Hi, all. I've read these forums for a few months now and have learned a LOT from ya'll. Got up early (although not as early as I'd planned) this morning to cook a shoulder and decided what the hell, I'll log it on SMF. Hope ya'll enjoy!
I started with a 10.1 lb picnic ham. Would've rather done a butt, but the grocery store had a great sale on picnics; would've REALLY liked to do a whole shoulder, but I went to the store fairly late last night and the butcher had already gone home. Anyway, I digress. I cut the skin off, trimmed away a bit of the fat, patted the meat dry, then stuck it in the fridge while I got my fire going.
I always initially start my fire with plane old charcoal in a chimney starter. Once it's ready to go, I spread the coals in my Char-Griller smoker, open the vents and the chimney about half-way, and let 'em burn for a while. When the temp reaches 225, I throw on a couple hickory chunks, put the meat on the opposite side, and that's all she wrote. To maintain temperature (I shoot for between 225-250), I throw on a few more hickory chunks every 90 minutes or so--no more charcoal. I'll also throw on some soaked hickory chips every few hours.
The picture below is from right before I shut the lid. Yep, naked meat. I've experimented with a few rubs recently, but none I've tried has turned out as tasty as when I let the meat speak for itself and simply finish it off with a couple moppings over the last 2-2.5 hours of the smoke. Today, I'm going Lexington style--the stuff I grew up on. I'll get to that later, though. Time to watch some golf! I'm going to try to avoid cracking my first beer until it's at least a somewhat socially acceptable hour, but there's meat cookin' so I make no promises!
Update: 5 o'clock somewhere and 9:02am at my smoker. Temp got a little low, so I just added a handful of hickory chunks. Like the way it's looking so far.
Edited by NC Cue - 7/21/12 at 6:06am