Inaugural cook!

After all that build-up and building, it’s time to actually put this UDS to use.

Payload is pork and chicken. The pork is done in a simple “Dalmatian” rub: equal parts salt, pepper, and turbinado sugar. The poultry is SE’s “Cornell chicken” recipe: marinated overnight in herby white (mayo-based) barbecue sauce.

Pork:

Fired up the smoker with a lot of unlit charcoal; probably about half the basket full of it. Threw a few hickory chunks in as well, but they caught early and quickly. (Will need to bury them in the unlit briquettes next time.) Considering the too-quick start last time, I only lit about 20 briquettes in the chimney. It got to temperature nice and quick, and was relatively easy to regulate from there. (I actually got two hours of uninterrupted sleep while the thing stayed in a good temp range!)

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Before starting the cook, I went to Home Depot for a few miscellaneous things (including casters). All the summer stuff was on sale, and since I saw that there was a chance of rain overnight Saturday and Sunday evening, I picked up a pop-up canopy for a steal. Note: don’t spend too much time under a canopy with a just-lit smoker. (*Cough*.)

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From there it was just a lot of waiting and adjusting. Takes a while to get used to; the smoker is very sensitive (movements of millimeters on the vents have a huge effect), but extremely slow to react, so it’s hard to tell if any adjustment is enough or not. I kept my new thermometer close by (don’t know what I would have done without it), and charted the progress:

After that, it was into the cooler to wait. It finished way way earlier than expected, even without foiling; I didn’t do that until it read 195 or so. I don’t think it even took 1.5 hours per pound. Too long before dinner for even the “faux cambro” technique, so it sat in a 170-degree oven for a while, still wrapped up. (I think either my old technique of misting — or just having a crummy smoker — gave me an inflated estimate of how long shoulder takes.)

Foiled again! Or: It's a wrap!

Foiled again! Or: It’s a wrap!

Cranked the oven to 400 while the chicken was crisping to get some semblance of crust back. Didn’t think to get a picture until it was mostly gone.

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Chicken:

Before marinating, I spatchcocked it so the two birds would lay flat in the smoker to be done in about an hour at 325. After grilling some corn over new freshly-lit coals, the birds went in.

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Gave them about 40 minutes between 250-350 (didn’t really keep a close eye on it) to cook most of the way, then opened the vents, raised the coals basket, and flipped them to skin-side-down. (The spatchcock and slow cook made them a little delicate, so they basically quartered themselves at that point. Need a rotisserie basket or something.) Turned out nicely.

Naturally, again I didn't get a picture until it was almost gone.

Naturally, again I didn’t get a picture until it was almost gone.

Other stuff:

I made a sauce in the western North Carolina vinegar-based-but-still-tomatoey style. It was mostly to taste, but was based off of Meathead’s Lexington Dip.

Because man cannot live on meat alone, I made The Food Lab’s coleslaw, and Liz made a corn salad (with the grilled corn) and a marbley cheesecake/brownie thing.

Verdict:

Smoker was great. Very stable after getting dialed in. The rub was a little salty; I applied as much as I did Mr Brown, where salt was a smaller proportion. Oh well; didn’t get any complaints.

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The night ended with a few rounds of Cards against Humanity. An all-around good time.

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