Smokin’

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OK, well I guess I’m just not as dedicated as some of you other bloggers out there, as I just can’t figure out how you find the time to post. However, that’s neither here nor there. I salute you.

If you read my previous post, you’ll recall I had quite the misadventure with a brisket I cooked. A closer inspection revealed that my drip plan melted and evidently leaked the not inconsiderable amount of beef fat; aka happy juice, into my hot coals. The result was a flash fire that absolutely nuked the brisket, and as it would turn out, my grill. Not only did most of the finish fall off the exterior, but my adjustable coal rack system got so hot it became warped, and I’ve lost functionality in the mechanism. I was not happy.

So I took a deep self-examination and tried to determine what type of meat I really like to cook. The answer is…

All of it.

And as I considered how I liked to cook meat, I quickly realized I most always cook it low and slow with a little smoke.

So this happened.

XL Propane Smoker

40 inches and 98 lbs of stainless steel action.

Bring it beerbecue!

He’s kind of a big deal

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Ok, so my good friend at Beerbecue is not only a comfortably employed public servant, he also frequents rarities dinners for his blogging hobby. I don’t have any idea what or where this “RFD” is, but it sounds pretty swanky to me. Just read his blog. As my good friend Greg at “I’m just sayin'” is prone to…well…say…he must be “kind of a big deal”. I bet he sups with the Washington elite on a regular basis.

People like this guy:

Opulence. I has it.

So, for those of us who are sitting at home heating up leftover spaghetti and drinking tap water with too few ice cubes. Live the dream, Beerbecue, you owe it to the rest of us.

Bidets, Briskets, Christmas, and 2012

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So I know it’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ve got a few reasons. First, I’ve been busy. Second, we actually went through an extended period (like 4 days) without internet at the house, and I don’t think my company issued blackberry had the juice to handle a blog for me.

In any event, since my last musing, we have been through Christmas and New Years, and most everyone was officially back at work today. I hope you and yours had a great Holiday season filled with good food, good drink, family, friends, and peace.

As part of our Christmas, the wife and I went away for the night and stayed at the Woodlands. It was sort of an experience for us, in that we elected to leave our collective 200lbs of dog home alone for the night with the assumption that they would probably sleep while we were gone. Reader, this may not sound like a big deal to you, but we have never left them home alone at night before, and we knew it could potentially be dangerous for our belongings. Let’s just say that when I got back in the AM to check on them, I was greeted at the door by a few animals who had evidently spent the entire night waiting at the front door wondering where we were. Now fortunately, there wasn’t any destruction that we found, but a few days earlier, we learned that the dogs don’t particularly care for newly purchased bestsellers. Thus our misgivings. Below please see exhibit A.

Seriously!? You ate the new book when it's sitting next to 50 old ones??

Whodunit?

Pup, Stack, and Boo

I can’t prove it, but I think it was Pup based on her nerves when we got back that day.

Looks a little guilty to me.

But I digress. Back to the hotel. We had a great room that had a sitting area and large bathroom that had a large glass shower and separate jacuzzi tub. Next to the toilet we had one of these.

These things are weird. Guess the French invented these based on an abundant population of lactose intolerant people?

I really don’t get it. Neither does the wife by the way. I cranked it up the the max to see what would happen, but can’t understand the physics of it. As it was very low pressure. I guess you’re just supposed to splash your arse with the water when you’re not feeling so fresh. Sigh. The French strike again.

Lastly, the first brisket I cooked in 2012 did not turn out as planned. I started with my usual prep. Finding a fairly uniform certified angus beef brisket and prepping with a dry rub.

Could have been great.

I got my rub put together and spread it all over the brisket. Then wrapped tightly and let it get happy for about 4 hours. Meanwhile, my brother-in-law and I cleaned the grill and got our lump hardwood charcoal ready and soaked our applewood chips for the smoke box. Our intent was to put the naughty bastard on the grill about midnight and cook/smoke for about 10 hours, or until the brisket started to break down and get tender

The soon to be scene of the crime.

I guess the reader will notice that there is no coal in the center of the grill (large grill by the way) which is where I cook the brisket (I move one grate to the center to keep the meat removed from direct heat). I also should add that I cook around 225-250 degrees in this method so as to allow the meat to get tender via the low and slow method. Boys and girls, the plan was good, but the execution was definitely lacking.

Here’s the aftermath.

I used to be all black.

And here-

Looks like we had some intense heat here. That black smear you see there is what we in the business refer to as Brisket Flambe.

For you brisket rookies out there, Brisket Flambe can evidently occur when a catch pan under your brisket fills up with some fat and is then ignited by a stray spark. By the way, my brisket was only on the grill for 1.5 hours. Bad luck or operator error. Your choice. I did save about 60% of the meat, which coincidentally looked like a football that was left in the cafeteria at the Chernobyl Plant before I trimmed the char off and made a shredded brisket mix out of the remainder. Was still good, but not what I planned on.

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I plan to post more in 2012 and appreciate you checking out my blog. Thanks again for reading. I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Cheers-