As my Facebook memories have been reminding me, in a typical year I would have spent the May long weekend at the cabin. With the current travel restrictions in place, I chose not to travel.
Instead, I stayed home and cleaned up my Ugly Drum Smoker and smoked a beauty of a brisket. However, as you can see in the picture above, I did not clean up the base that the UDS sits on!
It was raining all day so I moved the Drum out into the middle of the yard where I set up the big tent-like thing to keep me and the Drum dry during the day.
This is the bad boy brisket just as I placed it on the rack in the Drum.
The next thing to do is hook the brisket up like it is the hospital ICU – I wanted to be reading the briskets vitals all day long! I like to record things because as buddy says, “That which can be measured, can be managed.” So every half hour I record the temperature in the Drum and the internal temperature of the brisket. Just because.
I make sure at least one probe is constantly reading the Drum temperature – I want to maintain a Drum temperature of 225 to 250 degrees. This doesn’t always happen – I just do my best to control the Drum temperature by controlling the amount of air flowing into the base of the Drum.
After six hours on the grill in the UDS, the internal temperature of the brisket reached 180 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point I pulled the brisket out of the Drum and wrapped it tight in foil. This is sometimes known as the Texas Crutch. It does a thing to make the brisket cook a little faster and makes for a juicy, more tender, and delicious brisket. I can’t explain the science of it. It just works.
Oh, those little yellow rectangles on the grill? Those are chunks of firm tofu I smoked for my pescatarian daughter. They actually tasted pretty good when dipped in a sweet chilli sauce.
And then, an hour and a half later, the internal temperature reached 205 degrees and even more importantly, when I pushed my finger into the brisket it felt like I was pushing into peanut butter. The numbers do not always tell the entire story – you also need to feel the brisket. Art and science living in harmony.
Then you let it rest. The longer the better. This time I l wrapped the brisket – still in the foil – in a bath towel and placed it in my cooler to sit. I left it to rest for two hours.
During the rest period the meat reabsorbs the juices and some other inexplicable sorcery and magic happens. Typically you are also getting hungrier during this period so no matter what you pull out of the wrap later, it will taste great if only because you are nearly starving.
Start slicing. And go ahead and TRY to not eat half the brisket as you are slicing it! In the image above you can see the slices I made of the flat. This is the part of the brisket that is a little more lean than the point.
The point is the thicker part of the brisket and has significantly fattier meat. And, fat equals flavour. So guess which part I prefer? Yes, I get the point.
That was my long weekend. Hopefully we can begin to travel outside of our health regions soon so that I can get back to my cabin life. Until then, I will be enjoying brisket sandwiches for lunch.