On our farm we raise both chickens for meat, and chickens for eggs. This means we often have to deal with roosters from the egg laying breeds and they are definitely not in the same class as the meat birds. As a result, I most often simply keep them whole and use them for chicken stew and such.
Today I decided to try smoking a couple with different rubs to see how they turned out – here are the results.
I filled the water pan on the smoker, loaded up apple wood chips and warmed it up to about 200. While it was warming up, I rinsed the birds and coated them liberally with dry rub. I then stuck them in the smoker at 200 for 6 hrs, which was probably a bit too long, but they are so moist and juicy it all worked out great. I think the water pan is what kept this viable and helped avoid dry meat (which no one likes.)
One of the challenges with these birds is that they are generally tough and do not have a great deal of meat. The smoker made a nice difference, cooking them low and slow and breaking the meat down to a much more tender consistency. I will likely brine next time to see how that affects them, and maybe try opening them up but that is for another day. For now, it is dinner time!
Today I had the smoker running and decided to make some apple wood smoked eggs. They turned out well and I do love the flavor of the apple wood in the background.
I got the smoker warmed up to around 200, then added the eggs. I had a pan of water in the smoker to keep the shells from drying out too much and set the temp for 225. I let the eggs cook for about 2 hours and then opened up the smoker to cool. I would have pulled the eggs at this point, but I had my grandson in my arm, so I did not want to mess with the smoker!
Worth noting here, there are a lot of ways to smoke eggs, and many people hard boil first, or even peel them. This gives you different outcomes and require a bit more work in some cases. I simply put the eggs in raw, and let the hot smoking cook them.
The finished flavor is like a regular boiled egg, with a smoky note that is not over powering. These pair well with a little Gentleman Jack if you are so inclined…
I have to say, pulled pork and barbecue of most types is one of my favorite foods. Because of that, you will note this post focuses on that, but I try to highlight different approaches. To some, an oven is sacrilege for this process and only outdoor, wood smokers will do. Others are just as happy with an oven and a little liquid smoke, though I suspect that is due to not trying the alternatives.
It is also worth noting that the term Pork Butt is a little confusing as it is really not the butt at all, but rather the shoulder area – there are some pretty funny suggestions as to why it’s called the butt, but I will leave that to you to read up on.
- First up is the website AmazingRibs.com. The reason I am leading off with this one is I think it is a great resource to get an education on this cut and style, plus it doesn’t hurt that they point out Berkshire Pigs are the ones to look for! (In case you didn’t figure it out yet, we raise Berkshire – mmm good) The approach in this article is focused on a smoker or grill, but could be adapted if you are desperate and can’t lay your hands on one of these options. (I am sad for you if that is the case – you should move to the country and make some redneck friends like mine to have true food options!) Also worth looking for on this site is the linked article on cooking times.
- The next option to look at is from the CookShack.com.
While there is significantly less detail on this link, I like this site as they also provide a little balanced chat about the different mops / sauces.
- Jump on google or bing or however you search the internet of food and find your own great resources, and please, let me know your approaches.
The bottom line is that this is a great cut of meat, cooked low and slow. Pulled pork is best paired with coleslaw, beans and beer and served on burger roles but you will find your own approach based on region and taste.