Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Smokin' On the Back Deck


My brother, ever the person who didn't put much thought into birthday gifts to me, struck gold one year when out of the blue, I got a smoker instead of the normal t-shirt or trinket from some road side stand where he had been smoke jumping that summer. My first thought was the sheer size of the beast and indeed, the first few things I smoked always had plenty of room to move around. But as I grew older, wiser and a bit more lazy to drag the setup from the garage to the back deck and spend half a day attending to its appetite for soaked wood chips, I go whole hog so to speak when smoking. I've found that smoked meats store very well in the freezer and that flavor stays just as intense when eaten, even if a year later. So when I decided to smoke some meat for sandwiches to take to work earlier this year, I smoked a lot of meat. What you see above are one enormous turkey, one jumbo pork loin split in half to fit, and two chickens. What you see below are the same as I pulled the pork loins off at their peak of doneness at 160 degrees. All three birds were stuck in the smoker without any pretreatment at all. The pork loin, which is my favorite for lunch meat, has been rubbed with olive oil and rubbed liberally with Old Bay canjun seasoning. When eaten cold on a sandwich, you get a very nice smoky flavor followed by a slight kick of heat. It really can't be beat. This go around I used mesquite chips which I soaked until they sank and then put them in that little black container over the flame to create the smoke. My favorite is apple but I was fresh out. The pan above holds water to keep everything moist and to catch the drippings.

As you read this, I have a smoked chicken sandwich calling my name in the break room at work. I can't wait. Until they invent smelling and tasting apps for blogger, you will just have to be content with the visual app posted below.

12 comments:

Vince said...

Oh my, but that meat looks juicy.
Could you smoke fish in that piece of equipment. Or would it taint the subsequent meats.
A damn good present.

Eutychus2 said...

Ed.... that looks and sounds so good, you almost want to pounce on those meats in the smoker!! it almost makes me want to bribe the good wife into making a journey out near your neck of the woods ...and of course stopping by the backwoods little bbq place you mentioned.

Ed said...

Vince - I have smoked fish in there but I don't think I've done it at the same time as other meats. However, I've mixed other meats lots of times such as in this case and I haven't noticed any flavor transfer between them. I am careful on which meat I put above another meat solely due to fats dripping off.

Eutychus2 - I can set you up. The smokers themselves are fairly cheap. I think the one I have runs around $120 now. However, I would go with a smaller model because the one I have probably weights a good 70 or 80 lbs and is hard on the old back to move around by hand.

sage said...

That does look good. Oysters, by the way, smoke in no time, just lay them in on the half-shell

geri said...

I thought you have an open fridge in your deck =D. The cooked meat looked so good!

Ed said...

Sage - Sounds excellent. Where can I get fresh oysters in SE Iowa?

Geri - Sorry about not being a very 'almost vegan' friendly blog. I admire you ability to continue with it this long. I know I would cave inside of a few weeks.

TC said...

YUM!!!!!!!!!!

Nice work. And good job to your bro, too. Kinda makes you wanna tell him to just not even give you anything else, huh? ;)

Ed said...

TC - At least it makes the t-shirt streak more tolerable.

Woody said...

Yum...

Bone said...

Looks delicious! How long does it take to smoke a whole chicken or turkey?

Ed said...

Bone - I'm guessing it took about 4 hours or so for the chickens and 6 for the turkey. The interior temps of the smoker depend a lot on the outside weather conditions and since it was hot and sunny that day, I had a hard time keeping the interior temps below 300 which speeds up the time. Normally I shoot for an interior temp of 250. I just check the meat temp about once an hour and try to aim for a temp of 180 for the birds and 160 for the pork.

PhilippinesPhil said...

I never knew they existed. Now Its on my list.