I'll be smoking this Thursday, and figured I'd do a little bit better job of being detailed in my post. So, I'm starting at the very beginning and getting a little bit of a head start on documentation. (BTW, I realize I'm including pork in the Poultry forum, but didn't want to have to do two separate posts and, besides, poultry will be 4/5 of this smoke. )
SMOKE DAY MINUS 60-ish HOURS (9/19)
This evening I put three whole chickens and one turkey breast into a very slightly modified Slaughterhouse Brine. The only change I made was to leave out the celery seed -- it's not cheap, and we couldn't perceive a significant flavor contribution from it.
I also put a pork loin into a modified version of this pork brine posted by Chef JimmyJ. My modifications are as follows: substituted equal amount of brown sugar for molasses (really not a huge fan of molasses, unless of course it's being put to good use in making rum), completely left out the mustard and sage, and substituted mulling spices for the pickling spices.
No QView tonight because, well, it's really not that interesting. Just a bunch of meat in brine. Potential to be sure, but not what I'd call picture worthy yet.
SMOKE DAY MINUS 48-ish HOURS (9/20)
Nothing planned for this day except to stir the brine and maybe turn the birds and pork.
Still pretty boring, no QView planned.
UPDATE: @WaterinHoleBrew shamed me into posting some pics. So here are the birds and pork, soaking up tasty moisture.
I still don't think they're much to look at, but maybe they'll give you a little fix.
SMOKE DAY MINUS 24-ish HOURS (9/21)
Birds and pork will be pulled from brine. Birds to be patted dry and put in fridge uncovered. Pork will be patted mostly dry, rubbed with the surplus rub from my last pork butt smoke, and put in the fridge uncovered. I don't remember where I got the rub recipe I used for the pork butts, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if I modified it, so here are the ingredients:
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons rosemary powder
Probably no QView this day either.
UPDATE: Pork loin is rubbed and in the fridge along with the birds. Decided to go with tried-and-true this time around and stay really simple on the birds.
Relenting once again to peer pressure.
Not long now!
SMOKE DAY! (9/22)
I will hopefully be starting around 8AM. No biggie if it's a little later, though, since neither the poultry nor the pork should take very long at all.
I was very happy with the "fuse" or "C" method I used last time -- much easier to control the temp and seemed to use less charcoal -- so I'll be using the same method. Plan is to run the smoke somewhere around 235F.
I will be using apple for the smoke -- can almost smell it now!
Birds will be pulled from the fridge just long enough before going in the smoker to rub them with EVOO, black pepper, and sea salt. (I am contemplating rubbing one of the chickens with EVOO, sea salt, and smoked paprika or chipotle powder. If I do, I'll rub it on 9/21. Decided against.) Pork loin will be pulled out of the fridge and go straight to the smoker.
UPDATE: Despite a morning full of the unexpected, we have lift off.
Here are the birds (all stuffed with kielbasa, rubbed as described above) and the pork, out of the fridge and ready to go in the smoker.
Temp is right where I wanted it, and smoker is rocking the TBS.
Chickens are on the bottom rack, turkey breast and pork are on the top. Therm is in the pork loin, set to alarm at 135F so that I have time to get the foil, etc., ready so I can pull, wrap, and rest when it gets to 140F. (As noted in other threads, the temp should rise to 145F during the rest.)
Once the pork is out, I'll probably bump the temp a little so that the skin on the birds will crisp a little better.
UPDATE: Took loin out of the smoker at 140F. It's now wrapped and insulated between several layers of old towels in a cooler. Opened the bottom vents some more to ramp up the heat.
UPDATE: Loin has been sliced, and the flavor is absolutely out of this world. Very, very tender and moist. All reviews from family are 5/5 stars. Oddly, no smoke ring like I got on my brisket, but the flavor is definitely there. I'm wondering if the lack of smoke ring is related to brining.
The combination of brine and the apple smoke is perfect. Very, very happy. Now, if I could just find a way to pay for -- and a place to store -- a meat slicer...
Temp is up on the smoker -- around 250F last I looked -- and the birds have about 22 - 27 degrees to go until they hit their mark.
If everything is done and I still have heat, I'm going to throw on some bacon-wrapped-brats. You know, so I don't waste any charcoal. Haha.
UPDATE: Guess I need to get the brats wrapped since I know I'll have heat and smoke left.
UPDATE: Achtung! Betrachten Sie diese im Speckmantel Bratwürste! (Translation courtesy of Google Translate -- if it's wrong, take it up with them. I know precisely enough German to ask for beer and cuss at someone. ) Bacon and cheddar on the left, original on the right.
Going in the smoker as soon as the birds are out.
UPDATE: Birds are out, pulled at 165F. Darker than I expected -- possibly the difference between water in the pan this time vs. sand in the pan last time -- but, if the juice is any indication, they should be delicious. The kielbasa in the turkey were exposed more than the kielbasa in the chickens, and you can see that the ends of a couple might have to be trimmed.
Brats are now in the smoker.
Next update should be the last one.
Make that next to last... one processed bird (minus the back) and 4 lengths of kielbasa.
OK, next update will really be the last.
FINAL UPDATE: Brats are done and out of the smoker, cooked to IT of 200F.
Stay tuned for QView and updates. Yes, I can hardly wait.
Edited by HardwoodAlchemy - 9/22/16 at 3:40pm