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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-15-2010, 08:17 AM   #1
jlondon
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Default Got my smoke on (brisket in progress with pron)

6:00 AM—took my 11 lb packer brisket out of the vacuum sealed plastic bag and coved lightly with Morton’s TenderQuick.

7:00 AM—washed off the Morton’s TQ and rubbed with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne, the put back into fridge to cool off a bit.

8:00 AM—started smoking; temp of meat around 60 degrees; temp of smoker 220 with established lump charcoal fire and oak and hickory wood chunks. I'm starting fat-side down, but will flip after about two hours.

Pics order:
First is a pic of brisket post-Morton's TQ, but pre-rub.
Second is brisket with rub (sorry that it is unclear)
Third is brisket on smoker
Fourth is my set-up: Char-Griller Smokin Pro with side-firebox.

I'll update as things progress. Generally, I don't use mop sauce or anything like that ('if your'e looking, you ain't cookin'). After a couple hours I'll add some chicken thighs and some home-made sausages to the smoker, and then maybe pour a beer into the drip pan underneath.

If anyone's got any suggestions or tips, I'm always open to commentary.

Happy Sunday folks!

Josh
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1-brisket.jpg (49.8 KB, 252 views)
File Type: jpg 2-brisket with rub.jpg (50.3 KB, 250 views)
File Type: jpg 3-brisket on smoker.jpg (57.1 KB, 248 views)
File Type: jpg 4-smoker set-up.jpg (60.1 KB, 249 views)
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Unread 08-15-2010, 08:35 AM   #2
jlondon
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Quick update. It started raining something fierce -- no drop in temp yet, but I might have to crank it up a bit to compensate.
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Unread 08-15-2010, 08:44 AM   #3
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Why are you using tenderquick?
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Unread 08-15-2010, 09:16 AM   #4
jlondon
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To be honest, the Tenderquick is an experiment for me based on an earlier thread by Thirdeye, here; according to Thirdeye in that thread, the TQ helps create a nice smoke ring. Since I knew that there was a possibility of rain, and that I might have issues with temp (though I have this fairly under control), and that there is the very slight possibility that I'll have to finish in the oven if the weather turns to thunder and lightning, I figured it was a worthwhile experiment. I've got company coming this evening and while I ain’t the braggin' kind, a few of my neighborhood buds are sticklers for the smoke ring.

The latest update is that I've got the temp holding at around 230 (though I had to open the dampers wide and am burning through more fuel than usual). Here is another action pic:
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Unread 08-15-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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Looks like a great start!!! Hope weather lets up for ya.
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Unread 08-15-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
jlondon
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Thanks. So far, my luck ain't holding. I stupidly forgot to check my remote temps until it was too late -- both water logged/out of commission. My wife is running out, thankfully, to get replacements while she's out shopping (so I won't actually get them for a couple hours). The rain has been steady, with waves of greater intensity. My temp has been fluctuating within a 30 degree range of target (235-205 with my target at 220). We’ll see if this ill-fated BBQ effort ultimately succeeds or fails. I'm still hopeful though. My char-griller hasn't failed me yet.

In the interim, I smoked some homemade sausages as a snack. Here's two pics of the sausages. The beef summer sausages are beef, garlic, salt, brown sugar, mustard seeds, black pepper, and I think there was also some ground savory in there, stuffed into collagen casings (I made them several months back and just pulled them from the freezer, so I don't entirely remember what made it into this batch).
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Unread 08-15-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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jlondon,
too late now but a good trick with the thermometers is to put them inside a ziplock baggie when you know its going to rain, zip it closed with the wire coming out the corner. Another trick is to turn it over if its really sunny, the display fades out on mine when it sits directly in the sun for some reason.

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Unread 08-15-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip Scott. Makes perfect sense. I just got caught off guard by the rain and didn't think about it until it was too late. Usually I'd have my EZ pop-up canopy already set so water usually isn't my primary nemesis -- but the weather report yesterday said that today should be fine and I just didn't think to double check this morning when I started prep. My own stupid fault. If the brisket comes out good, I won't be too upset with myself, if not... well, either way, lesson learned.
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Unread 08-15-2010, 12:27 PM   #9
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Have to comment on the "homemade" sausages. They look really nice. Trying to learn about doing that myself. Do you use a food processor to stuff them? Do you dry them?
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Unread 08-15-2010, 01:11 PM   #10
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Where'd you get that sideburner for your Chargriller? I wanted one but I didn't now they had one.
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Unread 08-15-2010, 01:16 PM   #11
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I used to make them with my Kitchenaid stand mixer attachment, but frankly I thought it mostly just made a big, emulsified mess. I still use the kitchenaid grinder attachment to grind my meats and fats, but I prefer to mix by hand and I use a sausage stuffer/gun instead of the Kitchenaid thing. Its a tad laborious using the gun (the tube only holds a pound at a time), but I don't get any heat issues like I did with the Kitchenaid, and texture-wise the sausage doesn't get any more ground/emulsified than I wish it to be. One of these days I'll invest in a hand-cranked stuffer (the kind that fixes to the table and holds 3 or more pounds).

I've only made fresh sausages that require cooking (usually through hot smoke). I've not done the dried or fermented sausages yet -- though I keep meaning to give it a try. I'm pretty certain there are some great threads on this elsewhere on the forum. Maybe one of the more seasoned forum members can track down a thread or two for you.

Sausages are easy to do and make for fun and tasty BBQ variations. In general, I highly recommend homemade over store-bought ANY day.
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Unread 08-15-2010, 01:40 PM   #12
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Sorry I missed your post earlier, hcarter.

I think I got the side-burner at Lowes. Either that or direct from char-griller's website. I don't recall offhand which (I've bought all of my char-griller items from either Lowes or direct). Not the fanciest or best made smoker, but an excellent value for money product that will give you solid, steady performance if you treat her right.
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Unread 08-15-2010, 08:18 PM   #13
jlondon
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Everything turned out well. The last of our guests just left.

I finished the brisket, foiled it at 190 and let it rest for about 90 minutes. I then smoked a ton of chicken thighs and more sausages (more of the beef summer sausage, and then about 3 pounds of chicken and apple sausage). By the time I was done smoking, the rain stopped and the weather got MUCH better. I then grilled about 30 burgers and about 24 hotdogs and even though we only had around 45 folks over, I wound up with almost NO leftovers.

I also decided to treat myself for fighting the rain, and grilled up every sliver of fat that I cut off the packer brisket -- rendered the fat into lovely artery-clogging, heart-attack inducing crispy, fatty goodness. Shared this with a few of my good buddies as well.

Here's some more pron.

A shot of the chicken thighs and chicken and apples sausages starting out on the smoker.
A shot of the flat being carved up.
A close up of the flat.

To be honest, the photos don’t entirely do it justice, and the smoke ring got way bigger once I cut into the deckle.

Anyhow, nearly everything got eaten – including a variety of sides, salads, and desserts that my wife provided. So I guess folks enjoyed it.
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File Type: jpg 7-chickn thighs and chicken and apple sausages.jpg (47.1 KB, 117 views)
File Type: jpg 8-brisket flat.jpg (44.3 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg 9-brisket flat close-up.jpg (40.0 KB, 117 views)
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Unread 08-15-2010, 08:49 PM   #14
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Good time to not replace the thermometers just use one for pit temp and go by feel. Just my 2 lbs of lump.

Everything looks great esp sausage!
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Unread 08-16-2010, 09:17 AM   #15
jlondon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1_T_Scot View Post
Good time to not replace the thermometers just use one for pit temp and go by feel. Just my 2 lbs of lump.

Everything looks great esp sausage!
Thanks! This was the first time I've ever cooked WITHOUT the use of remote thermometers, and it was actually kinda cool -- sort of a Zen thing. Or maybe just dumb luck. Dunno. I'll probably spend the money and go back to my old, comfortable ways. But it was cool flying a little more blind than normal. I just figured I'd proceed as normal, despite the conditions and fire temp fluctuations. Worked this time, anyway.
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