Pulled Pork Enchiladas

An excellent way to reuse the leftover pulled pork!

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Yield: 10 Folks

Ingredients
  • 2 – 3 lbs pulled pork butt
  • Rubs: Shelton’s pick – Salt Lick Garlic Dry Rub
  • 1lb shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1lb shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 36 small corn tortillas
  • 12 Tomatillos
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 – 2 Jalapenos to taste
  • 4 – 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 Poblano Peppers
  • 4 Anaheim Chilis
  • 1 Quart Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 Cup Avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
Recipe Instructions
  1. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees. Smoke all peppers at 225 for a half hour. Warm chicken stock to 180 degrees. Remove peppers and place them in a bowl of cool water, and remove all seeds & stems. In a high speed blender, add all de-seeded peppers, onion, garlic, hot chicken stock, sugar, & Salt Lick to taste. Place liquid in a large shallow bowl/dish.
  2. Time to assemble some enchiladas. Move smoker temp up to 350. Grease a large baking dish. Dip tortillas into hot Tomatillo sauce until they flexible but not falling apart. Place tortilla into the dish, add a small handful of pulled pork & a touch of shredded Monterrey jack cheese, roll it up, and continue. Tortillas don’t want to stay rolled up neatly, so push more rolled tortillas against them to hold them in place. In other words, the more full the dish becomes, the easier it is to hold the stuffed enchiladas in place. Fill pan completely, pour remaining tomatillo sauce over the top, and stack up the cheese.
  3. Place the pan of enchiladas onto the smoker, and pull it off when the cheese is golden brown on top. (30-60 minutes, depending upon smoker temp) Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top, and serve it piping hot with a cold cerveza on the side!
Recipe Generator courtesy of BBQ Island

I get asked quite a bit about how I start my coals and maintain my fire in my WSM’s .  It seems that most often, I hear people have problems with over shooting their desired temps.  First off, let me dispel a myth.  Most WSM owners believe that they own a “water” cooker.  BBQ tends to be  a man’s game, not always, but mostly.  Therefore very few of us take the time to actually read through the manual.  If you did, you will find that the water pan in the WSM is a heat sink, not a steamer.  It absorbs heat energy in order to help keep the temps from spiking. No matter what you think, you are NOT receiving any moisture or flavor benefit from the water or juice that you fill the pan with.  I personally do not ever put water in my WSM’s, but it’s ok if you do.  Just remember that it takes energy to heat all of that water, which burns out your charcoal faster.  If you use water, heat it up first if you don’t want to waste fuel.  Personally I just hate the mess and I have gotten to the point where I don’t need the water to help me with maintaining  temps.  Hopefully after this, you wont either.  Ill touch more on the water pan issue later.

The most common way to start charcoal in the WSM is what is called the minion method.  This is where you fire up a chimney full of charcoal, and pour it into the center of your charcoal ring surrounded by fresh coals.  I am not a fan of this method. I feel that too much charcoal is lit from top to bottom, making it nearly impossible to not have temp spikes in the beginning of your cook. Also, no matter how hard you try, when you dump lit charcoal on fresh charcoal, a stray lit chunk ALWAYS lands somewhere outside of where you want to start the fire from.  This creates an uneven fire, and that will give you issues.

This is how I setup my WSM’s.  This method works great whether you use a temp control device such as the BBQ Guru (I use the Guru and love it) or not.  I like to plan on about 45 minutes to start my cookers.  It only takes about 20 minutes to get to temp but I recommend getting it to temp and maintaining it for 20 minutes just to make sure it has leveled off.  I build a large pyramid with my charcoal and light it with a Looftlighter. I light just the tip top of the pyramid.  At this point I obviously do not have the middle section of my WSM in place.  It is off to the side.  After a few minutes, once a decent little amount of coal has fired up, I place the middle section and lid back in place with all vents, top and bottom, wide open.

My trusty Looft Lighter and Good One Lump Charcoal

This is about all I light.

On the flip side, If I am using my beloved BBQ Guru, this where I would button up the whole cooker, close all of the bottom vents, open the top vent, and let the fan and controller bring the cooker to temp.  I recommend learning how to use your cooker manually before buying a BBQ Guru or Ique.  In my most recent competition, we lost power, then I pulled my temp probe out of my cooker way too hard and snapped it, so I had to finish the cook manually in thirty mile per hour wind.  Luckily I knew how to manually run my cookers and had no problems at all.

Now back to manual operation.  I usually advise people to shut the back two charcoal vents, and shut the top vent about halfway once they are within about 40 degrees of their desired temp.  Your temp will still continue to ramp up, but this will help keep the temps from overshooting.  Generally if the weather is good, meaning no wind, I can lock in the cooker around 225 to 250 following these steps.  If you want a little more heat, start by opening the top vent all of the way.  Then if you need even more heat, open one of the back vents about a ¼ of the way.  Remember, nothing about BBQ is fast.  If you want to increase temp, then make a small change and wait 10 minutes and repeat if necessary.  After a few hours, especially if you use crap Kingsford, that’s right, I said it ;) Ash will start to build up a bit and you will have to open vents to keep your temps maintained.  This is why I strongly advise using a good natural lump charcoal.  When I say good, I mean brands like: Good One, Montana, Royal Oak, Chigger Creek, and my personal favorite, Ozark Oak.  Sorry about the shameless plugs, but I am big believer in Lump charcoal.  Its reusable, produces WAY less ash which in a WSM is imperative, especially for you 18.5 WSM owners, and puts off a better flavor.
If I am shooting for 225, I would button up the vents here.

After 25 minutes, she is humming along right at 225.  Lets Cook!!

As you can tell, I am a BIG fan of the WSM!  It really is a great cooker, and Weber has some of the best customer service around.  I also think it says a lot that some of the best cook teams in the world compete on them, and keep in mind, Weber does not sponsor cook teams, these pro’s buy theirs just like the rest of us.   Teams like Slap Yo Daddy BBQ, Sweet Peppers, Rythym n Que, and local AZ young guns Loot n Booty BBQ and us, Bam Bam’s BBQ, all swear by the WSM in competition.   That’s it from me, good luck!

~Bam Bam

 

TIPS AND TRICKS:

-Every time you open the lid, you add 10 minutes to your cook

-For those of you in cold or windy climates, go to your local Home Depot or Lowes and buy a 10 foot roll of “48 inch Reflectix” this is a super economical way to insulate your cooker and provide a wind barrier.  I recommend buying some utility Velcro so you can fully wrap your cooker and keep it in place.  One thing to keep in mind, this works especially well for BBQ Guru or Ique users because you can fully wrap the cooker top to bottom without having to worry about suffocating your WSM.  For those of you without a BBQ Guru, wrap the Reflectix around the seam between the bottom and middle section of the cooker, so you do not block your vents and suffocate your coals.

-If you don’t use water in your water pan, double wrap the water pan in heavy duty foil for easy cleanup.  If you are still having temperature spikes and want to create a heat sink without using water, then buy some ceramic briquettes and place 10-20 of them in the bottom of your water pan and put another layer of foil over them to catch grease.

-Be careful with the lid and middle section of your WSM.  Never set the either one on any hard, or abrasive surface such as concrete or asphalt.  Not only will you leave a grease ring that wont come out, you will chip away at the porcelain coating which will hurt the seal between the lid and the middle section, or the middle section and the charcoal bowl.  Instead, set the lid down on a plastic table or a piece of cardboard.  Concerning the middle section.  The lid and the charcoal bowl are heavier and much more rigid than the middle section.  The lid and charcoal bowl  will  help the middle section of the WSM hold its shape.  If the lid and charcoal bowl are not connected, be careful not to warp the middle section.  The middle section is much more flimsy and can warp fairly easy.  I have warped mine when traveling to competition.  My WSM was too tall if the lid or base was connected, so I had to transport it in 3 pieces.  I packed things around the middle section and they shifted en route to the comp and warped the middle section of the cooker.  Once that happens, your WSM will run extremely hot and really wont even be useable.  Now my warped cooker is my little backyard fire pit

Having seen a pig cooked in a La Caja China roasting box, I decide to see if it was simple as it seemed. I started out with a 64.9 lb pig from McReynolds Farm.

Pig in a bag

There was very little to do to prepare the pig for roasting. I just had to split the breast bone.

Splitting the breast

Then split the backbone so that the pig would lay flat.

Cutting the backbone

I loaded up the injector with Louisiana hot sauce and apple juice.

Competition injector

Next I injected all the meaty portions of the pig.

Injecting the pig

Lastly I gave it a good coat of BBQ rub. It was then re-bagged and put on ice overnight.

Injected and seasoned pig

I had to transport the La Caja China to a vineyard to roast the pig. Set up and breakdown was a breeze. All I had to do was reattach the handles. I had removed them so it would fit better in the back of my SUV. After a few minutes of leveling the roaster, I put the hog into the roaster skin side down and added the first batch of charcoal. I started it in a chimney and then mixed in the lit pieces with the rest. Once they were all burning I spread them about across the charcoal tray.

First batch of charcoal

After adding the next three batches of charcoal, it was time to flip the pig. Mitch helped me out by scoring the skin with Xs so that the skin would get nice and crisp. So far I had only spent about 15 minutes setting up the roaster and adding charcoal. The whole roasting process took very little effort.

Cutting the skin of the pig

While the pig was finishing roasting I went down and watched the ceremony.

The wedding

Dana was very excited that the pig was done and that she just got married.

Yay the pig is done

The pig was done right on time and turned out wonderfully. The La Caja China worked fantastic. I would strongly recommend a La Caja China roasting box to anyone who wants to roast a pig or other food with little effort and great results.

La Caja China roasted pig

The crowd descended on the pig like pigeons on bread crumbs. The entire pig was picked clean within 30 minutes.

We received this awesome BBQ tool a few weeks ago, but it has been to hot for me to take it out for a test run. The weather has been a bit forgiving lately and is in the low 70′s in the morning. I took advantage of this and smoked some sharp cheddar cheese with the A-Maze-N-Pellet-Smoker. Cold smoking is a different beast than hot smoking, and the end results are very different. I was looking forward to testing this unit out. It almost sounded to good to be true. 10+ hours of smoke on a few handfuls of pellets. Well I was about to find out.

a-maze-n-pellet-smoker

I was impressed with the quality of this smoker box. It is heavy for it’s size and is very well constructed.

Lighting hole detail

The bottom has two bars welded to it to allow air flow underneath the box. In addition this helps make the box very rigid.

Bottom of smoker

It takes less than 1 1/4 lbs of pellets to fill the smoker box.

Filled with pellets

The MAPP gas torch worked really well for lighting a small area at the end of the smoker box.

Lighting the pellets with a MAPP gas torch

In under a minute both ends were properly lit and burning.

Both ends are lit

About 10 minutes later the flames had gone out and the pellets started smoking. It is important to let them burn out on their own. I found that if you blow them out prematurely the pellets will go out.

Smoking after about 10 minutes

As you can see the smoker temperature was barely above the ambient temperature.

Internal and external temperatures

I decided to smoke 1 lb block of Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese.

1 lb block of sharp cheddar cheese

I put the cheese on at 8:30 am. Look how much smoke that little box is pumping out. Incredible.

Cheese is on the smoker

After 1 1/2 hours I decided to take the cheese off. The smoker box had been putting out great smoke and I did not want to over smoke the cheese. It smelled terrific. I wish I did not have to wait for the better part of a week before I can use it. I am thinking grilled cheese sandwiches with green chilies or maybe macaroni and cheese. What do you think would be a good use for it?

Smoked cheddar cheese

I vacuum sealed it and put it in the refrigerator for the next 5 days. I will let you know how it turned out.

Vacuum sealed cheese

After1 1/2 hours the pellets are only burned half way on each side. So each row will burn for approximately 3 hours. This give you 9+  hours of smoke from less than 1.25 lbs of pellets if you only light one side.

Only half burned on each end

As you can see, even when lit at both ends, it had little effect on the smoker temperature. It never added more than 10 degrees to the ambient temperature. I am sure that if I filled my water pan with ice it would probably zero out the additional heat altogether. Come November, I should be able to run this all night and never break 60 degrees inside the smoker. I am definitely going to try smoking bacon and salmon with this once it cools off a bit more.

Temperature chart

All in all I found the A-Maze-N-Pellet-Smoker to be an effective, well built, unique BBQ accessory that almost anyone with a grill or smoker could make good use of.

We got the Chuckwagon set up and removed the tow arm. You don’t forget to remove the tow arm after ganking the sh*t out of your shins a couple of times. So we were ready to go. The smoke time should have taken about a 1 1/2 hours at 275°. We had the smoker loaded with two 20 lb bags of Royal Oak Hardwood Charcoal. In addition to the leg quarters we had to grill 120+ vegetable kabobs. So we loaded the grill side up with a 20 lb bag of charcoal.

The Chuckwagon

While we were waiting to put the chicken on, I took a few pictures of the event layout. They had a few great spots set up for the patrons to enjoy their lunches.

Seating Area

Seating Area

They were holding cork boat races on Oak Creek. Dozens of contestants had built boats and were enthusiastic about winning.

Oak Creek

Oak Creek

During most of the event the musician played awesome reggae music. A lot of familiar favorites and some really great original music.

Cool Musician

This is what we were up against. 168 chicken leg quarters & 120 vegetable kabobs all needed to be served at 1:30 pm. We seasoned them with Three Little Pigs Memphis Style Rub and put them in the smoker at about 12:00 pm. We planned on grilling the kabobs during the last 15 minutes.

168 Chicken Leg Quaters

At about 12:45 pm the smoker was still sitting at 150°. Oh SH*T! We started to panic. The chicken was only at about°. To make matters worse, one of the hosts announced that the lunch was ready at 1:00pm. A full 1/2 an hour before we were supposed to have it ready. I started to get dizzy from the realization that the chicken was not going to be ready for AT LEAST another hour. No matter what we did we could not get the smoker to rise above 150°. The fire box was red hot, but the smoker temp wouldn’t budge. I called Chris Marks (The 9 time national BBQ champion and spokesperson for Good One smokers). He explained that I needed to open up some smoke holes so the smoker could draft properly.

Too Much Chicken

I don’t have a picture so I made this diagram. Essentially we removed a leg quarter in the area of each black box on every rack. This allowed the hot smokey air to rise unimpeded. On the top rack we only removed 4 leg quarters. The smoker temperature immediately started climbing.

Smoke Hole Placement

The hosts decided to have the boat racers return to the river for the finals, which was supposed to happen after the lunch. Yay! It bought us another 1/2 hour. We took advantage of this and let the smoker run up to about 350°. We took the 28 quarters and put them on the hot grill. They finished up in about 10 minutes over the high heat. Since we decided to use the grill to finish the chicken off of the smoker, we also fired up one of Page Springs gas grills to help with grilling the kabobs. There were about 2 dozen people that did not go back to the creek and they ate the first round of chicken and vegetable kabobs. Once we had the top rack on the smoker cleared we filled it with kabobs and finally knew that we were going to be able to stay ahead of the demand. Phew!

I think realistically, you can only smoke about 120 chicken leg quarters at a time. While that number is still huge, it was far short of what I thought it could accommodate.

Fortunately the attendees returned from Oak Creek in small groups and we were able to stay just ahead of the demand. Everyone got to eat chicken and kabobs that had only been off the grill/smoker for about 5 minutes.

In hindsight the experience was a bit surreal. While we were panicking that the lunch was not going to be ready all at once. Many people said that it was nice to get food right off the grill instead of it sitting in serving trays for a while. All that worrying and it ended up turning out really well. I suppose there is a lesson to be learned here.

In closing I would like to thank the PSC staff for all their help getting the meal served hot and on time.