Ok, I think it's about time I posted a new food post, don't you think?
So the hubz and I got a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker as a wedding gift but never got around to using it because honestly, it seemed like such a hassle. Every time he considered using it (he's the grill master in this house), he opted to use our gas grill instead because it was just so much easier. In addition to our indoor grill, we've got 3 outdoor ones. Yes, probably a little overboard, but we like it :)
Well, he finally broke out the smoker over the 4th of July weekend. We were having 30+ people over for a bbq and didn't want to do burgers and dogs. It was the perfect opportunity to test out the smoker. And you know what? Smoking isn't nearly as difficult or scary as it seems. Sure, it's more work than using the gas grill or your oven or even a normal charcoal grill, but it's definitely worth it for some things, such as smoked brisket. In fact, 2 weeks later, we took out again to smoke a few racks of ribs. And while we both thought the ribs were way too smokey and probably best cooked using other methods, but I'll get around to blogging about that some other time, we both felt that the brisket and the pulled pork were well worth the effort.
I'm not going to post a how-to here because this website is all you need and does a way better job than I ever could. It's a fantastic resource that goes in-depth into everything there is to know about smoking a fabulous hunk o' meat. I will share a couple highlights though...
The hubz bought a big ol' brisket, trimmed the fat cap, and put a homemade rub on overnight. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for you because the hubz doesn't really follow recipes, but it always turns out fantastic! He's just talented that way :) What I do know is that it consisted of lots of brown sugar, cayenne, paprika, cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper and probably some garlic powder and onion powder too.
For the cooking method, he opted to go for the Smoked & Oven Finished method. This yields great smokey flavor and tender juicy meat. But in order to get it done in time, the poor boy had to wake up at 4am to get things started - that's dedication!
Look it's still dark out! It's also a lotta smoke!
The result was fantastic in my opinion. Look at that perfect smoke ring.
And the gorgeous, flavorful bark.
A few tips that he says he's going to use next time is to trim off more of the fat cap as the smoke doesn't penetrate through that thick layer of fat very well. He also put 2 fatty pork butts on the rack above it so that the drippings would "baste" the brisket and keep it from drying out. If you don't want to do that, you can cover it in a layer of bacon instead.
The hubz also highly recommends making your own bbq sauce. It's so much better than anything store bought and you can tailor it to your personal preferences (we like it spicy). For our bbq, he made 2 sauces for a little variety, a sweet bourbon bbq sauce, and a tangy spicy bbq sauce. The base of both were canned tomatoes, fresh onions, brown sugar, vinegar, maple syrup, a touch of ketchup, all cooked down for several hours and then blended smooth. The sweet bourbon sauce had a very healthy dose of jim beam and extra brown sugar while the spicy one had a boatload of cayenne and chili powder for a nice kick and additional vinegar for tang and brightness.
Here it is all cut up and ready to enjoy!