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Smoke Brisket and Pork Butt Cook on the Deep South Smokers GC36

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[FTC Standard Disclosure] We received the BBQ UltraQ free of charge last year to review. I also use Amazon Affiliate links for products that I use and I receive a small commission for those. We received no other compensation for this post. 
We smoked a pair of briskets and pork butts on the gravity-fed Deep South Smokers during the 4th of July weekend.
Sliced brisket platter with meat from the point and flat. Loved our fire-roasted jalapeno potato salad. Served with Bush's Mixed Chili beans, Texas toast, and the Texas BBQ sauce from Ray Sheehan's Award-Winning BBQ Sauces and How to Use Them.
I have to be honest and admit that this is the least-good brisket I've made in two years. When I say least-good, it was still edible and better than most I've had at restaurants; it just wouldn't place in the top half at a BBQ competition. It was a little tight (not tough), not as juicy, and a bit underwhelming in flavor.
So why am I posting about it? Because sometimes, there is more to learn in failures than successes. The lesson I reiterated or confirmed this past weekend is this:  When making changes to your brisket (or pork, chicken, ribs) program, change only one thing at a time. I changed way too many variables to get meaningful data.

Changed the brand of beef due to availability issues.I used choice instead of prime beef due to availability issues.Changed 1 of my 2 brisket rubs.I did not inject the brisket at all.I did not give the brisket a 12-hour dry brine.Cooked the brisket whole instead of separated into the flat and point.The pork? Oh, it was fantastic, up to my usual standards – juicy, tender but not mushy, and flavorful.
The PrepPork ButtsTwo 9-lb pork butts from SwiftInjected with 2 cups quality apple juice and 2 tablespoons kosher saltWiped dry and then applied a thin coat of peanut oilSeasoned heavily with Cimarron Docs. Usually, I save that rub for ribs, but it is getting dated, so I need to use it up.Covered and placed in the fridge until going on the smoker 5 hours later.BrisketsTwo 15-lb Chairman Reserve briskets Trimmed whole, wiped dry, and lightly coated with peanut oil.Seasoned with a layer of my NMT Beef Rib v.2 and a heavier layer of Dead End BBQ brisket rub.Covered and placed in the fridge until going on the smoker 4 hours later.Note, this was USDA choice. "Premium" is NOT a grade, nor is it a pseudonym for USDA prime. I hear that misconception a good bit.
Both briskets ready to be covered and placed on refrigeration. I like to keep my smoking meats cold until the last possible minute because meat takes smoke better at temps below 120-140°f, and I want them to stay in that smoke zone as long as possible during the cook.
Briskets and butts ready to go on the smoker in the wee hours.

The Smoker SetupI used the Deep South Smokers GC36, which is a gravity-fed smoker. I love this cooker for its size, even cooking temperatures, and moist cooking environment. It is called gravity-fed because the charcoal is in a narrow stack in a chute on the right, and it is self-fueling as the coal burns at the bottom of the chute. 
I prefer to set up my cookers by the light of day. That way, when it is time to light up in the middle of the night, it's just a quick task. You can see the charcoal hatch door is open on the upper right side.
Looking down at the top of the charcoal chute. For this cook, I was using Frontier lump charcoal. I handpick the pieces of lump charcoal because 1) small bits block airflow and 2) too long pieces can "bridge" in the chute, keeping the rest of the coal from dropping down.
I used pecan chunks for my smoke wood. I took pecan split logs and cut them into thirds using an old miter saw as my chop saw.
This was my first time using the Pit Viper on this big smoker, and it held up to the challenge. It got the grill up to temp quickly and recovered temperatures. 
The BBQ Guru Ultra Q is the brains behind the Pit Viper. This continually compares the cooking temperature to the temperature that I set. If the cooking temp is less than the set temp, it blows the fan more to stoke the fire.
All ready to light it up.
I often get questions about this gravity-fed smoker and how it works, so I videoed a "nickel tour" of the Deep South Smokers GC36.

The CookSince this isn't a recipe post, I think the easiest way to lay out the cook is to show it in timeline form.12 am – Lit the pit using a propane gas torch through the fire pit door. Had the UltraQ set for 250°f. I went inside and used the app on my phone to watch the temps steadily rise up.2 am – Placed the butts and briskets in the smoker on the 1st and 3rd racks. I spritzed them all with plain apple juice to get them damp since the smoke has an affinity for moisture2 am – 9am – Spritzed meats with apple juice and replenished the smoke wood.9 am – I wrap based on color, typically when the meat is an internal temperature of 160-170° and about 6 hours into the cook. This depends on the type of cooker, meat, rub, and all kinds of variables.Pork butts were an internal temperature of 165°f AND had the color that I wanted, so I wrapped them. I used more rub, Parkay, and Stubbs Mopping Sauce in the wrap.Briskets were 170 and 165°f but not as dark as I would like. I decided to go ahead and wrap the briskets because I was concerned about moisture since they were not Prime beef and not injected. I used beef stock and dried minced onion in the warp.2pm The butts had reached an internal temperature of 203-5°f and were tender, so we pulled them to rest. I poured a pot of boiling water in the lowest steam pan to preheat a Cambro UPC300 hotbox. I put the wrapped butts into the Cambro to rest.The briskets were still tight, so I used the UltraQ to raise the cooking temperature to 275°f. I normally cook my briskets at 290°f, so this was well within my limits.4pmFinished the pork buttsI put a fresh chunk of wood in the firebox to get smoke going again. That's one thing I love about the gravity-fed smoker; it is easy to dose the smoke as you need it.I took the butts out of their foil wrap and put each of them, still on their rack, into a half-sized steam pan. I glazed the butts with Blues Hog BBQ sauce cut with apple juice to make it thinner.I put the butts in the smoker for 15 minutes to set the sauce and get one last kiss of smoke. Donnie Bray (2014 KCBS Team of the Year Pitmaster) told me that the last thing you put on your BBQ is the first thing you taste. Pork is done at this point.Briskets still not ready.5pmPulled one brisket and rested it in a preheated Cambro. The other brisket still wasn't ready. The internal temperature was still in the low 190s, and the flat was still tight in several places.6pmPulled the second brisket to rest.7pmRemoved the briskets from the Cambro. Drained the jus from the foil wrap into a fat & grease separator to get just the beef stock. Placed the briskets back into the smoker to reset the crust (the foil makes it mushy), which takes about 15 minutes.Sliced the brisket and placed it into half-sized steam pans, and then poured the warm, strained beef jus over the brisket.
Just before adding 46 pounds of cold meat, I bumped up the cooking temperature to not have to recover as much once I loaded it.
The slide-out racks make it easy to check the brisket and butts, as well as spritzing.
Wrapping the pork butts. I can smoke without foil, but it sure makes it more forgiving. The wrap preserves color, retains moisture, and lets you add another layer of flavors.
I have to run the meat probe wires through the door because the right angles of the probes make it impossible to pass the probe leads through the 1" pass-throughs.

Looked down at the charcoal chute, you can see how much the coal has cooked down over the previous 9 hours.
Brisket coming out of the wrap.
While the brisket is wrapped with foil, the bark gets soft. Putting the naked brisket back on helps reset that crust in about 15 minutes. Butcher paper is a compromise for the foil that won't make the crust as soft and lets more smoke in.
Pork butt after finishing cooking.

One of the briskets after finishing cooking.

The ResultsThe pork turned out as good as always – tender, juicy, smoky, and flavorful.

I knew these butts were going to be good when I went to take them out of the smoker because they had that tell-tale wiggle.

To process our pork butts, we wear cotton gloves under food gloves to provide heat protection but leave finger dexterity intact. I have bear claws, meat racks, and even a drill attachment, but we find hands work the best. We dress it with just a few splashes of my Olde Virden's Carolina-Style Vinegar Sauce to add flavor. We let our guests choose their BBQ sauce if any. 

The briskets were fine. They just weren't my usual "Oh my gosh, these are so good!" 

Sliced and ready to go into steam pans with warm beef jus. Brisket starts drying out fast so I like to get them into the drink ASAP. 

We cooked these on Saturday but to reheat them for Independence Day, I put these slices in beef jus in a skillet over med-low heat.
SummaryDespite my whining about the brisket (haha), this was a fantastic meal. A few slices of lean flat and a nice "chonk" of the luscious point. But the point stands, when making changes to your BBQ processes, change just one or two variables at a time. 
Sliced smoked brisket with my fire-roasted jalapeno/garlic mashed potatoes, mixed chili beans, pickles, and Texas toast. 
The BBQ sauce is on the side, where it should be for brisket. We like using the Texas BBQ Sauce recipe from Ray Sheehan's Award-Winning BBQ Sauces and How to Use them.

By: Chris
Title: Smoke Brisket and Pork Butt Cook on the Deep South Smokers GC36
Sourced From: www.nibblemethis.com/2021/07/smoke-brisket-and-pork-butt-cook-on.html
Published Date: 07/05/21

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Pellet Grill Tips and Tricks

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If you're planning to use a pellet grill, you may be wondering how to prepare the meat. There are a few tips you should keep in mind, but the first step is to understand what you're smoking. The most important tip is to understand the composition of your meat. For instance, do you plan on smoky or dry meat? You also need to consider whether you'll be smoking white or dark meat?

If you've never used a pellet grill before, you should learn the basics and avoid sloppy cooking. Proper care is the key to making your grill last for many years. When it's time to replace the pellets, make sure you clean the grill thoroughly. Do not put the pellets on cement or 2X4s; they'll turn to cement. When they're smoky, they'll stick to the sides of the pellet rack and stick to the bottom.

You should also learn how to cook different types of food. While most pellet grills come with a digital display, you should read the owner's manual before using them. The temperature range for each type of food varies, so make sure you know your food well before you begin cooking. You should know that filet mignon beef requires 360 degrees Fahrenheit for three to 10 minutes, while pork belly needs 225-300°F for four hours. Before starting your cooking, it's important to research the ingredients. By doing so, you'll know how to use the right pellets for your specific recipe. Aside from ensuring that the temperature is appropriate, you'll also know how much wood pellets you need to use.

In addition to these tips, you should also know how to season your pellet grill. By properly seasoning your grill, you'll prevent food from sticking and ensuring that it cooks evenly. You should also make sure that the pellets are clean as possible. By doing this, you'll be able to prevent any flare-ups and uneven cooking. If you are a beginner, this may be the ideal option for you.

One of the most important pellet grill tips is to use a specialized water pan. It can be placed over the racks in the smoker. You can place the pans in the freezer to store the water and avoid the meat from drying out. Then, cover the entire grill with foil to prevent the heat from escaping. A good pellet smoker has a water vapor chamber, which is ideal for slow-cooking brisket.

When using a pellet grill, make sure you purchase hardwood pellets. Unlike home-heating pellets, hardwood pellets should be purchased specifically for use on a pellet grill. While not all types of foods are suited to smoke, most of them will do well with smoke added to them. Besides, if you want to smoke brisket for an extended period of time, you should buy a hardwood-pellet smoker with a water pan.


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How Do I Get More Smoke From My Traeger?

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If you're wondering how to get more smoke from your Traeger, there are several options available to you. One of the easiest ways to increase the amount of smoke coming out of your smoker is to lower the temperature. If you cook at too high a temperature, you'll be cooking at too low a temperature. As a result, your meat will cook unevenly and you won't get the deep flavor and aroma of smoked meat you've been looking for.

The first option is to use low smoking temperatures during the first hour of cooking. This will ensure that your meat gets most of the nitrogen it needs, which is essential for a great smoke ring. You can also reduce the amount of fat on your meat and the temperature of the smoker itself. By doing so, you'll have more control over the amount of smoke your meat produces, which is important for achieving the perfect smoke ring.

You can also cook longer at a lower temperature to enhance the smoke in your food. In doing so, you will give your meat more time to absorb the flavors of the smoke. You should also cover the drip tray with aluminum foil to make cleaning easier. Another option is to add wood chips to the smoker. Finally, try adding more hardwood pellets. But remember that the longer you cook, the more smoke you'll get.

When preparing your next smoked meat, try using a Pellet Grill. This method will give you more smoke than you'd get from a charcoal grill. While wood pellets add a great flavor to your food, you can use other types of pellets, such as hickory and oak, for an even more authentic smoke flavor. If you want to smoke a whole pig, you can use alder, hickory, or even a wood blend.

Depending on the size of your food, you may have to smoke it for a longer period of time. A few minutes might do for salmon, while a large brisket might take several hours. The more smoke you get, the better, and the more flavorful your food will be. But, you should keep in mind that pellets can be expensive, so you should check if they will work for your specific needs.

If you have a Traeger smoker, you can choose to add a wood pellet to the fire. You can also use a shop-vac to clean the firepot, auger entry, and fans of the smoker. After cleaning the unit, turn it on and check the amount of smoke from the grill. It will emit a small amount of smoke by itself, but you can also add more if you want to.


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Are Propane Grills Safe?

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The National Fire Protection Association has tips on grill safety. Make sure that the food you cook does not touch the heat source, or you risk cross contamination. You can prevent this by using disposable gloves to handle raw meat. You should wash your hands thoroughly before handling other ingredients or food. Before you start cooking, be sure to remove the gloves and wash your hands with soap and water. When you have finished grilling, clean the grates. After cleaning the grates, you should discard them.

Proper placement is critical. Make sure that the grill is not too close to structures. Ensure that you have a clear area around it. When using a gas grill, the hose should not be left out. The debris from the grill can fall onto the hose, causing a leak. You should also keep children away from the grill. Keeping kids out of reach is essential. Ideally, you should place the grill far enough from people and structures to keep children away.

Propane tanks should be stored in a dry, shady area. Do not store the cylinder in an enclosed garage or indoor. Ensure that there are no cracks or splits. You should also check the hose for cracks, and check for any evidence of critters or insects. If you find any of these signs, you should replace it. However, if you want to use gas grills outdoors, you should check with a local retailer or propane provider for the best advice.

Propane tanks should be kept upright while being transported. Never store propane tanks on their sides, as the valves may be open when you open them. If you find that your propane tank has a leak, the gas could spill onto the grill. This can be dangerous to you and your family. If you have a gas grill, always use one tank and never store an empty one. This is due to the fact that the fire risk is higher in a tank that is not connected to the main source of propane.

Propane tanks should not be used in confined spaces. The gas tanks are designed to be placed outside where children cannot easily reach them. They can be a flammable fire hazard. Having a propane tank indoors is not a good idea. It can be dangerous to your family. If it gets wet, it will explode into flames. So, it is important to have a safe space for your grill.

You can also avoid fire by grilling in a designated area. A barbecue grill should be placed on a level surface, which will prevent a grease fire. When cooking, it is important to keep the flames away from the fire by putting on a breathable cover. This will protect you and your guests from burns. If you use a charcoal grill, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid a grease spill.


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