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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ribs and a Brisket

OK, now onto some serious smoking. I did Ribs and Brisket for my immediate and the wife's immediate fam along with various Significant Others. Total of 13 people. I marinated the Brisket for about 60 hours in coke, teryaki, Worcestershire, Andria's, minced garlic and black pepper. It was a little over 4 pounds so it would be timed well with my ribs which I did with the 3-2-1 method.

I marinated the ribs in Apple Cider, Andrias, minced garlic, and black pepper.

I never put salt in a marinade. I put the salt on right before the meat hits the heat. I also never put salt in my rubs. I don't use garlic or onion salt. I want to know how much salt I am using. If I use a rub or garlic salt I don't really know how much I am using.

Here is a pic of the rub ingredients.

The largest jar is granulated garlic which is immensely than just garlic powder. The little jar on the right is powdered roasted peppers from Alberqueque. Adds a great flavor and a little heat but not much. The stainless container is brown sugar. I use a lot of the Sugar in the raw and just a little of the brown sugar to keep the burning down. I will say that I made this rub before I found the wonderful world of Penzey's spices. No one makes better spices.

Sorry I can't give you exact amounts of anything because I don't cook like that. I just add a dash of this a TBSP of that. A quarter cup of this. Here is what the rub looks like when mixed up

This was actually the first brisket I had ever done so I didn't do a rub for the brisket as I wanted to get a taste for the meat with just coarse salt, black pepper and the smoke flavor. But here is a pic of the Ribs with a nice coat of rub on them as well as a shot of the rib tips and the brisket

Before we get to the cooking process let's talk about the grill itself. The Grill is a Chargriller Smokin Pro which is an offset horizontal smoker with a fire box on the side.

I was not happy with the smoke distribution that this grill provided. The smoke would come through the hole from the firebox rise straight up, travel over the meat and out the chimney on the other side. The meat that was on the right side of the grill, right over the opening to the firebox, got all the smoke but the rest didn't get as much. With some simple disposable tin trays from the grocery store I resolved this problem.

Over the opening to the firebox I put a deep tin to act as a baffle to push the smoke down. Then along the bottom of the grill I put in to flat cookie tray tins with holes poked in them to usher the smoke along the bottom of the grill. The holes allow for the smoke to come up evenly throughout the cooking chamber. You will see what I mean in a minute.

I put the 4 LB Brisket on first as it needed to cook for about 6 hours but would also need about an hour in some foil at the end. The Ribs were cooked using the 3-2-1 method. Keep the temp at 225-250. 3 hours of smoke. 2 hours in foil with something sweet slathered on top. You could use syrup, honey, brown sugar, molasses, etc. 1 hour back on the heat with no smoke. The meat isn't absorbing anymore smoke at that point so don't waste the smoke wood.

Here is a pic of everything on the grill.

Here is what the augmentation with the tins do for the smoker

That's some serious smoke action

Here we have about 2 hours into the process. Ribs on the bottom and the brisket on top. Not exactly sure on the time as there was some drinking going on

No picks of the foiled ribs. Did I mention that there was some drinking going on?!?!

I did the foiling in two ways. One was just some maple syrup and back on the grill. The other was honey and more rub and back on the grill. Adding more rub will make a really flavorful bark once the ribs are pulled from the foil and put back on the heat for an hour. I prefer the bark to any sort of sauce but one has to cook to ones audience and I had a large contingent of people wanting BBQ sauce on the ribs so I did two whole sides with sauce. So I sliced them, dunked in sauce and put back on the grill to caramelize the sauce.

All of the ones I foiled with maple syrup and one of the honey with no extra rub got the sauce. The other two half slabs I did with Honey and extra rub I did not sauce and put back on the grill for hour or so as well as .

Here is a pic of the non sauced ribs. I should not have taken the pic with a flash because the smoke ring is washed out. You will see what I mean in a second when you see the pic of the Brisket with a flash.

The ribs were not fall off the bone, but they were incredibly tender, which is the way they should be cooked. If they are fall off the bone all you really have is pulled pork and that is very expensive pulled pork.

Here is the brisket. After about 6 hours I put it in foil and took it off the heat.

That is a serious smoke ring

I didn't get a chance to take a pic of the sauced ribs. I had a legion of very hungry people that were already giving me all kinds of grief by holding up dinner to take some pictures of the food.

I received many compliments which I don't ever know if they are sincere. No one is going to say, "hey the food you just cooked me sucked." Everyone just says, "hey, great job," etc. After many more beers I pretty much passed out at about 10. It wasn't until the next morning that I got the best compliment with how little food was left. Four thin slices of brisket, that made a great sammich, and about 6 bones which made for lunch at work the next week. An even bigger compliment than that was some dessert that my mom made in a large 9X13 pan had not been touched at all. Not a single slice. Everyone was too full. And my mom is one helluva baker....

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