Spring has sprung

by zydecopaws on April 5, 2009

img_0383Spring may have officially started on March 21, but today was what spring is really all about.  In honor of that, the WSM was put to good use.

On the grill:

The pork tenderloin has been sitting in the freezer for a few weeks now just begging to be taken out, given a good rub down, and tossed in the smoker for a few hours.  And who am I to argue with a pork tenderloin?  Especially one as long as this one; it wouldn’t fit in the sink to defrost, and I had to pull out one of the bigger ice chests in order to give it a nice warm bath.

This led to the discovery of a great tip for anyone out there that wants frozen meat thawed in a hurry without resorting to nuking it.  Put the frozen meat in an ice chest, fill it with hot water from the tap, and then put the lid on tight.  Depending on the hunk of meat you are defrosting, this technique will allow you to wander off for a little while, and when you come back the meat will be nicely thawed.  That big long pork tenderloin you see curled up on the grill took about 30 minutes to go from frozen solid to ready-to-cook.  And that was with the turkey breast (also frozen) taking up residence with it in the bottom of the cooler.  The amazing part of this for me was that there was no need to change the water, and it was still warm at the end of the 30 minutes.

The pork was then given a rub down with (you guessed it, if you’ve been here before) some basic rib rub and a sprinkling of Kirkland Mesquite Grill seasoning.  The turkey breast was rubbed in some ground sage and sprinkled with rosemary and thyme.  Both were then put on the smoker and kept between 210-275°F for the entire cook.  If anyone is wondering about the big difference in cooking temperatures, it had something to do with running out to the hardware store and on return finding it too hot (275°F), closing down the vents, and then getting involved with some yard work and coming back to find I had closed the vents down too far (210°F).  At this point I readjusted the vents and started to pay closer attention for the rest of the cook.

The pork was very tasty and was done about an hour before the turkey.  I think I will target a lower internal temperature in the future for this particular cut; the last two I’ve done have been a bit drier than I prefer.  The turkey was mainly cooked for lunches during the week, but that didn’t stop us from testing it when it came off the grill.  The breast was very juicy, and the crust was excellent, but a bit on the salty side.  It turns out I wasn’t paying attention when I opened the package for the turkey and threw out the gravy mix (lesson learned from an earlier cook).  It turned out that this particular brand of turkey had been brined before packing.  The wife promises to not buy this particular brand again even if it goes on sale (which is really the only reason it showed up today anyway) as neither of us care for all that salt.

I guess to sum up today’s cook, spring fever has taken hold and none of us were paying close attention to details.  Didn’t seem to matter as everyone really enjoyed the results…

Vital Statistics:

  • BBQ Start time: 12:40
  • Meal time: 17:30 (18:30 for the turkey)
  • Temperature:     69°F
  • Dew Point:     22°F
  • Humidity:    17%
  • Wind:    NE at 8mph
  • Daily Precip.:    0.00in

By far and away today was the nicest day so far this year.  The bikers were out in force (both motorized and non-motorized), tops were down on convertibles, and I even saw a pollen sufferer with her surgical mask on while driving in her car.  On days like today there is no excuse not to BBQ, and why would we look for one anyway?

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