Here’s German classic, smoked on the grill. Schweinshaxe is pork knuckle, and a cut like this is just made for the smoker.
Schweinshaxe or Eisbein?
These are often interchanged, which is understandable given that the same cut of meat (pork knuckle) is used. There are differences in cooking it however. With Eisbein you brine it first and then boil it until done, while Schweinshaxe is baked in the oven or on a grill.
- 4.4 lb pork belly with skin
- 2 tbsp Hank’s KC Royale Rub
- 7 tbsp vinegar
- Start by scoring the skin with 1" cuts. Make sure you cut through the skin but not into the meat. When the knuckle is being cooked the skin shrinks, and by scoring we reduce the effect somewhat. Plus it helps when your guests wants to pull off bits of cracklin's at the table.
- Apply the rub on all sides, both skin and meat.
- Fire up the grill, prepare it for slightly higher indirect heat. Try to keep it at 150° C / 300° F. Place a few chunks of wood on the glowing embers for smoke flavor. Place the knuckle on the grates, standing up, and close the lid. Smoke it for approximately 2-2.5 hours. If you can't get it to stand up by itself then I prop it up using a chunk or two of wood.
- Now it's time to crank up the heat, to 200° C / 400° F. The pork knuckle needs 20-30 minutes on high heat to crisp up the skin. Brush the skin with liberal amounts of vinegar 2-3 times during this time.
- Now bring the meat in, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, loosely tented with aluminum foil, before carving. Use a serrated bread knife to cut through the cracklins.