One of life’s most enjoyable pastimes is the ability to make a beautiful hog roast on the barbecue smoker. And we are going to take a look at some of the absolute best BBQ Smokers the some of the finest hog roast you can possibly imagine. You are going to learn some of the best tips and tricks from professionals that cook quality hog roast every single day and some of the best different herb mixes that you can put on top of your hog roast as well. We will be going to take a really close look at some of the possibilities in terms of what we can do to improve the flavour and texture of the meat and the hog roast itself. You’re the most important thing of course is taking a good look at the best bbq smoker on the market to make sure that you get the absolute best cookware you possibly can. There’s so many different smokers out there and so many different types of wood and different types of kindling that you really might struggle to decipher the best setup, so we’re going to take a look at all the different elements to lead up to one of the most amazing meals on the table, the hog roast.
The best barbecue smoker for a small hog roast: Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Grill
I’m a serious fan of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Grill. One of the main reasons I love this bbq smoker is the fact that it’s actually really compact and does a great job of cooking an awful lot of money for its eyes. It’s only 47 centimetres but it’s amazing that you can actually get a whole suckling pig into this thing. The other amazing thing about it is it’s really quite tall which means that it’s got a lot of space that you can really get a good amount of smoke going here inside of this thing. It means you are also going to get yourself a really smoky flavour into your meat; the whole point of a smoker. One of the most important things about a hog roast after all is the flavour and you can really get a great outdoor flavour going with this smoker.
Some people that have purchased the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Grill mentioned that it was worth buying this grill as a set with extra wood chunks and the rub already included. That’s because basically Weber really know what they’re doing in terms of quality piece of meat and know the setup you need. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, be it beef ribs or a hog roast, they’ll know exactly how to give you the right rub which will give you the best flavour every single time. This is a very nice piece of equipment and I couldn’t hesitate to recommend it enough. It comes with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty and it’s a high-quality piece of equipment that even, chefs have commented upon, they mention that it’s a very nice piece of equipment and they would be more than happy to use this high quality barbecue smoker to serve food to the customers. What more could you ask for than a commercial recommendation such as this.
How to prepare your barbecue smoked hog roast
One of the best ways to prepare your hog roast is to clean out any part of the body and trim fat. Once you clean out the meat it is a simple case of adding the rub and leaving it to rest for about 24 hours. If you want a high quality finish on your roast pig then give it a little bit of time to settle and let the rub really get into the meat. One of the most important things to remember about the rub is to apply it very carefully and evenly. This will allow you to get yourself that perfect barbecue smokey flavour every time.
The hog roast taste test
Most important part of your hog roast is to ensure that you do not overcook the meat because this is what effectively will cause the hog to not be all that great tasting and the texture will become tough and unpalatable. So the up most important needs to be placed on how you monitor your barbecue smoker and I would highly recommend having a temperature gauge that will help you monitor the core temperature of the meat. This will ensure that you can cost the perfect tender and moist hog roast every single time.
If you would like to let me know about anything in my barbecue smoker article or think you have anything worth while to add then please do not hesitate to contact me as soon as possible so that I can add to the bbq smoker article accordingly. Any tips and tricks would most certainly be welcomed so don’t be shy and pop me a message today.
In my many hours or research of the topic of BBQ I came across this article on smoking techniques. It helped me understand my smoker and roaster and smoking in general, and I found this information very helpful. I was going to attempt to write my own, but truthfully this article is very complete and gives you everything you’ll need to know.
First, know your equipment, each and every smoker and roaster is different; there are hot and cold spots inside the smoker and roaster. The larger the smoker and roaster, the more hot and cold spots there will be. Weather is a big factor during smoking, the pit will smoke differently in high and low humidity. Wind and temperature will also affect smoking. On a cold day, you will end up using more fuel than a hot day. On a windy day you will need to limit your airflow or your pit will most likely run hot (remember: more air = more heat, less air = less heat).
Fresh ingredients, and proper food handling guidelines are a must. Smoked meats are exposed to bacteria more so than any other cooking process. If you have questions regarding proper food handling, check the article here. It is imperative that proper food handling practices be followed.
Building The Fire
There are many out there that have great fire building techniques, and you should use what you are comfortable with. I will share mine as well:
I only use real Hardwood Lump Charcoal. This can be a little hard to find depending on where you are at. If lump charcoal is difficult to find then regular briquet can be used, just make sure it is made out of hardwood, without lighter fluid.
A very popular method is to use a chimney starter. If you will be primarily using charcoal for your heat source, then I recommend using one of these to start and burn down new charcoal before adding it to your pit.
In my large offset pit, I use lump charcoal to heat it up, and wood for cooking. In most pits you will need to use mostly charcoal, and then use some wood chunks or chips for flavour. A good rule of thumb is 90% charcoal to 10% dry wood chunks. If you are using wood chunks or chips that have been soaked in water do not add them until you are ready to cook. Also, you will only need a couple of wood chunks if you are soaking them first, or a small handful of wood chips. To light the fire I use a fire starter stick. I have also used a gel fire starter, I never use lighter fluid, it has a tendency to flavour the meat. When using the gel I put my charcoal in and leave about a 3 to 5 inch gully in the middle where I put the gel fire starter. If you use the stick fire starter, then place pieces of the stick into the sides of the charcoal pile. Make sure you can see the edge of the stick so you can light it! At this point you need full air flow through your smoker and roaster. Both chimney vent, and the fire box air vents should be wide open. Then light the gel or stick and close the lid/door, within 15 minutes (small cookers) and up to 60 minutes (large cookers) you should be ready to cook. On most smoker and roasters the ideal cooking temperature will be between 220 – 250 degrees.
If it’s a windy day keep your air vents near closed. Remember more air, increased temperature. On some of the water smoker and roasters, you may even close the air vent completely. Typically there is more than enough air coming from the bottom and sides of the smoker and roaster. In an offset air leakage into the cooking chamber through the doors can give a convection type effect. Increasing the air draw from the firebox. In controlling your fire, there is no substitute to knowing how to control air flow in your smoker and roaster.
Another method is becoming increasingly popular to increase burn times and to bring the cooker up to temp slower and more accurately. This method is now popularly known as “The Minion Method”, so named after Jim Minion a competition cook who perfected this method on his WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain). This method starts with stacking a large quantity of un-lit charcoal in your cooker, then using chimney starter burn a relatively small amount of charcoal, then adding it on top of the pile of un-lit charcoal. The remaining charcoal will start and burn slowly throughout the cook. It will take many hours to burn through your charcoal this way. This method is extremely useful if using forced draft temp control, such as the BBQ Guru. The BBQ Guru will bring the cooker up to temp, and only burn what it needs throughout the cook.
Seasoning a New Pit
A new BBQ pit should be seasoned like a new iron skillet. It is suggested by most manufacturers to rub the inside of the pit with a vegetable cooking oil, but actually some even use lard. Then light the pit and bring the cooking chamber up to about 220 degrees. Cut the airflow in the pit to about 1/2 and let it smoke. A few hours is good, the longer the better. Another good idea is to spray or rub the oil at the joints of where the firebox meets the cooking chamber. This will help you keep the paint in those spots.
Here are a few quick guidelines on cooking times. Cooking times will be relative to the temperature you are cooking at, the physical size of the piece of meat, air flow (convection effect) through the cooker, etc.. This is only a guide, start with these and adjust based on your cooker.
pork ribs – a good starting point is 60 minutes per pound.
Pork shoulder – a good starting point is 75 to 80 minutes per pound, with the second half of the cooking time wrapped in foil.
Chicken – 45 to 60 minutes per pound.
Beef Brisket – a good starting point is 65 to 75 minutes per pound with the second half of the cook wrapped in foil. (cook brisket until the flat portion is fork tender)
Using aluminium foil during the cooking process is a very controversial topic amongst BBQ experts. Using foil on fibrous pieces of meat will have the following benefits:
Decreased Cooking Time – Using foil on fibrous cuts such as pork shoulder, or beef brisket will aid in collagen breakdown resulting in less cooking time.
Limit Smoke Absorption – Smoke should be viewed as a spice. You want to achieve the right amount of smoke flavour. Wrapping your meat halfway or 3/4 of the way through cooking will limit the amount of time the meat is exposed to smoke.
Some view this as a crutch, and others (including myself) view it as a very necessary part of the cooking process.
The Water Pan Myth
The use of a water pan in upright water smoker and roasters, and in some offsets has been thought to add moisture to the air surrounding the meat. In the old smoke house days when meats were smoked for days at low temperatures, this was definitely a possibility. The reality is that at temperatures of 220+ degrees, the air will not hold the moisture. The water will actually end up on your meat, and can result in ash and soot sticking to the surface of the meat. Water used in smoker and roasters is to aid in temperature control of the cooking chamber.
Many have started using sand in place of water which will actually help in the fuel efficiency of your smoker and roaster. Keep in mind that it is very easy to burn up a piece of meat using sand in place of water, and you should know your smoker and roaster before you try this.
Geared towards the newbies in the outdoor cooking world, but relevant to experienced cooks as well. Hey, The Kingfish even learned a thing or two himself in doing research for this article. If you feel I missed something or have a tip to add, E-mail me, I will post them in future updates.
In the beginning we all have made BBQ mistakes and some have even given up after a few tries. The reason? Outdoor cooking, like anything else that’s really really good, takes time and practice to make perfect. Unless you do awful lot of homework or learn from a master, your first crack at ribs or a brisket will not be as good as your future attempts will be. Below is a list of 11 of the most common mistakes made in the quest for the perfect BBQ experience. Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble.
1. You’re in too big of a hurry and have planed poorly.
You’ll need to plan in advance for most smoker recipes. Many recipes require a dry rub or other over night prep just for the meat. In most cases we are working with meats that require long, slow, even heat to tenderise and cook properly. Barbecue takes time and patience. You can’t rush it. General rule of thumb is to figure 1 to 1 1/2 hours of smoker time per pound for most meats. If you’re looking for something quick, stick with hamburgers, boneless chicken breasts or hotdogs.
2. Lacking basic cooking skills
It helps to be a semi-good cook in the first place before you try your hand at barbecuing, this includes basic understanding of food safety . If you get a reputation for poisoning your guests, your future BBQ’s won’t hold quite the same turn out! If you can’t boil water, let someone else tend the grill. To be sure, most of the great BBQ masters can hold their own in the kitchen as well.
3. Opening the lid to peek too often.
Even The Kingfish had this problem at the beginning — it’s hard not to look!! However, you can’t tell if the meat is done by looking at it as the smoke causes the outside to appear “done” long before it actually is. I stopped looking once I finally bought a Digital Oven Thermometer and saw for myself the huge temp drop every time I opened the lid. I also noticed how long it took to bring the smoker back up to temp, sometimes as long as 45 minutes! The temp drop can shock your meat and make it tough, plus it will add to your cooking time. Open the lid only when necessary to mop, move or turn the meat. The meat is not going anywhere, so no need to keep checking up on it.
4. Trying to do a brisket or spare ribs the first time you use your smoker.
Start off on the road to the “Perfect Q” with the simplest meat to smoke like a whole chicken or a pork picnic roast. They’re cheap and hard to ruin. There are plenty of books and web sites like The Kingfish BBQ (shameless plug) with some great tips and recipes for those new to BBQ and smoking world. It’s a good idea to read and compare recipes and tips before you tackle the brisket and ribs in your smoker. Don’t fill up the smoker with meat until you’ve had some successes. Start with just one item. The good news is once you master the basic general principles of smoking you’ll be able to learn and master brisket and ribs easier. You will find the result are easy to achieve. After that then you’re ready to become obsessed in your quest for the perfect rub and marinades.
5. Using lighter fluid to start your charcoal briquettes.
This will give you some really awful odours and tastes in your smoked meat. Use a chimney starter or electric starter for charcoal . Once you taste something smoked with out fluid you will be surprised at how the wood spice flavours come through and I bet money you won’t do it again. If you must (yuck) use a charcoal lighter fluid (hurl), let the coals burn for at least 40 minutes before you put on the meat, and by the way, you’ll still be able to taste the fluid.
6. You’re a Pyromaniac!
Because of your compulsion, you feel the need to build a hot fire and recklessly add way, way, way too many hot coals, while quickly piling the meat into the smoker (see rule #1). This is a big mistake. It is much easier to add more coal to make a fire temp rise to get a hot smoker back down to it’s correct temp. At this point most people panic, trying to control the heat by closing the inlets and exhaust dampers which is a no no. The proper way is to open that exhaust damper all the way and regulate the oxygen intake with the inlet damper. Be careful how you close that inlet damper, your fire can smoulder and give you some over smoked nasty-tasting meat. Best advice, keep your fire low and your dampers open. Remember, slow and steady to the road to success
7. Using green wood.
You must use seasoned wood (aged wood) to get good results when you begin barbecuing. The old pros can use a mix of green and seasoned wood, but beginners should not use the green stuff until they know about fire and temperature control. Using green wood without knowing what you’re doing is the surest way to ruin the meat. You’ll get a creosote coating on your meat which results in a bitter taste and meat that cannot be saved.
8. Trying to adjust too many things at once.
Don’t adjust everything on the smoker at once. Change one thing, see what happens, then change another. Make small changes to the smoker. Open or close the intake vent a little bit, not a lot. If you are continually making big changes, you will continually overshoot the correct temperature point. Your temperature curve will look like a giant sawtooth. Make the changes in small increments.
9. Putting cold meat into the smoker.
This can also lead to the condensation of creosote on the surface of the meat if you don’t have a clean-burning fire. Beginners should allow the meat to warm up on the counter, but for no longer than an hour (see rule #2), before you put it in the smoker. Experienced smokers can put the cold meat directly into the smoker, as some experts say this helps with smoke penetration, but this technique is not for beginners.
Inviting the family, the in-laws, and the preacher and his wife over the first day you get that new smoker. Your “Q” reputation is fragile and first impressions are also important. Remember, you’ll only as good as your last cook out. If people don’t like your BBQ and know you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, they will politely excuse them self from any further BBQ events you throw. Practice some, get to know your smoker on a personal basis (even name it, I did). Do a pork picnic shoulder, some chickens, then some ribs and finally when every things coming together, do a brisket. Then invite the whole gang over and wow ’em good.
When you start barbecuing for the first time, keep a log book of exactly what you’re doing and when you did it. This will help later on when you want to make a few minor changes or repeat something.
I’d also suggest trying to stay with one food type (i.e., chicken, pork butt, brisket, etc.) until you’ve got everything pretty much down pat. Also, try to buy similar weights, so your timing will be the same.
Once you’ve got all your favourite food types somewhat mastered, you will go crazy and experiment with different rubs, mops, sauces, and so on. It’s important to have at least speciality that you can pretty much always count on, and that everyone likes. Besides, you never know when I may be in the neighbourhood!