I can't afford, and don't need to cook a whole, 15 – 18+ pound one, but the local store sells some that are cut down to size, and going from 2 – 4 pounds, with most in the 3 – 4 pound range.
Is it possible to cook these smaller chunks on the smoker, and get them to be tender, moist, and juicy, or will they just turn out to be like shoe leather.
I've heard the big ones are cooked for anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes per pound of meat, so about 12 – 18 hours, depending upon the temp. I suspect you might be able to do that as well with the smaller ones, though controlling the heat that long with a charcoal grill is no doubt challenging.
Less cooking time per pound for the much smaller pieces?
Wrap in foil when halfway done?
Wet, or dry smoke, e.g. a water bath in the smoker, and/or spritzing the meat with water from time to time?
Anyone got some recipes and/or tips to share?
I was thinking that perhaps I can brown it on the outside over the grill/smoker, and smoke it a little, and then perhaps pop it in the oven for more controlled, long-term cooking. Blasphemy I suspect, but it's better than cooking it too high for too long, and having it turn into shoe leather. Say 220 degrees for a few hours, once it's had a chance to brown and get some smoke on and in it.
Do you all use just salt and black pepper, or add in more spices, and if so, what, to your rub?
Any other tips?
Should I just stick to tri-tip instead?
I've got that one down pretty much cold – e.g. 40 minutes on the grill/smoker, with hickory smoke, and a salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder rub. It's always juicy and delicious.