Were having new years eve party for the (IIRC) 19th year in a row, I was going to keep it simple and really wasn’t up for a long smoke but at the last minute decided to do some Pulled pork and appetizers.
12/30/2011 Off to Sams club, picked up a double pack of Boston butts 16 lbs. and a picnic 9 lb at a $1.78 a pound… boy that’s high for Butts and Picnics.
After my last cook I am sold on doing a picnic and butt together.
They had a ton of Picnics and Butts,
Went home and had to help setup for my daughters BF’s surprise birthday party, my job was to clean up the deck and get a fire going in the chiminea, after that was done I went down and trimmed up the picnic.
- The Butt had hardly any fat on it so I decided to crosshatch cut the fat and rub real good.
- I wrapped and froze the other butt.
- Outside temp was 46° with a slight breeze, cleaned out the ash from my last smoke.
- Fired up the smoker by 6:00am, loaded up the basket with some Bradford pear trimmings and a few pieces of Hickory.
- Gassed up frank and lit the log lighter.
Checking for proper draft.
My goal is to have the pork resting by 4:00pm for 2 hours then pull, sauce and place in chaffing pans before 7:00pm
OK... Frank is fired up, time to get out my gear, setup my drip pans, add some water to the drip pans then throw on the pork.
6:10am and the Pork is on.
After the wood was through the combustion stage and there was no smoke, I shut the lid, I usually fire up the smoker to about 300° and wait for a small coal bed before throwing on the meat, however I didn’t have time for this.
Got out my Taylor thermometer to use as a timer and setup my Maverick thermo, for the smoke chamber only and decided to take a nice hot Jacuzzi bath, so I loaded up the basket waited for the wood to settle down and grabbed my Maverick receiver and headed upstairs, I really need to write a review on this thermo, anyhow the temps peaked at 315° for about 10 minutes, while I was enjoying my hot jacuzzi bath.
- After my hot Jacuzzi bath, (no pics of that, sorry!)I headed downstairs to the kitchen, made a cup of "Jamaica me Crazy" and grabbed a couple slices of hoagie leftover from last nights party.
With my breakfast of champions in hand, I headed downstairs to the basement, by this time the chamber temp was at 220° one hour later, unattended not bad.
- Threw on some more hickory and noticed a bit of a coal bed, decided to take a peek at the butt and picnic, checked the drip pans and added some more water, the last smoke I burnt up the drippings.
- The Picnic and Butt is coming along beautifully.
It looks like its going to be another beautiful day.
I decided to hang in the basement, close to Frank, and watch a bit of TV till I got a decent bed of coals, then I’ll start my appetizers and other stuff.
- It’s 10:20am, about three hours into the smoke, I decided to flip the pork, (I usually don't flip the pork). Inserted the probe at this time. Internal temp is 129°, added some more water to the drip pans and added some more Hickory.
OK all is looking good, time to head upstairs to make the “Chili Peppers”, “Italian sausage bites” and start the sauerkraut for the kielbasa.
- Started with the sauerkraut, this is in its eighth week of fermenting.
- Getting a bit low on the Sauerkraut, not sure if I'll have enough for canning.
If you never had home made sauerkraut, you owe it to yourself to make some, trust me on this! I will be posting the method later this week.
While making the appetizers, the pork broke 140° a little bit before 11:00am.
Onto the appetizers, my brother had given me a bag of peppers last week and I wanted to use them up before they went south. So I decided to make “Chili” peppers.
Ground everything real good to run through my injector, disassembled the injector and purse cut the peppers, the peppers did not need to be cleaned out, they were pretty much empty.
Loaded up the injector and started stuffing the peppers, this method made the job so much easier, neater and quicker.
Since the peppers were all different sizes, I would stretch, flatten and cut the bacon to accommodate the size of the pepper,
I really like using thick bacon because it gives me more flexibility for sizing.
Then the peppers were covered in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator.
- Sizing the bacon
- There was a little leftover chili from the peppers, so I decided to have it for lunch, along with a sample pepper.
Five hours in, a little after 11:00am and the pork is reading an internal temperature of 156°, I checked the pork and the liquid in the drip pan, looking good.
- I threw my lunch on the smoker at this point.
A few hours later I had my chili sauce and sample pepper for lunch.
My sample pepper lost most of the chili sauce, so I decided to make these in the muffin pan hoping to control the loss of chili by positioning them with the cut facing upwards.
- About 1:00pm I foiled the pork, I usually do not foil my traditional style pork during the smoke but decided to do so on this particular smoke. OK lets remove the drip pans, the one drip pan is looking good, however the one closer to the firebox burnt up, oh well.
- About 8 hours into the cook, a little bit after 2:00pm, the pork was reading 198°, so I threw on the kielbasa on the smoker and started the “Italian Sausage Bites”, same recipe as last time just a different method of preparing, I think some folks will like this method. I used a mini muffin pan sprayed with Pam cooking spray.
Its about 2:30pm, finished preparing the bites and covered them in plastic wrap and placed them in the refrigerator.
Clock is ticking, got about 4.5 hours till the guests arrive but feel I am in good shape.
- It's about 3:30 , 9 hours 12 minutes into the smoke. The butt was at 208° I probed the picnic and it was at 212°, I usually pull at 205°, but this got away from me, wrapped the pork in foil, towels then into the color. This was one of my Quickest smokes approximately 72 minutes per/lb, I did run the smoker a tad higher at around 250°.
- Now it's time for the kielbasa. I cut up the kielbasa and added a cup of Killian's, a bit of "Mrs. Dash's Original Blend Seasoning" and tossed together in the crock pot.
Wow, this is looking good!
Now, we'll let this slow cook for several hours.
- Its about 4:20 pm, got less than three hours to go, brought down the appetizers and threw them on the smoker.
Went upstairs onto the deck and started a fire in the chiminea and cleaned up the deck, as the appetizers were cooking.
About 6:20 and 40 minutes left, I pulled the pork and made 2 finishing sauces. So we had a Jack Daniels Pulled Pork and a Buffalo Style Pulled pork.
Oh no! I forgot to add the cheese to the bites.
- Removed the "Chili Peppers" from the smoker while topping the "Italian bites" with cheese. The muffin pan did help in keeping the chili in the peppers, a few leaked a bit bust most of them were fine.
- 10 minutes on the smoker and these guys are ready.
OK... SORRY about the interruption, lets get back to the pulled pork!
- Making the "Buffalo Style" sauce for the Pulled pork.
6:50pm and everything is setup and ready, now I just need a guest to arrive so I can have my first Killian’s.
The guests enjoyed everything, the JD Pulled Pork was a huge hit with everyone and the Buffalo Style Pulled Pork was a hit with the younger kids and most of the men. I preferred the Buffalo style, it was a nice change.
The appetizers did not go, I was a bit surprised because my last smoke, the apps were a hit, some folks that tried them liked them, but I think most folks were into the roast beef, kielbasa and sweets.
I think next time I make the Italian Sausage bites, I'll top with an additional sun-dried tomato, followed by the cheese.
We usually put a flat screen TV on the wall to watch the ball drop but, I decided not too… big mistake, many folks were disappointed so I had half my guests on the deck with their noisemakers and the other half inside watching the ball drop.
I’ll never make this mistake again.
- Last years TV And 80's videos
- Hanging out
We had our typical fireworks display then folks started leaving by 1:00am and a few stayed till about 3:30am, I was dead at this point.
- Last years fireworks, same as this years, but don't have any pics.
I slept nearly 14 hours the next day!