If you're new to smoking meat, pork is an excellent medium to start with because the necessary cuts (shoulder meat, aka Boston butts and picnic roasts) are inexpensive and very forgiving. Try this Smoked Pork recipe your first time, and you may never change.
The night before smoking, rinse meat and pat dry. Generously apply rub and work into meat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. Remove roast from refrigerator 1 hour before smoking and let rest at room temperature.
Get smoker going about the time you remove roast from fridge. With a wood-fired smoker, be sure to have plenty of fruitwood or other favored fuel/smoke wood on hand to last 4 to 8 hours, depending on size of roast. Same goes for charcoal-fueled smokers, but you will also want to have several pounds of your favorite smoking chips soaking in water – add a handful to the coals periodically depending on how smoky you like your meat.
Place roast in smoker and adjust smoker’s air dampers and chimney opening to keep the temperature approximately 220°F. Mop meat with Mop Sauce lightly after 45 minutes of cooking, and again lightly a few times throughout the cooking. The meat will be finished when most of the fat has melted away and the meat has separated from the bone. You can use a meat thermometer to know it is done, but with slow, moist cooking it will tend to become more succulent and tender long after it comes to temperature.
Once meat is finished cooking, remove from smoker and let rest for 30 minutes. Shred for sandwiches or pull apart in larger chunks. Yields 8 servings.
NOTE: For aspiring smokers with less time to spend, try using an Orion Cooker. This device seals the meat and wood chips on the inside and is heated with charcoal arranged in a ring around the outside and in the lid. The Orion’s manufacturer says a moist, smoky, convection environment is created within the cooking chamber; we agree, and we use this cooker quite often. In the Orion, it takes just slightly more than 7 minutes per pound to cook meat with that delicious slow-smoked flavor and texture.
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