I didn't have the time or energy this weekend to get my Lang Smoker out, the cadillac of wood smokers. Ben Lang makes Lang Smokers in Nahunta, Georgia and they are great for the big BBQ's but for doing just 1 or 2 Boston Butts, I decided to go with my Brinkmann Electric Smoker. Yes, to many BBQ enthusiast there isn't room for anything but wood and charcoal when it comes to BBQ but when you need to get the job done and still want to produce some good quality BBQ, the electric smoker is the way to go. Especially if you want to get some sleep at night after putting on a 9 pound Boston Butt. Secret to it is making sure to use the right amount of wood on top of the electric element so you end up with a good Smoke Ring . As you can tell from the picture, the Brinkmaan has seen its share of long nights of BBQ.
I put my "top secret" dry rub on the 9 pound boston butt around 9:30 PM on Friday night and then had the Butt on the smoker around 10:00 PM. I filled up the water pan about half full that goes in the smoker and put in a few chunks of peach and cherry wood in the bottom near the heating elements. I added some more wood around 11:30pm and then again the following morning at 8am. Around 1 pm on Saturday the Boston Butt was internally at a temperature of 175 degrees. At this point I wrapped it in foil and let it cook until it reached 195 degrees at which point I took it off the smoker and let it rest.
At 195 to 200 degrees internal, the pork butt will reach a tenderness that allows the entire Butt to be pulled apart with a fork or by hand. The Brinkmann Electric Smoker I own is an older one and keeps a temperature of around 220 degrees which is on the low end of what I would prefer to cook at temperature wise but "low and slow" works every time. Being able to "set it and forget it" to cook bbq is great when you want to cook those large pieces of meat but still get some sleep at night.
Yes, even a BBQ addict like myself who has spent 14 hours straight in 30 degree weather cooking BBQ with my wood burning Lang Smoker sometimes has to cheat a bit and plug in the electric smoker. Anything I can do to help increase revenues at Alabama Power :)
An electric smoker is a great way to cook large cuts of meat such as ribeye roasts, boston butts, sirloins, whole chickens, and turkeys. It basically allows you to keep from cooking your meat too hot or even burning the meat. Key to making great bbq on the electric is using the right amount of wood to add enough smoke flavor to penetrate the meat. If you can master the cooking times to keep the meat tender, then tweaking the amount of wood to get the right flavor will take you to the next level of bodacious BBQ.