Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Something new

I should have been vacuuming the car so it will be clean for transporting quilts for the quilt exhibit at church again this year.   I should have been painting signs for the quilt show.  I could have run a dust cloth around the house or vacuumed a bit.  But today was a beautiful day, so I decided to season the new smoker we got PH for his birthday.  And then, because that was so easy I went to the butcher here in town and asked for a hunk of meat to try out on the smoker.

I can't lay claim to this idea.  I saw a YouTube while looking for easy ideas to try in the smoker. You know, to get our feet wet slowly.  Toes first.  But this idea intrigued me so I went to get some pork belly.  Bacon before it's bacon.  This idea wasn't toes first, this was jump in the deep end.
 I told the butcher it was an idea and if it worked I'd let him know so this is how he marked the package. 
 I cut the hunk of meat down the middle to make two manageable sizes.  Then I sliced each of them the long way into three strips to braid.
 My marble rolling pin was heavy enough to slam a few times.
 Salt, pepper and a little olive oil.  Like it needed anymore fat!
 Then, braid it!  Looks cool doesn't it?   Remember this piece sliced would be bacon so there's a lot of fat.  At this point I was getting a little nervous about just how much meat would be on this when finished.  It would certainly be moist!
 Water into the woodchips.  I was using apple wood chips.  Because.  While the woodchips were soaking up the water I did vacuum the car.
And while the wood chips soaked I put the meat into two marinades.  One a mustard and one a teriyaki.  Not sure if they will make any difference in the end but hey.
 Preheat the smoker
 Lay the meat directly on the grates
 and check the clock.  
 When I looked out the window things were certainly happening.  Every 30-45 minutes more wood chips needed to be added so this isn't something you can just leave. You kind of know more woodchips are needed because it stops smoking.
 At 2:00 it looked wonderful but was still raw in the middle
I was busy painting those signs for the quilt show and didn't look at the clock again till now, but I did add some chips around 3 p.m.

 Now it's right.  The meat is falling apart like a good pulled pork, the grease is much cooked out, it's tender, juicy and delish. The one on the right was my test piece when I brought it inside so it's kind of not a braid anymore. Now for PH to get home so we can really dig in!

It was a good learning experience.  Some things I'd change:  While the braid looks fun there just isn't much meat in it so while the braid looks fun I'd search for one with lots more meat or trim off more of the fat at the outset.  While the braid looks fun in the end this is going to be pulled pork.  The YouTube video said that butchers should have these in the cases for fun and that's true but it certainly wasn't a problem to braid it yourself.  I'd trim more fat and get a meatier piece.  Or maybe get a pork shoulder and trim it to a long piece and braid that?  We are going to keep a notebook so we can remember what we did and how long each new thing took. 
The smoker?  Worked great but I'm not in a hurry yet to put a turkey in there!  Maybe if I spatch cocked it?  Hmm.....

1 comment:

  1. That was a mammoth effort. Loved your commentary.I think the piece of pork you get as you said makes a big difference to look for a piece with more meat as you say.May be you could get a pork shoulder and not braid it?? Anyway it looks yum. Good luck with the next smoke project.