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Pork shoulder, pork loins, bologna, learning curves

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So...my wife came home with two packages of pork loins (two each) and requested that I smoke them. I didn't want to fire up the smoker just for the loins so went looking for some other decent pork on sale to throw in with them. No ribs (I refuse to pay $4.99 /lb for babyback or spare ribs) but I did score a nice pork shoulder on sale, so there was that. Then I started thinking about adding in some thick-cut bologna, as I remembered some members here, or perhaps on the shows I watch, talking about smoking bologna. It sounded good to me....

But finding a whole role of bologna, uncut, is part of the challenge. I remember when I was growing up we could get them in the grocery store- no more. I had to go to the deli section and ask the counter person for a foot of bologna, unsliced, so which I got a curious look and explained that I was going to take it home, cut it in thick, 3/4" slices, and smoke them. More curious looks. And oh, that 1' of bologna was almost $15.

So- as you see from the attached photos- the pork shoulder and loin went in together at 275*, and I wrapped the loins after two hours and proceeded with them. I added the bologna and smoked it for about an hour.

The bologna turned out EXCELLENT- kind of like the very best hot dog you ever had- and we had the loin for dinner. My wife commented that it had good smoke, but was a little dry and overcooked- even though it had spent the last couple of hours in foil. "It shouldn't be", I said, "pork gets cooked to 203* and that is just what it was." She fiddles on her cell phone, summoning information from Google. "Nope, she says, "pork loin is 145 to 160." Oh-my-holy-hell....she's right. What kind of brain fart was I having? SHOULDER is 203*....not LOIN. OOPSIE......

Anyway, as you can see, the shoulder turned out good, as usual- I think it is a pretty forgiving cut- and the bologna was excellent. I've Google'd some local sources now where I can procure a whole roll of bologna and not pay the price of good fiilet mignon for it, so it's all good. Live and learn. Or live and remember to check your temperature target before you start cooking, if you haven't cooked that particular cut for a while.

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