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Brisket Watch

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Remember many years ago when Baby Jessica was stuck in a well?

Remember how all America waited with bated breath for her to be released from her confinement?

Or, more recently, remember those Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine in Chile (where else would you expect to find a trapped Chilean miner, I ask you?) Remember how the whole world was watching? Remember how we all cheered upon their release???

Now, you’re starting to get the flavor of what we here in the Boonies experienced on Saturday night.

I like to call it “Brisket Watch”. And it’s my blog, dang it, so I’m going to call it whatever I want.

It all started innocuously enough.

The Big Bison went in search of an untrimmed brisket. He procured one from a little food store out here in the country, because we know that the bigger grocery chain stores tend to buy most of their meat already cut and trimmed these days.

We had never tried smoking a brisket before, and are actually still  very much novices at the whole meat smoking thing, so mercy and grace are kindnesses you might well extend toward us as you ponder  the judgment you will render in regard to our sad situation.

So, anywho, he got the brisket, and charged me with finding a recipe, pronto. I went to Steven Raichlin, who used to be a contributing editor to Gourmet magazine, and who has written books on barbecue and smoking, among them How to Grill and  The Barbecue Bible, and who even hosted a show on PBS that some of you may remember called Primal Grill. Seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. I knew that the Bison wanted a rub (heh heh) that he could apply to the exterior of the brisket.

Here’s the rub I used. It sounded good to me!

Bacon Crusted Texas Style Brisket
Source: How to Grill by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2001)
Serves: 10 to 12

For the brisket and rub:

1 trimmed brisket (5 to 6 pounds) with a layer of fat and least 1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 slices of bacon

There’s more to the recipe, and you can click on the link if you’d like to read it, but I knew some of you would be asking about what we put on it. The recipe also calls for a mop, made out of beer, vinegar, and garlic salt, so if you want the total recipe, go see Steven Raichlen’s website.

Don’t forget: you can click on all these pictures to further enhance your vicarious pleasure.

The brisket with the rub, all prepped for the smoker.

Anyway, the Big Bison scored the brisket, we let it sit in the rub overnight, and then the next morning around 10:00, he put it on the smoker.

Let’s get smokin’!

And Brisket Watch began.

We waited.

And waited.

At 6:00, after smelling that smoke for 8 hours, I was so hungry I was considering what the consequences of taking it off the grill a little early might be. The whole family was totally hungry and more than ready to eat!

At 7:00, I was getting a bit testy.

At 8:00, I was feeling faint from hunger.

By 9:00, as I sat gnawing my arm off, the Big Bison said he’d be taking the brisket off the smoker soon, and then, we’d have to WAIT 30 MINUTES.

(Insert sound of maniacal laughter.)

Really? You’d like me to wait? The children are in their pajamas and headed for bed with no dinner, but you’d like us to wait???

Well, here’s what we waited for.

Hot off the grill: note the darkness outside the window.

Wipe the slobber off the corner of your mouth, there.

The verdict: it was delicious. Absolutely delicious!!!

However: next time, we will trim off more fat before we grill/smoke it.

Oh, yeah. And we’ll start a whole lot earlier in the day.

Susan in the Boonies

Friday 13th of January 2012

Thanks, Jaymo. I think you are dead on right on your second recommendation, for sure. That would have been the easiest, cheapest and best fix for our problem that night. But we were smoking newbies, then! What did we know?

I wish I could afford to buy my husband a Big Green Egg. We have lusted after them together, when we've seen them in the stores.


Friday 13th of January 2012

Two things you might want to try in the interest of time and quality. First is a Big Green Egg, an absolute marvel at smoking without drying things out. The second is to two-step your brisket (works with butts too). Hit it with heavy smoke for an hour or two, then finish by baking in the oven at about 300F (either wrapped in foil or in a Dutch oven). Use a thermometer/probe to determine when it's finished, but it will be much quicker than by running the whole time in the smoker, and will be so tender and moist.


Tuesday 22nd of February 2011

You had me a bacon.


Monday 21st of February 2011

I am still wiping off my saliva. That looks delectable.Thanks for visiting and commenting.Be well.xoRobyn

Susan in the Boonies

Monday 21st of February 2011

I think, Hilary, as long as you don't get hung up trying to get the trout lit with your Bic, it's all good. ;-DI'm just glad when you stop by!