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joeywa

Requested Smoking BBQ Thread *****PART 2*****

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I received a message from one of our HS members to put up a smoking BBQ thread on HS. 

 

His request was as follows:

 

Would you consider starting a thread on Hornsport that explained step by step how you smoke & prepare different meat cuts. 

Please be very elementary in your explanations. 

Also please give a list of the minimum equipment- smoker type, thermometers, rubs, temps, time, etc.

I love bbq but have NO cooking skills.  Now that I have the time, I would like to become somewhat proficient at it.

 

Seems fairly basic, but in actuality, it's quite a complex request. 

 

Let's start at the end, as you have said a mouthful. 

 

You say you now have time and you want to become proficient at smoking?  That is a great combination of desire and time on your hands, both of which you will need. 

In order to become proficient, you absolutely must practice.  It is like anything else.  That's not to say that you can't throw on a brisket and have it turn out just fine the very first time.  You most certainly can.  The trick is getting that 10th, 40th, 100th brisket to be as good or better than the one(s) that you smoked before it.  Some improvements are only going to be noticeable to you, other improvements will be very apparent to everyone else. 

 

Keep in mind: YOU WILL SCREW SOMETHING UP.....AT LEAST ONCE.  Don't worry about it-it happens to all of us.

 

Now that we have established that you're going to screw it up, let's get down to business.

 

I would encourage all of our HS BBQ Pitmasters to chime in on this thread.  Give us some of your expertise.  I think this could be a great thread for all of our HS members, from novice to pro. 

 

I'm no expert.  I'm proficient.  I've ruined my share of smoked items over the years.  It happens.  I've also learned quite a bit over the years.  I'll share with you whatever I can.

 

**********************************************************************************************************************

 

PART 2-Rubs/Brines/Presmoke Tips

 

 

Seasoning the Brisket: I feel like this is a very important piece to smoking any cut of meat.  How you choose to season it will directly affect the finished product, in a big way.  Too much salt-you WILL taste it.  Too much cayenne-get a glass of milk.  So let's talk about how I do it, and some of the products available out there.

 

Dry Rubs:  I make my own dry rub for briskets.  I use about 45% cracked black pepper, 45% kosher salt, 10% chili powder.  Pretty basic, but I've found that the simplicity makes it easy to make, as well as produces a nice flavor for the bark.  Here's a photo of a 1# jar of my rub. 

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You can go to any store and find a large sampling of dry rubs.  I have tried many.  You can get these at your grocery store, local BBQ restaurant, butcher shop or sporting goods/outdoors store-Academy, Bass Pro, Cabella's.  Some you'll have to order online.

A few of my favorites are:

  • Bad Byron's Butt Rub
  • Rudy's BBQ Rub
  • Cooper's BBQ Rub
  • Anita's Brisket Seasoning
  • Stubb's BBQ Rub
  • Salt Lick Garlic BBQ Rub

All are pretty solid.  You may have your own that you prefer.  There's no right or wrong answer.  It's all up to you.  Some are sweeter than others.  Try a bunch of them, and decide which is best for the flavor you're looking for. 

 

Brines: I have used brines in the past.  I like using these, especially Sweetwater Spice Co. Brisket Bath or their Tres Chiles brine. 

202_1024x1024_zps5ae4101c.jpg

This product is a brine concentrate.  You mix it with water and soak your cut of meat in it for an hour per pound.  I typically will use a Glad Turkey Brine Bag, (found at your local grocer,) (make sure you pay attention to the size limitation for the bag-printed on the box!!  Nothing worse than getting home and trying to put a 13# brisket into a bag that holds 8#s of meat; trust me from experience!)  Put the meat in the bag, add the concentrate, add the water, seal the bag, place in an aluminum pan in the fridge for the recommended time.  When it's time to pull the meat out, SAVE the brine.  You will now strain the brine and save the spices.  Take the spices and rub the brisket with this spice paste.  VERY IMPORTANT: YOU WILL NOT NEED ANY DRY RUB OR FURTHER SEASONING!

One of our very own Longhorns, Scott, (caliHORNia on OBs,) makes these products.  He has several flavors, and they can be found at Academy and Whole Foods, or on his website, http://www.sweetwaterspice.com/  I highly recommend his products.  They are easy to use, and produce a great flavor on whatever you're smoking or grilling.  Give them a try. 

 

 

Presmoke Tips:

 

Meat Prep:

Start: I will take my cryovaced packer brisket and rinse it off well under the faucet cool water.  Make sure to get any blood, and any loose pieces of meat/fat off the brisket at this time.  Don't soak it in a sink full of water, just rinse it off well.  Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty!

 

Trimming: I have tried several ways of getting a brisket prepared.  Prior to seasoning, trimming the fat is often beneficial.  Understanding that every brisket is different, trimming is not set in stone.  I shoot for ~1/4" fat on the top of the brisket and I remove the really dense chunk of fat on the bottom that sits on the edge just under the cap.  There are many YouTube videos on this, and some say to cut off more than others.  I am a fan of trimming just enough off of the brisket, as the fat will render into the meat and help with moisture.  Just search on YouTube under "Trimming a Brisket" and you'll get several hits.  Watch a few, and see how they do it.  Again, try different things until you find what works for you. 

 

Rub: As we discussed the rubs above, there are several ways to go about applying your rub.  Again, I've tried many.  I've used French's mustard and olive oil rubbed on the brisket prior to applying the dry rub.  I don't think there's any real benefit to this, but you can do it if you feel you want to give it a try.  I used to do this pretty regularly, and found that it did not affect the flavor of the finished product, and the rub stays on the damp brisket just fine without it.  When you get ready to apply the dry rub, get you an aluminum (disposable) half steamtable pan.  Place your brisket in the pan.  Wash & dry your hands, and get you some plastic disposable foodservice gloves on.  This keeps your hands somewhat clean throughout the rub process and keeps salt/pepper/cayenne from getting onto your skin.  Take the bottle of rub and shake it somewhat liberally over the meat in a left to right and top to bottom motion.  Don't put too much on, but a medium coating.  Rub the entire brisket top with this, then flip the brisket over in the pan, and repeat the process.  Be sure to get the rub onto the sides of the brisket as well as on the ends.  Aaron Franklin has a good video on this process.

 

Brine: If you've brined your brisket with the concentrate, this is the time to put the brisket in a half pan, rub with the spice paste and let it sit out until your fire is ready.

 

Fire & Temp of the meat: At this point in the process, I go and get the pit fired up.  I'll let the brisket sit out on the counter until the fire is ready.  Some folks say keep it in the fridge, I don't subscribe to this philosophy.  It's OK for the brisket to sit out at room temp for a half hour to an hour, even more if you'd like.  It will be fine. 

 

In PART 3: Building your fire, getting the pit ready, smoking the brisket.

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Joeywa, have you noticed major differences in taste between grades of meat bought?

Not particularly. I have used choice and choice angus. They both turn out fine. I have not sprung for prime, partly because it's almost nonexistent up here. Unless of course one of the angus cuts is prime, which I haven't seen up here.

 

Flavor wise, I prefer the angus, but it's not hugely noticeable in a brisket.

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Not particularly. I have used choice and choice angus. They both turn out fine. I have not sprung for prime, partly because it's almost nonexistent up here. Unless of course one of the angus cuts is prime, which I haven't seen up here.

 

Flavor wise, I prefer the angus, but it's not hugely noticeable in a brisket.

 

One day, when I win big in Vegas, I'll make my way up to PNW and let's try smoking some wagyu brisket.  

 

On a serious bbq note, smoking softens and tenderizes meat thus flavor in grades aren't as noticeable compared to grilling?

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I believe that's part of it, although I also think that smoke is a powerful flavor agent, and as such it somewhat minimizes the differences in the grades of meat. Now, I'm sure there's a pretty decent difference in a Choice vs a Select brisket. I just haven't messed around with it.

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Joeywa

 

I usually put my dry rub on a day ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge at least overnight. What about you?

I've done this, but do not note much flavor variance. Personal preference I suppose.

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Any tips on smoking a prime rib? Also, have you smoked any other seafood besides salmon?

Prime rib: easy to do. Get the cut from the butcher, have him make a cut to just the inside of the bone for you. Tie it up with twine so it doesn't separate while cooking and smokes evenly.

Rub w/olive oil, dry rub.

Smoke at 225 until internal is 125-130. (~4-6 hrs)

I used pecan and cherry wood.

Rest with foil tented over it for 15-20 minutes.

Slice & serve.

 

Seafood, I've done halibut and sturgeon in addition to salmon.

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Prime rib: easy to do. Get the cut from the butcher, hs pave him make a cut to just the inside of the bone for you. Tie it up with twine so it doesn't separate while cooking and smokes evenly.

Rub w/olive oil, dry rub.

Smoke at 225 until internal is 125-130. (~4-6 hrs)

I used pecan and cherry wood.

Rest with foil tented over it for 15-20 minutes.

Slice & serve.

 

Seafood, I've done halibut and sturgeon in addition to salmon.

Seasoning for prime rib just good salt and pepper?

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Seasoning for prime rib just good salt and pepper?

 

I used the exact same rub I referenced up top.  I also put some fresh rosemary on top when I served it. 

 

I'm thinking of inserting garlic in the prime rib too. Garlic won't burn right?

 

Garlic won't burn.  Just like you would do with a pork butt, make little slits in the meat, stuff it with garlic cloves.  That would be very good.

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That's Bad Byron's on the ribs I posted the pics of in part 1. Really good stuff.

 

I'm also a fan of Sweetwater Spice Co. Brines. In fact, I invested in Scott's company so all you guys go buy 10 or 20 bottles!!

I love Sweetwater Spice! Wish I could find all flavors at Academy. I'm too cheap to pay for shipping. :)

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Not particularly. I have used choice and choice angus. They both turn out fine. I have not sprung for prime, partly because it's almost nonexistent up here. Unless of course one of the angus cuts is prime, which I haven't seen up here.

 

Flavor wise, I prefer the angus, but it's not hugely noticeable in a brisket.

The last brisket I smoke (about a month ago) was an angus prime cut. I found it at our Costco and it cost about 30% more. The taste was outstanding but the biggest difference I found was its that it retained it's moisture much better. It was a 13lb'er so it was a long smoke.

 

I keep my rub simple 50/50 cracked pepper and kosher salt and really haven't deviated from but I like your idea of adding a touch of heat to the rub.

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The last brisket I smoke (about a month ago) was an angus prime cut. I found it at our Costco and it cost about 30% more. The taste was outstanding but the biggest difference I found was its that it retained it's moisture much better. It was a 13lb'er so it was a long smoke.

 

I keep my rub simple 50/50 cracked pepper and kosher salt and really haven't deviated from but I like your idea of adding a touch of heat to the rub.

I really want to do a Prime brisket, but right now prices are outrageous. Took my daughter to Pullman today to move her into the dorm at Washington St. We went to Walmart to grab a few items and I saw CHOICE brisket for $3.98/#. Ugghhhh!

 

On the rub, the chili powder adds a bit of heat and some onion & garlic flavors to the bark. Very slight, but it is some,thing I discovered I liked and have been using it ever since.

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I really want to do a Prime brisket, but right now prices are outrageous. Took my daughter to Pullman today to move her into the dorm at Washington St. We went to Walmart to grab a few items and I saw CHOICE brisket for $3.98/#. Ugghhhh!

 

On the rub, the chili powder adds a bit of heat and some onion & garlic flavors to the bark. Very slight, but it is some,thing I discovered I liked and have been using it ever since.

I've used joeywa's rub on the last couple of briskets. It makes fantastic bark.

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another good thread joey. i love the simplicity of your rub. the smoke is the star of a good bbq.

ne rub i've tried and liked on baby backs is lemon pepper, ground black pepper and a dusting of garlic powder. no idea how i came upon that combo, probably Shiner induced or it was all i had on the spice rack that day. either way it turns out pretty good. 

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