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Friday, May 21, 2010

Testing the Memphis Pro.... Pork Loin and Cornbread

This is my first trial run on the new Memphis Pro.
Memphis Pro Wood Fired Grill
More Hearthland Products
Due to many interruptions this week, I didn't get to try the new grill until yesterday. The wait was torture! It's been sitting on the patio begging for me to fire it up! :)

Yesterday I shut my phone off, pushed all work aside, decided that if an emergency arose.... it would have to wait. Nothing was going to side track me from trying out this grill!

I decided to smoke a pork loin for the first Memphis Pro meal.

I butterflied the loin and gave it a quick overnight cure using Tenderquick and turbinado sugar..

I used 1 TBS of Tenderquick mixed with 1 tsp of turbinado sugar PER pound of meat. Sprinkled on both sides and wrapped in plastic wrap, then chilled overnight...

I made a slurry using 1 cup of beer and Harley's dry rub to spice up some sausage....

Mixed the beer/dry rub slurry with equal parts ground beef and ground pork....

Rinsed the cured pork loin well under cool water to remove any remaining Tenderquick/sugar cure..

Evenly spread the sausage mixture over the cured, butterflied loin....
then sprinkled with minced onions.

Rolled and tied the loin then sprinkled with cracked black pepper....

The cured loin and sausage contain salt so no additional salt is needed.

The Memphis Pro control panel is so easy to read and use...

From left to right.. the on /off button, below that is the pellet feed button.

Then arrows for raising or lowering the temperature...

A digital read-out of the temperature.

Next to the digital read-out is a button which selects either the temperature you set the grill to or you can choose to see the actual temperature inside the unit. I found this to be very handy.

The last button on the right lets you select "cook" or "smoke" mode.

I filled both sides of the hopper with pellets (per the instructions included).. Out of curiosity, I measured the pellets as I filled the hopper. Each side held 16 cups of pellets. I wanted to get an idea of how many pellets the Pro would use.

I did an initial burn off at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes. Also washed the grates with warm soapy water before cooking. (per instruction booklet)

Then set the cooker at 250F to smoke the pork loin. I used apple pellets for a mild smoke flavor..

ok... I didn't want to get the grill dirty so I used a drip pan. :)

I used a mixture of beer sprinkled with dry rub in the pan, placed the loin on the grate above.

I sat back with a cold drink and actually stared at the grill for about an hour. I could hear the little pellets feeding into the unit at regular intervals..

Realizing that the Pro could handle things without me... I kicked up the heat to 275F and wandered over to my little shop to play a few games of pool.

I checked the Memphis Pro every so often. The temperature remained steady...

I pulled the pork loin out at 165 degrees internal temp, covered and let it rest while baking the cornbread.

I raised the Pro's temperature to 375F and added the skillet of jalapeno cornbread.

The cornbread cooked for about 45 minutes....

Including the initial burnout of the grill, the Memphis Pro didn't use very many pellets during the 7 hours of use......( I will measure exactly how many cups of pellets it used)

I was very happy with the color of the jalapeno corn bread... I've smoked this in my drum and horizontal wood burner in the past and sometime have a problem obtaining a nice brown top.
The Memphis Pro handled it well. :)

The stuffed pork loin came out great. The cure and sausage made the loin moist and tasty.

The apple smoked, sausage stuffed pork loin, jalapeno cornbread, mustard greens and fruit...

I like the new Memphis Pro... It did everything I had hoped!

Being able to low smoke and bake in one unit will be so handy.... I can't wait to try grilling with it too.

After this first run, I'm very happy with it!

If you are interested in getting one... check out Big Poppa's site

Big Poppa Smokers He's very helpful and will be happy to set you up with one. :)

Update on pellet use...

I live in a rural area and do not have a huge selection of pellets available to me. I found 20lb bags of Traeger pellets at an Ace Hardware store for $16.99 per bag.

I measured the pellets as I filled the Memphis Pro. each hopper (2 hoppers) held 16 cups... for a total of 32 cups to fill the cooker.
Then I measured how many pellets were left in the 20lb bag....there were 24 cups left.
These were not level cups they were as close as I could get though.

So.. estimating that there were 56 cups total in a 20lb bag,... at $16.99 per bag, I came up with the pellets costing .3033928 cents per cup... .

I measured how many cups it took to fill the hoppers again after use... total used pellets came to 16 cups.

The 16 cups of pellets it took to cook came to $4.8542848...... So figure that the pellet cost
came to $4.85 or $4.86 (if you want to be on the high side).

Keep in mind....

This was for a 7 hour cook.
The highest I had the unit set was 450 degrees for the 20 minute burn off in the beginning.
Then I ran the cooker at 250 for about an hour... kicked it up to 275 until the pork loin was finished.
THEN kicked the cooker up to 375 to bake the corn bread..., which took about 45 minutes.

Based on the $4.86 figure.. the cost of pellets for this smoke came to .6942857 cents per hour.

or about 69 cents per hour.

I can live with that. :)

Another pellet update........

I should be able to get pellets at a better price just about cutting the cost in half. Sounds great to me. :)


Ross in Ventura said...

Great looking meal Jeanie, looks like you got your new grill Smoker working

Unknown said...

I am sure that there are others who were also anxiously awaiting to see what you came up with for the first run.

It looks like a nice grill/smoker combination.

Cowgirl, good job as always!

Sara said...

Man! I love how creative you get when doing this sort of thing - I would never have thought to split a pork loin like that. I wonder if something similar could be done on a regular grill if you keep the burner under the meat off, and the other on high. Do you think that might work?

Mrs. JP said...

That meal looks so good. I would have done the same thing with the drip pan. Let's see how long you keep it clean. So I'm guessing a pizza stone will be going in soon :)
JP is going to love this post. Have a great weekend.

cowgirl said...

Ross, Thank you! I think I'm going to love this cooker. The loin and cornbread turned out perfect. :)

cowgirl said...

Thank you so much Ron! It's quite a unit... I have so many ideas running through my mind to try. lol
I'm going to have to hire taste testers. :)

cowgirl said...

Thank you Sara! Yes you can smoke a loin like this using indirect heat. Just like you said..keep the heat to the side of the meat, not directly under it. The other burner will probably be fine on low or medium heat.
You might need to turn or rotate the loin every hour or so but it will work just fine.
I hope it turns out well for you Sara! :)

cowgirl said...

Mrs JP, you're reading my mind! lol
I think I need to find a pizza stone right away, I'm so anxious to try your crust recipe. Thank you again for sharing with me!

I think JP should get one of these units.. It does it all! :)

Thanks Mrs JP.. hope you are having a great weekend too.

Old Smoke said...

Looks good from way out here. My new gasser has a smoke tray and I will try it soon. I am leaving in the AM for a week long fishing trip with the guys, around the Burney area. I will check in to see what else ya have made while I am gone. Have a great week.

cowgirl said...

Hey, Thanks Rick!
Your trip sounds great! Hope you catch your limit and remember to take pictures. :)
Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Dang girl i know you are a bookeper but....WoW. Don't forget your BTU per Megawatt unit cost per millisecond...LOL Luv Buddy...
p.s."no oil on our beach yet"

cowgirl said...

Hey Buddy! Hope all is well with you. Glad to hear the oil hasn't made it to your beach yet.
lol I forgot to mention the BTU test results. :)
Thanks Buddy!

Chris said...

Quit doing math, you're making my head hurt! (ha ha)

That is one fine pellet pooper ya got there, J. And it looks like you have already got it dialed in for use too. It would be handy to have something like this when you are preoccupied and can't be babysitting the smoker/grill.

cowgirl said...

lol Chris..

I'm enjoying the grill, it's so easy to use. Like you said, it will be handy when I don't have time to babysit a smoker.

Thanks Chris. :)

Smoking Gun said...

Did you have a proper name for that loin? ;)
Looks great as usual. I would suggest Sara get a cast iron chip box and place it over the burner she uses for heat. Fill it up with some hickory or apple wood chips and try and hold the temp around 220 - 230. :)
Good luck!

cowgirl said...

Haha... SG, you're too funny! Sara it is. :)

Smoking Gun said...

Sara said...

Man! I love how creative you get when doing this sort of thing - I would never have thought to split a pork loin like that. I wonder if something similar could be done on a regular grill if you keep the burner under the meat off, and the other on high. Do you think that might work?
Lolol Actually I was referring to Sara's ^^^^^ question above but if you want to name that loin after her I think she'd be honored... :)

cowgirl said...

LOL! I have tears in my eyes from laughing...
I still remember your smoked loin named J-Lo.. Too funny SG!

Anonymous said...

Cowgirl, Great job here on your blog. I have been a fan for about a year since I found you. Try Pellet Grill Outlet , home of the old Traeger's in Oregan.I get them shipped to me here in Florida cheaper than I can buy locally. They have specials and free shipping.
Keep up the great work and I am sure you will love the pellet pooper.I used wood for many years and then found the pellets about 8 years ago. Perfect every time.

cowgirl said...

Thank you Naked Chef 2! I appreciate you checking out my blog and I appreciate the pellet source! I'll look into getting some there. :)
So far I really like the Pro.. it's doing everything I ask of it, slow smoking, baking, grilling.. I'm very happy with it!

Thanks so much for stopping by... :)

Vincent & Lark Ramirez said...

how long did you actually smoke the tenderloin for? i was going to try this tomorrow!

cowgirl said...

Hi Vincent and Lark!
It smoked for 5 hours. I kept an eye on the internal temperature of the loin and removed it from the heat when it reached 165 degrees F.
Then let it rest covered while the bread baked.

If you do the quick cure on the loin, remember to rinse it well before cooking. Remove the cure so it won't be too salty.
Good luck with it, hope it turns out well for you! :)

cowgirl said...

Vincent and Lark, I forgot to mention to you. This is a back loin, not a tenderloin. The tenderloins come from either side of the spine on the inside of the pig and they are small (very good too).
The back loin is the large loin that runs along each side of the spine on top of the pig..they are fairly large pieces of meat.
Just wanted to make sure you knew.
Tenderloins would take a lot less time to smoke but they are almost too small to butterfly.

Good luck with it!! :)

Unknown said...

Great looking meal cowgirl. I know this is an old post so I am wondering if you still enjoy the grill? I almost bought one today but was concerned that I didn't see much smoke coming out of the store's demo even when it was set to a low temperature. Are you happy with the smokiness of the pellet smoker? They do look nicely built though.


cowgirl said...

Thank you Ernie! I'm still enjoying the Memphis Pro. It doesn't put out as much smoke as a wood burner, but the flavor is there and the convenience of setting the cooker to the temp you want, then walking away is worth it to me!
There seems to be a difference in what pellets you use too. I have to purchase what ever my local store carries... there aren't many options available. I get mine at an Ace Hardware store.
I've heard that BBQR's Delight is a good brand.
I think they are available online too.
Not sure if I answered your question, please feel free to let me know!
I'm really happy with the Pro. Thanks for stopping by!