Brisket!

While I’m a typical North Carolina guy in that pulled pork with a vinegar-based BBQ sauce is the ideal BBQ, my dad prefers something closer to Texas BBQ. Because of this, he’s been asking me to make brisket for him since I got the Big Green Egg. This year for Father’s Day, I decided I’d go ahead and give it a try. Based on what I had read while poking around on the Big Green Egg forums, brisket was one of the more challenging things you can cook. If you don’t cook it long enough, it’s too tough and if you cook it too long, it can dry out. It’s tough to time because there could be a stall in the cook that prevents it from getting to the appropriate temperature in time. Some of these things are the main reasons I haven’t tried it yet. I’m happy to say that after some research and advice from folks at work, this turned out to be far easier than I thought.

After buying the 11 pound brisket from a local butcher (the smallest one they had?!), the first thing I needed to do was season it. Based on advice from a friend at work, I started with an all purpose seasoning that was mostly salt, layered on a standard BBQ seasoning, and finished it off with a course ground steak seasoning for texture. I put all these seasonings on 2 days before I wanted to smoke the meat. Next time, I’d like to get more creative with the seasonings. While all of these were good, I’d be interested to see what some spicier seasonings would do to the meat.

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The night before the smoke, I injected the brisket with 2 cups of beef broth. Once again, I’d like to get more creative with the ingredients for the injection next time. This was good but I’d like to see what other flavors I can bring to the meat.

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Finally, I started smoking the brisket at 6:00 AM, with some hickory chunks providing the smoke at a temperature of 230. I was hoping this would allow the brisket to be ready between 3:00 and 4:00 PM, with some time to rest before I slice it. As you can see in the graph from the FlameBoss, the brisket quickly came up to 165 degrees. I pulled the meat, wrapped it in aluminum foil, added some beef broth, and placed it back on the Big Green Egg. The temperature stayed steady for a while before quickly coming up to 200 degrees. I pulled the brisket around 1:45 and placed it in a cooler to rest until time to eat. This ended up being a bit early to come off the smoker. In the future, I’ll probably start a couple hours later in the day.

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The final product was delicious and amazingly tender. while I sliced it, the whole family stood around grabbing pieces like they were candy. Everyone agreed it was tasty and that I would need to make it again for future events!

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Mother’s Day Scallops

This isn’t the most typical thing to cook on the Big Green Egg. Especially with my first post. However, tonight I whipped an early Mother’s Day dinner for my wife. This one was mostly an excuse to use a new Himalayan Salt Block that was given to me as a gift.

After a little research, I determined that scallops were one of the best things to cook on a himalayan salt block which is perfect because my wife loves scallops! The trick with the salt block is to heat it up slowly to prepare for the cook. I let the grill come up to 400 degrees in around an hour as you can see on my graph from the Flame Boss.

During this time, I had some help from the little man salting the asparagus…

Now, on to the scallops. Grilling scallops is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness. That will be a great combination to go with the salt flavor that they’ll pick up from the salt block. Before placing them on the grill, I brushed on a sauce of butter, lemon juice, and honey to help brown them up a little. They cook quickly; I left them on for around 3 minutes per side. I thought the flavor and texture of the finished scallops was excellent although I wish they had browned up a little more. I probably tried to put too many on the salt block at once. The liquid from all the scallops at the same time probably prevented the browning some.