MOINKs

Part “moo” and part “oink” (beef+pork) MOINKs are beef meatballs wrapped in bacon. Simple appetizers like ABTs that can be used to fill in empty spaces in your smoker when BBQing.

  • 30 frozen pre-made beef meatballs, thawed
  • 1 (12-16 oz) package bacon
  • 1/4 cup dry rub

Wrap each meatball with a half slice of bacon. If you’re using thin sliced bacon you should use an entire slice. Use a toothpick to hold in place.

Uncooked MOINKs

Dust with dry rub and toss in your smoker until the bacon is done to your liking. I keep it in the smoker for an hour and then into the oven to get the bacon crispy. When they’re done, drizzle BBQ sauce over them before serving.

MOINKs

Makes 12+ servings as an appetizer.

Atomic Buffalo Turds (ABTs)

This creatively named appetizer can be made ahead of time and frozen before cooking, and they make great fillers when you’re smoking a big chunk of meat and have the corners of your racks going to waste.

I’ve seen many variations of this recipe but the basics are jalapeños, cream cheese and bacon. Most people include a Lil Smokie-type sausage as well. Probably 4/5 of the recipes you find online will instruct you to cut the peppers in half, but I prefer keeping them whole. It makes for better presentation and let’s face it, the things are named after poop and a whole pepper looks a hell of a lot more like dookie than one sliced in half like an oyster shell.

  • 20 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 10 mini sausages
  • 1 Tbs cayenne
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 (pound?) package thin sliced bacon

Start by cleaning the peppers. If you’ve never done it before it’s a good idea to invest in some latex gloves. I use a pepper corer that was included with the pepper rack I bought.

jalapeños, cored and seeded

Mix cream cheese and spices.

Cream cheese, cayenne, paprika and chili powder
ABT filling

To save yourself a LOT of work, invest in some el cheapo cake icing piping bags. With no plastic tip on the end, fill one with the cream cheese mixture.

Piping bag filled with cheese mixture.

Squeeze enough cheese into each pepper to fill it halfway.

Cut your sausages in half lengthwise and cram into each pepper. This should displace enough cheese to fill the entire pepper. If not, top off with any remaining cheese filling.

Filled Peppers

Wrap each pepper with a half slice of bacon, using a toothpick to hold it in place. If you live in the south, Winn-Dixie Hickory Sweet is the bacon of choice.

ABTs ready to cook.

I like to cover mine with dry rub right before cooking.

Put in a 225 degree smoker for two hours, or for crispier bacon smoke for one hour then move to a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.

Serve covered with your favorite BBQ sauce. I use a Raspberry BBQ sauce.

Atomic Buffalo Turds.

Servings: 10

Variations include:

  • Use no spices in the cream cheese for regular Buffalo Turds
  • Use a meat other than sausage such as pulled pork or even seafood
  • Mix other cheeses into the filling such as cheddar or bleu
  • Use habanero peppers instead of jalapeño to make Atomic Dragon Turds

(Know-it-all sidenote: Habanero is not spelled or pronounced habañero)

Barbecue Baked Beans

Super-easy side dish that everyone loves. If you want to get technical the beans are stewed, not baked….but everyone will look at you like a retard if you say “stewed beans”

  • 1 large (117 oz.) can of Bush’s baked beans
  • 1 cup dry rub
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cooked bacon bits
  • 2 scallions
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 3-4 roasted red peppers
Beans, rub, sugar and bacon

Dump beans into a large pan and spread out so all of the liquid isn’t stuck in the corners. Cover with rub, sugar and bacon.

Dice scallions, celery and peppers.

Diced scallions
Diced celery
Diced roasted red peppers

Add to beans and gently stir.

Uncooked beans ready for the smoker

Put in smoker for at least 2 hours at 225, preferably underneath cooking pork to catch the drippings.

Finished beans

Makes 20+ servings.

Barbecue Pork Shoulder (Pulled Pork)

Pork shoulder is a cut of meat that is laced with flavorful fat. That’s the story of the origin of Southern barbecue. An inexpensive cut of meat that the slave owners didn’t want, and as the slaves discovered, when cooked low and slow are made tender, moist, and succulent. The process, which can take 12 hours or more, is the epitome of Southern smoked BBQ. All across the southeast you’ll find places selling “BBQ sandwiches” which are pulled or chopped pork shoulder sandwiches.

The shoulder is comprised of two cuts. The bottom part is the picnic ham. The top half of the shoulder has too many names: Boston butt, pork butt, butt, shoulder butt, shoulder roast, country roast, and the shoulder blade roast. Calling it a butt is a tad ironic because it comes from the front of the hog. Regardless, it’s the cut of meat we’re talking about here.

Butts can weigh anywhere from 4 to 12 pounds, but 6 pounds are the most common. They are sometimes tied with strings to help hold them together while cooking. If the butt is cut properly, there will be only one large bone in it, and a noticeable fat cap on one side. You can figure on a 1/3 loss of shrinkage, bone and fat, so a 6 pound butt should result in about 4 pounds of pulled pork.

Pork shoulder is very forgiving and will take a wide range of heat without drying out, so it’s the perfect piece of meat to start with if you want to try slow smoking. BUTT (pun intended) it is utterly unpredictable. Sometimes it will be done in 1.5 hours per pound, and sometimes it takes 2.5 hours per pound. This is flesh, not electronics, and one hog is different than another.

And then there is the worst part of the cook: The stall. About the time the meat hits 155°F, the internal temperature will just stop rising and it may take 2-5 hours to get to 170°F. So do the math and add 2 hours. If you have a 5 pound butt, calculate 2 hours per pound and add 2 hours. If it finishes early, wrap it in foil and pop it in a warm oven or empty cooler. I ALWAYS underestimate the cooking time.

Anyway…..the cooking.

Two rubbed butts
Two butts covered in rub and ready to cook.

Bring the butt out of the fridge about an hour before you want to put it in the smoker. If your fat cap is very large, trim some of it away, but you want at least 1/8″ on top. Cover the meat in your choice of dry rub and put into the smoker at 225°F. Once an hour or so you should mop the meat. This is a process of basting it with a non-burnable liquid most often a vinegar/oil mixture. I use 2 parts apple cider vinegar, 1 part vegetable oil and 3 parts apple juice in a spray bottle. Cook until the internal temp reaches 176°F and remove from smoker, wrap in foil and put back into the smoker until it reaches 195°F. (My thermometer is invaluable)

4 butts and beans
Two on top, two in the middle and beans on the bottom.
Finished
Covered in bark and ready to pull

Let the butt rest for 30 minutes or more (if you can) and put into a tray. The fat cap should easily lift off, and unless you cheated somewhere the bone should be able to be pulled out with your fingers.

Pulling the pork can be done with your hands if you let it cool, or you can use utensils. I found a steel pasta scooper works great paired with a meat fork.

Pulled pork
Ready to eat.

Before serving you can choose to sauce it, but I prefer to let the diners do that themselves, and no sauce makes leftovers more versatile. I like a mustard sauce on mine, piled on a bun and topped with cole slaw.