I was fortunate enough to squeeze a smoke in this past Sunday.
Was visiting my dad Saturday night and he said Shoprite has pork on sale $1.04 a pound... My eyes lit up and I knew what I was doing Sunday.
Stopped in Shoprite about 9 am, they had about 15 picnics and a huge whole ham.
Picked up 3 picnics at little over 9 pounds each
and the whole ham 21.66 pounds... I was happy.
So anyhow decided to do this sort of like my Philly style PP. So I chose one of the picnics and froze the rest.
- Removed the skin and most of the fat.
- Seasoned as follows.
- Started with my junk wood
- Gassed up frank and fired up the log lighter.
- Slid over the grates, placed the picnic on the grate and setup the drip pan. I put a gallon of water in the pan this time because the last two times I burnt up one out of the two pans.
- Ahhh gotta love this!
- Grates slid back in place and the pork is sitting directly over top of the drip pan.
- Setup the thermos and timers.
- Cleaned my work area got a few rags and my gloves ready, cooler and towels are in the house waiting for the rest.
- Fire is looking good, closed up smoke chamber lid.
- Started the timer.
- Food probe waiting for the 3 hour mark.
- Picked up a 1/4 cord of mixed hardwoods, oak, cherry, ash and black walnut. I separated some of the black walnut to slice up on the band saw for my GOSM. Built a fire in the back yard and chopped up a bunch of wood for Frank, some will be cut for the chimenea on the deck.
OK I don't know what happened, maybe it was the cold air or boredom...not sure but in any case I decided to start experimenting and decided this picnic was going to be the sacraficial lamb.
So I did everything different for this smoke.
It started by dumping the fire basket over throwing on huge splits.
- Opened up the chamber lid, Got a raging fire going and switched to huge splits
The flame was actually getting sucked in about 12 inches from what I could see, I was hearing frank pop and make all kinds of noises, the grease was sizzling inside the drain tube... yep this was getting interesting. I done this the rest of the smoke and was averaging temps from 275° to 325° sometimes dropping to 225°.
- Probed the butt after 3 hours.
- Foiled at 150°, another thing I usually don't do., wanted to see how much of a difference it would make in time and final product. Still researching the "evaporative cooling" idea.
- Removed the drip pan.
- Foiled and back on the smoker
- At this point I started making appetizers, only knocked out two of the five I planned on making, oh well maybe next time.
- Click the picture below for the appetizer post.
- Pepping the gravy to be used as a finishing sauce later.
- After the pre-finishing sauce was placed in the refrigerator, I started on the other appetizer on my list, click the picture below for that post.
- Smoker was anywhere from 225° to 325° the rest of the smoke, about seven hours in the pork was at 207° internal temp, at this I removed from the smoker foiled anothr layer, wrapped in towels and placed in the cooler to rest.
- Went upstairs removed the drippings from the refrigerator and there was no grease to remove, tosed the pot on the burner added a 1/2 cup of merlot and reduced the mixture by half.
- The last 20 minutes or so I thrw on a half dozen bayleaves a little black pepper and simmered, turned off the heat, removed bay leaves then started to shred the pork, added the finishing sauce after shredding.
I was a bit miffed by this experiment because there was no ill effect to the pork.
The results are identical to my smokes that are at 225° the entire cook.
This picnic took 8.5 hours to reach 207° I figured after trimming the picnic was at the most 8.5 pounds, so this took a minimum of 60 minutes a pound.
Foiling at 150° does seem to remove or minimise the "evaporative cooling" process as well as eliminate/ minimise the stall, there was no stall on this picnic.
I really abused this picnic in terms of the well respected low and slow and I was sort of hoping that the results would be different, even slightly undesirable than my other smokes to enforce the low and slow... but there were none.
There was no distinguishable difference in this smoke compared to the others I have smoked in the past other than time per/lb.
Would I get the same type of result from a Butt? I don't know, but I am pretty sure that I will go off my rocker and try it some day.
Will I change my smoking profile, NO, I love the time I spend on a long smoke it's my "ME" time but it is nice to know that I can push the limits and still turn out a great product.
Thanks for reading
Edited by SQWIB - 1/17/12 at 10:44am