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How I spent my summer vacation July 10, 2009

Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Eating Down the Fridge, Food, Home.

Wow, when was the last time I actually wrote that title?

I mentioned before that my boss closed his stores for a week during the Fourth of July holiday.  This was the first time in my working life that I’ve taken a whole week off.  I used to take vacation a day here, two days there.

So, I spent two days of it preparing for the in-laws to arrive.  Then another day with them actually here.  Sunday was spent recovering from it all.  That was kind of nice.  We tried to catch up on some of the things we watch that we never have time for.  We even almost napped.

Monday is normally my day off anyway.  That’s my day to do laundry and other domestic household stuff.  Holy crap, my vacation is pretty much shot already, isn’t it?

Well, I had two days left.  Let’s get the smoker going.  I had pulled some stuff out of the freezer over the weekend that I had wanted to smoke.  Two beef briskets that we’d gotten on sale a couple weeks ago and a large package of beef short ribs.  All of the short ribs I’ve ever seen are usually cut into three to four inch segments and cost far too much.  The ones in out freezer we got at BJ’s last year were two four-bone racks that totaled about twelve pounds.

Tuesday morning I made up a rub for all the meat.  I turned to Cook’s Illustrated again.  They honestly do know a great deal about food.  Once all the meat was nicely coated, it went back into the fridge until it was time.

Wednesday.  Last day of vacation.  Crud.  The dog woke us up a little after 4:00.  Thanks.  But I know that brisket is supposed to take a while, so I didn’t mind too much.

When I went downstairs to get coffee, I also got the briskets out of the fridge to come up to room temperature.  Or at least lose a little of the chill.  Whatever.  It’s early.

When Toys got back from walking the dog, it was time to get started.  I got some charcoal started while it was still dark out.


This is what I was seeing, pretty much.  Did I mention that it was really early?

Once the coals were ready, they went into the smoker to get it warmed up a bit.  Then it was time for the brisket.


Two 9 and half pound briskets went on a little after 5:00. I had a probe thermometer in one to let me know when I reached my target temperature.

Nothing to do now but monitor the fire and make sure everything is going according to plan.

Until about noon.  The brisket is doing nicely, but could still take a very long time.  And we’re going to be doing the short ribs for dinner.  I had pulled them out of the fridge a couple hours previously, so lets get them going.
Wow. That’s a lot of stuff. Seriously. That’s the one problem with having so much room on the smoker. You’re tempted to use it. I did.
Now, it’s back to waiting.

Shortly before Toys got home, the thermometer told me that the brisket was done.  Not even eleven hours.  Not bad.  I was expecting something close to eighteen from all the research I’ve done.  Cool.  The briskets come off and get wrapped in foil to rest.

The ribs come off not even an hour later.  They also rested in foil while the rest of dinner was gotten ready.

We each got a rib along with skillet roasted potatoes and garlic scapes.
The brisket got put into the fridge to be dealt with later.

Later came the next day after getting home from my first day back at work.  It all got sliced and put into foil pans for later meals.  All except enough for dinner Saturday and a little left over for sandwiches and as samples to various people.

Oh, the leftover rib meat got chopped and put in the freezer for later use in various applications.
Was it worth it? To have a freezer full of pretty good barbecued brisket? For the price of waiting around most of the day? You tell me.



1. kath the cook - July 10, 2009

just curious – why the metal pans? Why not just freezer zip lock bags?

Inquiring minds want to know. happy smoking…

Peeps - July 12, 2009

I used the foil pans partly because we have a bunch of them. And using them, I can just cover them and pop them in the oven. Simple and easy. And they stack nicely, too.

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