*****Official BBQ Thread - Suns out, Buns out!*****

Soldato
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Soldato
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Hi All,

Given the weather, I think the time has come to risk it all on a big piece of brisket on my WSM from the local butchers. However, I do come seeking help still please :)


1) Minion or snake method for the coal?
2) Foil or butchers paper?
3) Any tips? :D

Thanks in advance!

1) I've done brisket a few times on my old Weber kettle, worked a treat with the snake method. I just lob on a soaked bundle of foil wrapped wood chips at the start too to get a healthy smoke through it. I did my snake in a 2x2 trail and chucked a good handful of fully lit coals at the start and it burnt well for about 10-12 hours.
2) I used foil but butchers paper will be fine.
3) IME it always takes longer than you think (with a big piece anyway), so be prepared for a late(r) dinner, or just get started super early.
 
Associate
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If you did the full Brisket then photos and follow up post?!

1) I've done brisket a few times on my old Weber kettle, worked a treat with the snake method. I just lob on a soaked bundle of foil wrapped wood chips at the start too to get a healthy smoke through it. I did my snake in a 2x2 trail and chucked a good handful of fully lit coals at the start and it burnt well for about 10-12 hours.
2) I used foil but butchers paper will be fine.
3) IME it always takes longer than you think (with a big piece anyway), so be prepared for a late(r) dinner, or just get started super early.

Sorry to say, I wimped out :D As the weather didn't look great Saturday, I moved everything a day forward, so I wouldn't of been able to get the brisket without some advance notice for them.

I went ahead and did a pork joint (pulled pork), 2 sets of baby back ribs and some spare ribs. All came out very well - particularly the spare ribs, in the smoke for 2 hours, wrapped for 2 hours, finish for 15 minutes with a glaze.

Probably best I didn't do it, I struggled getting the BBQ up to temp for some time, likely due to the snake method. I either didn't do enough initial coal in my starter, not stacked correctly and/or also quite a windy day. I've shared a photo of the setup, I appreciate any comments :)

Here are some photos:

Snake method, with some fire bricks to stop any potential spread.

uc


Ribs came out great:

uc


Pulled pork:

uc


More ribs...No this wasn't my plate :D

uc
 
Soldato
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Theres nothing fundamentally wrong with that setup, it looks about right, I probably wouldn't go with so much wood personally.

Whenever i've done them in the past i've used wood chips that have been soaked in water (or apple juice, beer, cider, whatever takes your fancy) and wrapped in foil which has been stabbed with a fork few times. I put this on at the start of the "snake" and you don't really need any more (don't they say after an hour or so the meat stops taking on the flavour anyway).

Are you using some kind of inner charcoal holding ring? The only difference from when I have smoked things in the past was I was using a Weber kettle so it was much more spaced out round the edge of the BBQ.
As long as you have vent control on the bottom and the top it shouldn't be too difficult to control temps, but the initial lack of heat may have been due to too few white hot coals.
 

bJN

bJN

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To echo above, the wood for smoking only needs to be at the start, you won't get any flavour penetration beyond that. It looks like you're using the diverter doo-dad that comes with the Weber? Ditch that and just snake around the main kettle, a lot more space for fuel (and easier to do indirect). I don't personally see any point in the firebricks either.

The last time I done a long cook (brisket) it took around 7 hours and I couldn't really maintain a low enough temperature, it was either choking out or flaring up too much as the vent controls seemed to struggle to control coupled with the ambient wind.
 
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I don't rate brisket that much on a BBQ.

In a stew or casserole, it's perfect.

On a BBQ it's difficult to do well, beef also doesn't take on flavour that we'll imo, so anything past salt/pepper/maybe mustard powder you'll risk ruining it.

I'd go pork shoulder or ribs every time, or chicken over brisket.

Beef shortrib is better, or tomahawk steak, or just steak.
 
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I don't rate brisket that much on a BBQ.

In a stew or casserole, it's perfect.

On a BBQ it's difficult to do well, beef also doesn't take on flavour that we'll imo, so anything past salt/pepper/maybe mustard powder you'll risk ruining it.

I'd go pork shoulder or ribs every time, or chicken over brisket.

Beef shortrib is better, or tomahawk steak, or just steak.
You can casserole or stew it on the BBQ starting with 3/4 hours of low n slow then up the heat a bit for another 3/4 hours in the liquid with the veggies etc. Works really well especially with those rolled briskets we get here.
 
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I don't rate brisket that much on a BBQ.

In a stew or casserole, it's perfect.

On a BBQ it's difficult to do well, beef also doesn't take on flavour that we'll imo, so anything past salt/pepper/maybe mustard powder you'll risk ruining it.

I'd go pork shoulder or ribs every time, or chicken over brisket.

Beef shortrib is better, or tomahawk steak, or just steak.

I'm glad it's not just me that's a BBQ heathen and isn't a huge brisket fan. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy it, it's just I'd much rather do short ribs, steak or even pork or ribs which are all easier to do and cheaper.

Are you using some kind of inner charcoal holding ring? The only difference from when I have smoked things in the past was I was using a Weber kettle so it was much more spaced out round the edge of the BBQ.

It looks like a WSM as I have that ring in mine. It's pretty handy as it stops the charcoal falling to the sides when it's been burning a while so helps it burn longer. I did however replace mine with a different basket that makes it easier to clean out.

Probably best I didn't do it, I struggled getting the BBQ up to temp for some time, likely due to the snake method.
Is it a Smokey Mountain? If so, don't bother with the snake method, just fill the basket and dump some lit ones in the middle. :)
 
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Associate
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Theres nothing fundamentally wrong with that setup, it looks about right, I probably wouldn't go with so much wood personally.

Whenever i've done them in the past i've used wood chips that have been soaked in water (or apple juice, beer, cider, whatever takes your fancy) and wrapped in foil which has been stabbed with a fork few times. I put this on at the start of the "snake" and you don't really need any more (don't they say after an hour or so the meat stops taking on the flavour anyway).

Are you using some kind of inner charcoal holding ring? The only difference from when I have smoked things in the past was I was using a Weber kettle so it was much more spaced out round the edge of the BBQ.
As long as you have vent control on the bottom and the top it shouldn't be too difficult to control temps, but the initial lack of heat may have been due to too few white hot coals.


So it does have an inner ring with the WSM, which I did use. Unfortunately the vents come from the side on the WSM, so it made sense to use it (keep the air holes open).

In terms of the wood, I did this for Pork at the start then ribs later in the day, that's why it's spread out :)

To echo above, the wood for smoking only needs to be at the start, you won't get any flavour penetration beyond that. It looks like you're using the diverter doo-dad that comes with the Weber? Ditch that and just snake around the main kettle, a lot more space for fuel (and easier to do indirect). I don't personally see any point in the firebricks either.

It might just be the WSM setup as below, as the vents aren't from the base I used the charcoal ring to create a little space between coal and vents. I used firebricks as it seemed to be a little jam packed and I was worried it might spread to the other side. What this may have done though is choke the fire a little bit, bare in mind there is a heat shield / bit old bowl that sits on top (with some water in).

Is it a Smokey Mountain? If so, don't bother with the snake method, just fill the basket and dump some lit ones in the middle. :)

That's right, it's WSM - first time doing Snake Method, might stick what you said above :D
 
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That's right, it's WSM - first time doing Snake Method, might stick what you said above :D
I've found the snake method seems to work well on my Master Touch, but the minion method (aka fill the basket with a few lit ones in the middle) works far better on the WSM. One of the better mods I bought was a tighter charcoal grill in the base so the briquettes don't fall through as easily once they've been burning a while.
 
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I'm glad it's not just me that's a BBQ heathen and isn't a huge brisket fan. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy it, it's just I'd much rather do short ribs, steak or even pork or ribs which are all easier to do and cheaper.
It just seems to me it's more a thing to show off on social media and I simply can't stand videos of people squeezing the juice out of their meat!
 
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I've found the snake method seems to work well on my Master Touch, but the minion method (aka fill the basket with a few lit ones in the middle) works far better on the WSM. One of the better mods I bought was a tighter charcoal grill in the base so the briquettes don't fall through as easily once they've been burning a while.

Will do cheers.

What type of charcoal grill are you speaking of exactly?
 
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Will do cheers.

What type of charcoal grill are you speaking of exactly?


ProSmoke Firebasket

This one! It sits in the bottom and you just load it with briquettes, because the grate is tighter, when the briquettes have burnt down a bit, they don't fall through into the bottom as far so burn for longer. It also makes cleaning it out much easier as you can just lift the whole basket out with the handle.
 
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ProSmoke Firebasket

This one! It sits in the bottom and you just load it with briquettes, because the grate is tighter, when the briquettes have burnt down a bit, they don't fall through into the bottom as far so burn for longer. It also makes cleaning it out much easier as you can just lift the whole basket out with the handle.

Do you manage to use the water pan with this or do you have a seperate heat shield?
 
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I use the pan, but I don't put water in it, I just use it as a heat deflector with some foil in to make it easier to clean. When I first got my WSM, I used water in it a few times but it just made it chew through fuel for no real benefit.
 
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Can anyone point me in the direction of a decent hot smoked pork shoulder recipe. There are so many out there. I'll be using a callow smoker with heat beads and soaked wood chips. I have two thermometers, one for the meat one for the gas temperature.
It's been nearly 18 months since I last did a proper shoulder and can't remember the temps, the time to wrap etc.
 
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