After all that prepping the day before, now we are ready to mess with the smoker. Now, before you started everything, take out your brisket early in the morning, so it will come to a room temperature. You don’t want to cook it cold, because it is just going to take forever to cook it.
I am by no means a grilling/smoker expert, so I am typing this with the help of my hubby, who is very good at what he’s doing. Below is a picture of one of the grills my hubby owns. This one is his favorite smoker. It is made by Royal Oak. I think he bought it at Lowe’s Home Improvement, and he just could not wait to get his hands on it when we got it home.
The left side of the grill is where you put your meat to be cooked. The smaller box on the right hand side is called an offset fire box. This is where you put your charcoal, woods, or chips to get the fire and smoke for the meat. So this is for an indirect grilling. A direct grilling usually used for steaks, where you need the fire to get the steaks seared. But for smoking, you don’t want the fire to be directly beneath the meat, since smoking usually take more than 3-4 hours, and sometimes takes about 9-10 hours, depending how big of a piece of meat you’re cooking. So if you put the meat directly on top of the fire for such long hours, you would end up with a lump of coal.
First hubby put in some charcoal in the fire box. The wire basket you saw did not come with this grill. He put it there himself, so when the charcoal is burned, the ashes will go down directly to the bottom of the fire box, rather than suffocating the burning charcoal and ended up killing the fire.
Then he also put some charcoal in a tubular thingy with the wooden handle called a chimney starter. The purpose of the chimney starter is to help start the fire faster. You can see that this thing is pretty beat up, it has been used a lot. I think this is my hubby’s second chimney starter. The way this fire starter works is that it only has limited space. The diameter of the fire starter is about 20 cm. So, if you lit a fire underneath this fire starter, the fire can only work straight up, rather than spreading to the surrounding charcoal. This way, the fire is concentrated within the tube and burns the charcoal faster.
To the very left of the fire chimney starter is a white cube thingy. This thing is called lighter cube. Instead of using lighter fluid to fire up your charcoal, you use this lighter cube instead. Sometimes, when you use the lighter fluid, you can somewhat taste the lighter fluid in your meat. The cube is more expensive than the fluid, however, it is non toxic, and it claims that it can be lighted even when wet.
So first you put a cube, yes, only one cube is needed, on top of the charcoal in the wire basket. Then you light the cube.
Then you put your chimney starter on top of that cube, and you can immediately see that smoke already forming. It means there is fire! Ha ha.. you’ve heard that saying right? Where there is smoke, there is fire? 🙂
This is an upclose picture of the cube at work.
This is how cube looks after 2 minutes. Let the cube works for about 20 minutes.
This is how it came, a box with 24 of those cubes.
While you are waiting for the fire, this would be a good time to wash your grill racks. Make sure all the residue are washed away, but it doesn’t have to be spic and clean. The fire will be hot enough to kill whatever clinging to those racks. Once you finished washing, go ahead and put the racks back in the smoker.
After 20 minutes, pour the burning charcoal into the wire basket.
Close the lid of the firebox, and let the charcoal work itself into a frenzy and get your grill really hot, about 300 F.