Q: WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PULLED PORK?
A: Where do we get it? We make it!
Hertel’s (based in Port Alberni) supplies us with large pork shoulders which we rub with our own BBQ Rub and smoke in house with local alder wood for 13 to 14 hours. When it comes out of the smoker, the pork is so tender it literally pulls apart – hence the name, pulled pork.
Hertel’s is the Island’s distributor for Johnston’s Pork located in the Fraser Valley. We like to use Johnston’s products because they have built a solid reputation for quality by partnering with local family run farms who place an emphasis on high standards of animal care. They believe strongly that happy pigs make the best pork and it shows in the quality of their product. In addition, Johnston’s pork is hormone and antibiotic free.
Q: IS YOUR MEAT SMOKED IN-HOUSE?
A: Do dogs bark? Cats meow? Rabbits scr………..? OK, we all know what rabbits do cause they are literally taking over the island in rapid bunny like fashion.
YES, our meat is smoked in house! Smokin is kinda fun and the team gets a kick out of tryin’ stuff out just cuz we can. One of my favourite menu items is our Deep Fried Mozza Sticks. The mozzarella is smoked before it’s breaded and this extra step makes those sticks irresistible in my book.
But back to our meat… that delicious aroma wafting through the air kind’ve gives it away. In fact, when people walk into Smokin’ George’s BBQ for the first time, they almost always exclaim “Oh, it smells soooo good in here!!” That’s when we know, and they know, they’ve come to the right place. We use mostly local woods. Local alder for pork & chicken and maple for brisket. We also use a bit of cherry and apple wood depending on what we’re popping in the smoker. For example, our meatloaf is almost always smoked with apple wood. Large cuts, like pork shoulder (pulled pork) and brisket, can take up to 14 hours in the smoker, so they are often done overnight. Chicken and ribs tale anywhere from 2 – 4 hours. Lots of folks ask why we don’t use the more traditional woods like hickory & mesquite that they use down south. These woods are great for BBQ, but they impart a very strong and distinctive flavour that our west coast taste buds just aren’t accustomed to. We prefer to use something local and familiar that our customers will enjoy. So far, our visitors from the South have been very complimentary and like our local woods just fine.
And it must be said that we put more than just meat in those smokers. Besides the meat and mozzarella for Mozza Sticks, we also smoke salt, paprika, oil, tomatoes, corn – we even put chocolate in there one time – probably won’t try that again. But hey, if you don’t try you don’t know, right? I mean who knew smoked chicken wings could be so awesome, again if you don’t try…
Q: DO YOU REALLY MAKE YOUR OWN BACON?
A: YEAH we do… in fact, we make 3 kinds of bacon at Smokin’ George’s BBQ!
We have a little plaque in the restaurant that says “Either you Love Bacon, Or You’re Wrong!”. We couldn’t agree more. And this love affair has led to some very exciting and shall we say, tasty culinary adventures. In fact, we make 3 kinds of bacon at Smokin’ George’s BBQ.
Regular, delicious bacon from pork belly, somewhat more exotic and delicious bacon from pork jowls (yup, pork jowls), and even more exotic and equally delicious bacon from beef belly. Let’s face, no matter how you slice it, bacon is delicious! We use bacon in our daily specials, on our Porkinator Sandwich and on top of our Cesar Salad. We even sprinkle bacon on our famous Nanaimo Bars – Say What? That’s right, that salty chocolatey flavour combo is unbeatable.
Q: WHAT IS BEEF BRISKET AND HOW DO YOU COOK IT?
A: Well my friends, it’s beef. It’s a tough, primal cut, coming from the breast or lower chest. At Smokin’ George we smoke it, of course!
You won’t find this in the meat section of your grocery store, but our two awesome local butcher shops, Nesvog Meats and Meat Craft Island Butchery will be happy to get it for you and provide cooking tips. It takes patience, time, love & expertise to take this tough cut and turn it into tender morsels of melt in your mouth goodness.
We smoke six, 8 to 10 pound roasts at a time. The roasts are rubbed down first and smoked with local maple wood for approximately 13 hours overnight. Just like our pulled pork, the brisket shrinks by approx. 40% – OUCH!! The thing about brisket, is it has an odd shape, it’s not your typical nicely symmetrical roast like a pork shoulder or baron of beef that cooks evenly. A brisket has a kind of tail piece that sticks out and there is lots of controversy in the BBQ world about how to cook this without wrecking the whole thing. This is a murky area full of secrets and magic. Smokin’ George has his way and that’s pretty much all we can really say about that. We put a full 4 ounces of cooked meat on each brisket sandy, so with the 40% shrinkage, we get approximately 24 sandwiches per brisket.
Q: YOU PUT BACON ON TOP YOUR NANAIMO BARS? IS THAT EVEN ALLOWED?
A: Yes, we do. Yes, it is. And yes, it’s to die for delicious! Here is how it came to be.
A couple of years back, one of our catering clients was hosting a family reunion and because folks were coming from all over, he really wanted to have Nanaimo Bars on the menu – fair enough.
Q: WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE PULLED PORK POUTINE?
A: Believe it or don’t but here’s our story…
This plate is inspired by our bon ami, Jean-Luc. His dying wish was for us to add a touch of Francophone to the menu. Sadly, his life ended after eating our Pulled Pork Poutine… fries topped with our delicious smoked pork, cheese curds, and house-made gravy. His heart just couldn’t take it. At least he went with a smile on his face. We will require a doctor’s note with a clean bill of health before you can order this.
Q: WHAT’S IN A PORKINATOR SANDWICH?
A: This is a sandwich that changes every day!
But one thing is for sure, we guarantee your Porkinator will be piled high with at least three smokey cuts of pork. Check out our Specials board when you come in or ask at the counter for the skinny on the day’s creation. And watch as George puts one of these babies together… in living colour… well on video, until you get into the restaurant!