Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Q: Getting the Goods

I've wanted to smoke some pork shoulder ever since I saw the "Q" episode of Good Eats. Alton Brown's mix of culinary skills and mad scientist wackiness makes me want to try just about everything that involves some sort of DIY cooking contraption.

The Wood, Smoker and Hot Plate. Oh, and Alton's Books.
Why some crazy DIY contraption? Because using something in a way it was never originally intended, especially to create some crazy DIY cooking contraption is just cool. Do you need more of a reason than that? I didn't think so! Plus, why use a $50 pizza stone when a $3 terracotta planter bottom works just as good?

And so, I'm smoking pork for July Fourth! We're having a little shindig with pork shoulder and ribs and I just felt that smoking them would be a great way to present them to family and friends. And of course I get to build some crazy cooking contraption.

"Q", Part One
My smoker is running with a hot plate, a cast iron smoke box, the fans from my fermentation chiller and 5 lbs each of Apple and Hickory hardwood. Okay, I don't know if really need 10 lbs of wood but I wanted to make sure I had enough. I also totally miscalculated the volume of 10 lbs of wood. The bags were twice the size I expected.

I mentioned that cardboard box, right? Well, what else am I going to smoke meat in? Okay, okay, I know that Alton Brown used an earthenware smoker in his award winning episode about barbecue, but I'll be smoking a pork shoulder and ribs, so I want to make sure I have enough room.

"Q", Part Two
Plus I'm not really sure what I'd do with two terracotta planters after this smoke session - ah, apartment living! I'm sure I'd used them again, but the box is much more practical. Anyone know where you get a nice big box at? I'm hoping Home Depot because that's my only idea right now. Or maybe I'll try that thingie called goo-gal. Or is it gig-gle? I never remember.

Other than that, I need to dig up some bricks or cinder blocks to form shelves and then grab the racks out of the oven for the food to rest on. And that should be it. Just a leisurely day of sitting around and smoking some meat, just like we did in the old days. I wonder if they played Assassin's Creed while they smoked mean in the old days. I'm sure they did, so I'm sure I can too.

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