Smokers (BBQ - not grilling)

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Yes, that’s a fully cooked brisket that was smoked on the pellet grill using the Lumberjack hickory pellets. It was however wrapped in plastic after it cooled some and put in the tiny drink fridge I have in the garage. Although the beer didn’t freeze (it was in the teens here) the brisket did. So I took it inside and put it in the freezer. So its been frozen for about 2 weeks.

I reheated it in a covered pan with 2 cups of beef broth, and pulled it when it hit 145 F. Let it cool down a bit then sliced it up against the grain (as the photo shows) then cut the slices up into 1/2 inch cubes.

The beef flavor was quite good, but I think some of the smoke got toned down from the freezing. Ate a slice or two while cooking up the beans in my crockpot, was quite tender, likely due to getting a better grade of meat this time, the smoke flavor was there just enough so you could tell it was in fact smoked, but definitely not as strong had I done this right out of the smoker.

I did add the meat at the end, after tossing it with some garlic powder and chili powder.
You could just barely pick out the smoke flavor in the finished dish…which however was intensified when I added some of the smoked cheddar I made to my bowl. 😉

The chili itself came out great, wife said it was the best I’ve made so far. Haven’t heard back from my neighbor yet.
That sounds good. I’ll have to try that next time. Might use chuck if I can’t find brisket flat at a reasonable price. Chuck roast goes on sale all the time around here for pot roast.
I use this SBR Original BBQ Three Bean Chili recipe as the basis for my chili. Instead of all of the individual spices I use a packet of McCormick chili seasoning. I substitute tomato sauce for the diced tomatoes (I'm not a huge tomato fan), and a couple of tablespoons of Better Than Boullion for the beef taste to make it all thicker.

I think I'll try this using brisket instead of hamburger and see if I can elevate my chili.
Nothing wrong with taking a few short cuts. I use canned beans. 😉
If using pre-mixed spice blends just be sure to read the ingredients. I’ve made my own chili powder, but found some that are pretty good. I still make my own fajita seasoning and my own pork rub.
There are several good packaged chili seasonings, the point of making your own just gives you more control. Just finding a good selection of peppers around here is hit and miss, mostly miss. When I was in the south west they definitely have more available. Farmers markets there being a great source. I’ve picked up some chipotle powder that is a lot more powerful than what’s available around here.
As always, the quality of the ingredients you use can make a difference, but sometimes you have to compromise.
That's why I added the JK tag so that everyone would know I was just kidding.

I often use shortcuts too. If I don't want to make red beans and rice from scratch, I can take a Zatarain box (too dry), add a can of Margaret Holmes RB&R (too wet) to get a balance of "good enough".
I’ve been watching a bunch of You Tube videos on smoking brisket, and I haven’t done one myself since last summer, so I’m getting in the mood to do the “King of BBQ” soon……
My last effort was a good one, but I’m looking to improve to great.
My stockpile of oak to run in the OK Joe is almost gone, so a trip to a local wood seller will be in my future.
Smoked a small brisket for chili yesterday. I kept it in for three hours. The smoke flavor is evident and IMO good in the chili, but I don't think all of the work of slicing the brisket into those small cubes is worth the effort. The Mrs. prefers the texture of the hamburger over the beef cubes. For my next batch of chili I will smoke some hamburger and see what that does for me. I'll post an update when I do it.
I had thought of smoking ground beef. Roll it into a 3” tube so there’s more surface area for smoke penetration.
Other thought was to smoke something like a chuck roast then grind it after.🤔
Wintertime BBQ in Vermont…

Was surfing YouTube shorts and someone posted a recipe for cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped smoked bratwurst. As luck would have it, I happened to have all of the required ingredients in my pantry and fridge, so at 2PM I jumped in on preparations.

The jist of it is you slice your brats lengthwise, jam a long chunk of cheese in ‘dere ‘eh? (obligatory Wisconsin accent). Squeeze the sausage around the cheese chunk, then wrap with a slice of nice American bacon, and sprinkle with your fav BBQ rub before tossing on the smoker. I used some of the cheddar cheese I had cold smoked a while back, and it was perfect. Tasted some of the cheese while I was stuffing the brats and it has really mellowed to perfection. What is it? A year later? Patience, as they say, is a virtue.

I used my vertical Pit Boss pellet smoker for this one. Started at 225F for the first hour, then ramped the temp up slowly over the next hour. Trick is to get the bacon cooked on the outside before over cooking the sausage and cheese inside.

Was very happy with the results, and will definitely revisit this one for company in the future. Leftovers with an egg on top in the morning no doubt!

To paraphrase Jerry Maguire… “ You had me at “bacon wrapped””

I did a similar thing for a breakfast once, but I took 4 brown and serve sausage links, a tube of string cheese I split in quarters put in the middle and wrapped it with bacon, cooked on a hot grill until the bacon was done.

The idea of smoking them now sounds more interesting 🤔
Just found out that my beloved Lumberjack brand, as well as Bear Mountain brand pellet, have sold out to “Lignetics”. They are a big player in the heating pellet fuel market, and I have been happy with a couple of their products in that realm. But it does mean that the formulae are likely to change in the near future once they clear out back stock. So far, the Hickory and Char Hickory I’ve been buying haven’t changed flavor, but I thought I should throw out a caution since I endorsed them so broadly.
Too cold out for BBQ. -18F is morning. -21F down at the barn where we keep the chickens and my wife’s horse. Good day for indoor cookin’.

Baked a loaf of sourdough this morning to help warm up the house. Pellet stove running full blast was only getting us to 63 inside.


Once the sun came out the indoor temps came up to regular 70 degrees, but it was still only 4 degrees outside. Put on a pot of Texas style chili. Cubed chuck roast, browned in the bottom of the dutch oven. Cup of strong coffee, beef broth and one can of whole tomatoes. Used Gebhardt chili powder along with the other spices and seasonings. Second time I’ve made the recipe. It’s a good one

Texas Brisket Chili Recipe

As a follow-up, don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t use a cast iron dutch oven for your chili. Tomatoes totally stripped the seasoning out of the bottom, so I’m having to reseason it this morning. Next time either stainless or a ceramic lined dutch oven. Better to have a little red stain in the ceramic than have to reseason.
Map a pot roast yesterday. Wife was home (not nannying) when the ice hit, so she got to spend a whole week and a half home for a change. Made it yesterday and was excellent. House warmed up and smelled great.
Yeah, had a non coated cast iron Dutch oven way back when. Was hard to clean and required re-seasoning after some cooks. Ditched it and got one of these Lodge porcelain enamel ones:
Cleans quicker, hasn’t actually gotten stained with use. (Inside is a cream color)
But do still have two regular cast iron frying pans, a 8” and 12” that so far haven’t needed to be re-seasoned.
I usually make chili in the Dutch oven, but also like to use a crock pot. If I use the crock pot, I brown the meat first in the fry pan.