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Old 05-06-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Brisket and Butt

My brother is coming into town for a few days and we have decided to try our hands at smoking meat.

Brisket and pork butt.

I have a large weber grill 3ft wide and 18" deep(maybe 20"). It has two removable cooking grats. I do not have a smoker and am not going to go buy one but intend to use my grill.

I have multiple questions though and i know some of you are avid meat smokers (lol, no pun intended).

Here is what i think i know:

Temp control is key, i want about 200 degrees

Meat as far from heat source as possible

Do not rush, take about 1.5 hours per lb


What i dont know:

Do i need to use Lump charcoal or will briquetts work?

Are the tiny wood chips fine or should i use the larger wood chunks?

Do i need to soak the wook in water or some other liquid (cider vinegar has been suggested)

From the time i put the meat on do i have smoke rolling?

can the pork and brisket go on the grill at the same time?

Do i marinate?

If i marinate do i Rub as well? and continually Baste?

Im sure i will have more as the answers come in.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #2
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It's going to be difficult to maintain proper temp for such a long time with a weber, but give er a go. Put a drip pan in the bottom and lump charcoal on both sides of it. Use chunks of wood too, not chips. No need to soak. Get it going slowly to start and keep the vents almost closed on the bottom and top.

When the smoke goes from thick gray to wispy blue, thats the time to put the meat on. You will need to add lump charcoal every few hours till it's done. Shoot for 250 degrees as it is easier to maintain.

You can do both meats if they fit. I marinate overnight and use mustard then rub. I don't baste or mop as I use an Egg. A weber will dry things out so a mop will come in handy.

Good luck!

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Old 05-06-2008, 08:21 PM   #3
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I have done a brisket on a Weber and while it's not easy it is doable. As always follow Ed's instructions and add liquid (just plain H2O works fine here too) to the drip pan. Remember... it is doable, use a good mop and rub and keep close watch!

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Old 05-06-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
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Ed's right about maintaiming temp on a Weber. Just watch it closely and, like he says, add liquid. I use a spray bottle.

The night before I rub pork with mustard and beef brisket with Worcestershire sauce. I use a simple rub on both, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day let them come to room temperature before putting on your smoker.

What I do - and some will tell you this is a 'crutch', but don't believe them - is wrap the meat in a doubled heavy duty aluminum foil about 2/3 of the way through cooking and finish it off. By this time, the meat will have absorbed all the smoke it can. This also helps keep the meat from drying out. Good luck!

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Old 05-06-2008, 08:59 PM   #5
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Temp control is key, i want about 200 degrees.

200deg is too low. Go with at least 220, 250 is probably better with the Webber. Maybe a little more. (Of course you have a thermometer on that puppy.)

Meat as far from heat source as possible

Not much you can do on your Weber

Do not rush, take about 1.5 hours per lb

Don't go by the clock, get a meat thermometer. Once you get rolling, the pork butt will sit seemingly forever at 160. This is good, the fat is liquefying. It will take several hours for this finish. Don't rush it.

Once this phase is completed, the meat temp will rise steadily. Pull it off at 185-190, wrap it in a towel, drop it in a cooler and forget about it for one hour. This will allow all of the juices created in the previous stage to absorb back into the meat.



What i dont know:

Do i need to use Lump charcoal or will briquetts work?

Up to you. Briquettes have calcium carbonate and a few other goodies in them. They are harmless.

Are the tiny wood chips fine or should i use the larger wood chunks?

Up to you. Either way it is important to soak them. You do not want these chips to catch on fire, especially in a Weber. This will make the fire burn hotter and use the fuel quicker, which means you open the lid more often.

From the time i put the meat on do i have smoke rolling?

Get the heat before you add the meat.


Do i marinate?

Brine overnight. Slather in mustard, as suggested by EdW. Coat with your dry rub.



A mid-sized butt takes me 10-12 hours on my smoker @ 220-230. I think this is the norm. The finished meat has a pink ring, maybe 1/2-3/4" thick all around it. It comes apart easily with a fork.

NOTE: The first time I smoked a butt it took 15 hours. I could not resist the temptation of opening the smoker to check things out every 20 minutes.

The advantage of an offset smoker is no heat is lost when re-fueling the fire. This will be your biggest problem with the Webber.

This may sound like sacrilege, but give it some thought: A good portion of the smoked flavour comes from the first coupla hours or so. You may want to consider 2-3 hours on the Webber than shoving the meat in your oven to finish it. Set the oven at 230. put in your meat thermometer and forget about it. Pull it out at 185 and let it sit for an hour.

NOTE 2: A decent digital kitchen thermometer wil run you about 20 bucks. Get the one with the probe attached to a wire. Probe goes in the meat, digital unit sits outside.

Good Luck!!

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Old 05-06-2008, 09:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
... A decent digital kitchen thermometer ... Get the one with the probe attached to a wire. Probe goes in the meat, digital unit sits outside. ...
A "must have", IMHO! I have three - one for my mash tun and two for BBQ!
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:56 PM   #7
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Yeah, i have a digital probe thermometer. a must have for all cooking if you ask me. I have noticed since getting the grill just about a year ago that with a mid size pile of briquettes i can keep a constant temp of 225 for 40 min or so. I might be naive but i think temp control will not be an issue for me, we shall see.

Talk to me about this drip pan Ed. I should have a foil type tray between two piles of lump charcoal with liquid in it?

Do i also need one under the meet to capture the juices?

Do i need a seperate one for the pork and one for the beef?

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Old 05-06-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverend JC View Post
Talk to me about this drip pan Ed. I should have a foil type tray between two piles of lump charcoal with liquid in it?

Do i also need one under the meet to capture the juices?

Do i need a seperate one for the pork and one for the beef?
One drip pan is all you have room for and will do the job. Get a foil food service one.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
This may sound like sacrilege, but give it some thought: A good portion of the smoked flavour comes from the first coupla hours or so. You may want to consider 2-3 hours on the Webber than shoving the meat in your oven to finish it. Set the oven at 230. put in your meat thermometer and forget about it. Pull it out at 185 and let it sit for an hour.
I agree if you don't have a smoker or don't have a good smoker get your smoke on the meat and then finish it in the oven wrapped in foil. You need to get the final temp up to 210. All the moisture will cook out of the meat by 165 or so. At 180 the collagen begins to galatinize and by 210 it will be complete. That will give you very tender meat. Let it rest before you slice it. Serve with Good BBQ sauce.

Also mopping will not help keep the meat moist, but rather inhibit smoke absorption. It can also add some flavor.

I learned a lot talking with a food scientist from Cargill about smoking meat a few weeks ago.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:48 AM   #10
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Thanks for all of the tips so far.

I am heading to either sam's ( i hear they have good prices on whole picnic briskets) or to a small local grocery that has tremendous meats sunday and then to a local BBQ joint that sells all manner of food smoking products.

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