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sub333

Lamb shoulder

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Am trying lamb shoulder today.

I brined it for 24 hours last night, and it's currently cold smoking for a few hours, with cherry dust.

Will add the rub tonight (probably cumin/coriander/garlic/onion), then will hot smoke it tomorrow for 6-8 hours.

Should I stick with cherry chunks with the charcoal, or would another wood work well with it? 

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On a chart that I use lamb is best with cherry, hickory & pecan....so I'd stick with the cherry. 

 

Ice.

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Am kicking myself. I bought a shoulder of NZ lamb from the supermarket, about 15 quid. It was plastic wrapped, and when I unwrapped it, there was a pretty funky smell. Now, I know that meat wrapped in plastic often has that slightly funky, sulphurous odour, but this was quite pungent. Maybe I should have rinsed it (but I don't really wash meat after reading articles about the risk of spreading germs etc), but I definitely should have paid a few more pounds and got something from the butcher section. The shoulder just doesn't look that appetising. Perhaps it will taste fine, but a lesson learned, especially as I went to the trouble of brining it, then cold- and hot-smoking it 😔

 

 

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It was rank. Stunk to high heaven. 

Very odd, as it was well within its best before, but that funky vac-pack smell was really off-putting. We had a few mouthfuls and chucked the rest. 

@Wade - any thoughts? I'm really surprised how bad the meat smelled. 

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Sorry to hear that Sub...after all the prep...most of the time we buy our meat from Bookers now. I've never had anything like you've just had thou.

Ice.

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7 hours ago, sub333 said:

It was rank. Stunk to high heaven. 

@Wade - any thoughts? I'm really surprised how bad the meat smelled. 

Smell is a great indication of the freshness of the meat and just because the lamb was within its use by date does not guarantee that it has been correctly stored since it was packed. If yours had an unexpectedly strong smell when it was unpacked suggests that it had not been stored correctly. The smell indicates bacterial growth or other meat spoilage and I would not recommend meat like this for brining/cold smoking. 

Generally meat and poultry does not need to be washed before it is cooked, however it is usually taken from the pack and placed in a hot oven/pan within a short period of time which will quickly kill any bacteria present. Depending on the brine you used, it may not have been strong enough to denature the bacteria and even enabled it to spread deeper into any crevices within the meat. The cold smoking would then have given it even more time to grow.

What I would have done in your situation. If the smell was slight to moderate on opening the pack I would not have used it for brining but would have rinsed it carefully under cold running water then assesses the smell again. If slight, I would have immediately roasted it without brining but if it was still moderate I would have returned it to the supplier for a replacement/refund. 

I know that when you are all fired up to do something it can be a tough call to change in mid flow, but taking the tough decision to abort would have saved you the cost of the meat and the subsequent unpleasant experience. 

Don't let this put you off though. Bounce right back and try another, fresher, one next weekend 👍

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3 hours ago, Icefever said:

Sorry to hear that Sub...after all the prep...most of the time we buy our meat from Bookers now. I've never had anything like you've just had thou.

Ice.

I think it was a one-off. We've had vac-pack meat before and it's been OK. But I shouldn't have thought that the smell would just disappear! Oh well, the next one will be better! 

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2 hours ago, Wade said:

Smell is a great indication of the freshness of the meat and just because the lamb was within its use by date does not guarantee that it has been correctly stored since it was packed. If yours had an unexpectedly strong smell when it was unpacked suggests that it had not been stored correctly. The smell indicates bacterial growth or other meat spoilage and I would not recommend meat like this for brining/cold smoking. 

Generally meat and poultry does not need to be washed before it is cooked, however it is usually taken from the pack and placed in a hot oven/pan within a short period of time which will quickly kill any bacteria present. Depending on the brine you used, it may not have been strong enough to denature the bacteria and even enabled it to spread deeper into any crevices within the meat. The cold smoking would then have given it even more time to grow.

What I would have done in your situation. If the smell was slight to moderate on opening the pack I would not have used it for brining but would have rinsed it carefully under cold running water then assesses the smell again. If slight, I would have immediately roasted it without brining but if it was still moderate I would have returned it to the supplier for a replacement/refund. 

I know that when you are all fired up to do something it can be a tough call to change in mid flow, but taking the tough decision to abort would have saved you the cost of the meat and the subsequent unpleasant experience. 

Don't let this put you off though. Bounce right back and try another, fresher, one next weekend 👍

Thanks, Wade. In hindsight that all makes perfect sense! 

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Today's effort was delicious! 😀

Hot-smoked it for 8.5hrs with lumpwood and some cherrywood chunks.

Never used lumpwood before – the temp dropped a bit after 6hrs, so added another chimney's worth and that did the trick.

While the lamb was resting, popped some corn on the smoker as it had plenty of heat left, and after 40mins whacked right over the coals to finish it off.

Very happy with the meat. It fell apart and had good flavour. Wasn't sure if I should have wrapped it in foil once I was happy with the crust – any suggestions welcome.

 

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8 hours ago, sub333 said:

Never used lumpwood before – the temp dropped a bit after 6hrs, so added another chimney's worth and that did the trick.

First off, well done, glad you enjoyed it.

Must admit I've gone back to good quality lump,  but it does need watching towards the end of a run.  I did ribs yesterday and I also had to add a little extra to keep the temp up to finish the baked spuds.

 

Ice.

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