I been wanting to do this for a long time but didn’t have a proper equipment or the correct weather conditions. I recently bought an A-MAZE-N smoking tube.
It was expected to get down to 41 degrees (fairly cool nights for Southern California) and it was only 67 during the day so I decided to give this a try. Around 4:00 PM I started by cooling the kamado down by placing 5 pieces of Blue Ice in it.
Around 8:30 it reached 50 degrees outside, so I started up the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in my gasser so as not to heat up the kamado.
Once it ignited, I let it burn for a few minutes
before blowing out the flame.
I let it smoke while I went in and prepared the cheese. I had purchased 2 lbs. of Gouda, Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar at Costco.
I took them out of their wrappers.
I cut them up into smaller sizes so they could absorb more smoke and placed them on a wire rack.
I then placed the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in the bottom of my kamado. I next put in both of my ceramic heat deflectors, then the grill grates and then the rack of cheese. (You can see some of the smoke coming up around the deflectors)
I closed the lid and observed a small amount of smoke coming out the top vent.
An hour later it looked like this.
After two hours in the smoke I opened the lid. WOW!
I brought the rack in the house where I could see a subtle change in the cheese color.
I vacuum packed them all and placed them in the fridge to age and mellow for 3 weeks.
This morning I when out to see how much of the pellets were left in the A-MAZE-N smoking tube. It looks like approximately 1/3 was left unburnt. I’m thinking it could’ve gone at least another hour.
I can’t wait to try them but will wait to let time do its thing on them first.
Thanks for looking.
I love Tacos al pastor but have never made them myself. They are a popular street food here in SoCal and Mexico and I finally decided to try my hand at making some. Forgive me as this is a long one.
I started out by thawing a Pork Butt I had in the freezer that I had purchased on sale for $.99 a lb. (7.93 lbs.)
I unwrapped it and found there was still some ice crystals on it. (which is what I was hoping for to make cutting it easier)
I cut it in half and deboned the other half.
I proceeded to cut it all up into approximately 3/8” slices.
I placed this into a large container, covered it and placed it into the fridge. I now gathered up the ingredients for the al pastor marinade.
Here’s the recipe I used. (It’s a combination of several recipes I watched on YouTube) Not shown in the picture are the pineapple juice and the vinegar.
8 lb bone-in pork shoulder (deboned)
4 tablespoons achiote paste (I used 1 – 3.5 oz. brick)
2 guajillo peppers (seeded and re-hydrated)
2 ancho peppers (seeded and re-hydrated)
3 Chipotle peppers + all the adobo sauce from 1 - 7 oz. can
5 garlic cloves
¼ small white or yellow onion
1 oz. Piloncillo (substitute brown sugar if you can find it)
1 tbsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon (preferably Mexican)
1 tsp, cloves
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup OO
¼ cup of the water from re-hydrating the peppers
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup lime juice
1 pineapple, skinned and sliced into 1-inch (2 cm) rounds (for the spit/trompo)
(Note: I only had some small guajillo chiles so I used 6 of them)
Everybody went into the pool for a spin.
I poured some marinade into the bottom of a very large bowl and then some pork slices.
I repeated this process until all the pork was in the bowl and pour the rest of the marinade over the top. I then stirred it until everything had a nice coating.
Now how will I cook this? Tacos al pastor is a dish developed in central Mexico that is based on shawarma spit grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants. It is traditionally cooked on a vertical spit known as a trompo. I don’t have such an exotic grill, so I had to improvise. I had found this indoor grill plate at a local thrift store for $2.17
and used it to create a vertical spit.
I now peeled and sliced up the pineapple
And started my vertical trompo stack adding a slice of pineapple and red onion after every 6 or 7 layers of meat.
I place the stack in the center of my weber redhead with coals all around it.
I then setup my craving station.
Here it is after approximately 30 minutes.
After approximately 75 minutes I removed the trompo and craved off the outer charred layer. (The char is an important part of the taste profile)
I then placed the trompo back in the redhead to char the outside again.
I then repeated the process another 3 times.
After I had trimmed off the outside 3 times I set up my taco cart errrr bar
and started to assemble my street taco plate.
Here it is served up with a Modelo Especial.
This was a little on the spicy side but oh so delicious!
Thanks for looking.
Made these gorgeous pork belly tacos tonight and would love to share how I did them. I was going for some Mexican and Asian flavors, and couldn't have been happier with the result. The only issue at all was a light spot on the pork due to liquid pooling there during the cook because the belly was a bit big for my standard Joe and I had to scrunch it a little.
1. I brined it for about 14 hours in a mix of pineapple juice, teriyaki, and soy sauce after scoring the fat sight relatively deeply
2. Dried the belly and rubbed it with Killer Hogs BBQ Rub on all sides
3. Smoked on Kamado Joe at 240 with some cherry wood to add a light fruity smoke favor (no wrapping because I wanted some meaty bite in the taco)
4. When I had internals around 185, I glazed the belly and cooked for another 20ish minutes
5. Broiled the belly inside for 2 minutes to tighten up the glaze and crisp the fat even more
6. Rested the meat for about 40 minutes (should have gone longer but people were too hungry :D )
1. Mix together raw honey, soy sauce, salt, worcestershire sauce, peach preservers (wanted pineapple to go with the brine but couldn't find it), apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper, hot bone sucking bbq sauce, and some secret super hot scotch bonnet hot sauce I bought in Anguilla. All of this is unmeasured and I mixed to taste.
2. Simmer on the stove until the mixture reduces a bit and thickens up, allow to cool off the heat
1. Home made guacamole (avocado, lots of lime, onion, kosher salt, pepper, cilantro)
2. Home made Chipotle Crema (sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, adobo sauce, kosher salt)
3. Grilled pineapple on the same grates I cooked the pork on
4. Cojita Cheese
6. Home made pickled onions (red onion, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, sugar, water)
Please enjoy the pictures, and as usual, ask any questions!
Decided to make Chicken Enchiladas again on Sunday. (One of my wifes favorites) Started out making up the verde sauce. Here are most of the ingredients.
Roasted most everything.
Tomatillos go straight into the blender.
Other items need to go inside to be cleaned up.
Everyone into the pool for a spin.
Add the cilantro and lime juice and spin some more.
Now I prepped the chicken breasts to shred. Took 2 boneless skinless breasts
and butterflied them, covered with plastic wrap and pounded them flat.
Seared them for approximately 5 minutes each side
and proceeded to shred them.
Now I made some Mexican rice. Most of the ingredients are here.
While the rice was cooking I made up the enchiladas and put them on the kamado at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.
Here they are plated up with the rice, some frijoles and a Modelo Negra.
Thanks for looking.
Carne Asada Tacos are one of my favorite things to make and eat. I make them at least once a month and sometimes many more than that. Today I started by making a fresh batch of Pico de Gallo.
Recipe is here:
I then took a package of marinated skirt steak
and cut it into manageable sizes and placed it on the kamado.
I cooked it approximately 6 minutes per side until it developed a little char on it and here is the result.
I cut these up into taco size pieces across the grain and made up 3 tacos served with Negra Modelo, some sliced radish and a grilled yellow pepper.