Monday, July 1, 2013

Starting a Holy War or this is how to write down a recipe

My sons want to learn how to cook.  I want them to learn how to cook as well.

Now, I realize that this statement will be a throwdown to both my Jewish buddies and my hillbilly redneck compadres; but I can kick all your asses when it comes to cooking brisket.

First things first, indirect cooking on charcoal is the only way to go.  If you are doing it some other way, go sit with the women.  Always remember the two great truths; Charlie don't surf and chicks can't barbecue.

Now, an aside on the freakazoids who spend thousands of dollars buying shit that will do the same thing as a $50.00 grill from the hardware store.  Get a life.  You aren't getting better results, you are just spending more money.  
A note on the pan of water underneath the brisket.  You know, water is always enough, but if you have a beer in the house, throw that in too.  I know in my heart of hearts that the beer does nothing.  But it just seems to make the barbecue God happy.

  • 1/2 cup mushroom infused soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup nuoc mam
  • 1 heaping teaspoon horseradish
  • 1/4 cup pickled ground chili w/garlic
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar.
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
Mix marinade well, put brisket and marinade in seal bag and seal...Marinate overnight.  when you are  taking it out and getting it ready to put on the grill, take a syringe and inject the brisket with around 30ml of the marinade.

Brisket goes on @ 0838 PST.  I always start the brisket fat side down.  Just my way.

First alder chips go on @ 0930 PST.  Soak the chips for a half hour minimum before they go on.  Do not buy the curiously modified heating stove pellets that the purists overpay for.  Get real wood chips. The great truth is wood is wood.  There are wienies out there who will wax poetic about the various flavors of the wood chips and the je-ne-sais-quoi that they give the meat.  Horseshit.  Wet hardwoods burning under limited oxygen supply is wet hardwoods burning under limited oxygen supply.  Buy what is cheap and available.

You will need to make two (2) of these quart jars for the whole project.  Minimum soaking time should be around 1/2 hour.

Soaking the chips
I hear constantly from the freakazoids that the temp of the grill has to be monitored with digital thermometers etc, etc, etc.  Bullshit.  Is it hot? Take the temp of the meat every two hours for the first four hours.  Then go to every hour.

The key is to watch the charcoal (as an aside....briquets are not charcoal, they are some weird alien droppings that you don't want to have anywhere near your food).  You might have to close the dampers to restrict oxygen, you might have to add more charcoal.  Pay attention, figure out what it is you are doing, learn a skill, don't buy something that fakes a skill.  The key is is that the amount of oxygen allowed into the grill will regulate the temperature.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Simple mechanical rotary dampers do the job just fine.  There will always be some douche telling you that what you are doing couldn't possibly be right.  All they are doing is publicly announcing their small penis.

How you regulate hot appropriately
Mop Sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup nuoc mam
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Tapatio
Or, if you are feeling really lazy, use the leftover used marinade as a mop sauce.  Cut it with boiling water 50:50 and slosh it on freely.  The barbecue-orthodoxy freaks will come unglued at this one, but fuck 'em, it works just fine.

I am of two minds about mop sauce.  First side is, it doesn't really do anything.  But the second side is, it gives you a chance to poke and prod at the meat and get an idea what it needs.  It doesn't hurt anything, so I go with it.  Start brushing it on at the two hour mark when you take the first meat temp read,  slosh some on when you get curious.  

What I found in the backyard, gotta love volunteers
At two hours, slosh the brisket with mop sauce, rotate it 180-degrees on a horizontal axis, and take the temp.  Hit it with more smoke chips and you are good for another hour.  Go and mow the lawn.

At two hours.  Temp up to around 120 degrees, shut the dampers some more 
After you finish sweeping the sidewalk, time to give the meat another mop, add some more wood chips.  You should be around three hours out now.  More wood chips, mop it, poke and prod it, get an idea of how it is doing.  Turn it 180 degrees on the vertical axis.  What you want is the nice crust to develop on all sides.
Three Hour look, life is good

Now you are at four hours.  A little work here.  After you crust up the meat like this, it will get up to around 160 degrees and get stuck there.  Don't know why, don't really care, just happens.  So now you plait together some aluminum foil and you will seal wrap the brisket with a third of a can of my special secret magic ingredient and put it back on the grill.

Special secret magic grilling ingredient
What's not to like as a braising liquid?  Beer, tomato juice, clan nectar, salt, and lime.

This is around 4.5 hours
Now notice that we have moved the brisket to the center.  Indirect heat is't necessary anymore, we are braising the thing.  Gotta be careful here.  Every 30 minutes you have to turn the brisket 90 degrees. You will let this go three hours.

From the comfy chair to the right of the stairs
Now, don't be stupid like your old man.  Put the aluminum foil on some kind a tray.  Tearing the foil when you turn it kinda defeats the whole process.

Now we have it right, on the tray

Now is when you get the laundry started. I know, but you might as well get it done while you are watching.

I am thinking that the side will be flowers this year
It is 17:00 PST.  I have been turning the tray for hours now and the coals are finally dying.  It is still quite warm in the barbecue.   A lot of the "elite" barbecue folks claim the need for a faux cambro or a cambro.

Temp at 17:05 

The residual heat from the dying coals will serve the exact same action.  Load the barbecue right and the charcoal will finally gas out around nine hours and the temp will be at around 160 degrees.  Hell, if it is too hot, lift the lid and let some heat out.

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