Moist Heat BBQ

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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.


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