Originally Posted by Gnaws on Pigs
I think a lot of things get way over-thought, not just brisket. Pork butts and ribs, for example. They'll be good however you rub them and cook them, as long as you cook them until they're done and don't incinerate them in the process, or don't use old tires or newspapers for fuel, etc.
People used to just cook bbq, and it was great. Some of the best bbq I've ever eaten was cooked by old fellers in cement-block pits with a sheet of tin over the top, or leaky-assed cookers made out of old oval oil barrels, with burnt-down hickory and oak coals for fuel. The pit had no thermometer-they just kinda judged it by feel and didn't worry whether it was 225, 250, or 300 degrees. It was probably all of the above at different times. That was it-no rubs, no temp control, just a fire and some beer and some experience. They cooked it until it was done, which they judged by poking at it and looking at it and feeling of it. And it was better q than most of us make.
Along comes tv bbq comp shows and stuff. I enjoy watching them too, but it would be boring if everybody just threw a chunk of meat on the fire and didn't do something "magical" to it. And it's hard to sell products and ingredients if nobody is convinced that you need them.
You can make excellent bbq with a custom multi-thousand dollar smoker that has a computerized temp control, with a remote internal temp probe, using the magic brand of charcoal, with the magic commercial rub, sauce, whatever. But, contrary to what a lot of newbies seem to think, you don't NEED all that stuff to make good bbq, either. It's all luxury, not neccessity, and it doesn't make the meat taste a bit better. Our grandpas made just as good of bbq as us without any of that stuff.