If you are familiar with the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker you'll know that it has a top grate and a bottom grate for cooking. The plan today was to place a rather small brisket flat (~4 lbs), the standard grocery store brisket cut, on the bottom grate and have two pork shoulders sitting on the top grate. The idea was that the pork shoulder drippings may help keep the brisket moist.
The night before I put a standard BBQ dry rub on the pork shoulders. I didn't put the dry rub on the brisket the night before because I was afraid it would overpower the beef flavor if it was left on too long. I put the above brisket dry rub on in the morning while the smoker was warming up. This rub is from Myron Mixon's booked called "Smokin' with Myron Mixon".
In the morning I prepared my smoker to achieve 250 degrees, injected the pork shoulder with the above injection mix and put the meats on around 7am. The injection was really easy to make, I just mixed together all of the ingredients in a bowl and used my injection syringe to pull up the fluid for injection. I injected the pork shoulder about 10 times on each side using slow release pressure while pulling the needle out of the pork. You can really see the pork shoulder swell up with liquid when you do this.
I put a temperature probe in the beef brisket flat before assembling the smoker that way I wouldn't have to take off the hot top grate to add it later.
I was maintaining great temperature all day long. The temperature needle was pretty much stuck on 250 degrees. However, after about 4 hours it started to dip around 225. At this time I normally take a handful of unlit coals, a big chunk of apple wood and toss them into the fire. For about 5-10 min after this I'll leave the side door of the smoker open to allow the wood and coals to ignite a bit. I've found that this really helps keep the fire going. I also jam some aluminum foil in the door to help keep the meat on the bottom grate shielded from the cold air.
Since the pork was injected I chose not to mop the pork. This was quite handy and helped my temperature hold strong since I was only opening the dome to snap a few photos!
I switched the camera over to manual focus for the photo below so you can see the juices that have accumulated on top of the brisket during the smoke. The darn autofocus kept locking on the grates! This photo was taken about 4 hours into the smoke. It sure looks juicy down there.
At the 8 hour mark I added more unlit coal to keep the temperature at 250 degrees. At 8 hours the meat was starting to get a bit darker. I also added thermometer probes into the pork shoulders at the 8 hour mark.
After 13 hours the internal temperature of the pork shoulders registered 195 degrees so I took them off the smoker and wrapped them tightly in foil for about 1 hour before pulling. Immediately after pulling I could see that this was the juiciest pork shoulder I've ever made. I really think the injection made a huge difference. Especially since this pork shoulder wasn't exposed to a mop solution.
I read online that you know when a brisket is done when you can insert a thermometer probe into it and it slides in and out like butter. This normally happens somewhere in the 190-200 degree internal temperature range. After 13 hours the brisket was about 192 so I tested the tenderness. It was tender but it didn't really feel just like butter yet, so I kept it on for another hour. At 14 hours the brisket was 199 degrees so I took it off and tested it again. It was much softer and more tender this time. I brought it inside and wrapped it tightly in foil for about 1 hour before slicing.
You can really see the smoke ring that formed on the brisket! It was very tender. I'm really impressed with this method.
The above picture was taken with my cell phone. We had quite a spread for the football game. I did all of my smoking on Saturday for the Sunday games. This meant that I had to do some thinking about how to reheat my BBQ meat. Here's what I did:
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By John Thomas
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