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.
Results From My First Electric BBQ Smoke
It’s been a couple weeks now since I reported that I bought myself the 30 Inch Masterbuilt Electric Smoker for my birthday and I’ve got some feedback to report.
Seasoning My Masterbuilt BBQ Smoker
First off, the seasoning process was a success. When I first turned on the meat smoker it produced a bad electrical smell…not exactly what you’d want your barbecue smelling like. However, by the end of the 3 hour process it smelled amazing. I added a cup of Apple wood chips the last 45 minutes as recommended and it seasoned the smoker very well. It smelled like I had already smoked a couple batches of ribs. Very cool!
My First Smoke: Houston, We Have A Problem
Next came my first smoke. I decided to try smoked trout and used a recipe from the Masterbuilt manual that was included in the smoker. However, I quickly hit a snag. Nearly three minutes into preheating the smoker, I almost had a fire on my hands. I was using an extension cord to power the smoker and the receptacle that I had the smoker plugged into started smoking. I quickly powered down the unit and disconnected the power cord. Sure enough the receptacle on the extension cord had melted a bit. I wasn’t concerned about the extension cord but was pretty worried about the smoker. Discouraged, I decided to hold off on cooking the trout the following day after I called Masterbuilt customer service.
Contacting Masterbuilt Customer Service
The following day I contacted Masterbuilt and they immediately diagnosed my problem. My extension cord was too long. I had a 50 foot workshop power cord. They recommended that through extensive testing the power cord should not exceed 20 foot. Good information they should add to the owners manual.
Luckily there wasn’t much damage to the power cord on the smoker. Only a slight melted mark at the base of one of the plugs and some soot that I was able to quickly clean off. As such, Masterbuilt’s customer service said I should be fine to try using the smoker again and if I had further problems I could call back and they would see if they could get a new smoker sent out to me.
Resolution: Use A Heavy Duty Extension Cord
So I ran out and bought a heavy duty 12ft 14/3-wire gauge 15 Amp extension cord and reattempted my smoked trout the following day. After all the drama, I’m happy to report that the smoked trout was a success. I even threw on some jumbo sized shrimp with cajun seasoning for the first hour that also turned out pretty well.
Conclusion: Smoked Trout A Success
I’ll save the trout recipe for another post so stay tuned. I definitely have room to improve, but overall it was very good. After dinner I cleaned up the racks and wiped down the inside of the smoker to tidy it up. Overall it cleaned up well and wasn’t too troublesome.
Is BBQ Smoking For Me?
It’s true, many people believe that barbecue smoking should be reserved for only professional barbecuers. Heck, I thought so myself for many years. It wasn’t until I put my first foot forward that I realized that is not the case for anyone with the passion for smoked meat, even if they have a small budget.
In what will eventually be included in my forthcoming “BBQ Smoker Buyer’s Guide, ” I’d like to go ahead and debunk this so called myth that smoking meats be reserved only for the BBQ pros of the world. Sure, experience can go a long way in turning out excellent results, but everyone has to get their start somewhere. I’ve only been smoking on my own for two years and I already prefer my smoky-meat-masterpieces to that of many many restaurants I’ve since visited.
While many smokers can costs thousands of dollars, newbies can get started with smoker grills for £100 if not less. I recommend starting with something easy to manage, like a gas or electric smoker.
My first smoker was a vertical propane smoker that I purchased from my local Loews for about £150. I like propane and electric smokers because they make it easy to maintain consistent temperatures and you don’t have to continue to “feed the fire” as you would on charcoal or wood burning smokers.
This leads me to my first rule for smoking beginners:
Keep It Simple
When starting out you should do your best to keep it simple. Gas and electric smokers give you the best chance to see some early success. I like to relate smoking meat to driving a car – slow and steady wins the race. Like driving with caution, it’s easier to avoid accidents if you keep the temperature somewhat low and allow yourself the necessary time.
This leads me to my next rule:
I’ll be blunt here because there isn’t much else to say….slow down! Good results take a while. So sit back, crack a beer, and take in the smell. You’re going to be here a while and you’ll enjoy every minute of it.
What to Smoke?
While everyone may not agree, I would suggest starting out with ribs. They seem somewhat forgiving to me and you can properly cook them within 3 to 4 hours. I’ve overcooked them a few times and I’ve still had people tell me they were the best ribs they’ve ever had.
On the other hand, I would avoid starting out with beef brisket as I’ve found there are a lot more steps involved in prepping the meat and handling the meat after smoking which can make a big difference – details of which are best suited for many future discussions. Needless to say, I’m still trying to perfect my brisket skills
Pork butt, or pulled pork may be another great alternative for beginners, but be prepared for a long smoke. Depending on the size, port butts can take 10 hours or more! However, they are fairly forgiving as well and I’ve had very good luck.
Anyone with a small budget, a little patience, and a passion for smoked meats can enjoy a BBQ smoker. So what are you waiting for? Dive right in. The only way to become a pro yourself is to get started now!