Well, in my case - one was a success. My beloved KC Chiefs got bounced by the Colts. Congrats to the Colts and their fans.
The brisket turned out very well! Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to take pics.
I bought a full packer cut brisket, 10.39 lbs. this week. On Wednesday night, I seasoned it with dry “Java rub” (Steve Raichlen's recipe) that I made and kept it chilled in my beer fridge, at great inconvenience to myself, because it displaced many, many beers.
Friday night, around 10:30, I fired up the grill with Stubbs brand charcoal (because it burns cleaner) using the “Minion method” of fire control and interspersed some chunks of cherry and pecan wood in the ring.
Although my initial plan called for me to make it on my smoker, at the last minute I decided to use my Weber kettle with the meat suspended slightly above the bottom of a foil pan in order to hold some liquid and collect the drippings. My smoker is relatively small, and I would have had to cut the brisket to get it to fit and just couldn't make myself do it.
It smoked all night in the 225-250 neighborhood. I woke up at 6:15 am to check it and it was fine. I went back to bed and woke up a few hours later to find that the fire was dying. I started more Stubbs coals (really love Stubbs products) and kept it going.
As the day wore on, I became concerned about the cooking temp. I had lost faith in my make shift thermometer (wine cork with a hole drilled in it and a thermometer poked through, and seated on one of the exhaust vents of the Weber). I put in a remote meat/grill probe and saw a great difference between the two readings.
I only mopped it about 3 times throughout the process with a mix of vinegar, beer, garlic salt, seasoned pepper and crushed red pepper (I escaped the ensuing explosion fairly unscathed)
Around 2 pm, I became a weasel and pulled the brisket off the grill and placed it in a roaster and finished up around 250-275. Of course, the target temp was 185/190, it makes a huge difference where you place the probe (open to recommendations on that).
It seemed to blow right through the stall zone pretty well, or with minimal delay.
Around 5pm, I cut off the point to make burnt ends and wrapped the flat in foil, two towels and put in a cooler for an hour.
I seasoned the burnt ends and doused them with some of the meat drippings and some of my favorite BBQ sauce and put them in a foil pan and back on the grill and a pan of white beans with jalapeño, onion and maple syrup and let them smoke for a while.
When it was time to eat – the food was awesome. (You could substitute awesome with any of the following: delightful, wonderful, delicious, heavenly, yummy or to die for – I’m sticking with awesome. Sounds more dignified and manly)
Anyway, I really appreciate all the tips and pointers from the folks here. I am always trying to learn more about smoking, grilling and bbqing and know that there is a lot of wisdom out there - a lot more than is rolling around in my big ole head.
So, if any of you have any observations, comments, suggestions or pointers - I would sure appreciate it.