Crucial George Clinton
Most of you who have seen my videos know I use a triple Layer of Ingredients. This makes for a great and flavorful bark and one of the primary reasons for this is my friend George Clinton (Salt).
The true base of the Funk is Not James Brown (Brown Sugar) but Clinton because JB was immersed in soul before funk was created. (He actually fired Larry Graham for Plucking the bass then hired Bootsie Collins)
Crucial James Brown
This is why I named George Clinton as Salt because in the funk world he is most high, and architect if you will, just like JB is to Soul and Little Richard (White Sugar) is to Rock and roll.
Crucial Larry Graham, father of the Slap Plucking Bassline
Okay, now that the funkless have clicked out of this little lesson because they can't or don't want to understand
I will give you the lesson on our friend, Salt.
Rule 1: Salt is important to BBQ because it is a carrier
of flavor. This is one of the reasons why those ribs soaked in "solution" are crappy... its because you cannot carry flavor efficiently into the meat if its already filled with salt.
Salt molecules grab onto whatever you got in your rub or smoke and really funk thangs up and get it all stanky. For you rednecks, headbangers and hillbillys still tuned in, stank is good in the funk world.
The tastes in your rubs, steam, smoke, fat cap, and mops (if you use one for shortcutting) all get linked to salt as it slowly makes its way through your meat. We will ignore Injections as we are talking about flavor going from the outside in not spreading from the inside all around.
There is a parallel to the beat of the funk (an emphasis on the one) that George Clinton says defines Funk Music in that listening to its grooves make the head INVOLUNTARILY bob and the spine whip round. This is what Salt does.
So... of course y'all all know this... but consider this... a few days ago the Great Bigmista said "everyone should make a brisket with just salt and pepper once"
[of course he also said Bark was overrated but I happen to know that was to throw newbies, sorry neil], and I agree, the one caveat being that I think your first Brisket should be done in the oven wrapped in foil ONCE then never use foil again but try and emulate that central texture the rest of your days (without foil).
Rule 2: R A T I O.... the less other ingredients that are in your rub the more salt there will be. The more spices you add the less there will be on the meat when you rub it.
Rule 3:A mass of meat can only hold so much rub. It is finite.
The German BBQ houses in The Texas Meccas use George Clinton and Larry Graham (Cracked Pepper) and maybe one or two other ingredients. Arguably the BEST Brisket in Texas (Voted by say...the State Leg) use ONLY salt and Pepper[s] HINT.
The more X you add even with the same amount of salt the lower your salt ratio goes. Want to double up on your rub?.. see rule 3. Want to add a more prominent spice to flavor your brisket? see rule 1.
So why do so many fail at brisket? Same reason I did way back in the 80's even after working at one of the Meccas (Old Kreuz) and working on my little team from Denton, Texas at the Taylor. 20 or so years ago I set out to make a complex rub that could be used for other things. In doing this I FORGOT the basics, or rather didn't realize it was a basic and decided to set out and mix up some ingredients and dump it on my brisket. The more I fretted about that rub the further I got from the Funk. And the more I concentrated on taste by ingredient, the further I got from taste by technique.
My Butt Glitter Sprinkle honestly has 13 things in it but a 8 to 4 ratio of Tina Turner (paprika) to George Clinton (Salt.) Imagine, as complex as it is, how mild a flavor it had on a chunk of meat when you think of how low the salt ratio became. (It had 8 parts Tina 4 parts Clinton and about one part each of the other 10 ingredients. Heck that's... uh shoot... 18 to 4 Spice to Salt ratio.) No wonder I settled on a three layer technique that has Lawrys in the first layer and coarse salts in the third.
Crucial Tina Turner
The Butt Glitter Sprinkle is good for all sorts of things, really good on ribs (where the meat is thinner and easier to penetrate flavor), and I use it as a BACKGROUND, but not a BASSLINE to my funk take on briskets, clods and shoulders. Also, additional sprinkles of coarse salt during the cooking process can introduce incredible flavor that puts a mop to shame (sorry moppers) and actually dries the meat out less. A note about Ribs and Salt... The Neely's Rub (if you like the Rub, had NO salt... but they add it in the beginning... lesson... ribs don't need near as much salt.)
Fellow Brethren ThirdEye
Brisket (Arguably the best Photo of Brisket and what it can be I have ever seen.
Paul Kirk has a valuable lesson to learn on Rubs and Ratios and making your own "personal" taste. So on your next brisket... stop using store bought rubs for a minute and try some Clinton, Larry Graham and maybe one other ingredient.
Also, when doing this, chuck the injections, rubs, foils (butcher paper is okay) and mops and just check it out. This gets us to the dawn of the funk y'all, then start building your rub gently from there. Let the Bassline carry the audience into a sweaty mass of Funk.