wet, Pig ended up with a slick coating of BBQ rub)
8:45am - I plugged in the smoker and let it start heating up
9:00am - I wrapped the bigger wood-chunks in aluminum foil, poked-holes in the foil.  Put the smaller wet wood crumbles into a smoker box.  Put everything on/around the heating element in the smoker.
9:15am - Smoker's starting to smoke.  Filled the water pan with a bottle of hard-apple-cider, water, and some fresh rosemary sprigs.  Sprayed the rack with olive oil.  Placed the roast on the rack - fat-side-up, directly above the water bowl, added a couple of rosemary sprigs on top of that.
9:30 - 10:30am - kept checking the smoker, periodically, to ensure a steady stream of smoke - added more wet-wood, as needed, to keep it shmokin'!
10:30am  - Decide that the roast really could use a good "mop" so I mixed up 1/2c Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 cup Soy Sauce, 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Rays Sweet 'n Spicy BBQ Sauce, a couple splashes of Worcestershire Sauce, several shakes of BBQ rub, Brown sugar and Molasses (sorry - didn't measure!).  Kept slathering that on thru the cooking process
1:30pm - (or thereabouts).  I pulled the roast out of the smoker, returned it to the (washed!) giant lasagna pan, covered the whole thing (pan + roast) with heavy-duty aluminum foil, then returned it to the cooker.
5:00pm - Hubbie is expressing interest in the delicious aromas emanating from the smoker.  I have to tell him the sad news that this is most-likely going to be "leftover meals" (he's pretty strict about wanting dinner around 6pm!)
5:30pm - I decide that there's no harm in moving the roast into the crock pot.  In fact, that might help facilitate the "shreddification" of the meat - since the crock pot won't dry it out...

5:30 - 8:00pm - Put the nekkid roast - along with some pan drippings and more "mop" - into the crock-pot.  Cooked it on high 'til the bones fell out and the meat would shred easily.

8:00pm - Remove the fat/skin and bones - toss 'em out (or save 'em  for soup - whatEVAH).  Grab a fork and a knife and start shredding.  Add more mop if the meat seems too dry (mine wasn't dry - but I added some mop anyway for flavor!).


Came out FANTASTIC!  Still not as good as my favorite BQ Joint, but a HUGE improvement over my earlier attempts!


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