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Smoked Brisket and Pulled Pork

Claire Stabbert - Columnist
Posted 6/11/20

Heaven is a place on Earth. Do you know how I know? I recently received a bbq smoker from my boyfriend for my birthday and have been in heaven ever since. I've been talking about smokers for years …

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Smoked Brisket and Pulled Pork

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Heaven is a place on Earth. Do you know how I know? I recently received a bbq smoker from my boyfriend for my birthday and have been in heaven ever since. I've been talking about smokers for years now, since trying smoked brisket at a girlfriend's house for her backyard bbq, and I finally have one of my own.

Gene and I are by no means experts yet, but we have been watching smoking lessons from bbq expert Aaron Franklin, and we are really getting the hang of things. Who knew it could be so easy to make something so delicious?

My smoker is an “egg”, although you can get an offset smoker. I think the main difference is an egg you can set and walk away, whereas the offset smoker really depends on those coals and firewood to keep the smoke going and the temperatures steady.

I began my brisket by buying about a 5 lb piece with a nice fat cap on top. This fat will render down and moisten the meat through the cooking process. Brisket takes about an hour and a half per pound on my smoker, low and slow. I highly suggest brining your meat in ice water and a pickling liquid for 2-5 days before setting it on the smoker. This will allow it to absorb moisture and not become dried out, as many briskets do (pro tip).

When you are ready to go, bring your meat to room temperature. You never want to place a cold piece of meat on a warm grill. The temperature will drop and it will be hard to bring that temp back up. When your meat is brought to room temp, cover in a thin even coat of Heinz or French's yellow mustard. This will allow the meat to become a little tacky so the rub will stick and a nice bark can form. My rub was store bought, however, you can make your own using equal parts kosher salt, 8 mesh black pepper, and some paprika for color. Make sure to coat evenly out of your shaker.

Place on your smoker and let it sit for about 3 hours. At the three hour mark, it's time for a spritz of apple cider vinegar. All this does is keep the edges from drying out and bringing moisture back into the meat. We kept the meat on for close to 8 hours. A great tip for tenderness is placing a toothpick in and bending. If the toothpick breaks off, your meat is not fully tender. If your meat breaks apart a little and the toothpick holds its ten up strength when moving side to side, your meat is done.

Slice against the grain and you have yourself dinner for 5. We served with sides and made brisket sandwiches using spicy bbq sauce with tangy acidic coleslaw. If you're on the fence on purchasing a smoker, I feel it is well worth the investment.

Stay tuned next week for my perfect homemade bbq sauce. Xo

Claire Stabbert is an accomplished cook who loves to try new recipes. While she does enjoy eating at restaurants, she also loves to whip up a good meal at home. Claire gets some of her cooking inspiration from her grandfather and grandmother, Fred and Shirley Stabbert as well as Great Grandma Nellie.

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