Friday, May 4, 2012

Jonesing for brisket

I've been jonesing for brisket recently so when SWMBO asked if she could pick up anything from Sam's Club I asked her to get a brisket. She came up with this:

Weather is 66° with wind light at about 10 mph. The sky is partly cloudy but we could have almost anything as the day progresses.

Once again I'm using Raichlen's coffee rub with not a lot of marinate time. I guess I should have done that last night, but I'm not sure it matters much for this.

This brisket is just about 14" tip to tip so I plan to put it on the upper rack of the mini. I plan to use some left over charcoal and smoking wood augmented with some lump and mesquite smoking wood. I placed couple handfuls of barely lit coals in the chimney on top of the fire lay about 10:00. This has the effect of starting the coals and wood below it while the coals in the chimney continue to start. At about 10:20 I dumped the coals from the chimney on the fire lay, poured a quart of hot water in the bowl and assembled the mini-WSM. I started out with the bottom vent about 1/3 open and the top fully open. Within about ten minutes the cooker temperature is approaching 200° F so I put the meat on.

It barely fits but should pull back a bit as it starts to cook. Had it been any bigger, I would have cut it in half and divided it between the upper and lower grate. Today - just the upper grate.

10:28 AM?/200°Meat on!
10:5788°/235°Too much heat - need to trim the bottom vent back a bit. (I don;t want to boil away all of the water too soon.)
11:15120°/244°still hotter than I want - trimming a wee bit more.
11:43147°/221°That's better.
11:58153°/217°Overshoot - trim slightly open now.
1:51166°/221°Back from grocery shopping - nice!
2:58165°/241°Stalled! Cooker temp has crept up from previous reading. I'll speculate that the water in the pan is now gone. I'll let the temp drift up a bit to drive the brisket toward being done.
3:23164°/247°WTF! What's going on?
4:04167°/217°OK, meat is moving up again and now the smoker temp is dropping. Time to open it and look at the coals. Stirred the coals and refilled the basket with lump left over from last night's grilling.
4:28164°/282°Restabilizing after opening the cooker and adding fuel. Need to cut back on the bottom air vent a bit.
5:12189°/265°Need to poke it I think. Still firm. Good time to drop a couple foiled spuds on the coals.
5:50197°/219°Still a little firm, just flipped the spuds. They need more time. I'm almost ready to take the brisket off to let it rest. But I haven't made any redeye sauce yet.
6:05198°/257°Time to rest the brisket.

Here it is ready to come off the smoker.

I took it to a little higher temperature this time and consequently it seems a little more tender. It's also on the verge of being dry (at least at the thinner end.) It has a thin smoke ring and once again, it is delicious!

The result of refueling was that plenty plenty of fuel was left over. I dumped it in my Platinum and used it to grill some Chorizo Quesadillas following Weber's recipe of the week.

They're appearance on the grill does not do justice to how good they tasted. They were a bit overstuffed. I didn't follow the recipe exactly but I don;t think this is the kind of recipe where proportions are that important. I used a mix of pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese. I should have drained the chorizo on paper toweling rather than drain in the pan as it was still giving up grease when served.

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