Ahh the Copper River are in season. These are a salmon that every year return up a particularly swift river (strangely in this case called the Copper River) which requires them to have extra stores of fat to have the energy to make it up the river to breed. So they are extra fatty and they glisten on the cutting board and sizzle on the grill. Costco had them for $6.99 a lb and this one is destined for the smoker. Following Salmon University recipe.
I was vaguely thinking of smoking some pork tenderloins today, but when I woke up this morning I realized that meant we’d have to clean out the smoker after dark in our icy backyard. So… we went to plan B. I’d already rubbed the loins (with a blend of allspice, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, onion powder, and thyme), so with some input from Pookie, I ended up cutting up the pork, searing it, and then braising it with most of the elements of my favorite baked beans recipe (onion, garlic, molasses, mustard, some more brown sugar, and, of course, pinquitos) and some chicken stock. The end result? OUTRAGEOUS. I want to eat this every single day.
I have the garden stakes to prop the lid open a bit so it smokes cooler.
For LeeAndra’s nephew Andrew’s birthday, I cured this salmon overnight in salt, brown sugar, pepper and dill like gravlax, and then smoked it for 3 hours on a salt block over hickory at about 200′. So freaking good.
This is the ribs as I placed them onto the top rack of the smoker (there is a lower rack as well, underneath this top rack)
I used a rub recipe I found on the virtual weber bullet forum. This type of smoker is often referred to as a bullet smoker, as it resembles the shape of a bullet
I did not shoot any pics of the ribs when they were done (my bad= : – ), but let me assure you, they were very good if I may say so myself
A popular way to smoke pork ribs involves using the 3-2-1 Method. 3 hours in the smoker at around 275 degrees f, two hours wrapped in foil at those temps, then the last hour you unwrap and finish in the smoker, same temp
I did a variation, I smoked them (two slabs, both cut in half to fit in this smoker and rack) for 2.5 hours, at and around 275 degrees, then I removed them, took them into my kitchen and placed in foil, where I added brown sugar and honey to both sides of each rack and before sealing in heavy duty tin foil, I added 3 tablespoons of apple juice, for added moisture. All four wrapped slab halves went back onto the smoker for 100 more minutes
At the end of the 100 minute time period, the ribs IMO were done. Some of the recipes I looked at said to foil them for 90 minutes then check for doneness, and if not quite done, put back in for 10 more minutes and re-check. I just let them go for 100 minutes, then checked and felt when I checked for doneness, they were perfectly done, in that they were not fall off the bone done but you could pull the meat from the bone w/o much tugging
If they are fall off the bone done, that is generally agreed a sign of over doneness. Take notice of the temp probe towards the bottom of the ribs…by checking the temp at the grate level where the food is cooking, you know exactly what your cooking temps are. Also you’ll notice on the side of the middle section where the wire probe goes into the smoker, Weber added this silicone plug exclusively for the additions of temp probes…something the earlier WSM’s did not have. That said, what most were doing was to tap into the side using a pug to accommodate temp probes but Weber listened to the owners and recently added this silicone probe port