Bubba Ho-Brisket

by zydecopaws on October 14, 2009

I started writing the Bubba Ho-Keg purchase decision post and a review of my experience with it so far when I realized that I hadn’t played with it enough to comment on its ability to cook low and slow. So after a bit of digging in the freezer yesterday, I liberated a small brisket flat and fired up the keg while the kids were getting ready for school.

The first order of business was to provide a rain cover for the cast iron vent on the top. We’ve had some pretty nice weather for quite awhile now; it was about time the rain showed up again. A short search in the gardening supplies turned up a nice hat for Bubba Ho-Keg.

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Temperature control on Bubba Ho-Keg below 250°F is an interesting challenge. I normally cook brisket between 215-225°F on the WSM (although I have done it as high as 250°F); no matter how I worked the vents on the BKCG I couldn’t keep the cooker running consistently below 250°F. I suspect some of this may be due to putting too much charcoal in the cooker; this was the first long cook and I am still conditioned from using the WSMs to fill the darn thing full so that I don’t have to add charcoal during the cook. I also ventured into using some Kingsford Comp briquettes, as I heard it was easier to control the temps for long cooks.

By now you probably know where this story is going. I was in meetings most of yesterday morning, and would duck out between them to adjust the temps. A graph of yesterdays temps over time would resemble a roller coaster; during the cook it was as low as 200°F and as high as 325°F. Up and down it went all morning long. Then, although the brisket was showing internal temps in the 205°F range about 12:45, I decided not to take it off the grill as it didn’t pass the “probed went in like butter” test. At 13:50 I concluded my meeting and went out to check it again.

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As you can see from the picture, it looked really good. The probe now went in like butter, and off came the brisket. At this point, I probably should have let it rest about 5-10 minutes and carved it, but instead, I wrapped it in foil and put it in a cooler for about 45 minutes as I had other stuff to do and wasn’t anywhere near ready to eat.

I’ll wrap this up by saying there aren’t any pictures of the sliced product, as none of it was picture-worthy. The brisket was more than a bit dry, and the bottom had a crust on it that was very difficult to cut. That’s right, I overcooked it. Which oddly enough wasn’t all that big of an issue, as most of it was gone by this morning. Apparently the family is ok with dried out meat as long as it has a good flavor. So much for cutting it up and making a batch of chili…

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