Family Barbecue – June 30, 2013

Andrew and Henriët were coming out west (how odd that sounds) for a wedding in Couer d’Alene over the 4th of July. Anytime they come home we try to get a party organized; I finally feel confident enough in my brisket to share with a group and this would be the best chance of the summer.

They were due to arrive at 6:00 on Friday evening June 28; my favorite butcher, Gartner’s Meats, is close to the airport, about an hour from home. It seemed like a perfect plan; pick up the meat, then the kids and home in one trip. As the poet Robert Burns observed in his poem “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,


The best laid schemes of mice and menGo often awry 

(and people told me my English Literature major was a waste).

Andrew called me from the airport to tell me the plane would be a few hours late. Since Gartner’s closes at 5:00 it meant I’d need to make two trips. No big deal; I have Fridays off now that I’m semi-retired and it was a nice warm day for a drive to the DES (Dreaded East Side). Oh, except it was Friday before a holiday weekend and there was road construction on one of the freeways resulting in backed up freeways all over town. A 45 minute drive out to Gartner’s took two hours; followed by another hour back. And I had that trip to look forward to later that night when Henriët and Andrew arrived at 9:30. Oh well, it was an inconvenience but didn’t rise to the level of  “grief and pain” Burns referred to. And the results of the two trips were well worth it; kids at home and good barbecue.

I rubbed the brisket with Meathead’s Big Bad Beef Rub. My working copy showing ingredients and measurements is here.

Rub ingredients

It went on the smoker at 8:35 on Saturday night. A few laters I went out to check on it.

Brisket on the smoker for a few hours
Andrew caught me in action.

It finished in about 12 hours – much faster than I planned for. I separated the point from the flat, cut the point into chucks, dusted with more rub and put it back on the grill for an two and a half hours (one hour would have bee great).

Burnt ends. The real treat of brisket. Almost as good as bacon

I wrapped the flat in foil, and put in a Coleman cooler wrapped in towels where it stayed toasty warm for 4 hours.

The flat cut across the grain. Decent smoke ring.
Dinner is served. It tasted better than it looks here.

I used the Cook’s Illustrated barbecue sauce recipe which is my go-to. Simply the best barbecue sauce I’ve had. I’m not bragging; credit goes to Cook’s Illustrated, not me.

Barbecue sauce ingredients

I smoked this on a Mak 2 Star Grill. If you’d like to see the details of the cook, check here. (10/5 corrected the link).


Later in the afternoon the family arrived bringing side dishes and what-not.

Andrew, Linda, and Sarah

It was a hot day so we jammed one table right next to the house to get some shade.

Sarah, Andrew, and Henriët. We are blessed to have these two wonderful women in our family.

This picture captures a very rare image of Jeff in the wild.

Starr, Charlie, Jeff, and Jim

Chicken Rating: ★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars. Brisket! Yum!

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