I seem to have a backlog of recipes to write about. I did fish and chips last week and made some super cool baked eggs, baked in toast. Watch for this one – it was super easy and combined cheese, eggs, toast and bacon, with a bit of cream all in one small muffin-sized package.
First up though is the brisket I smoked on Sunday on the new Weber Smokey Mountain. This is the third brisket I’ve made in the past six months and the most successful. The first version I started on the gas grill and finished it in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil. It was good, but lacked the smoky flavor.
The second version I made on my old charcoal Weber. The idea here was to get more smoke. Somehow, maybe I was sleeping in, I like to sleep in, I started late, about 4 hours later than planned, and didn’t finish it until 10:00pm that night. My wife now frowns a bit when I start talking about making anything that takes more than 4 or 5 hours.
The rub on this version was perfect and I will share it below. I ended up overcooking the bottom of the brisket when the grill got a bit too hot and I forgot to turn the brisket in the last few hours. It ended up with about 1/4 inch of crust, which tasted great, but was not quite what I was looking for.
The third and last version I did this past weekend. My new smoker was delivered from Amazon last week and on Saturday I pulled it out of the box and put it together (in the family room – thanks, Nancy)!
Once again, I did sleep in this time, I started late, but I figured I had plenty of time to get the brisket done, low and slow. I filled up bottom of the smoker with a load of fresh charcoal, threw the brisket on the top grill, closed the lid and took a temperature reading….140 degrees! What, no way, has to be wrong. I’ll wait a bit and see what happens.
15 minutes later, 135 degrees. Oh crap. I throw in another load of charcoal I had working on the side. The temp goes up to 150. Something is wrong, but I have no idea what it is. The smoke is coming out of the thing like clockwork, but the heat is not even close to the 225 I’m looking for.
20 minutes later, 150 degrees still, I thrown more charcoal in, the temp goes up to 175 and then won’t budge. At this point I have enough charcoal in the bottom of the smoker to power a small steam engine. I’m now figuring it has something to do with lack of oxygen, but all the vents are open and things should be going well.
Now I’m starting to think about the bacteria that will start growing on the meat soon if I don’t get the f$%##ing temperature up. Ok, more coals and then more coals. Finally about 75 minutes into it I have the temperature at 225. Ok now, I have some time to think so I head to the Internet to see what I can find out.
Aha, the first picture points out to me that I forgot to the put the charcoal grate down as well as the charcoal chamber. How do I run a restaurant, not sure. Good employees I guess. Don’t ask me what I was thinking, but basically the charcoal was getting no airflow. I had it all piled up on the bottom of the smoker! CRAP.
So what to do. Well, I couldn’t handle it, I had to fix it. So I pulled the top and middle section off the grill and then used tongs to relocate the charcoal, fix the grill, put the charcoal back, put the meat back on, and pretty much started all over again. DOH!
Well, what time did we eat you might ask? I was shooting for the brisket to be done at 7:00 and I pulled it off the grill at 9:30. Not so bad, 30 minutes faster than last time. Hahaha. The meat was great and the smoke flavor was perfect. I can’t wait to do some ribs or pork shoulder next!
Here is some helpful info:
- The Virtual Weber Bullet – Great web site will everything you want to know about the Smokey Mountain.
- Pick a brisket that weighs 5 to 6 pounds and has a layer of fat at least 1/4 inch thick. Don’t pick up a small trimmed brisket that has not fat. It will dry out quick.
- If you want smoky flavor, but don’t want to spend all day cooking the brisket, start it on a grill, 250 to 275 degrees, until the internal temperature is 140 to 150 and then finish it in a 325 degree oven, wrapped tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil, for an hour and a half or until the internal temperature is 190 degrees.
- Thinly slice the meat across the grain and make sure to let the meat rest for 20 minutes before cutting.
- If using a gas grill it should be easy to get the temp to 250. You will most likely leave the back burner on med and turn the others off. You will want to make a smoke pouch. You can do this by placing your soaked chips on a sheet of heavy aluminum foil, cover the chips with the foil, making an enclosed pouch. Then poke holes in the top so the smoke can escape. You will place the pack on top of the burner that is producing heat.
- When barbecuing with indirect heat using charcoal you will need to add fresh coals every 45 to 60 minutes to maintain the temperature. In the past I would add unlit briquettes to my coals but I noticed that it took too long for them to burn and put off heat which meant uneven heating. Now instead of emptying the entire charcoal starter of lite coals into the barbecue I leave 3 or 4 at the bottom, then add 10 fresh coals on top and set aside. By the time I need to replace some of the coals in the Weber these coals are ready to go.
Kansas City Brisket (serves 6 to 8)
Recipe adapted from Peace, Love and Barbecue which is a great BBQ Book with recipes and stories!
- 5 to 6 pound Beef Brisket with fat cap of at least 1/4 inch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Lawry’s season salt
- 3 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1/2 cup celery salt
- 1/2 cup onion salt
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons good beer
Combine all the rub ingredients and blend well. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk the mustard, vinegar and beer together until incorporated. Set aside.
Coat the brisket with the mustard slather. Season the slathered brisket, liberally, with the rub. Marinate overnight if you have the time. If not don’t stress it.
Smoke the brisket at 225 to 250 degrees for approximately one-and-a-half-hours per pound. Turn the brisket at three hours and then after another one-and-a-half hours.
Start with one cup of wood chips and then 1/2 cup every hour when you add more coals.
Cook to an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Take brisket off grill, tent with heavy duty aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
Here is the rub from Steven Raichlen.
Steven Raichlen Lean and Mean Texas BBQ Brisket Rub
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine them all in a bowl and mix well. Rub the brisket on all sides!