Hey all! Been a while since I had a picnic pass through the smoke, and my wife called me from the store yesterday to give me the run-down on sale meats. Picnics and spare ribs were on sale, so, I immediately opted for the picnic @ $1.38/lb, just so I could put one through the tests in this method...been there, done that with spares last spring, anyway. I would have had her grab several more if I had the space, but my freezer is currently full of smoked meats awaiting my daughter's wedding in June, so until then, I'm in limbo with freezer restocking. This picnic should make a nice pulled pork dinner for Sunday.
I was originally planning for about 10-12 hours of smoke with a wet water pan in the Gourmet charcoal smoker, then dropping it into the Smoke Vault 24 for transitioning into the dry smoke chamber, which allow me to get some sleep tonight, but tending the Gourmet didn't seem like a good plan with how busy I've been here on the forums today, so the Vault will carry this picnic from start to finish.
This subject is bone-in, so no worries about dealing with a compromised muscle, as I'm not injecting...11.1lb should feed us and a few guests, and then some...wanna join us??? LOL!!!:
Skin is on, but won't be for long...I'm trimming this pretty much to bare meat, well, as much as possible without any waste:
Got it all in one piece...nice:
Skin-side is ready for rubbing...back didn't need a lot to prep, just a couple spots of soft fat and the end of the vein that I cut away from the surface without piercing/puncturing into the meat:
Rub is a simple SPOG with added red bell pepper for a touch of that slightly sweeter profile.
***all measures are pre-grind***
5 Tbsp red bell pepper, med-fine grind
4 Tbsp onion, medium to fine grind
2.5 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp peppercorn, med-fine grind
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Easy, simple, with just a hint of sweeter flavor from the onion and red bells...I want to taste the stronger shoulder and just kick it up a bit, not cover it or get too complicated.
4th coat here...I didn't stop applying rub until it refused to take anymore...the salt aided in drawing some natural moisture out to allow the rmeat's surface to tack-up and grab onto the rub just as you would normally see:
Smoke is on @ 1:45 pm MT, 225* target chamber temp, water in the foil catch over my pea-gravel-filled water pan, a few cups of water in a second pan on the lowest grate position for even more humidity, with hickory, cherry and apple smoke wood chips for a heavy smoke up front...I'll keep this coming on strong for at least 5-6 hours before I let it slow down. This is a big ol' chunka meat, so smoke, smoke and more smoke, I say. Picnic is on the 3rd grate position up.
I'll check on the water in the foil-catch and the pan above after several hours and add a bit if needed, then bump temps to around 240* when it transitions to the dry smoke chamber, and I might just let the smoke fizzle out sometime after that as well. Shooting for at least 8-10 hours wet chamber though, for a good smoke reaction, before I seal it all up and take it home for the finish with the dry chamber. I may be looking at 20 hours+ on this one...maybe over 24...we'll see.
Catch ya on the rebound with the finished pics and pulled pork, or if anything comes up en-route to the slow race to the finish, I'll post it up.
EDIT: for those of you who may not have been following me and a few others who have tried this method, here's a couple links...one is from my signature line with a search for additional threads related to this method. The method itself is best explained in the Brisket thread, but the others explain how this method has evolved from it's beginning...look for the earliest, in chronological order from thread start date and you can follow it up to this thread, if you wish:
Edited by forluvofsmoke - 6/2/13 at 8:54pm