I'm drooling just thinking about it.
When Jared and I got married, I really wanted something similar because I wanted to continue to eat tasty food. Mama and Daddy surprised us with a water smoker for Christmas!
I figured the pork needed to marinate, so I put the pork butt in a large ziploc bag and added enough italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, Frank's Red Hot sauce, and some minced garlic to cover the entire butt. It turns out Daddy told me afterward that I could have just slathered that mixture over the butt immediately before we put in the smoker. Oh well.
We set up our smoker outside in the driveway. Please do not use our method of stabilizing...
Our property has approximately 6 inches of flat area, so the wood triangle was necessary but probably unsafe.
The smoker has several layers. On the bottom is a pan you fill with charcoal and build a fire in it. Abve that is another pan you fill with water that makes the smoke. There are two more racks above it to place the meat.
Jared filled the bottom pan with charcoal and lighter fluid. We didn't fill it high enough at first, so next time we'll pile it on pretty high. Once the briquets quit absorbing the fluid, he stopped pouring it on and started the fire.
Did I mention we were up at 7 in the morning getting this thing started? Yeah. Smoking food takes hours.
While Jared was outside getting the fire going, I was inside getting the water pan ready. I filled it with water, some spices, some of the sauces I used in the marinade and an onion I cut up to add a little bit of flavor to the smoke.
Maybe too much lighter fluid...
Once the flames subsided and the charcoal briquets turned white, it was ready to go. We put the water pan in and placed the pork on the rack closest to the water. By now the sun was coming up.
All that was left to do was wait. Every couple of hours, we opened the little silver door on the side to check the water level in the pan. When it got low, we added more water. Every time we opened it, the smell was so good, we were tempted to leave it open a while longer, but each time we opened it, it added more cook time, so it was best we didn't.
Fast forward to 6 pm. The pork had been in the smoker and cooking since 8 am, so we figured it was done. We figured 10 hours was plenty. It certainly looked done! And it smelled so good!!
We didn't have a meat thermometer, so we just cut it open to see if it was done. It wasn't. (I think the fire wasn't kept hot enough in the beginning.) We put the pork butt in the oven at 250 for about another hour to finish it off. I also bought a meat thermometer the next day.
We paired it with french fries and dove in!
Next time, I think we will either get it started earlier so it can cook 12 hours or start it the night before around midnight so we could eat it for lunch.We will also have the meat thermometer handy and keep the fire hot over the course of the day.
I think we're going to try and smoke a chicken next!
::On a different note, I am having surgery today, so please keep me and my husband in your prayers. We appreciate it!::