Smoked Ribs and Brisket
by Chtuluburger, Submitted by Ishamael
Smoked ribs and brisket a.k.a. "I smoked meat all day and it was awesome"
I smoked meat all day and it was awesome
This is a long thread about smoking meat. If you can't find the time to read this you will never smoke meat because it takes much longer to do the smoking part than it does to do this here reading part.
On father's day my wife* went beyond the call of duty and bought for me a Weber smoker and my intestines will never be the same.
I'd never smoked meats before and had no idea how to go about it. I spent this past week reading up on how to make rubs, when to baste, and stuff about "vents" and "maintaining temperature" that I still don't have the hang of. What I found out today is that with this magical invention even one with dubious smoking credentials such as myself can make food that would even make the intrepid "Macho Man" Randy Savage weep big round tears of euphoric, carnivorous, joy.
Our honorable, tasty, animal parts were:
- 2 Racks of beef ribs
- 1 Rack pork loin ribs
- 1 Beef brisket (trimmed and about 4 pounds)
I made the rub last night. Taken almost directly from The Virtual Weber bullet's website where I got up to lvl 3 Apprentice Smokester in 4 hours.
Like I said, I'm only lvl 3 but from what I have learned, rubbing is cool. I don't know what it does but it has to do something with salt on meat sucks out suck and puts in awesome. That and sugar gets crunchy and dark and looks burnt but tastes like what it would feel like to be a F16 flying the speed of sound while having sex with a Lamborghini and right when it's about to blow a load of JP8 all over the Lamborghini. it wins Megabucks.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup non-iodized table salt
- 1/8 cup brown sugar, dried
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Accent (MSG)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
I didn't have cayenne pepper so I improvised and used some paprika, more for color than taste.
I woke up at 8:00 and immediately got to rubbing my meat. Then I went to the kitchen.
Before you apply your rub to ribs it's very important to remove the membrane. There is a thin membrane on the back of a rack of ribs. I removed it scraping up a corner of it with a butter knife, then grabbing it with a paper towel and peeling it off. It's very slippery so use a paper towel or pliers.
With the membrane removed I then sprinkled the rub over them fairly generously, then massaged it in with my fingertips.
It was getting close to cooking time so I took inventory of my equipment.
Something to make the coals hot
Something to protect my hands while I handle the chimney
And my mitts.
10:00 Start the smoker and soak wood chips.
I had never used a chimney starter before and I hope I never bbq without it again. No lighter fluid is necessary. You just flip it over and fill the bottom compartment with 2 pieces of crumpled up newspaper. Turn it upright and load it full of charcoal. Then place it on your charcoal grate and light the paper. Twenty to thirty minutes later you've got some hot coals.
I dumped them into the smoker then filled up the chimney with black coals and poured them on the hot ones.
With that done I assembled the smoker, added some wood chips, filled the water pan up with warm water and waited an hour.
When that was done I went in and prepared the pork ribs. The skewer is there so that I can get them to stand up, the rib rack just isn't big enough for theses guys and I didn't want to cut up the rack.
11:00 Hot beef injection.
The brisket and beef ribs went in first because the pork ribs need less cooking time.
As you can see the brisket is on the bottom. There is a thick layer of fat on one side of the brisket that you keep on top. When the fat is on top as it reduces it drains down keeping the meat moist. I didn't want that draining onto the ribs. It's better placed over the pan dripping it's fatty juices into the water to be cycled through the cooker making everything good n' juicy.
I'm a little what you could call analytical and made a spreadsheet the night before of what time to put things in, what time to turn, baste, remove, rest etc. It didn't really work out that way because hey.. vents and temperature and stuff. It was hotter than I wanted but I'll give you the gist of the process without vent details because my information would probably do more harm than good if you're trying to learn how to smoke.
As much as you want to peek this is about sloooow cooking and every time you open up your smoker to peek you can add 15 minutes to cooking time so just don't do it ok.
12:00 Added more chips and water. It's a furnace so I close off the vents some. I hadn't noticed that two of the bottom vents were wide open causing lots of air to get into my coals making the temp go way up.
Hetero lifemate and forums goon Anybody shows up with some Mike's hard lemonade/icetea and it was good. He's a lvl 2 Smokester but he did some serious poopsocking today.
1:30 Pork ribs enter the hoary breath of Wotan. This was the first time I'd gotten to see what was going on inside, I'd say things look like they are coming along nicely.
I also basted the brisket and beef ribs for the first time. The bastes are as follows:
Brisket Baste: 4 Parts Apple Juice 1 Part Gentleman's Jack Daniels
Ribs Baste (used on both ribs) Baby Ray's Honey Bbq sauce thinned out with apple cider vinegar Dash of apple juice
The Brisket baste worked well in an atomizer so that I could just spray it on. The bbq sauce one had problems with the spritzer, the spices would get clogged up in it's nozzle so I just used a brush to mop it on.
1:45 Lets grab some drinks and shoot stuff. Nothing says "I like drinking, lighting fires, and shooting at bugs" like some drinks, a controlled fire, and shooting at bugs on full auto in the backyard.
3:00 Turn and baste time The beef ribs and brisket were ready to get turned over and basted again.
4:00 Was supposed to be turn over pork ribs and baste the rest but oh shit it was too hot and the beef ribs are done. I thought it was going to take them longer, vents and stuff. Beef ribs come out. My oldest daughter, the slathermaster, slathered them with Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce and put them in a foil pan covered with aluminum foil and put them in an oven set on warm.
At this point we had more room and I wanted to unfurl the pork ribs. I was also concerned that the part of them that overlapped wasn't going to get good color. We unskewered them and it was beautiful.
When we tried to use tongs to move the pork ribs onto the grill half of them decided to stay in bed another 15 minutes. Mmmmmmm, baby you know I love it when you tease me that way.
5:00 Mopped pork ribs. Removed brisket, wrapped it in aluminum foil and set it to rest.
Enter the Dragon
6:00 Victory is ours. My wife had made cornbread, the food was ready, and the Gods smiled upon us. Life is good.
Edit: This is "Anybody" and myself. Not myself and my wife. She was inside being awesome (NOT entries 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13 )
Remember to cut the brisket against the grain! That's what I was told. I have no idea if I did that.
Ready to serve!
Syd liked the ribs. He's also a good sport that probably won't tell his school counselor that his dad painted him with a basting brush.
So did Riley.
If you like to bbq/grill I highly recommend you trying to get your hands on a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker smoker. It's a great excuse to basically do nothing all day and have it look like you did something awesome, and delicious. Shoot at bugs with bb guns too, it's good for the soul.