Synopsis - Process - Result
I got a new MES 40 a week ago. I read up on it alot before using, seeing many past problems with temperature, control board, etcetera. I experienced none of those problems and hope not to. What really concerned me was what would become my first smoke on it - a 26-pound fresh pork hind-quarter that my wife got (without my knowledge) at a local meat market .
I proceeded to inject the pork with about a 90/10 mixture of apple juice and maple syrup. Then, cross-hatched the fat, rubbed the whole thing down with some of the maple syrup along with a dry rub - brown sugar mixture, and set it in the fridge overnight. I had no idea how long the smoke would take, seeing time-per-pound estimates ranging from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, so I prepared for anywhere between 13 and 39 hours. It actually wound up staying in the smoker for 16 hours, reaching 170 internal (according to digital meat probe) at the 12-hour mark and staying there to the end. I got plenty of smoke using damp hickory chips via the chip loader about 8 times over 10 hours. After 4 times, emptied the tray of about half- full ash and smoldering embers. Drip tray only wound up close to full at the end from basting, because I put the aluminum pan on shelf under meat for the duration. Water bowl only filled initially with about 80/20 water and apple juice. Along the way starting at the 4-hour mark, I sprayed the pork down every 2 hours with a 45/45/10 mixture of apple cider vinegar, apple juice and maple syrup. Smoker temp was set at 225 for 10 hours, then 210 for 2 hours to the 12-hour mark, then 180 to the end.
The result was nothing short of spectacular. That hunk of pork sung with succulence! Only a very small amount of exposed meat on the end was a little dry, as expected.
At the start...
At 5 hours
At 10 hours
All the various parts, sliced up, moist & tender!