I thought I would do a final followup to this weekend’s smoking activities.
Overall I was pleased with the finished product. I think the brined pork butts may have been a little too salty by the time they were done, or at least they seemed to me to be excessively salty. I think if I leave the salt out of the rub in the future for things brined in salt and that should solve that problem. But, for some reason lately I’ve become more sensitive to salt so that could just be me thinking that. The pork butts didn’t reach complete “pulling” stage because I pulled them when the internal temp was about 180 or so. In the future I may leave them in until 195 and see what will happen. I was happy with chunking I was able to get out of them. I had it today in a sandwich and it was great. Even used some of my homemade sauce with them and I think I’ve decided to quit buying sauce.
I think in the future I’ll make sure to trim a lot more fat off the ribs before I cook them. It’s hard to trim them after they are cooked and I have a hard time eating that much fat with my meat. But I don’t think I’ll do ribs too much in the future. I was able to buy both of those pork butts for the same price as one slab of ribs so I think they might be a little too pricey for my liking. They were crazy tender though and the bones came out almost completely free of any meat so that was a sign they were cooked right. On a side note, we gave the dog two rib bones and she was deliriously happy. I haven’t seen a dog that happy before. This is only the 2nd time she has ever had bones from dinner. Both in the last two months or so. I think we are getting soft on her in our old age.
I also will make sure to eat the smoked products on the day they are cooked. Fresh out of the oven is so much better than waiting until the next day that it will encourage me to get up even earlier to get things in the smoker so that they will be ready in time for dinner.
I was happy with the smoker/oven setup, although not with the necessity of cleaning the oven the following day. We self-cleaned the oven the following day and the whole house filled up with smoke. I don’t really want to repeat that again. Of course, I could put the butts in a pan, or put something under them to catch the drippings.
Our dinner guests on Sunday night enjoyed the food so that was good. The only Q they’ve ever had was Famous Dave’s so I have to take at least a little pity on them.
Attending to the fire in smokey with it’s offset firebox is a little much. This has always been my bane with smoking foods. Messing with the fire so much gets tiring, and frankly, I am the kind of person who wants to be doing 5 things at the same time and when I’m smoking foods I really can’t do anything but watch the fire. I had picked up a hot plate when I was end capping at Target one day and Friday night I set out the hot plate and my cast iron skillet in the smoker to see if they would make it hot enough to work in my smoker, but it wouldn’t. Too much area to heat up I think. Basically, by doing this I’m using the heat from the hot plate to be my heat source to get the cooking temperature in the correct range, and the heat from the hot plate will also cause wood chips placed in the skillet to smoke and thus you are smoking and cooking at the same time. (If you want to learn more about this google “trash can smokers” from my convenient google search bar to your right, or click here.) Anyway, what this means is that in the near future I’m going to build a trash can smoker to use. I think this will allow me smoke more often because I won’t have to watch the fire as much. And most importantly, making a trash can smoker is cheap and easy.