Sunday, October 2, 2011

When The Urge Hits: Overnight Smoking

Note: Check out my review on Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill at Irvine Spectrum.

You know you're a certified BBQ smokin' enthusiast when you suddenly find yourself standing in front of the meat section (freezing, by the way) looking at all the different Cryovac-packaged briskets around 8pm on a weekday, thinking about a possible overnight smoke-out. On one hand, you think -- it's going to be some work to apply the rub on the brisket, and get the charcoals lighted up.

But then, you think of the juicy, mouth-watering slices of brisket at the end of 12 hours of low-and-slow smoking and you're sold -- the heck with it, let's just do it. Back at Costco, there was actually a really good selection of briskets. I eventually picked a really good one at around $16.

Back at home, I started applying the usual rub. This serves as the base of all my rubs, and I think it works pretty well. Here's a tidbit -- I go pretty heavy on the black pepper, as I think it just goes really well with brisket.

- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Paprika
- Cayenne pepper
- Brown sugar

After applying the rub and getting the charcoals properly lighted up in the chimney starter, I used the Minion method and called it a day, err, night. This time, I made sure to fill up the water pan to keep the temperature low and slow throughout the night at around 200-225 degrees. Right before I went to bed, I checked the temperature and it was a steady 225. That night, I plopped on my pillow with visions of BBQ brisket dancing in my head.

Gotta love that ultra-black meteor look = good bark

The next morning, I didn't even check on the brisket -- the temperature was around 200 degrees. I went straight to work but then returned home for an early lunch (benefit of a 10 minute commute). When I opened the lid, it was pure joy -- the deep, dark, and black colored bark was exactly what I was looking for. When I sliced it against the grain, the smoke ring was beautiful.

Not overflowing with juices, but nice smoke ring and flavor

If I had a chance to do things differently, I would have wrapped the brisket in aluminum foil when I woke up in the morning. I think the last several hours dried up the brisket just a little bit. I want juices to be overflowing when I slice into a brisket. But after putting on some Phil's BBQ sauce, I was in brisket heaven.