Monday, July 3, 2006

Holy Smokes; The Final Report

From the clear view of the next morning, yesterday's excercise in the manly art of meat smoking (Geeze, that is probably going to get me a google hit from Sully), can't be viewed as anything other than a success. The meat had a delicious, smokey flavor, that I swear, penetrated to the bone and despite the long time in the smoking chamber everything remained extremely moist. I made one mistake in that the meat was a bit salty. Next time I'll pull back on the salt in the rub, and also brine for less time on the ribs, perhaps only an hour.

As for the specifics;

9 hour ribs: I'm not one of these folks that judges bar be que by the ease with which meat separates from the bone since I often find this is just an excuse for those who take the decidely unmanly step of par boiling their meat before they smoke. That said, the 9 hour ribs separated cleanly, yet still maintained a firm meaty texture in the mouth. While still very moist, I thought the meat was perhaps a bit compacted; not bad, but any longer in the smoker would probably have been a mistake.

6 hour ribs: Surprisingly good separation, yet still a little adherence to the bone. The meat was incredibly moist with a nice smoky flavor that penetrated almost to the bone. It would have been interesting to leave these on for 30 - 60 more minutes to see if I could get the separation of the 9 hour, with the almost perfect moistness and flavor of the 6 hour.

Pork Shoulder: 11 hours baby. 11 effin' hours! Even after all of that time the meat was still incredibly moist. I'm pretty sure that I could have gone another two hours, which would have been interesting because I think I was near an inflection point with this cut. While extremely tender, the should wasn't quite shredible with a fork, yet in the mouth it felt like it was just beginning to break down. An hour or two more probably would have preserved the moistness, while breaking down the meat a little bit more. Still, this stuff was excellent. When I pulled it the internal temp was 165 degrees.

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