Not since my University days have I enjoyed staying up smoking all night, although now, in a sign of me getting older, it is the smoking of meat that is keeping me up! Myself and my mate Will, last Summer become what you would call meat smoking obsessives. Every weekend was spent cooking various cuts of meat low and slow – sometimes up to 16/17 hours. Evenings were spent studying books such as Billy Bob Billy’s Guide to American Barbecue.
In order to achieved perfect low and slow barbecue I purchased this R2-D2 looking thing called the Weber Smokey Mountain. It is a great starter kit, not cheap, but easy to set up and so far has produced some good results. Add coals/ briquettes at the bottom with some wood of choice, water in the bowl and meat at the top and off you go – although its not quite as easy as that.The key is temperature and you have to constantly check this adjust the vents, stoke the coals through the night if you are truly dedicated – I do admit I did it once and fell asleep for 12 hours, waking up to a ruined shoulder of pork. But get it right and you have the most succulent ribs, the pulliest of pulled pork and I can honestly say the best chicken I have ever eaten. Moist with a smokey edge it is fantastic. This Summer I am taking it up a notch and have purchased toys to help me with this:
The Maverick Wireless thermometer is an awesome piece of kit. It will track the temperature of the meat and also inside the smoker sending alerts if it drops too much. No more traipsing into the garden with a head torch at 2am just to check the temperature for me! The Syringe and the BBQ Mop are to add even more depth of flavour – first try is to fill a shoulder of pork with cider and baste with the Pitt Cue BBQ sauce (which itself takes 2 days to make) – and smoke overnight – Definitely something to look forward to getting home for!
Pulled pork rolls with homemade fennel slaw, smoked chicken sandwiches on rye with lemon mayonnaise – these will be lunchtime staples at the coffee shop – now surely that will draw a crowd!