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July 4th Cookout! Brisket, Sides, and Pies! Pics Galore!

Misplaced Nebraskan

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4th Of July Spread:

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I’m finally getting around to posting up this cook. This will probably be over a few posts due to the “few” pictures… haha. Let’s Get straight into it.



The Brisket:

Creekstone Farms Brisket – 16.2 pounds

Smoker: BGE XL with Pecan Chunks at 240°F

Salt and Pepper base with top dusting of On Point

Wrapped after I was happy with Barq and Color

Held in Alto Shaam at 155°F for 9 hours

I trimmed much less this go around. I did scalp a spot which drove me nuts later with pooling haha. The point was really small on this brisket. The exposed point was due to a small flap of meat I cut off. I ended up using that little shoulder for some amazing burnt ends.

Process Pics:

The Box

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Firing up the Egg



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Underway!


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Various Progress pics

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Ready to wrap!

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Into the Shaam


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Barq held up pretty good.



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Overall, I am still learning the egg. The brisket turned out really good, but the smoke flavor was pretty light (about what I get from my pellet rig) and there was little to no ring. I know it’s only visual, but still something I chase. Without using cures or anything else that is. I’ll learn it though. The Brisket was oh so tender after holding in the Alto Shamm. I was worried about moisture retention, but the cabinet had some slight condensation in it when I was adding food to it. Really happy with this purchase. I didn’t actually get any bend or sliced photos as I was just envisioning the end plated shot…



Onto the sides!
 
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Misplaced Nebraskan

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These sides have become a go to in our house:

Dutch’s Wicked Beans, Bacon Mac & Cheese, Queso to snack on

The Queso:

4 oz each Velveeta, Cream Cheese, Smoked Gouda

1 pound Beef with half a pack of El Paso Taco Seasoning

1 Can Fire Roasted Rotel

1 can Hatch Green Chilies

Half Can Cream of Chicken

Heat to combine and enjoy!

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Dutch’s Wicked Beans:

https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/dutchs-wicked-baked-beans.50945/

Bacon!

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Sautéing the Peppers and onions in the bacon with some reserved grease. Just a few mins, not fully softened.

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Fresh off the smoker. Smoked for a couple hours and stirred occasionally.


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Into the Shamm to join the Brisket


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Bacon Mac and Cheese



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Topped with toasted Panko and more bacon



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Covered and into the Shamm to join the rest of the food



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The beans… Always a success. Thanks again Dutch Dutch for the amazing recipe! The Mac and cheese we have tweaked over a few attempts to where it is now. And the Queso goes down fast every time.



Onto the pies!
 

Misplaced Nebraskan

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For the pies, I have wanted to start playing around with Mini Pies. Well, smaller pies. That way I can try out more recipes more often without having to eat a full sized pie haha. I went and snagged some 5” pie plates and decided on Lemon Meringue and Peach Pie for this cook.



The Crust:

For the Crust I did a 1.5 Recipe of this recipe:



300g AP Flour

50g Sugar

Pinch Sea Salt

226g Unsalted Butter

3 Tbsp Ice Water (45 mL)

2 Tbsp Vodka (30 mL)

1 egg and splash of water for an egg wash



Four Pie Crusts ready to blind bake

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I did two of them par baked for the Peach Pie and two I cooked fully crisp for the Lemon Meringue pies.

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Peach Pie First:

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I used 3 good sized peaches for the filling, tossed in sugar, a pinch of salt, and nutmeg.

One tip I read that I liked was to set the peaches in a strainer over a pot for up to 30 mins to collect the juices.



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This was the accumulation





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I reduced this over Med-High Heat until thick and syrup like, and then cooled a bit before adding back to the peaches. This should help to alleviate any soggy bottom pie crust. And concentrated peach flavor!



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I dumped the rest of the flour and sugar into the peaches, mixed and added to the par baked crusts





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I rolled out some more of the dough and cut into various strips for the lattice top





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I brushed the tops with some cream and dusted with sugar





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These were baked at 450°F for 10 minutes, then the temp was lowered to 350°F for an additional 35-37 minutes until I thought they looked good.



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These were absolutely amazing with some Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream. I will be doing these again!



One more post! On to the lemon meringue pie!
 
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Misplaced Nebraskan

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Lemon Meringue Pie:



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Fully cooked crust from above



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Fresh Lemon Juice





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Lemon Juice, zest, sugar, cornstarch, and sugar added to a pan and heated until thickened nicely.



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Added in some butter



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Scooped into the crusts



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Italian Meringue time!



Whipped egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar to soft peaks



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Water and sugar boiled to 240°F, then added to the egg whites





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Load up the pies!





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Toasted with a torch





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Extra meringue became cookies for snacking…





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These had some flaws. There was too much cornstarch so they were thicccc. And man oh man were they tart and sour! Almost too much. I will be tweaking some ratios next time on this one. But the crusts were wonderful and crisp and that meringue… I could eat that for days on end!
 
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Misplaced Nebraskan

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Final Thoughts:



This was all done over two days; From baking crusts and making fillings, smoking briskets, prepping sides and more. The Alto Shaam was a life saver as the day of I was able to focus on one thing at a time and just toss them into the cabinet relatively worry free. Everything held great and was perfect temp for serving. I learned a LOT going through all these recipes and techniques and look forward to the next meal! Probably smaller scale, but still haha.



Links to recipes used where applicable:

Dutch’s Beans

Pie Crust

Peach Pie Filling

Peach Pie Technique

Lemon Meringue Pie

Meringue Cookies

Mac and Cheese (can’t find my post from before… will locate…)
 
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Misplaced Nebraskan

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Good grief Zach, everything looks to be absolutely perfect, big Like! That's a true labor of love, dangerously close to resembling work, all very well executed. RAY

Thanks Ray! It was a great way to spend a couple days. I assure you that no "work" was performed IAW weekend standards :emoji_laughing:
 

Smokin' in AZ

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Dang Zach, was wondering why it took so long for you to post it.....now I know.

Fantastic job on the celebration.

Do I get an invite for next year? :emoji_laughing:

GREAT BIG LIKE!

John
 

GaryHibbert

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That's a LOT of work, Zach, even spread over 2 days. But I'd say it was more a labor of love, rather than work.
Looks like a fantastic feast!!! Everything looks beautifully done. I'd eat that any week straight.
The pies look like a couple pieces of art. Funny thing about pies though. My favorite part of any fruit pie is the crust on the second day, when it's deliciously soggy. :emoji_wink::emoji_wink: But......rest assured the lack of a soggy crust wouldn't have slowed me down any. :emoji_laughing:
Big POINT for this one.
Gary
 

Misplaced Nebraskan

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WOW! Everything looks fantastic. Amazing camera work too. You are an artist. Thanks for sharing.

Mike
Thanks Mike! If only I could convince the wife to take pics as I work it would go a lot faster haha.

Dang Zach, was wondering why it took so long for you to post it.....now I know.

Fantastic job on the celebration.

Do I get an invite for next year? :emoji_laughing:

GREAT BIG LIKE!

John
Thanks John!

Had to pre type it up with placeholders for all the pics :emoji_laughing: I'm sure I forgot some stuff. I'm Still trying to find the limits of photos per page now lol. I figured one big thread instead of multiple small ones would be easier to track.

Doors and gates are always open for celebrations. This was just for 4 people this year...
 

Misplaced Nebraskan

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That's a LOT of work, Zach, even spread over 2 days. But I'd say it was more a labor of love, rather than work.
Looks like a fantastic feast!!! Everything looks beautifully done. I'd eat that any week straight.
The pies look like a couple pieces of art. Funny thing about pies though. My favorite part of any fruit pie is the crust on the second day, when it's deliciously soggy. :emoji_wink::emoji_wink: But......rest assured the lack of a soggy crust wouldn't have slowed me down any. :emoji_laughing:
Big POINT for this one.
Gary
Thanks Gary! I'd love to make this every weekend if I could! I hear ya on the second day pie. some things take on another role the next day which is great! I actually eat some of the beans cold with chips as "dip" on the following days... great snack!


DAAAAAMN!! Fantastic spread ! Big big like!
Thanks Steve! This was a fun cook.
 

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