Now that I have covered the prep part of Smokeshow 2010, It’s on to the delicious part of the Smokeshow – slow smoking and the finished product.
My day started at 7:30 AM, now that’s dedication right?
After crawling out of bed and gathering any last minute supplies (beer can holder for the chicken, thermometers, honky outfit, etc.), I headed off to Tyler’s to get the smokers fired up.
Preparing the smoker
All the information you need to prep your smoker is outlined in my ‘Getting the most out of your smoker post.‘ After you get the coals fired up in the chimney starter, dump them on top of the coals in the side firebox. Let the smoker come up to temp – about 215-225 degrees.
We had 2 smokers going because there was so much meat to smoke. On smoker #1 we had the pork butts and chicken and on #2 we had all of the ribs. At 9:50am (much later than I would have wished) the smoker was up to temp and I threw on the pork butts on.
From this time until around 1:00pm we took care of some of the other Smokeshow essentials – more prep and acquiring a giant can of soda that strangely came with some sort of pumping device…
Next up on the grill were the ribs and chicken at about 2:00pm.
The pork butts take the longest time to cook. The general rule-of-thumb states that you should smoke the butts about 1-1/2 hours per pound. You can eat the meat once it hits 165 degrees but it will be hard to pull. For the best results, aim to hit a temp of about 180F-190F.
At this temperature, the pork should effortlessly pull apart. Be sure to baste the butts (apple juice works great) throughout the cooking process. During the last hour or so, coat the butts in bbq sauce to create a nice crispy crust. After it is done smoking, let it sit for about an hour before pulling.
Unfortunately, we did not have time to let the pork butts get to 180 degrees (swarming hungry masses started to attack the kitchen) so we settled at the safe-to-eat temp of 165. Some of the pork pulled apart nicely while other parts could definitely have used the extra time on the smoker.
Needless to say, the pulled pork still turned out fantastic. Nice and moist with a smokey flavor.
Beer Can Chicken
Before putting the chicken on the smoker, be sure to add your chicken rub under the skin and on top.
The easiest way to cook beer can chicken is to have a beer can stand. Without one, it is a bit more challenging to get the chicken to stand up.
Cut the top off of a beer can, empty about half of the beer and add some rub, seasoning, or herbs to the can. Place the chicken on the beer can stand and let it smoke for about an hour.
Last year I let it smoke the full way and it dried out. This year however, I chose to only smoke it for an hour and then cook it the rest of the way in the oven at a higher temperature. Thankfully I got the results I wanted; a slightly smoky flavor with perfectly moist meat.
The method of smoking that I used for the ribs is the 3-2-1.
3–Three hours of unwrapped smoking
2-Two hours wrapped in a tin foil pouch with added apple juice (to keep it moist) & spice
1- One hour unwrapped smoking
In the last half hour, coat with bbq for a nice crispy crust.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the ribs did not turn out well. Something that I should have noticed before cooking was that this cut of ribs was not very meaty. As a result, using the 3-2-1 method resulted in a dried out rib. If I were to do this again I would have probably done a 3-1-1 instead of 3-2-1. Rookie move.
This concludes the 2 part series of Smokeshow 2010. I hope you enjoyed the posts and pictures!
P.S. I know it seems like we took a lot of shortcuts in these last 2 posts but sadly smoking meat takes a long time ( about 10 hours for pork butts) and Tyler and I just didn’t have the time to do it 100% right.
You better all stay tuned for next years Smokeshow. I promise I’ll be up by 6AM to do it right and have some new slow smoked goodness to share.