This past long weekend, I took a day off from edits and spent a pleasant day reading and hanging out by my grill and smoking a variety of foods. While I enjoy posting about my fiction, writing, fictional swearing, inspirational quotes, weird plants, mapping projects, or my historical research, sometimes it’s nice to take a break and share just random happenings—occasional incidentals. This Smoke Report™ is one of those random happenings.
In total, I cooked for about six hours, keeping the temp around 225º for the duration of the smoke—I was delighted with the results. I’m getting pretty good at maintaining a constant temperature with chips and chunks and only experienced a few flareups which I was able to quickly control. Preparation is key to doing this right. I like to soak most of my wood overnight (I used mesquite for this go-around), but I like to have some dry wood handy as well. I find that being able to quickly shift a fire’s momentum is important in maintaining a constant temperature.
Chicken wings were the first thing off the grill. These were namely a snack/lunch break while we waited for the main course—a three-pound pork butt—to finish. I think they turned out really good. I brined them for an hour before smoking, and I’m glad I did, it kept the meat juicy while the outside crisped up nicely. Afterward, I ended up turning the remains into a bone-broth, It’ll probably end up in a risotto.
Along with the meat, I smoked garlic (fresh from our garden), onions (also fresh from our garden), eggs (not pictured), and corn (from the grocer.) The garlic was terrific and became soft and spreadable like roasted garlic but with an added kick of smoke. The onions were much sweeter and less smokey than I expected but an excellent little addition to the feast. The corn on the cob turned out well although it’s still early in the season for corn and the ears weren’t the high-quality corn we’ll find later this summer.
I’m not sure if I’d smoke eggs again—they get an interesting texture and color. The outside turns a golden yellow-brown, but they really don’t carry a lot of extra smoke flavor. Outside of looking unique, I don’t think smoking eggs adds all that much.
As far as the main course went, this was easily the best pork butt I have ever smoked. I dry rub all my smoked meats—I tend to prefer it over sticky/saucy barbeque. It finished about an hour earlier than I expected so I wrapped it for an hour while I finished everything else. This only helped tenderize it further. The final result was incredibly tender with a fantastic flavor thanks to a solid smoke ring.
At the very end, I grilled homemade flatbread and some beautiful turnips (sadly not pictured) which were also great. It was a delightful little feast all in all and a relaxing day. It’s fun to take days like this to test recipes of perfect techniques. I learned a bunch, and I am quite happy with my results.
Below, I’ve shared my dry rub recipe—it’s great for pork, but it’s a solid all-around rub that works across a variety of food from vegetables like cauliflower steaks or a protein like chicken. It’s also easy to manipulate so throwing in your favorite spice can add a unique and personal spin. Enjoy!
My Dry Rub
- 4 tsp Seasoned Salt
- 2 tsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Ground Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- Pinch of Ground Ginger
Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.
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