The Husband has the type of personality where if he develops an interest in something, he becomes obsessed. Last summer it was bow hunting. Normally, he makes every point to avoid going outdoors during the hot summer months. However, last summer it was not unusual to find him standing out in the backyard in 100 degree heat, sweat dripping from his brow, engaged in target practice.
This summer he has taken an interest in something I can really appreciate and even encourage – smoking meat. My mother-in-law gave us this huge, black iron grill/smoker as a wedding gift and while it has gotten plenty of use for grilling we seldom used it for smoking.
Mainly because we had no idea what the heck we were doing. Twice we’ve tried to smoke a brisket only to have the fire die halfway through the cooking time and we ended up finishing the meat in the oven. There’s nothing wrong with that, but to The Husband is sort of felt like we were cheating.
Memorial Day weekend we decided to give it another crack. The Husband and I first discussed our strategy. There are about a bajillion different methods for smoking meat and everyone swears that their method is the best. I am not one of those people. We opted to use a combination of mesquite chips soaked in water and charcoal and forgo the water pan. The husband first lit the charcoal in the lowest possible part of the grill and once the embers were established, added the woodchips. To prevent our biggest problem – a dwindling fire – he diligently checked the smoker once an hour to make sure the fire was adequate and added charcoal and wood chips as needed. After about seven hours, we tested our ribs with a meat thermometer for doneness and let them rest for
an eternity 15 minutes before slicing into them.
The ribs were heaven — melt in your mouth tender and deliciously smoky. The Husband’s chest swelled with pride and he beamed from ear to ear.
So when I say he becomes obsessed – he immediately began talking about what we could smoke next. I’m a sucker for smoked chicken and he wanted to try some pork, so last weekend we threw on a few chicken quarters and a whole pork loin roast. The chicken was dead on. The roast we wrapped up for eating later in the week.
I’m not proclaiming this is the gospel when it comes to smoking meat. We still have a lot to learn and I’m sure there are others out there with much more experience. I would suggest doing your own research and practice makes perfect.
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon savory
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Prepare meat for grilling by brushing both sides of the meat with olive oil and then seasoning generously with dry rub mix.
- Store in an airtight container.