TIPS TO THROWDOWN

SMOKE SHOWING - Part 2

 BEAUTIFUL BARK ON THIS PORK SHOULDER I SMOKED.  BARK IS A RESULT OF THE MAILLARD REACTION, A CHEMICAL REACTION BETWEEN AMINO ACIDS AND REDUCING SUGARS THAT GIVES BROWNED FOODS THEIR DESIRABLE FLAVORS

BEAUTIFUL BARK ON THIS PORK SHOULDER I SMOKED.  BARK IS A RESULT OF THE MAILLARD REACTION, A CHEMICAL REACTION BETWEEN AMINO ACIDS AND REDUCING SUGARS THAT GIVES BROWNED FOODS THEIR DESIRABLE FLAVORS

TIME TO THROW DOWN SOME MORE TIPS WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN!  THIS IS PART 2 OF OUR SMOKE SHOWING SERIES, PART 1 WE FOCUSED ON SETTING UP YOUR GRILL TO SMOKE LOW AND SLOW.  FOR THIS PART WE WILL FOCUS ON TEMPERATURE AND TIMES.  LET'S RECAP HOW YOU CAN GO ABOUT SETTING UP A GAS GRILL FOR SMOKING USING THE 2-ZONE SETUP WITH A SIMPLE GRAPHIC FROM AMAZING RIBS, A WEBSITE THAT I USE ALL THE TIME.....
 THE WOOD CHIPS OR CHUNKS WOULD GO OVER THE DIRECT ZONE BURNERS

THE WOOD CHIPS OR CHUNKS WOULD GO OVER THE DIRECT ZONE BURNERS

The temperature of the day is 225*, virtually all recipes involving smoking ANYTHING will require a temperature of around 225*.  You are probably wondering why, and without getting into too much of the science behind it (yes there is a science to it) I will just tell you this,  IT WORKS!  At this temperature, the connective tissue in tougher cuts such as brisket and pork shoulder have a chance to break down over a longer period of time.  You will notice the word time pops up a lot when discussing barbecue, and for good reason.  It gives a chance for internal temperatures to get where they need to be.  For instance, with brisket being a cut of beef, many might think it is ok to serve this at medium rare like a rib-eye but this is not the case.  Brisket has, like I said earlier, connective tissue and fat that needs to be rendered and this does not happen until the internal temperature reaches around 200* , this is when the magic happens with brisket, pork ribs, pork shoulder and beef ribs.  Amazing Ribs sells a magnet which is straight forward and always on my fridge, I am in no way affiliated with them but reference the site very often.

amazingribsmagnet.jpg

So now we have gone over temperature, let's talk a little about time.  To make true barbecue using the low and slow method, not the Crock Pot, requires time and attention.  For those just getting into this, I would start off with pork shoulder.  It is a huge cut and requires time, but it also has a lot of fat and this helps prevent it from drying out so it is a little more forgiving.  A full bone-in shoulder can weigh anywhere from 8-20 lbs. and has 2 halves, the "boston butt" and "picnic ham".  You can bet on having to cook a "butt" for at least 8 hours and up to 14 depending on your temperature consistency.  If you can find a parti4-5 lb. boneless butt it will save you on time if thats what you are concerned with.  Now onto the ribs!

With pork ribs, you can use a method which I have found to be very effective called the 3-2-1.  It is not set in stone but can be used as a guideline, especially when trying to figure out how long you have available to cook.  Here it is.....

  • 3 hours UNwrapped, over smoke at 225*
  • 2 hours wrapped in foil at 225*, with a little liquid inside (apple juice works great)
  • 1 hour UNwrapped back over smoke at 225*, while basting with your favorite sauce 

A few tips on how to tell if a rack is done

  1. Bone test- 1/4"-1/2" bone showing on the ends
  2. Bend test- lift rack by one end and if the rack starts to "break" in the middle
  3. Pull test- pull on the end rib, if it breaks away from the rack easily you are probably done

 

 Picture taken from Amazing Ribs, notice the water pan underneath the rack and grates.  This keeps the atmosphere in the grill moist.

Picture taken from Amazing Ribs, notice the water pan underneath the rack and grates.  This keeps the atmosphere in the grill moist.

But ribs and pulled pork are not your only options for smoking!

For our upcoming Thursday Throwdown with the Firefighter Throwdown we will show you how to smoke pork tenderloin AND sweet potatoes for healthier options.  Stay tuned!

Posted on March 31, 2015 and filed under TIPS.