Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Smoked BBQ Spice Rubbed Pork Shoulder


It’s finally started to warm up, and when I have been able to sit outside and work on the laptop (like I am right now) two days in a row without my winter jacket on then I am officially calling it.  Spring is here!

Of course, now that I’ve said it, we’ll end up with a blizzard or something next week just to make me eat my words.  But if all goes well, it should hopefully remain like it is and slowly get warmer (bring on the heat and humidity!)

However, when I think spring and the beginning of warm weather, I start to get really excited about grilling.  And since this is the first spring arrival I am experiencing after getting my very own smoker I am starting to get giddy about that too.

I grew up with my summer weekends being filled with cookouts with my family and enjoying my time outside.  And one of the more special things that my father would do is pull out his smoker and spend a whole day smoking various meats while working in the garden with my mom.  We’re lucky enough to have a big cherry tree in my parents’ back yard, so whenever my dad was trimming branches he would always save them and trim the branches into smaller sizes and then soak those in water before beginning the smoking process. 

Smoking meat is a low and slow kind of thing, and you need to be around to tend to it by adding in more wood chips or charcoal throughout the process, so because of this he wouldn’t usually pull out the smoker as often as the grill.  But when he did, he would go all out.  Pork butts, chicken, turkey, ribs, and fish would all go on the smoker at some point in the day (depending on the amount of time needed).  Then we would usually have one of those items for dinner (usually the ribs) and he would freeze the rest, that way he would still get to enjoy that deep smoky flavor in-between “smoke days” without all the work.

On my very first solo smoke day (after finally getting a smoker for Christmas and then bags of wood chips, charcoal and lighter fluid for my birthday, from my dad naturally) I decided to stick with pork.  There is just something about pork and smoking and/or barbequing that just goes together so well.  I had already been working on different spice rubs, and I wanted to do one that had the flavor of a barbeque sauce, just without the sauce.  This was inspired by the fact that my dad always smoked a pork butt/shoulder and would then use it the next day as barbeque pulled pork by cooking in the in the crock pot with his favorite barbeque sauce.  So I wanted those flavors, but in a pork loin and not pulled. 

And I got it!  After numerous tries with the rub, I finally got the right balance of sweet and spicy and then the smoky flavor from smoking the pork all day.  It was delicious cut in slices by itself.  It was great the next day sliced for cold sandwiches.  When I say my kind of barbeque this is it and I just can’t wait to get back to my smoker this year…it has been missed.

Barbeque Spice Rub
Makes: approx. 1 1/2 cup
2 tbsp. salt
4 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ancho chili powder
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. ground thyme
1/2 tbsp. rosemary
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tbsp. nutmeg
1/4 tbsp. allspice

1.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.