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Giving the MAK a Real Workout This Weekend!

TentHunter

Moderator
It's been a while since I've posted any cooks. I've been super busy this Summer loosing weight (I am down 75 lbs so far), doing some traveling and working on a mini bass boat project.

No time for fishing this weekend, because it's going to be a busy one for me and the MAK 1 Star General!

First, I have an order for pulled pork and BBQ sauce for a Halloween event tomorrow evening for 60 people. Then, this Sunday is the annual Pastor Appreciation Brunch at Church, which I'm in charge of organizing, and providing the meat every year. I have three kinds of meats to make: 5 lbs. turkey sausage (for biscuits & gravy), five lbs of beef smoked sausage, and a ham (all homemade, of course).

So, as of 11:30 PM this evening (Friday evening) my MAK will be going pretty much non-stop until Sunday morning around 9:30 AM. :eek:


Here's what I have so far...

For the pulled pork, I went to the butcher and picked up two whole pork shoulders (with the hocks/shanks removed) totaling about 31.5 lbs. I forgot to ask the butcher to cut them in half, so I just cut through the meat at the half-way point, leaving the bone intact (essentially separating the butts & picnics), to create more surface area for more bark. Here they are on the MAK for a low & slow overnight cook and will be taken off sometime around noon tomorrow.
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For the ham, this year I decided to go with a Kassler style ham. This will make for easier slicing. ;)

I started with a 10 1/2 lb whole pork loin, cut in half and mixed up a batch of my Cider Mill Bacon brine. The two halves were injected and placed in the brine to cure in the fridge, getting flipped once a day, for a couple days now (one more day to go). This will go on the MAK tomorrow night for a long overnight smoke until Sunday Morning.
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Stay tuned... more to come!
 
Congrats on the loss!! I know it gets harder as we age and especially when you love to cook! A little taste test turns out to be a lot more. LOL.

I'll have to try that on my pulled pork. Any issues with dryness cutting them like that? I always love seeing your pics. You always show how much you can cook on that 1 Star! Have a great weekend!
 

TentHunter

Moderator
Congrats on the loss!! I know it gets harder as we age and especially when you love to cook! A little taste test turns out to be a lot more. LOL.

I'll have to try that on my pulled pork. Any issues with dryness cutting them like that? I always love seeing your pics. You always show how much you can cook on that 1 Star! Have a great weekend!

No issues whatsoever! These are whole shoulders, which are normally cut in half giving you a butt (upper half of a shoulder) and a picnic cut (lower half of the shoulder). These two cuts would normally be cooked separated anyway.

The only difference here is they are still connected by the femur bone (since I forgot to ask the butcher to cut them in half :rolleyes:).

I often cut regular butts in half to create more bark surface area and even them they are fine. There is PLENTY of fat to keep them moist. ;)
 
Last edited:

TentHunter

Moderator
OK...

The pork shoulders are basically done and resting in foil pans in a 170° oven until I pull them.
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First, I needed to make the BBQ Sauce, so it has time to cool down before I deliver the pulled pork. This is a Kansas City style sauce.
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The Beef smoked sausage is mixed, stuffed and on the MAK hot-smoking (Smoke setting - around 170°). I normally prefer to use natural casings, but used collagen casings to keep these all-beef as there are a few folks at church who avoid pork. The collagen casings did not twist well at all, and broke. So I just cut them as best as I could and laid them on the upper rack instead of hanging them on my sausage rack. The meat that's exposed on the ends will skin over and be fine.
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More to come...
 

TentHunter

Moderator
The beef smoked sausage is done and cut into small pieces ready to go into a slow cooker in the morning to heat through.
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The cider-brined Kassler style hams are now on the MAK running in smoke mode for a long overnight smoke with Applewood.
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Until tomorrow...
 
Tent, thanks for sharing. What temp do you cook your pulled pork at? I am assuming 225F, but curious if I am correct? Also,I have been reading many books on sausage making and ready to jump in! This post and your info in "Searching for the Cure" has really motivated me to make the jump. Thanks.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
OK... Here was the final results of the MAK-filled weekend.

First up the finished Cider Mill Kassler -style hams. You could also call this Cider Mill Back Bacon (Canadian Bacon) if you wanted, but since we sliced it thick, instead of thin like back bacon is typically sliced, we called them Kassler hams

This is right before we took them off around 9:30 am, after the all-night hot smoke on the MAK. They were gorgeous and smelled terrific! Each weight about 5 lbs. One went to Church for the brunch, the other was for us at home for slicing into cold cuts.
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Here's the homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage being turned into about 2 gallons (or so) of sausage gravy.
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At the Church brunch, by time I got through the line and remembered to snap a few photos, this is what was left of what we took (those are the beef smoked sausages on the left):
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Brought by other folks were lots of homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, a potato-bacon-egg casserole, fruit salad, pastries... let's just say it was a feast!

I was too tired (and full) to do anything when I got home yesterday but take a nap! :p
 

TentHunter

Moderator
Tent, thanks for sharing. What temp do you cook your pulled pork at? I am assuming 225F, but curious if I am correct? Also,I have been reading many books on sausage making and ready to jump in! This post and your info in "Searching for the Cure" has really motivated me to make the jump. Thanks.


My normal process is to:

1) Start out in smoke mode for a couple hours, then bump the temp to anywhere from 225° - 245° depending on how much time I have, etc. Since these went on for an overnight ride the pit temp was bumped to 225° after a couple hours of smoke mode.

2) After the shoulders have been on for a total of around 6 - 8 hours (depending again on time cook temp, etc.) I normally transfer them to large foil pans with about 1/2 cup cider vinegar per whole shoulder (1/4 cup per butt/picnic), cover tightly with foil, and bump the pit temp to around 275° - 300° for 2.5 - 3 hours. This tenderizes the pork nicely, and contrary to popular belief does NOT ruin the bark, AND I get to catch the foil juices which then get added back into the pulled pork!

This process allows me to consistently get shoulders does in about 10 - 11 hours and makes the results very predictable.

Hope this makes sense.
 
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