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Smoking pork for tamales

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi folks. As I mentioned in my intro last week i plan on smoking a pork butt to use for tamales next week. I am thinking I will keep with a BBQ theme on the tamales rather than a more traditional one, and fill the tamales with a mix of pulled pork, bbq sauce, and assorted grilled chiles for some heat. Don't worry--there will be Q-view.

For this smoke though, I want to get as little bark on the pork shoulder as I can as I don't think it will compliment the tamales well. I'm thinking I'll use a marinade rather than a dry rub, try to pile the smoke flavor in at the beginning, keep the meat well mopped early, and then foil wrap after 3-4 hours.

Basically I'm doing everything opposite of the way I'd normally do it for sandwiches icon_twisted.gif Am I on the right track with this?
post #2 of 14
That sounds about right. Keep it moist and wrap early once you feel its got the smoke you want. Maybe smoke it a lil heavy?

Take plenty of picts of the tamales! I love a good tamale PDT_Armataz_01_20.gif I like the idea of a bit of chile in there with the meat. How will you work your bbq sauce in? Just sauce it afterwards? What about a mexican inspired bbq sauce to kinda pull the two cusines together? You got me thinking now and my mouth is watering.
post #3 of 14
Looking forward to seeing the pics of your tamales. As I remember making some a bunch of years ago they take a lot of patience. When done right they are truely wonderful.

post #4 of 14
zdave, looking forward to your tamales.....sounds great!
post #5 of 14
Are you going to put any chile/chile powder or BBQ sauce in the masa mix? As Vlap said, keeping it wrapped should prevent drying or creating a bark. A rub will also work as long as you keep it wrapped. Sometime I'm going to add some rub to my masa mix, thanks for the inspiration!
post #6 of 14
Looking forward to some tantalizing Qvue of this one, Dave.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking of taking a cornbread direction with the masa--maybe some honey? I was also thinking about some real butter to replace a portion of the vegetable oil (I know a purist would use lard). To kick some spice into the masa, I thought about throwing a few chiles in with the pork stock while it simmers. This is only my second time making masa and tamales so I'm a little worried about taking too many chances.

I was thinking after I pulled the pork, I'd put it whatever i work up for BBQ sauce and cook it down a little to reduce the sauce and glaze the pork.

I was pretty pleased with my first batch of more traditional tamales that I did on the New Years--so I hope I don't disappoint myself with these. As mentioned above it is a good bit of labor, but it's not really as much as I thought. It takes a long time to cook the meat, simmer the stock, steam the tamales, etc. but the actual rolling/wrapping took about 45 minutes for my wife and I to make 40 tamales.
post #8 of 14
zdave, I like the direction your taking regarding using the spiced up pork stock in the masa. Your glazing idea is also good. I can't comment on the cornbread/masa with honey, a little off my path on that one. All in all, I think you're going to have some tasty tamales!
post #9 of 14
would a pork adobo also werk here?

darn you rich........you got me on a roll...........LOLOL
post #10 of 14
WD, A pork Adobo would work well on pork and create a good pork stock to cook down for glazing, I'm going to try mixing it into the masa, based on the ingrediants it should work out well. Let me know what you come up with. Zdave started something here... and I like it!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well the pork butt went on my smoker/grill last night. I put it on at 7pm and then foil wrapped it at 10pm before bed. Pulled off this morning at 200 degrees, let it rest, then pulled it just now and tossed in some BBQ sauce that I made last night with tomato paste, onions, ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, chili powder, cumin, worcestershire, cayenne, salsa, etc. Not bad for my first sauce attempt--sweet and spicy at the same time but I think I used too much tomato paste.

I'm grilling some chiles right now to mix in there and then we'll make tamales when my wife gets home this afternoon.

Q-view will come tonight--I'll post all in one shot.

There's a brisket on there still too and I'll be making some ABT's, Dutch's baked beans, and some potatoes tomorrow.
post #12 of 14
Zdave, first I welcome u aboard the tamales train,ya add the chilies to the stock will only make them better.As far as your masa -sure do a green chili cornbread mix or what-ever u want to add-just keep it moist & thin,tamales are alot like fatties or ABT's-sky is the limit-heck we make several diff kinds-down to cinnimon,sugar-apple & nuts.play with different masa mixes-you'll love them,keep us posted-heck I in the mood now.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouragement--the tamales are steaming right now and should be ready in about an hour. Green chili cornbread--I like that! You should post some recipes. I'm looking forward to seeing how these come out.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well the tamales came out pretty nice. There were plenty of leftovers. My phone crashed mid-week so I couldn't get the pictures off.

The pics are of the pork shoulder as it came out of the foil, and the pan of tamales steaming in my wok. It's covered in corn husks so you can't see the individuals unfortunately.

All in all, I think I foiled the pork too early to get any real smoke in it, but the sauce and chiles complemented the tamales nicely. I did achieve my goal of minimizing the bark. Next time I do tamales I'll probably save the trouble and cook the meat inside.
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