I had a pretty light day at the smoker on Thursday – BBQ is not a big item in the middle of winter – but it should be. It was 20* when I fired up the smoker at 6:30am and the aroma coming out of it was great on a cold morning. Wednesday was supposed to be BBQ day, but not only was it cold, there was also a brisk wind and a light snow, so I decided to wait a day – I like to BBQ, but try not to be too foolish about it. Thursday never got above 35, but it was sunny and calm – pretty good BBQ weather. I cooked a couple of butts, six slabs of baby backs, two pieces of stuffed pork loin, a fatty, 5# of wings, and a brisket for making into chili in a few days.
I cooked the brisket and butts in foil pans for the first time, as I know many competitors are doing on the BBQ circuit – wanted to see if it made any difference other than less smoker clean up. I thought it turned out real good this way. I dumped the liquid off it a couple of times to allow good bark development and I was able to collect all of the juice to put back into the pulled meat after defatting.
I cooked the brisket, a pork loin and one slab for us, and the rest for friends. I used my homemade rib rub plus Billy Bones XXX Cherry on the pork and Billy’s Beefmaster on the brisket. So, this was pretty much my normal fare except for the pork loin, which was stuffed per the request of a friend. I made up a box of Stovetop Stuffing per directions and added some diced onion. I then heated about ¾ pound of chorizo until it softened and mixed it with the stuffing. I butterflied two pieces of loin (2/3 of the whole and the rest into chops), spread on the stuffing mix, rolled it up and tied it with butcher twine. Even though the stuffing came right up to the end, it stayed in the loin rather than running out.
Then gave it a light dusting of my pork rub and it's ready for the smoker.
I’m looking after the dogs, MIL, and Alex while Bev and her sis spend a couple of R&R days in Gatlinburg, so I’m totally responsible for the meals. I smoked the wings this morning and had several left after I provided for the friends request. When I suggested them to the MIL for lunch, she reluctantly said ok. I brushed them with good BBQ sauce and heated a little in the toaster oven and she loved them – I could tell as she had to wash her hands and face when lunch was over.
Following is our finished slab and stuffed loin and a shot of my plate.
Everything turned out very good and I'll definitely make this stuffing again. I've started cooking my ribs at 225 per the recommendation of the BBQ legend, Mike Mills, in his book "Peace, Love and Barbecue" and I like the way they turn out. They take one to two hours longer, but they have little pull back on the bone and are moist and tender. I cooked and ate these dry and they needed no sauce.
Have a great day.