Memphis Shoulder (A Secret Revealed)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bobj, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. bobj

    bobj Newbie

    Put meat in a 2 gallon plastic Zip-Loc bag and add:
    2 cups of Wicks BBQ marinade
    1/3 cup of Morton TenderQuick
    1/2 cup of Lea & Perrins Wor. Sauce
    1 tsp Tabasco (to taste)
    1 tsp crushed garlic
    Squeeze bag around meat to remove all air.--then seal bag with zip loc.
    Place in refrig. for 8 hours or overnight--do not leave in brine solution over 10 hrs.
    Let meat come to near room temperature before placing in smoker.
    Ideal smoker temperature is 250-275 for first 3 hrs. then reduce temp. to 210-225 for 8-9 hrs.
    When the meat thermometer reaches 180, the meat is cooked BUT NOT TENDER
    Continue on low heat until the bone is loose and meat is very tender.
    It usually takes 10-14 hours, according to weight.
    I usually smoke meat 2 times.
    First time after meat has been cooking 5-6 hours.
    Second smoking after 10-13 hours.
    After years of smoking with virtually every type of smoking wood--FIG is the best. I have never seen this mentioned as a smoking wood. You will notice a difference in the smoke smell. VERY PLEASANT--just the smoke makes you hungry. Fig is hard to find, but worth the effort. Only takes a handful.
    Note: Morton TenderQuick may be somewhat difficult to locate. Wal-Mart usually has it.
    Be sure to shake Wicks well before adding to bag.
    Fine eating
  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No kiddin...huh...fig? Allrighty where in Sam Hill do ya find FIG? LOL!
    And I notice ya like a little of the "hammy" flavor, as the TQ will give a partial cure to the meat. Interesting... Thanks.
  3. bobj

    bobj Newbie

    You have a valid question on finding fig in the northern states. It grows well down south but probably not in the north.
    I have added ripe figs to the smoke and it worked fine. I suspect dried figs would probably do the same, but I have not tried that. Figs are high in sugar content, but soaking them in water may produce good smoke.
    The TQ is more aggressive moving into meat than plain salt. Works well with larger pieces of meat. I have found that you have to limit the time considerably as compared to a brine solution.
  4. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Interesting... Thank you for sharing!!! Why the 2 smokes?
  5. bobj

    bobj Newbie

    Why 2 smokes--fat washout. Ever notice the lighter color where the fat is cooking out of the meat--this is where the fat is washing the smoke resin off of the cooking meat. Most of the heavy fat runoff will occur between 120-150 degrees. fat wash can be pretty bad if you cook "stacked" where one piece drips down on the piece below and that all drips down to what is below that.
    The second smoke replaces smoke residue after most of the fat has dripped out. If you only cook one piece, this may not be a big problem.
  6. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great! Thank You.
  7. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dang! And I cut those three fig trees down and burned them on the brushpile after the last ice storm! Dang! I hate that! If only I had known. [​IMG]
  8. bobj

    bobj Newbie

    Yep, they would have produced a lot of great smoke-just see if your neighbors have any around. I discovered this by accident about 20 years ago when I was trimming a fig tree that was getting too close to the driveway. I cut up a little and put on the smoker which was getting hot--once I smelled the smoke ,I knew this was a winner..been using it ever since. told a few friends about it--now they are hooked too. I am wondering now if there is a difference in fig types.. I have one called "Brown Turkey". Fig is NOT a hardwood, which may be why it has been overlooked.
  9. hockeetime

    hockeetime Newbie

    Hey Bob i have a fig tree and trim it late fall i thought about using the wood for smoking but thought it was to green.Did you let it dry out?And if you did about how long did it take?I know that smoke has to smell good because when i am raking up the leaves there is a sweet fragrent smell.I will have to try adding figs to the smoke this summer,there is always quite a few figs that hit the ground.
  10. bobj

    bobj Newbie

    I use it green. I have used some that was dry, and could not tell the difference in the smoke. Whenever I get ready to cook, I cut a limb off and cut it into small pieces & add to the smokebox. I know you are supposed to cut limbs only when the "sap" is down, but I have never had any problems cutting a small amount whenever I need it.
    As you mentioned, the aroma from burning is very nice. Makes great smoke.
  11. navacco

    navacco Fire Starter

    Man you guys make it hard on noobs like me. I've been seein so much good food and recipes that i want to try them all. lol.
    That recipe sounds awsome i think i'll skip my first fatty and try that instead. [​IMG]
    Thancks for the info, it'll get used alot at my house
  12. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Make both! Fatty as an ap and pulled pork as a main!!![​IMG]
  13. navacco

    navacco Fire Starter

    You know, thats not a bad idea. It's on my shopping list [​IMG]
  14. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Said with a straight face -
    Dude, there ain't no fig trees in 500 miles of Peculiar, MO. [​IMG]

    Best I've got is Osage orange (AKA hedge) and black locust. The Osage orange has thorns that are like needles and the black locust has thorns that are 4"-6" long, and LOTS of them. NOT smoking wood, but HOT fire wood for stove, fireplace or firepit. Both are "hard woods", dried Osage orange is harder than iron.
  15. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member didn't mention how big a shoulder you used.........i guess.......smoke till done type of thing.........

    even tho fig is not a hardwood.........its a fruit apple, orange, cherry..........and fruit wood makes the BEST smoking woods, imho

    also......anyone ever tried using ash........i have a bunch of it, and used it, in breaking in ol' bud............made that was a GREAT smoke flavor.....
  16. I just did a web search and found that fig wood decays very fast. Finding it, and having it shipped would be very difficult for folks here in Colorado. I didn't find any sites that carry it.

    If you should find any, pick me up a few pounds.

    When I lived in Phoenix my next door neighbor had a fig tree that hung over my fence and patio. I worked the graveyard shift, and when I'd get home in the morning, I'd go out and pull a few figs off of the tree, put a little cream on them after cutting them up, watch the sun come up, and that was my meal before going to bed for about 8 hours. And, yes, I was very regular! [​IMG]

    I never even considered bustin' off a branch or two... Dang!

    If there are any of the SMF members down in the Southland that are considering taking out a fig tree, call someone with a chipper, shred it, and start taking orders... I know I'd be ordering some!

  17. bobj

    bobj Newbie

    The size of meat usually ranges between 7-10 lbs. I did 3 last weekend trying out a new Smoke Hollow smoker. All came out fine. I let them go until the bone frees up. Internal temp. is usually around 210. Time was about 10 hours.

    Since fig is not a hardwood, it will not last as long as other types of wood. However, I think if you put it in a vented bag, (like on onion bag) and kept it dry, it should last for quite awhile.
  18. bobj

    bobj Newbie

    Thought I would see if there was any information available as to why fig smoke was such a good smoking wood (beside the pleasing smell). Had to do some digging, but
    Lo & Behold:

    Fresh figs contain ficin, a proteolytic (protein-breaking) enzyme similar to papain in papayas and bromelin in fresh pineapple. Proteolytic enzymes split long-chain protein molecules into smaller units, which is why they help tenderize meat.

    Journal of Food Science

    Volume 68 Issue 1 Page 85-88, January 2003

    To cite this article: R. Ramezani, M. Aminlari, H. Fallahi (2003) Effect of Chemically Modified Soy Proteins and Ficin-tenderized Meat on the Quality Attributes of Sausage
    Journal of Food Science 68 (1) , 85–88 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2003.tb14119.x

    The purpose of this investigation was to use ficin-tenderized meat and cysteine-modified soy proteins in the production of bologna and to evaluate the effect of these modifications on water-holding capacity (WHC), emulsion stability (ES), texture, and protein solubility. The effect of ficin on meat protein was also evaluated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Results indicated that both ficin-tenderized meat and modified soy proteins substantially improved WHC, ES, and other quality factors. SDS-PAGE results showed the disappearance of several protein bands in ficin-treated meat. Solubility of meat proteins increased when ficin was used for meat tenderization. The results of this study indicated that some quality attributes of meat products can be improved by enzymatic and chemical modification of protein sources in the manufacture of meat products.
  19. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member


  20. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I really don't think you will get a ficin enzyme from the smoke itself. Marinating yes, smoke no. Or the whole prophelactic enzyme.

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