What is being said....

"I need dessert for my blood sugar."

Mallory, 7 yrs.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Wow.  That was quite a break.  Time flies when you're having fun.  Everyone is 4+ years older. There now you're caught up. (oh, and we no longer have Sally.)

My folks got me a smoker for Christmas and Jynelle got me several accessories to go along with it.  I've never smoked anything before (honest!) but I've read a few websites, asked a few questions and I'm on my way to becoming a Pit Master!  For some reason, I feel the need to journal my quest to PM status.  You know, document the meats, rubs, woods (Wood Jerry, wood.), timing etc. so I can experiment and tweak each cook.

I wasn't sure what type of meat I wanted to smoke first, but the thought of a brisket made my mouth water.  Jynelle talked me out of the smokey haze I was in and suggested I start with a couple of whole chickens that were only $.99 a pound vs. a brisket which was over $4.  If I screwed up my first try, we'd only be out $10 of meat rather than $70 (man those briskets are big at Sams Club).

So on Monday while we were taking down Christmas decorations, I looked up a recipe, brined the chickens for two hours, made a dry rub and smoked a couple of chickens.  I used hickory wood and the plan was to smoke them at 225* for 3 hours.  Well about 2.5 hours in, the temp was nowhere near where it needed to be, so I had to turn up the heat unless I wanted to buy pizza and have smoked chicken for breakfast.  Fortunately we also forgot Bergen had band practice at 6:30, so dinner got pushed back almost an hour while we rushed him over to the church (woot woot!).  After a little over 4 hours in the smoker, I must say, they came out very good!  The look on Jynelle's face was worth all of the work when she bit into her first bite. And the left-overs....yum!

So, what to smoke next?  I still wasn't sure about a brisket.  That seems to be the Holy Grail of meats for Smokers and I need to take baby steps (Bob!).  So what is between a chicken and a cow? A pig!  Now I've never been a big fan of ribs.  Don't get me wrong, they taste great, but it seems you end up getting more bone than meat and have to eat 30 of the stupid things to get full.  But a pulled pork sandwich.....that's ALL meat (well, the stuff between the bun is).  So my research began.  I have found several good websites, but so far, my favorite is www.smoking-meat.com. I read several forums and found a recipe that I think will work.  Off to Sams Club!  Hatcher and I found the Boston Butts (why does he laugh when I tell him what we're looking for?). They were right next to the beef briskets.  I was tempted.....but cooler heads prevailed and we walked out with a nice 16 lb butt.  (why is he laughing so much?)

I text my pastor and friend John who is an amazing cook.  His passion outside of the Worship Arts Ministry is food and I have never left his house hungry (it would be my fault if I did). I ask him if he has a favorite dry rub recipe for pork that he wouldn't mind sharing (reading some of those websites, some guys lock their rub recipe up tighter than Fort Knox).  He said he didn't use a recipe and usually just threw some spices together he had in the kitchen.  I should have known.  What a noob.  So I went around and found some basic recipes for a dry rub.  Most of them are the same with a few tweaks for taste.  But to be on the safe side, and not ruin 16 lbs of meat, I asked Jynelle to pick up a rub for me at the store while she was there.  Turns out she only got enough rub for an 8 lb piece of meat and I needed to double it.  Instead of heading back to the store, I take John's advice and add my own spices to the store bought (hey, maybe this isn't as hard as I thought). In addtion to the "Famous" rub, I added smoked paprika, garlic salt, sea salt, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle chili powder and brown sugar. The plan is to smoke this monstrosity Friday/Saturday for dinner during the Seahawk game Saturday night.  Go Hawks! (and Broncos!)

So first, I open the package and find it's actually two 8 lb butts (why are the kids continuing to laugh?) and maybe won't take 24+ hours to smoke.  I'll have to read up and see if two 8's cook quicker than one 16.

I rub in a layer of yellow mustard to act as the binder for the rub.

Then I generously rub my butts (where is that laughter coming from?) with the dry rub and......I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of them.  Trust me, they looked a lot like the first picture above, but more red...and beautiful....and aromatic!

Then I wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to marinade for 40-55 hours in the fridge.

I've selected cherry wood for the smoke and found a recipe for something called a Finishing Sauce that I'll prepare on Saturday for the flavoring.  Will most likely have store bought BBQ sauce for those that want it.  I haven't gotten to the point of making my own (yet).  Let the waiting begin!


1 comment:

meg. said...

But where does the meat go?