Monday, June 25, 2012

Smoking Ribs and Pork Shoulder

The other day, my 86 year old grandfather, and my father, came out for a Father's Day feast! They wanted my Smoked Pork Spareribs and Smoked Pork Shoulder. So I figured I would take a few pictures and give everyone else some tips and tricks on smoking some mouthwatering food!

People argue all the time about whether to use Barbecue Sauce or not. I personally don't when I use my own home-made rub. Now, I give out a lot of recipes, but my "Wimpy's BBQ Rub" is one that I keep locked away in a vault. Sorry, I just won't. But I will show you how I make ribs and shoulder.

Secret Rub 

Secret Rub

Finished Secret "Wimpy's BBQ Rub"
I like Spareribs because they have a lot of meat on them and the price. They are cheaper than back ribs. When you get them, they will have a little flap on the back of the rack. I cut that off (See picture below) and keep it as it turns into a tasty little snack about halfway through!
Removing the little "flap" on the back of the Spareribs.
Also, on the back, is a translucent skin that if possible, needs to come off. No matter how long you cook that, it will never be edible. Also, the smoke can't penetrate the meat if you leave it on. The trick is to get under it in a corner and try to peel it off. It is very slippery and sometimes a paper towel helps with grip. At any rate, try your best to get it off.
This is the silver skin you want to remove.
Just before you coat the ribs or shoulder with rub, cover it in plain old yellow mustard. It will help the rub stick to the eat a lot better and once cooked, you won't even taste the mustard.
Rubbing on the mustard.

Rubbing in the Rub.
Be very liberal with the rub and make sure every square inch, nook, and cranny is covered with it.
How it should look when done rubbing.

They are going to have a nice bark.
You can use a variety of wood to smoke with. My dad happened to have Apple so that is what I used this time. Others that are good with pork are Oak and Cherry.
This is the Apple branches we chopped and soaked.
If you've never used a chimney starter, you don't know what you are missing! This will give you red hot coals in about 10 minutes. All you do is stuff about 2 pieces of newspaper in the bottom, fill the top with lump charcoal, and light the newspaper. It's that easy!
Getting the Chimney ready.
Putting the ribs and shoulder on the smoker.
For pork, try and keep the temperature in the smoker at 225*F. Both the ribs and the shoulder will smoke for about 6 hours. If you have a digital thermometer that is oven safe, place it in the shoulder, without touching bone, and smoke it until it reaches 200*F. Then let it sit, covered, for about 30 minutes and then shred.
3 Racks of Ribs and 2 Shoulders.
I like to mist with Apple Juice every so often while smoking. Adds flavor and moisture.
Misting with Apple Juice.

Showing the smoke.

Almost done.
Remember to let the ribs sit for about 10-15 minutes after you pull them off the smoker. If you cut right into them, the juice will just run out and they will become dry.
The finished Ribs.
The Pinkish color around the outside perimeter of the meat is called the "Smoke Ring".
Finished Pork Shoulder.
So yummy!

One shoulder was shredded for Pulled Pork.

This is really just a basic intro to the world of Smoking. If you want to learn more, let me know. All in all, everything turned out pretty tasty.