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!