Things That Were Made (Smoked) Last Weekend

Last summer, some of you might recall, I made a foray in the art of cooking with smoke and decided to make the homemade smoker from Alton Brown’s show, Good Eats.  You take an earthenware flower pot, put a hot plate at the bottom, a tin full of chips on top of that, a grill grate down inside of it, you put your meat on the grill grate, top it off with another pot, then plug it in and walk away:

smoker4

It works frightiningly well.  I’ve heard people talk about how finicky smokers are and how using them outside can be tough because the weather can affect your temperature, but the earthenware is so thick and so good at holding onto heat that it never wavered. It always held at a nice 200-210 degrees through pretty strong wind and even some sprinkles.

The first day I made pulled pork.  Pulled pork takes a loooooong time.  I was up early:

sunrise

Then the pork went on:

pork-before

Twelve hours later the pork came off:

pork-after

Awesome bark, great flavor, extremely tender.  The only thing I would change is that I’d like to try giving it a longer brine.  I was only able to soak it over night which, considering I got it in late and was up early, wasn’t that long a time.  I’d like to give it like a four day soak and see how that effects things.

But otherwise I’m so very happy with my smoker.  If anything, actually, the thing is too easy to use.  The next day we decided to smoke some more stuff.  I did some sausages that I stuffed with jalapenos and cheese:

sausage-before

sausage-before-2

Those turned out pretty well:

sausage-after

There were some ribs that were smoked as well but I didn’t get a shot of them. They turned out awesome.  There was talk of smoking some chicken wings but that never materialized.  For that matter there was talk of smoking a pizza and a hot dog bun and possibly some Cheetos and, had we not been incredibly stuffed full of food, we probably would have tried it.

Also, you’ll notice that there isn’t a damned vegetable in sight. I was so fixated on getting the pork right that I didn’t exactly round out the meal.  Yes, we had coleslaw, but that was really just part of the pork delivery system.  Then again had there been any vegetables lying around I most likely would have tried to smoke them (I’m sitting here wondering how many stoners are going to wander onto this blog post).

So this, the second outing with my crazy-ass homemade smoker, was such a success that I think I had my fill of smoked meats for about six  months.  Which is good and bad.

Oh, and you’ll notice in the top picture how I use a seashell to block the hole on the top of the smoker.  This is what the shell looked like at the end of the weekend:

Which I think is beautiful.