Monday, March 4, 2013

Real BBQ

Oh no, I've got another hobby... as if I have the time to entertain another one.  At least this one doesn't cost too much and doesn't take too much time.  Real BBQ - low and slow - is just too good to avoid.  The justification is, we have to eat anyway, right?!  Megan was kind enough to get me a propane vertical cabinet smoker for Christmas - little did she know she was going to fuel yet another hobby.  On 2/24/13 I did my first real long cook with this smoker.  It takes dedication (or insanity) to commit to a full packer brisket cooked low and slow.  We found a relatively (9#) small brisket at Smart and Final.

I woke up on a Sunday morning at 5am to fire up the smoker, trim and rub the brisket, and got it on the smoker at 5:40.  Throughout the 12 hour cook, I learned a few things to improve on next time.  1. I picked-up another back-up propane tank, 2. I bought a better in-door thermometer (so I don't have to keep opening the door, dropping temps, just to check the temp), and 3. Just a little hotter might not be so bad.

The brisket could have used more time - maybe another hour.  The thermometer in the door is useless.  I used a remote thermometer and it seemed to consistently read low by about 40 degrees.  I also had a thermometer inside that I feel is very reliable - but needing to open the door to check it creates problems by cooling things down frequently.  Still, everything turned out pretty darn good.  It all could have been a little better, but I'd say it was good for a first major run at it.  The best part were the burnt ends finished in the oven - wow - beef candy!

Here is the day's timetable (smoker temps), followed by a progression of the cook:

5:40 - Brisket on at 220*
6:40 - add more wood @ 220*
8:15 - add water @ 200*
10:15 - add water @ 240*
11:30 (photo) - add pork belly & tri-tip, water, wood @ 240*
1:00 (photo) - add water, add wood @ 220*
2:00 - probe check, not close @ 240*
3:00 (photo) - add water, probe check not close @ 240*
4:00 - took off pork belly and tri-tip, add water @ 240*
5:45 - took off brisket @ 185* (oops, ran out of propane)

I'll let the progression of photos speak for themselves.

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