I have been smoking occasionally for a bit over a year now, but just got a new Smoke Hollow 38" Double Door LP smoker 11 days ago, and this is my second try at smoking our dinner with the new smoker. This first time was Pork Ribs and Bone-In Chicken, but no pictures or posting. Everything came out great, however, so this time I'll share...
My wife picked up some Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs a few months ago, and they have been sitting in the freezer, vacuum sealed, waiting for a good reason to be thawed, so earlier in the week, they found their way to the fridge to thaw. When I opened them up, I discovered they were NOT country style ribs cut from shoulder or butt, rather cut from pork loin, which made me happy, as I am not a huge butt or shoulder fan....
Since there are just my wife and I, we usually only cook a couple day's portions, so not a lot of meat in this batch, just 5 pieces of boneless CSR. Since I also had a boneless chicken breast that was looking for some smoke, I also prepared that for dinner...
So, first thing, was some seasoning with rub and olive oil. I have been using a store bought rub from the Dollar Tree for about a year now. Maybe not as good as a home made recipe, but for a buck, it's really a good rub. My wife doesn't like it really spicy, so I mix the seasoning out of the bottle with brown sugar: 3 parts brown sugar to 2 parts seasoning blend. Have used this on baby back ribs several times in the past with great reviews.
I brushed the CSR rib sections with olive oil and then rolled in the rub.
After all pieces were coated, they went into a container and the remaining rub was sprinkled over the top. Then in the fridge to "soak" for a couple hours.
We had to go out for a couple hours, but upon returning, I started up the smoker, loaded with soaked hickory chips (I keep a 32 oz Skippy Peanut Butter jar filled with chips and water so they are all ready at a moment's notice If I had been thinking, I would have used the water from soaking the chips in the water pan along with the juices from the ribs from the fridge, but I did not think about it until after I dumped out the water... After a week sitting in the water, that water really smelled like hickory, too... What a waste!! But, once the smoker was up to temp (225F) and generating smoke, I set the CSR pieces on the middle rack at door thermometer level and left things to smoke, checking temperature regularly (every 15-20 minutes until I knew it was stable) [Yes, I checked the accuracy of my door thermometer, and it is within 5F of my wireless probe, so I am happy]
After getting the CSR underway in the smoker, I prepared a brine for the chicken breast. I have two favorite chicken restaurants: Brooks House of BBQ in Oneonta, New York and Zehnder's Restaurant in Frankenmuth, Michigan. I buy their seasonings regularly for cooking chicken. Recently, Zehnder's came out with a Smoky Honey Barbeque seasoning for chicken, and we love it!
But, for this brine, I used the Brooks House of BBQ Grillin' Rub as a seasoning in the brine: (Brooks also bottles a brine/mariande like they use in house, too)
1-1/3 cup water
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp Brook's House of BBQ Grillin' Rub
2 tsp Olive Oil
Put in a jar and shake until well blended.
I pounded the chicken breast slightly to flatten one extra thick section slightly, and then put the chicken and brine into a container, turned a couple times, leaving skin-side (even though skinless) down.
I left it in the fridge to brine for about 90 minutes and headed down to the farm stand to get some fresh corn on the cob... Looked up here the best way to smoke-cook corn on the cob, and prepared it according to what I found here:
My wife also prepared some "Oven Baked Grape Tomatoes" with EVOO, Italian Seasoning, minced garlic and chopped chives. They went into the smoker with the corn and the chicken at about the 1h45m point, and figuring 3-1/2 hours total for the smoke/cook, everything should be done at the same time, hopefully.
Before the chicken made the trip to the smoker, it was drained, rinsed, patted dry and then given a moderate coating of Zehnder's Smoky Honey Barbeque Seasoning, straight from the bottle, no blending with anything this time around, as this rub is fantastic right out of the bottle. I think you can buy the rub from Zehnder's online store, just search the web. We go out there a few times a year, so I pick up a good supply every visit
To finish things off, I make my own sauce using:
2 parts Ketchup
2 parts Dark Amber Maple Syrup
2 parts Honey
1 part Molasses
1 part Seasoning Blend (This time I used the Blazin' Blends Memphis Style Seasoning Mix)
I just mix all the ingredients together and warm them slightly by setting the bowl on the top of the smoker, brushing the ribs and chicken a couple times during the final half hour.
So, now that 3-1/2 hours are approaching, I am thinking it may be getting near time for dinner!! I'll post pictures of the final products after we eat