My order for a key ingredient to another flavor sensation arrived at my door about 5:00 pm tonight, so the spice grinder was buzzing up a storm for a few minutes while I put together another recipe to share.
I originally planned on releasing this on pork loin back ribs, but this is a slight variation to what I planned on for that smoke, so I'll bring it out to you on something a bit more popular to the masses, being pulled pork. I'll kick out the rib rub when I get some to smoke...sound OK?
APPLE/CHERRY BUTT RUB
4 Tbls dried apple chips, broken up and ground
3 Tbls dried tart cherry, ground
1.5 Tbls garlic, ground
2 Tbls black peppercorn, ground
1 Tbls rosemary leaves, ground
1/2 Tbls oregano, ground
1 Tbls paprika
2 Tbls kosher salt, added during second grind of the fruit and spice blend to reduce caking of the blend
To find the preparation method (it may be confusing to overcome a couple hurdles with the cherries), go to the Wiki and look for Cherry Dry Rub.
So, for tonight's victim, I have:
I scored the fat cap @ 1/2" intervals to hold onto some extra dry rub which should grab hold of tons of meat juices for a nice bark. I'll also lay it fat cap up in the smoker for self basting while it goes through it's long smoky ride:
This was trimmed pretty nicely with the thickest parts of the cap being about 1/2 - 5/8"...perfect for my liking...just enough to do it's job of protecting the meat in the smoker, and then leave a cool looking bark with the crispy scored fat...you'll get a look at that in about 15 hours:
The dry rub recipe came out at about 1 and 1/8 cup after a double grind, and it took a full cup for the main rub-down. I do actually work the rub in on butts, especially the scored fat cap, where I gently work it between the cuts, careful not to tear off the scored fat. I try to be extra gentle with a scoring this close together:
I took the remaining 1/8 cup of dry rub and spread it out over the fat cap. This will give the meat juices a bit of extra rub to soak into as it smokes...it should be a massive bark on top if this works like it has for me a few other times:
Into the Smoke Vault 24 gasser with a nearly full water pan, 11*F ambient temps, 225* with apple, cherry and pecan smoke woods...I got some pecan a couple weeks ago and thought this would be another good place to try it. I really like charcoal smokes, but for all-nighters, I'm opting for the gas rig for less tending so I can get some sleep after everything's running smoothly...I wait for the initial thermal absorption where the chamber temp spikes a bit (1-2 hrs), then dial it in for temp I want to ride the night, and tonight I will getting some eyelid inspections done while the pork gets happy. I'll stab a probe for I/T's first thing in the morning and see what Tuesday's pulled pork dinner is looking like:
The dry rub tastes and smells great...simple but the combination of the tart cherry with the sweeter apple comes in nicely after I took a pinch. The smoke combination sure can't hurt anything either. I though about using a bit of hickory as well for a bit more bite, but the pecan has come through nicely with the few smokes I've used it on with apple, and the cherry is one of my favorites which does quite well alone or blended, so I'm betting on a nice flavor, even with the heavier meat flavor of the pork shoulder.
So, the smoke started @ 10:00 pm MST, and dinner is planned for 6:00 pm...will I make it time? Biggest chunk of pork I ever smoked, I think, and it has alot of bone, so a long smoke is coming my way right now.
See ya in the morning, fellow smoke lovers!!!
Thanks for dropping by and checking out my new rub and another pulled pork smoke!
One more smoke check, and if all's well I think it's lights out for about 6 hours...