It's time to smoke some Pork!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by alamojoe, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    Hey all - 

    I'm about to smoke an 8lb butt and a ~10lb loin so, since I'm new to the forum, I thought I'd post it up and get some feedback.  Here we go:

    Pork loin ready for the smoker:

    These were brined for 12 hours in a standard brine (1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, enough water to cover) and then rubbed with Secret Rub.  

    Here is the butt, about 8lbs, ready for smoker:

    This has been resting in the fridge, all covered with Secret Rub, for about 12 hours.  I will NEVER tell what my Secret Rub is so don't even ask!

    Smokers coming up to temp now, minion method, water in the pan, about 4 fist sized chunks of Hickory and a full bag of Kingsford . . .will post back later.
  2. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I'm in.  

    Watcha use for that rub?
  3. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    I realize I made a grave error in the pic I posted . . admins . .please delete photos from internet!

    In all seriousness . .I really like Head Country.  I've been hooked on it for a while, now.  I use it on just about everything - even turkey burgers and meatloaf.  Yeah . .it has msg in it .. but that's what makes it so good, lol.  
  4. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    Got the loins tied up and everything in the smoker. 

    As you can see, I did a pretty bad job tying them up but it will still make the slices look nicer.

    And their upstairs neighbor, the butt (and a lot of smoke):

    Fat cap is down.  Drippings land on the loins below.  
  5. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    Just under 3 hours in and the loins are done:

    I pulled the first one at 150, the second one at 155 and the last one at 152.  These are for a party so I figure that will give me a good variety of slices for everybody's preferences.  They'll stay wrapped on the counter for about an hour, then chilled and then vacuum sealed.  At the party, they'll be re-heated in a cooler full of 150 degree water for about 1.5 hrs and then seared on a hot grill, sliced and served.

    This guy still has a loooong way to go:

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  6. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Those loins are really looking great.  Now just have to wait for the butt.

  7. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    Thanks, Gary - I'm pretty happy with them! Gonna be a while yet for the butt. Just passed 170.
  8. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dang it man that looks good, I think I can smell it from here 

    A full smoker is a happy smoker

  9. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking pork,looking forward to pulled and sliced shots!
  10. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    And it's done! Just about 13 hrs total smoke time - look how the bone just comes clean out. I had a test piece, of course, and it's super good.

    Now for an hour rest in the cooler and then I'll take it out and let it cool to a nice pulling temp.
  11. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    Can't really slice the pork until tomorrow but, of course, I had to test it.

    This is chilled, btw.

    I have to admit - I messed up the brine. Too long and it's a bit salty. I popped a slice into a ziplock with a pat of unsalted butter and a tablespoon of apple juice and cooked sous vide for 30 mins at 150. That dog will hunt, lol. Close call, though. Next time 8hr brine, max.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  12. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    My sous vide rig - i haven't had a ton of luck cooking this way but it's worth it just to reheat bbq.

    Here is a pork tenderloin experiment that didn't work out. No matter what I do, always mushy. Amazing way to reheat bbq, though. I finally found a use for my rib rack!
  13. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I have the same sous vide machine and have had great success. I have found that simpler is better so I stick with things like venison backstrap, salmon, or tenderloin. You want to stick to low fat foods and keep the temp lower than you would think you need to. Salmon at 130 is out of this world.

    And for reheating, you are right it can't be beat. I always reheat below the cooked temp to make sure it doesn't cook anymore. So for pork loin cooked to 150 I would reheat at 145. (145 is also the USDA recommend reheat temp for pre-cooked foods). 
  14. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    When I first got it, I was all fired up about Sous Vide.  I tried some beef tenderloin, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin and pork shoulder.  I tried various times and temps.  Even though the internet raves about it - we just aren't down with "slippery chicken", lol.  I noticed that, for tender cuts like chicken breast and pork tenderloin, the Sous Vide leaves the texture too soft for my liking . .I experimented with both the cook time and temperature and I just couldn't get a texture I was happy with.  

    The beef did better but I still prefer a perfectly grilled tenderloin.  The best thing we did was the pork shoulder - just the coppa muscle.  24hrs @ 150 and then sliced into chops and grilled.  That was pretty great, actually.  

    I still have some more experimenting to do but I have pretty much ruled out Sous Vide for tender cuts unless high volume is involved.  

    I really like the Anova, too - it's a great machine.  
  15. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank you , Joe , very interesting post :Looks-Great:

    Thanks for the look , and . . .
  16. alamojoe

    alamojoe Fire Starter

    Well the event is over and the pork was a big hit.  I ended up soaking the over-brined pork loin in a mix of about 75% Sprite and 25% apple juice for about 4 hours.  Then I heated it, sous-vide, with a 1/4 stick of butter in the bag. It came out awesome - no trace of saltiness and no obvious Sprite or Apple Juice flavors, either.  That's a trick I'm going to have to remember!

    I tried something new with the pork butt this time, too.  Not in the cooking, but the pulling.  My wife's family is from Georgia and they put the butt in the fridge overnight and then pull it the next day.  They also discard most of the bark!!  Well, I saved my bark for beans but . . I did chill it overnight, bring it back up to room temperature, cut off the bark and all visible fat and then pulled - all the while removing anything that even looked like fat. 

    I have to say, it was really great. Very "clean" tasting, plenty moist but not at all greasy.  And it was nowhere near as difficult to pull as I thought it would be.  I think this is going to be the way I do it from now on.  Contrary to what I thought might happen . .it was not at all bland, the flavor was excellent - no sauce required.  Better, IMO, then when I pull it warm and mix the bark in - even though I love bark.  There is a BBQ place near my in-laws that I've always loved the pork from . .and now I realize this is how they do it.  

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