Moist Heat BBQ

A place to post your drippings

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter Brisket for Mrs. T

While strolling through the Hartford Walmart last Saturday (where I happened to run into Andakin and family on their weekly shop), Mrs. T saw a brisket and said, " I got me a hankering." We picked up a nice 8 pounder that I took right home to rub for a Sunday AM smoke.

I don't know about anyone else, but that 1.5 hours per pound measure for brisket seems bogus unless your smoking temperature is closer to 200 degrees. My eight pounder hit an internal temperature of 195 degrees after just 6.5 hours with my smoking temp at a consistent 250 degrees. After a nice long rest of 3 hours, it was melt in your mouth tender. Raichlen's brisket rub from his "How to Grill Everything" book is fantastic.

BBQ is year round baby!

7:15am Chimney

On by 8am

Finish cuttin' that thing Dad!

I'm Hurryin!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The new addition to the family

I know I haven't blogged in a while and I apologize. I have pics from the 3rd annual Moist Heat BBQ Class and my annual Turkey-off on Thanksgiving. I'm very behind.

But this latest development has brought me back, because it deserves to be posted. I would write on and on, but the pictures say it all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quality WITH Quantity

Just before Labor Day, Team T-Bone realized that the cupboard was completely bare. Not one bag of pork or brisket in the freezer for that "on the fly" meal that every soccer parent needs. Thus, on Labor Day weekend, we labored to rectify the situation. Taking note of a killer sale on pork butts at Hartford's County Market, I grabbed eight (8) weighing at least 4 lbs each and made a double batch of my preferred rub. After a 12 hour marinate, I fired up the HMS Moist Heat for a glorious Saturday smoke.

The feeling of having the capacity to even attempt a project of this scale was like a shot of testosterone. And with Mrs. T doing most of the pulling (each strand lovingly excised by her vinyl-glove covered hand), I was relegated to holding a wine glass to her lips every few minutes while turning up the volume as each song from The Sound of Music began to play from The Family Channel. Two and a half hours later, the pork was placed in freezer bags and sent to the door of the downstairs freezer; ready to serve us at a moment's notice.
8 Ready to Rub
Lower Grate

Upper Grate

Ready to Rest

*Cook's Note: Try your local party supply store for foil containers. Some run larger than you can purchase at the grocery store and can hold several racks of ribs, or as you can see, many butts.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Smoke over the water

I've been meaning to post for a week or so...(apologies for the lack of photos). Last week we finally had a housewarming/welcome to the world party, and so we introduced a few more Brits to the joys of smoky meat.

As ever the shoulders were done the weekend before (in the rain) and the ribs on the day. I was busy cooking as everything was being dished up, so didn't get chance to taste anything first. Then a couple of people mentioned that the spice level in the ribs was enough to get them a health and safety warning - odd I thought, maybe they just don't like the flavour. Anyway, then I tried them and I have to admit they were pretty hot - either I overestimated the cayenne in the rub, or (more likely) the chilli powder we found in an Asian supermarket was significantly hotter than Peace Climb! Oops :-)

Apart from that, everything went down well with a variety of sauces (thanks to Bobbledog Bob for helping out with a couple) and the famous 'PowerPoint Presentation' printed out and laminated to lend an air of authenticity.

Perhaps one of the most exciting things though was finding out one of our neighbours is a barbecue enthusiast too. We had noticed the chimneys going up in his garage, and after years of being disappointed by the summer, he now barbecues indoors. I've yet to see his set up, but if the chimneys are anything to go by (and the smell that comes from them) it's pretty good. I think he was pleasantly surprised by the lack of burnt burgers and sausages at an English barbecue. Towards the end of the evening he came over and said "I don't want to over analyse this, but, what kind of charcoal are you using?" I never thought this would be a conversation I had over here.

A great night all in all, and we have enough booze left over for another sometime.....

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

T-Bone Tries Texas BBQ

I know Joe-Be-Wan doesn't recognize beef as true BBQ, but with a father from Texas, I've been meaning to embrace my heritage and try to smoke a brisket. The 4th of July weekend seemed a perfect opportunity.

I actually tried a brisket flat last year following that Raichlen-Guy's technique from his "How to Grill Everything" book. It came out on the dry side although the flavor was good. It probably wasn't Raichlen's fault, I neglected to tell Bunzel's to leave enough fat on the flat. It probably would have been dry no matter how I cooked it.

This time, I went to the local Wal-Mart and found a whole, pre-trimmed brisket in the meat section. It too probably had a little too much fat trimmed off but looked close enough to try. Being a 12 pounder, I figured I would need 12 - 18 hours to smoke the sucker at 225 degrees. I thus arranged for a midnight smoke after fireworks on the 4th. Since my WSM seems to hold its temp well for at least 3 hours, I put the brisket on at 12:30am and then set my alarm for 3am and 6am to feed it additional charcoal and pecan wood chunks. However, even with all the lower vents closed, the temp wanted to stay closer to 260 (probably too much charcoal to start with). So I began to worry that it would cook up too fast.

By 10am (9 1/2 hours of smoking), the temperature of the meat hit 195. With my fear of smoking at a higher than desired temperature realized, I decided go ahead and take the brisket off to rest. But where Raichlen was cutting into his brisket with only minutes of rest, others on the BBQ circuit were suggesting a rest of 2 to 6 hours! I split the difference and had it sealed in a foil pan in an empty ice chest for 4 hours. When I took it in to slice, the meat was still 140 degrees and the fat had really broken down to tenderize and flavor the meat. Served with my BBQ sauce, some home-made beans (with Chorizo instead of bacon) and roasted sweet potatoes, the results were fork-tender delicious.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Smoked Chicken w/Honey Mustard Sauce

The T-Bone family has heretofore been leary of me preparing chicken in any way other than grilling boneless, skinless breasts. With the new smoker, I wanted to give smoked chicken a try (especially after Andakin's family raved over his). Taking Andakin's advice, I headed to the Hartford Walmart to pick up a couple of packages of pre-cut chicken pieces. I rubbed them before lunch on Saturday to prepare for a 3pm Sunday smoking session.

After reading from several sources, a common flaw with smoked chicken is the possibility of rubbery skin. Being a two apparatus man now, I figured I could get a second fire going on the kettle to crisp up the skin before serving. Instead of a traditional tomato based sauce, Mrs. T suggested we go with my mustard sauce. When the pieces were about 165 degrees, I transferred them to the kettle for direct heat and a little char. The result? Winner, Winner - Chicken Dinner.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

T-Bone Bites the Bullet

Last Saturday was the maiden voyage of my new Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker (WSM). I have been searching far and wide for a smoker that met my precise and picky needs. My previous look at the WSM impressed me but I felt the 18 inch grates would be too small for doing a substantial amount of ribs without weaving them onto a rib rack.
In 2009, Weber came out with a larger 22.5 inch version or the same size as their standard kettle grills. After reading a lot of reviews and watching video this anal guy who runs the website the virtual weber bullet, I decided to go for it. The cooker did not disappoint.

The WSM held its heat really well for about 3 hours on the first load of charcoal. Since my total session was about 6.5 hours, I added a few handfulls of briquettes each hour during the remaining time. Being used to smoking on my kettle, I felt pretty useless as I normally would add wood or charcoal every 45 minutes. And don't get me started on the added Greal Estate !! (I should trademark that term).


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