Dysfunctional Family Dinner

by zydecopaws on July 3, 2009

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My buddy Pigdog has the classic dysfunctional family, of which I am an adopted member (any family with me as a member is dysfunctional by definition).  Today I not only had an opportunity to fix a brisket for his dad (he’s like a second father) who was visiting from parts south, I also got to hear one of his sisters utter the phrase “I don’t want any balls unless they are MOINK”.  That was followed by the hysterectomy, menopause, and ovaries conversation.  Now I know why her husband spends so much time playing golf and riding bikes.  Just another normal meal with Pigdog’s family; I can’t wait until we triple the number of people and add fireworks to the mix tomorrow…

Since it was just a small gathering (the number was somewhere around 20), I cooked a full packer and a flat to insure that there would be enough brisket to go around.  And for good measure I added 3 racks of baby back ribs and toned down the rub so those with delicate taste buds and stomachs could partake as well.  To top things off I added 4 dozen MOINK and actually followed the recipe for a change.

The brisket rub was a variation on the recipe I used last week.  I gave it a light coating of coarse ground salt, topped that with a medium dusting of fresh ground pepper, then gave it a liberal dusting of Bayou Cajun and Barbecue spice mixes.  And just so people would know that they were eating it, I hit it pretty good with some fine ground (powdered) cayenne.  The briskets went on about 00:30 in the morning and I had the temperature stabilized at 210°F by 01:30.  Of course, I stayed up for another hour to convince myself it was stable, but sometimes you just got to do what you got to do to insure proper results.

About 08:00 I wandered out to check the temps and was pleasantly surprised to see that they had only dropped to about 205°F during the night.  Not wanting to mess with success, I went back in the house, had some coffee, and generally ignored them until about 10:00.  At 10:00 they were still in the 150°F range, so the lid back on and I went back to ignoring them.  They were finally done around 14:30, so I pulled them, wrapped them in foil, and put them in a cooler to rest (and stay warm since dinner was supposed to happen around 17:30.

The ribs were dusted using about 1/3 the normal amount of basic rib rub and put on the lower grate of the 18.5″ WSM at about 13:00.  I suppose I could have put them on the lower grate of the bigger WSM, but I didn’t want to disturb the brisket and I also wanted some flexibility around the temperature.  Plus I had 4 dozen MOINK to cook, and I didn’t want to risk the brisket not coming off in time for the MOINK to thoroughly cook.  Besides, it was fun to have both smokers in action at the same time.  The MOINK went on about 15:30, and both the ribs and the MOINK came off at 17:00.

And the results?  I am still on to cook tomorrow, no one keeled over at the table, and there weren’t very many leftovers.  The only complaints I heard were my own (brisket doesn’t hold well, and seems to dry out no matter what you do).  But then again, I had the brisket as it was being carved and got to eat all the little bits on the carving board, so I know that it was better fresh off the grill.  A good time was had by all, and I wasn’t scarred too badly by any hot flashes…

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