Why do men get all the credit?
Grilling at my house is usually me gathering everything, taking it and a beer to my husband, making all the side dishes, seasoning the item or items to be grilled, getting my husband another beer, entertaining guests, setting the table, retrieving the platter that the raw meat was on and delivering a clean platter along with another beer to my husband, and all the clean up. Pepé is no help because his little spatula is just too small. Sometimes size really does matter. After all is done and we sit with our friends to enjoy our meal, everyone thanks my husband for grilling. Uh… What? Hey… I did 99% of the work… I’m pretty sure all he did was flip the food. Quick someone get him another beer!
What was I thinking?
Now I’ve made smoked pulled pork before, but never with an electric smoker. We bought one a couple of years ago to smoke a turkey for thanksgiving, because I just thought it would be easier than the charcoal method my husband loves. I’m all about making things easier. (Shut up people who know that’s not always true) Many people would debate that because I make so many things from scratch, but that’s different… I just didn’t want to babysit a charcoal grill. We also recently bought a new propane gas grill that is sitting right outside the back door. Not sure why we now have 3 different methods to grill stuff because we don’t grill that often, but that’s about to change. I’ve already grilled more this summer than many years before combined.
To brine or not to brine?
This firs step is optional, but we like to brine our pork. My husband made the brine the night before and he asked if I needed him to get the electric smoker out of the storage room. I thought it can’t be that hard, so I told him not to worry about it. Oh my… First, it was that hard. I got it onto a dolly, but I needed a strap to keep it from falling off every time I tried to lean it back and roll. Where does he keep those straps? I run up and down the stairs trying to find one, give up, and just hold on tight and lean that dolly back really far (this took several attempts). Where’s the extension cord? Oh, upstairs again. How do I turn this thing on? Where’s the user manual? Why didn’t I ask more questions the night before? Nick is at work, I’m on my own. I turn it, on set it to preheat and walk away only to come back and fine out it’s not heating. I’m all ready. My chips have soaked, I’ve added the dry rub to my pork shoulder… Why is this darn thing not heating? Ugh! I text Nick and ask. He asks if I plugged it in. REALLY? Pepé keeps asking if I know what I’m doing, so he is about to become wood chips in this darn smoker!
Perseverance saves the day
After much back and forth and finally finding and reading the instructions for this smoker, I realized I was missing one little step. It wanted me to not only set the temperature, but to set the time as well. I didn’t want it to shut off too soon, so I just gave it several extra hours, hit set and it finally started heating up. I had a few issues with the wood chip tray, but got it all figured out as well. All of this was annoying me because the brand new propane grill also has a smoker, it’s 4 feet away and I don’t have to lug it around or plug it in. I would still need to read the instructions though. Nick thought I wouldn’t want to get it dirty so that’s why he suggested the electric smoker. Hand on forehead. Oh well, it all worked out in the end, I learned a few things and we had some really delicious smoked pulled pork. This day we made pulled pork street tacos.
Juicy Smoked Pulled Pork
What you'll need:
- Wood Chips for Smoking (I used cherry this time)
- BBQ Sauce of Choice (optional)
- 4 Pound Pork Shoulder (also known as pork butt)
- 1/4 Cups Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper ground
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 3/4 Cups yellow onion chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice about 1/2 of a lemon
- 1/4 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- Enough water to cover it all
- 2 1/4 Teaspoons Cumin
- 2 1/4 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Oregano
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Mix all brine ingredients (except for water) in a large bag, bowl or pot that will hold all ingredients. Cover with water, stir it up a bit, seal the pot or bowl and refrigerate over night (or 6-8 hours).
- Bring pork shoulder up to room temperature (optional). Pat the pork shoulder dry. Combine all rub ingredients, and rub all over pork shoulder.
- Preheat smoker to 250°F.
- Soak would chips for 1/2 - 1 hour.
- Place pork fat side up on rack in smoker, place temperature probe in pork (if you have one) and close the door. Do not put an instant read probe in the smoker if it can’t withstand the heat. I have a probe with a cable that connects to the digital reader outside the smoker. A probe is really handy so you don’t have to open the door and let heat and smoke out. It will take at least 1- 1.5 hours per pound. Add wood chips when you don’t see anymore smoke coming out of the smoker. A small amount goes a long way. Smoke until internal temperature reaches 195°F.
- Remove from smoker and let rest until cool enough to handle, then start pulling it apart with two forks. Another option is to just slice and chop it up. Place all this in a oven safe pan, add your favorite BBQ sauce, pork jello, chicken stock and/or water, cover and heat in the oven at 250°F for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This last step is optional, but don’t add so much liquid that it’s too wet, it’s just to add some more flavor and a little extra moisture. You can totally skip it if you want.
- Now eat it as is, make a sandwich, a street taco, enchiladas or whatever else you can dream up.