Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
He returns all questions . . . . . . .
Topic: Cooking a Tender Brisket . . . . From: Tony,
Subject: What am I doing wrong? Can ya help?
I'm really enjoying you'r web site.
Question I have barbecued Brisket twice and both times they have had great flavor. I haven't, however, been very happy with the tenderness of the meat. I have been slow cooking it in a Weber kettle over Kingsford charcoal and mesquite and a water filled drip-pan. I keep the temp around 250 deg for 6 hours for 20 lbs and 3 hours for 4 lbs. What am I doing wrong? Can ya help?
Student of Barbecue 'Grate'ness
Got a couple of hours?
If you have read, "According to Smoky," you are aware of my thoughts on brisket as grilling fare. Among the attributes attributed to brisket, none reliable list tender. Cheap and tasty are what most afficianados claim as their reason for not using a better, more appropriate cut of meat.
Slow cooking at 250°F is comparable to slow dancing to Macarena music. Real slow cooking is at 210°F; real slow dancing is grinding to "I'm in the Mood for Love."
If you have read my book and this website, you are aware that Kingsford "charcoal" really is part "real coal" as in anthracite.
Weber kettles are very good for grilling, ie broiling and roasting. They are not the ideal grill for barbecuing.
Mesquite is a noxious weed, deviously dispatched from Texas as a useful cooking product. Don't let them sell you any oil leases!
Immediate solution: Convert the water pan to a bird bath; get a decent charcoal; get a good sirloin tip roast; slow down your cooking to 210 degrees; use whatever mesquite you have left for weedkiller/varmint control; build a separate fire bed to burn down the charcoal needed for maintaining temperature. Then, relax, have a drink on me, and enjoy the company.