Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Smoked Meat - Part I

While many of you were out grilling this past holiday weekend, I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, Mississippi, having a culinary adventure. Nowhere, MS, otherwise known to me as Carthage, MS is where some of the boyfriend's family is, and it is always a treat to go. Jackson is close, but far away enough that each and every star can be seen from the carport (carports are standard issue in MS). And it's a town where if you don't know everyone by name, it's because you are new to town or have serious memory loss issues.

These pictures you're looking at are of the xxthousand dollar smoker, made by Ole Hickory Pits (, and of Howard and Boneda loading up the smoker. This ginormous smoker, measuring 5ft x 5ft x 6.5ft and sitting on a 16ft trailer, can hold 30 turkeys, 90 racks of baby back ribs, 50 boston butts, 50 whole chickens, and 40 (12lb) briskets. While we did not get to test these capacities (we used 4 of the 15 available racks), we did get a whole lot of meat in that smoker over the weekend. On Saturday, we began the smoking marathon.

Our first batch was chicken wings, a whole chicken, and a dozen ears of corn. We rubbed the chicken wings with a rub that came with the smoker. There was no ingredient list, but I'm pretty sure this is the recipe: paprika, black pepper, salt, chili powder, maybe some onion and garlic powder and possibly cayenne. I didn't taste any sugar in this rub, but if you like your rub with a hint of sweetness, I would add brown sugar. Then we dipped the wings in some spicy bbq sauce and plunked the wings on the racks. We rubbed the whole chicken with the rub. We didn't do anything to the corn except stick it on the rack.

What came out 3 hours later were probably the juiciest wings I have had in a long time. The corn was cooked just right, and I can't wait to get into the whole chicken (it is currently awaiting devouring in my freezer.)

I can't say that this smoking experience is going to make me run out and buy a commercial smoker, but it did certainly tempt me. I think with my more modest means, I am seriously considering purchasing a more appropriately-sized gas smoker so that I can hopefully recreate these smoky treats at home.

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