Pork is the quintessential meat to prepare in a smoker. Pork is milder in flavor than say beef, lamb, or game meat. When pork is cooked in a Masterbuilt Smoker the meat often takes on the flavors of the wood chips used. It is really fine to go with a strongly flavored wood, such as mesquite or hickory. If you are looking for a softer flavor, try apple or pecan wood chips.
Prepare the Pork
You can smoke any cut of a pig or hog. This animal is the total nose-to-tail package. Cuts include the loin, ribs, shoulder, butt, belly, hocks, and even cheeks. Some cuts can definitely benefit from brining in a salt water solution before cooking. However, I think seasoning the pork extremely well and allowing it to rest overnight works well to tenderize it and add intense flavors. Our recipe for a smoked Boston Butt is a good example.
Pork often needs some trimming or cleaning up. Pigs have a good layer of fat and thick skin. While the fat offers a lot of flavor and moisture, I recommend trimming large areas of fat and any silver skin. The silver skin is the sinewy membrane that is actually silver in color and easy to identify. Leave approximately 1/4 inch of a fat cap on roasts and hams. Of course, the belly, or bacon cut, is primarily fat and that is desirable. Ribs have a layer of tough membrane on the back side of the bones. This is extremely chewy and not too easy to digest. Remove that, or have your butcher do it. You can see how to prepare ribs in the video in the savory and sweet ribs recipe.
Smoke the Prepared Pork
As mentioned above, choose your wood chips for the flavor you prefer. Also, you can add apple juice, apple cider vinegar, or ale to your water bowl. Half water and half of your chosen aromatic liquid is a good ratio. You can smoke pork in any kind of Masterbuilt Smoker. Charcoal is excellent for encouraging a crispy outer bark on a roast, a ham, or ribs. An electric or propane smoker is a good choice for chops, tenderloins, and sausages. Try the pork sausage recipe in your electric smoker.
Pork should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. For pulled pork, take that up to 190°F so that the meat shreds easily. As with all proteins, allow the smoked meat to rest before slicing or shredding.