The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

Grill Camp ‘07 - Day 6

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The last weekday of grill camp started off with grey & misty skies. On today’s menu was a second try with the Chili Cheeseburgers for lunch and Bone-in Pork Loin Roast for dinner. Or at least that is what I thought. Today I learned that there are two kinds of bone-in pork loin roasts. One large one small.

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The bone-in pork loin roast looks like a pork prime rib roast

Before I could make dinner it was time to go out and restock the pantry and hit Whole Foods to get more meat. I drove down to the nearest Whole Foods, which is about 20 minutes away. I hit a nearby supermarket to restock some spices and purchase side dishes. There is also a nearby mall which has a Willliams-Sonoma in the mall and a Bed, Bath & Beyond and a Linens & Things just down the street. So I turned this into a cooking themed field trip. It was a great time to hit these stores where they had just opened. Being on vacation I was not on a schedule, so I could spend as much or as little time as I wanted. I like to take opportunities like this to walk all of the aisles of these stores and supermarkets. It is always good to know for future reference who has what. You never know when you may need something on short notice and you know who has what.

The knife sharpeners I wanted at the beginning of the week

All week I had intended to get to Williams-Sonoma to pick up two Wusthof knife sharpeners I had learned about at the prior Saturday’s Knife Skills class. One sharpener was made for conventional knifes the other for the santoku knife which has a different angle for the blade. At the beginning of the week I had no intention of buying new knifes, but things changed as the week went on. First I had been paid for a side job I had just completed and had some spending money in the bank. Secondly I had given my existing Cuisinart knives some heavy use this week, and they were starting to show rust spots and rust pits. After trying out several of the Wusthof lines, I purchased a set of knives from their Classic line. The Cuisinart knifes I had were very sharp, but these are even sharper. In an ironic twist: The knife sharpener I wanted to buy was a free bonus gift for buying the set of knives.

The knife set I wanted by the end of the week

Next it was off to Whole Foods for the bone-in pork loin roast. Earlier in the week I’d inquired to see if the roast needed to be pre-ordered and was told no problem, come in and get it. I went to the butcher’s counter and asked for the pork loin roast and a 2 pound (1 Kg) flank steak for Saturday’s supper. While the butcher was prepping my pork roast I wandered off to pick up some more things. When I wandered back I saw this small brown wrapped package on top of the counter, about 1/3 the size of my roast. I smiled to myself and thought: “Well we know that is not my roast”. Guess again-it was. I asked the butcher how that could be and he got the head butcher. Meanwhile I had the photos from this cook on my iPhone, including the one at the top of this entry above, and I brought them up to show him what I wanted. It turns out there are two varieties of this roast using high and low portions of the ribs. The one I made before is from the eye cut and is quite a bit bigger. Whole Foods normally gets the bigger cut in, but this time it was the smaller cut. This smaller cut was way too small. It looked more like a rack of lamb than the picture you see at the top of this page. Bottom line: If you order one of these ask for the big one from the eye round.

What was I going to do? My parents were sharing this meal and I’d promised a pork roast. The butcher called another Whole Foods nearby and they didn’t have the other cut. The butcher said I could get about the same amount of meat if I bought the boneless pork loin roast. I decided to do this but while he was cutting it, I decided to go to a different recipe. Part of the appeal of the other roast is the presentation of it on the bone. Also the bones serve to help retain the moisture with that recipe. I decide to switch to a recipe that was intended for the boneless pork loin: Tennessee Whiskey Pork Loin. I had all of the ingredients at home and everyone has loved this roast when I’ve made it before.

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The first time (left) I didn’t make the patties as wide and I put too much of the fillings in. For second try (right) wider patties with less toppings

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The first time (left) I didn’t have as much meat around the perimeter to make a good seal. For second try (right) I worked to get a better seal

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The first time (left) the burgers sprung leaks on the first side and split after being flipped. The second time (right) was much better

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Messy but tasty the first time (left) and just about picture perfect the second try (right)

Crisis averted, it was back home for me. When I arrived at home, it was time to make lunch. I was going to try to perfect the execution of the Chili Cheeseburger recipe I made yesterday. There were two related problems I needed to solve. The first was I put too much chili and cheese on the insides. The second was I didn’t seal the patties well enough. The burgers began to leak causing large flare-ups. After I flipped the patties the seams began to split, but fortunately I didn’t lose more of the innards. So I was left with a burger that was not picture perfect but did taste great.

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My new bread knife made quick work of splitting the finished burger

For my second try I pressed the patties out a tad wider and used a bit less chili & cheese. I also changed the chili to cheese ratio in favor of more cheese.. The cheese acts as a binder and I figured more binder would help if I did spring any leaks. I spent more time insuring I had a good edge seal and no holes in the top and bottom patties. This time I still did have a few flare-ups but these seemed to be normal ones caused by dripping fat, not the chili leaking out. Once again it was good that my grill grate is well oiled. It was easy to slide the burgers around to get them out of the flare-ups. These burgers looked a whole lot better and tasted as good as they did the first time. I used one of my new knives, the bread knife, to cut one of the burgers open. I marveled at how easily the new knife slid through the burger and how cleanly it cut the meat and bread.

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The loin is butterflied & soaked in whiskey. Then BBQ rub is added, followed by Dijon mustard....

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...brown sugar is next followed by more whiskey.......

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....then the meat is folded over and more BBQ rub is applied to the outside. Finally it is tied closed along with 4 strips of bacon

When I finished lunch it was time to light the smoker and start the prep for the Tennessee Whiskey Pork Loin. The prep is relatively easy, but very messy. If you make this dish, prep it in a shallow sheet pan with turned up edges. You’ll thank me for that tip. You start off by butterflying the pork loin. I used my new chef’s knife and almost cut clear through the pork where this new knife was so sharp. You then soak the pork in some whiskey. After 5 minutes you add some BBQ rub, then dijon mustard, next brown sugar followed by more whiskey. You then close the pork loin and apply more BBQ rub to the outside. You tie it up along with some strips of bacon to help moisten and flavor the outside of the pork. This is where things get messy. The items applied to the inside try to ooze out everywhere. The trick is securing the pork without squeezing out all of the ingredients.

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Two remote read thermometer probes are placed, one in each end of the meat . The roast rack elevates the meat out of the drippings & allow the smoke to reach the bottom side of the meat

I place two temperature probes in opposite ends of the meat and it was out to the smoker which was running at 225 (110 C). As soon as the pork loin went on the smoker I made the glaze. After that it was a matter of keeping an eye on the smoker temps on the remote read thermometer and basting the meat with the glaze every 30 minutes. The recipe for this says brush on the glaze every 15 minutes, but that is based on making it on a grill. I figured the longer cook and lower temps meant I could do it every 30 minutes and get the desired results. One thing about doing a roast like this one, is it tends to be very linear. It rises at a fixed rate throughout the cook. So within a 30 minutes of putting it on the smoker, I predicted a 3 hour cook with a 6:00PM finishing time. This proved to be accurate to within 5 minutes.

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A 3 hour 5 minute cook, followed by a 10 minute rest and it was time to carve the roast

It was off the smoker at 6:05 and onto a cutting board for a 10 minute rest. The meat was tender and juicy and carving it was like a knife slicing through butter. The moist meat had this great sweet and smoky taste. During my first Grill Camp 3 years ago, this was the last recipe I made on the last day. After a week of great eats it was almost an afterthought. Surprisingly enough, it turned out to be the highlight of that years grill camp. This roast was every bit as good as that first one, and is probably my favorite recipe for boneless pork.

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The finished product was moist, sweet & smoky


  CHILI CHEESEBURGERS Burger Picture Entry


  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 1 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 2 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 3 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 4 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 5 Blog Entry


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