Good morning! Tomorrow I am taking a pork shoulder to my in-laws for the 4th, so I started cooking... well... yesterday .
I have two smokers: my Cajun Bandit modified Weber OTG, and a Smoke Hollow No. 6 gasser. I work from home, and my office is next to the patio, so I decided to use the Cajun Bandit today. I can look out my office door's window and watch the pretty smoke waft out of the lid. I probably won't get much work done, but it will be a fun day!
Yesterday I decided to save some time and set up the Cajun Bandit (my kids nicknamed it "Gambit"... extra points to anybody who knows the joke...) I set up my charcoal (apple wood chunks) in a "Minion ring" with a water pan in the center. I know from past experience it's good for about 6 hours. I plan to wrap the shoulder at about 3 hours of smoke, so when the charcoal runs out I'll transfer to the oven for finish.
Next, the pork shoulder. It's 8.5 pounds, decently well trimmed from the grocery store. I rubbed it with a light coating of safflower oil, then coated liberally with rub. My rub is a blend of dark brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder. Due to the various family tastes, I don't use cayenne or chipotle... the folks who like it with a bite use a spicier sauce.
I let the meat sit overnight in the fridge. Next morning, time to inject with a mixture of 2/3 apple juice and 1/3 apple cider vinegar. I know there are differing opinions on injection, but I chose to inject this time since it's my first shoulder, and since Gambit's temperature control is not great. I wanted the extra moisture in the meat at the start of the smoke, and the vinegar will help tenderize the meat.
Charcoal is lit and Gambit is preheating.
And we're off! More updates to follow through the day.