Brisket blogging update: Thursday

| July 23, 2009
Spic and span

Spic and span

I’ve just spent an hour or two cleaning both the smoker (which I haven’t used since last October) and the grill (which I haven’t used in since at least April). I now feel quite virtuous, probably unduly so.

I’ve had six (6) briskets, each weighing about 7 lbs, marinading since yesterday, along with 3 elk roasts (probably 3 lbs each). I’ve got two bone-in turkey breasts thawed and in the fridge; I’ll probably start them marinading tonight. I took two pork tenderloins out of the garage freezer to thaw yesterday and forgot about them until this afternoon; they were probably OK, but I don’t want to take any chances, so I tossed them. Sigh. I’ll probably find something else to smoke or grill.

Here’s my current cooking schedule:

  • F-1 (very early Friday morning): light charcoal in the smoker’s firebox. Build up the fire.
  • F-0: put four (4) briskets on to smoke. Rotate positions through the day.
  • F+8 or so: take the four briskets out; put on the remaining two briskets, plus the three elks roasts. Double-wrap the four briskets in heavy aluminum foil and stick in the oven at 180 degrees.
  • F+16 or so: take out the remaining briskets and elk roasts, wrap them, stick them in the oven (fortunately, we have double ovens). Pour a lot of charcoal into the firebox to keep the smoker warm (and preferably hot) through the night.
  • S-0 (very early Saturday morning): clean out ashes and build up the fire in the firebox again. Put the turkey breasts in to cook (I will probably pick up a third on Friday).
  • S+6: Take the turkey breasts out. Pull the first four briskets out of their oven and use that oven to finish the turkey breasts, if necessary. Put the leg(s) of lamb and anything else I’m going to smoke on the smoker. Slice up the four briskets into foil serving pans and put them on top of the smoker to keep them warm.
  • S+10 (about 4 pm on Saturday): Slice up the remaining briskets and the elk roasts, as well as the turkey breasts. Pull the lamb and so on out of the smoker once they’re done. Slice them up. Put everything back into the oven to stay warm. Pull the drip pans out of the smoker and put charcoal into the main body (I’m going to use the smoker as a second grill). Light it. Likewise, put charcoal into the grill and light it.
  • S+11 (about 5 pm on Saturday): Start grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggies.

Alternately, I may actually start smoking the turkey breasts on Friday evening and stay up late (or get up through the night) smoking them. The turkey breasts are the most difficult; I’ve got to run the smoker at a hotter temperature in order to cook the meat through without leaving the breasts in there so long that they dry out.

I’m starting to stage the stuff (charcoals and woods, soda, plates, cups, plasticware) that’s been collecting in the garage for the last week or so into the house and/or onto the back deck.  Should be a busy 48 hours or so. ..bruce w..

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Category: BBQ, Cooking, Family, Food, Main, Personal, Recipes

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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