In my previous postings, we were preparing the meat to be seasoned and the smoker to be fired. Now we’ll talk about the most exciting part of this process, cooking the meat itself. Although, if you think about it, it’s kinda like watching paint dry… it takes forever, and you cannot really see the immediate change within a minute or two. Smoking, baking, are similar process with painting. You cannot see the immediate result, but it does show something after a period of time.
So after making sure that your smoker gets to the right temperature, about 300F, then you put in the brisket. Usually, smoking is done at 200F to 220F, but hubby’s smoker is designed to cook hotter. If your smoker does not come with the temperature gauge installed, you might want to go ahead and buy those oven thermometer or grill surface thermometer. You will thank their little existence by helping you control the temperature of your smoker/grill. You will want to put the meat in the farthest left of the rack. You don’t want to put it so close to the offset firebox, because that will be where the heat will be concentrated. We want the meat to get the heat, but not so much that it would get scorched.
When you put in the brisket, make sure the fat cap is on top. What is fat cap? It’s that fat layer on the brisket. We want the fat layer to be on top, so when it starts rendering, the melted fat will be absorbed into the meat. The result will be a spectacular buttery, full of flavor, tender and moist meat. So now you got your brisket in, you have four hours almost free time to do something else. Other than occasionally checking the temperature of your smoker, just leave the brisket in the smoker to be by itself. It deserves some quiet time with the smoker.
This was how the brisket look after about one and half hours. Pretty impressive eh?
Now, it’s time for the spare ribs (which had been sitting in the counter to be warmed), to be put inside the smoker.
All the while, during closing and opening the lid of the smoker, you will lose some heat. So after you put everything in and close the lid, watch that temperature.
This is how the brisket looked like after four hours on the smoker.
Now move the brisket, using those heat resistance gloves, on to a wide sheet of aluminium foil. Wrap it really good, and make sure it is almost sealed. My apology for the quality of the picture. This is what happened when an amateur took a picture, and she did not have time to mess around with the settings. The background of aluminium apparently added wayyy too much light, and it kinda just make the brisket looked like it was in heaven… everything was silvery.. All it needed just wings! :)
Now, after you wrap it really good, put the brisket back into the smoker for another three hours. The purpose of wrapping the brisket in the aluminium foil was to steam the brisket. It would also capture all the juice that might come out, and kinda made the brisket simmered in its own juice. Only wonders could come out of that, right?
And look at the spare ribs with just over one hour cooking. Georgeous looking spare ribs! Now, at this moment, you also need to spray the spare ribs with apple juice. The apple juice added the sweetness in the spare ribs, and it also helped moistened the spare ribs. Why apple? Just because that’s what goes with pork? Have you ever seen those roasted pig with an apple in its mouth? Try it, pork and apple, the flavor goes together!
Now, three hours after you put in the spare ribs, it get the same treatment as the brisket. Wrap it in aluminium foil and put it back into the smoker. Sorry folks, I did not mean to blind you with the picture of the spare ribs about to be wrapped in aluminium foil. The afternoon sun did not help it either.
Now, just for fun, hubby threw in some sausages to be smoked too. They were sausages from Elgin, Texas. We were trying them out. We could not find them in Houston, or at least near our vicinity. So when we were in Austin, we stopped at the big HEB and got some there. I have to say they were not as good as Holmes sausages though.
Now, during this last hour, hubby sneaked outside the house and basted some barbeque sauce on the spare ribs. He did this without me knowing, so I did not have any pictures. But I can post this picture! The jug of Cattlemen BBQ Sauce! Ha ha.. Yes, a Gallon jug size! Well, if you have a hubby who likes to cook and eat BBQ, you would want to buy the gallon size too! In fact, this was our third or fourth jug already! :)
Seven hours after you put in your brisket in the smoker, take it out and let it sit in your kitchen counter or stove for another hour. It need some time to absorb all of the juices and cool off a bit before you can slice it. If you insist on slicing it right there and then, you might end up with a falling apart meat. You can go ahead and pull out the spare ribs out of the smoker and let it sit on the counter as well.
The sausages were only smoked for an hour, and boy, they look good, don’t they? Golden brown I say!
After an hour sitting on the counter, we opened up the foil, and look at this gorgeous looking meat. They smelled really good too. It just made your mouth water when you see all this food and smell them too!
A different angle of the brisket.
The spare ribs…
Look how pretty the spare ribs from the side! All those neat bones lined up!
Then it was about digging in time, hubby sliced the brisket into a neat thin slices, and also cut the spare ribs.
The Brisket plate…Notice the red color at the edge of the brisket. That is called a smoke ring and is the result of chemical reaction between the carbon monoxide in the smoke and the protein in the meat. This smoke ring is highly desired by hubby as it shows that the meat is properly cooked.
Post note: Ok, hubby was not satisfied with the picture above. You can’t really see the smoke ring clearly. So I looked for a picture from our previous cooking. After searching everywhere, I downloaded the picture that I had uploaded to facebook to show you the perfect smoke ring. (Apparently I deleted the original pictures accidentally!)
The ribs plate…
Look at my plate, a slice of brisket, a piece of rib, sausage, accompanied by Salsa Fresca, cole slaw and BBQ sauce. It was a yummy dinner! Like Katie said, yummy to my tummy! :) I wish you were here with us when we had this. I would have share it with you. It was that good.