Friday, August 19, 2011

Smoked Brisket

Every now and then I get to contribute to the supper table; one of my favorite jobs is smoking brisket.

Here's how it works.

Start with a cow.

OK, let's skip ahead a little - meat is in the kitchen, night before:  Rub the meat with BBQ dry rub, all over both sides.

The rub I used is from the Grassfed Gourmet cookbook (recipe below).

Now the meat gets covered in plastic and put back in the fridge overnight.

Meanwhile, start some wood chips soaking. I filled it at the bathtub:

So the next morning, it's time to light the smoker up. I use a charcoal chimney, and homemade charcoal.

If there's no breeze, make one:

Soon enough, there's some smoke:

Add the coals to the firepan, and some of the wet wood. Fill the water-pan, and put the meat on the racks. Here's the redneck approved water-pan filler - not screwed together, just duck taped:

The tip fits between the bars of the meat rack, so I can fill it through the little door.

See the fire down there? One rack sits directly on the water pan, the other is right under the lid.

We're smokin'.

 Now the long part: Tend and wait. Not too much tending, but keep a close eye on it. Especially the temp gauge. It should stay on the low side of "ideal":

I decided to make some more charcoal, while I was stinking up the place. Note the difference in the smoke:

 The charcoal maker is producing some woodgas, along with normal blue smoke.

Elizabeth agreed to keep an eye on things for a minute.

The temps got a little higher than I wanted, and so I decided to check the meat with a thermometer.

Ack! Already at 152 degrees, and it's only 2pm. I found out later that the meat should have gone a bit longer, it was a bit underdone in the middle. Lower temps for longer are much better.

The first lift of the lid:


Meat on the pan - it shrunk!

And covered in foil to keep warm till supper:

Hours later.  Finally time to slice into it:


One brisket went into the freezer, and we ate the other one. It went so fast, I forgot to get a picture of it. You can imagine, it was good eating. Serve with Stubbs' barbecue sauce and garlic potatoes.

BBQ Rib Rub:

1c chili powder
1/4c sugar
1/3c coarse salt
1/3c black pepper
1/4c paprika
1/4c oregano

Combine all ingredients in quart jar, shake to mix. Apply liberally to meat before cooking.