Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Butt over Brisket

I've heard of smoking butts over brisket so I'm having a go at that today. I have 2 8+ lb butts and a smallish brisket to give this a try. Some of the brisket is to pay off some bobcat work that a neighbor did for me. The brisket is for us, some variety.

(I do need to figure out how to post pictures side by side without digging into the raw HTML.)

Weather is on the brisk side with temps at 44° and not looking like it's going to get much higher. It's windy with average at 17 mph out of the Northwest and both calm and gusty periods.

I'm using Raichlen's coffee rub for the brisket as it's a tried and true recipe. I rubbed the brisket and set it aside before prepping the pork. Thaty got my typical run which is approximately:
  • 1 Tbsp black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika.
  • 1 Tbsp ground Sage
  • 1 Tbst Ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
  • Almost a full garlic bulb (crushed.)
I make a slurry of this using peanut oil and rub that on the butts and then went to prep the smoker. For this smoke I'm using the WSM and firing with some Stubbs briquettes and some Mesquite lump. Smoking wood includes Hickory, Box Elder, Oak, Apple and Lilac. Fire lay is modified Minion and I set the chimney on the charcoal while it fully lights to start some of the coals below it. Fire is lit about 1:30 PM. Fire is roaring and cooker closed up at about 1:35. I'll wait to see what temperature is going to do before I add meat. I also put about 3 quarts of hot tap water in the bowl.

1:45 PM?/237°/225°
Warm enough to put meat on (temps prior to opening the cooker.)
2:0958°/245°/205°Going to close that one bottom vent to half and see what that does to the slowly rising temps. I'm probably boiling a bit of water getting tempos this high next to cold meat.
2:3576°/237°/?Good progress at this point.
3:32103°/232°/190°Tossed in some more smoking wood. Measured brisket at 148°.
5:28138°/223°/187°Opened the bottom vent a wee bit.
6:11144°/120°/185°Beef at 154°, opened one bottom vent full and stirred coals a bit.
6:48147°/202°/?Beef at 154°, stirred fire and opened second bottom vent full.
8:24160°/262°/215°Beef 164°.
9:51170°/254°/215Beef at 180°
10:20173°/254°/?Brisket at 187° so it came out. quite a juggling match ensued, but I finally got the cooker back together. <sigh> Brisket is now resting. Outside temp is now 33°,
12:10 AM175°/241°/130°Threw a couple more handfuls of lump on - looks like fuel is mostly gone.
12:49176°/287°/?Yay! Butts moving again.
1:48187°/287°/?Pork off!
(meat - ET-73 food probe in one of the butts on the top rack, grate - ET-73 cooker probe dangling just inside the eyelet. Lid is the built in thermometer.)

Despite the temperature, the brisket was still firm. Not tough, but firm. It still tastes great, but I think it could go to melt in your mouth tender if I kept it in longer. One of these days I'll get brisket right.

Pork on the other hand was definitely done when I took it off. And as usual tasted great! I'll stick it in a warm oven and pull it in the morning.

The one on the right was falling apart when I picked it up off the grate. That's how you know they're done! When I unpacked the raw butts, they just fit into this pan. It looks like they didn't lose too much moisture during the smoke!

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