3 lbs boneless pork shoulder or loin, minimize into six roughly 8oz items about 2” thick
3 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pink curing salt (prague powder #1) or celery juice powder
1 tbsp natural cane sugar or coconut palm sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix the seasonings, then generously rub the seasoning combination all around the pork. Pack any leftover seasonings on the pork. Switch the pork to a hermetic container or resealable plastic bag then refrigerate for at the very least 3 days, however as much as 5 days. On the night time earlier than cooking the Tasso, open the bag or unseal the duvet in order that the pork can air-dry within the fridge in a single day.
2. Put together your smoker or grill for oblique smoking. If utilizing a smoker, put together it as directed by the producer. If utilizing a gasoline grill, fill two smoker bins or small aluminum pans with hickory, cherry, or apple wooden chips and wooden chunks. Add about 1/2″ water to the wooden chips. Place the smoker bins on the aspect of the grill that will probably be scorching, underneath the grates if doable. Because the wooden chunks burn and smoke, the water within the wooden chips will evaporate and ultimately burn and smoke, however normally after the wooden chunks have burnt out. When smoking with a charcoal grill, you’ll be able to add wooden chunks on to the charcoal, including extra as they burn out.
3. Smoke the pork at a low warmth, about 150F-160F, simply sufficient to maintain the smoke going, for two hours. Enhance the warmth to 180F and smoked till the pork reaches an inner temperature of 160F, about 2 extra hours, including extra wooden as wanted – your purpose is to penetrate the meat with as a lot smoke as doable earlier than the pork reaches 160F. The skin of the pork will seem virtually like jerky when it has reached the optimum temperature.
4. Place the pork on a wire rack to chill for one hour, then retailer within the fridge for as much as two weeks. For greatest outcomes, vacuum-seal any unused Tasso and freeze it for as much as six months.
*** It is going to be a problem to maintain a charcoal grill beneath 180F, which is okay – ultimately, simply try to get as a lot smoke into the meat as doable earlier than it reaches temperature.
*** Tasso will also be made within the oven. To so do, preheat the oven to 180F. Rub the pork with 1 tsp hickory liquid smoke and place it on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack; bake till the pork reaches an inner temperature of 160F, about 5 hours, then proceed to Step #4. Rub the pork with extra liquid smoke after the primary hour of cooking, then once more after the second hour of cooking.