Smokin' a Brisket on my Big Green Egg

We are having a party tonight to thank all the people who helped us move into our home in St. Paul.  To celebrate I am smokin' a brisket on my Big Green Egg.

Big Green Egg

So what is a Big Green Egg?  It is a space age ceramic kamado style cooker that uses lump charcoal, not charcoal briquettes, for its heat source.  You can grill, BBQ, bake and smoke with a Big Green Egg.  Here is a photograph of my current setup

In additon to my Big Green Egg I also have a BBQ Guru Digi Q II which comes with a temperature probe for the inside of the Big Green Egg, a meat thermometer probe and a fan which are all controlled by a self contained computer.  Here are photos of the computer and the fan

I soaked both apple & cherry wood chips, along with apple wood chunks to provide the smoke.  While they were soaking.  I prepared the brisket.  Unfortunately it was frozen so it needed to be defrosted.  After that was done I washed, dried, and then put on some of my Memphis Rub on it.  Here is simple version of a Memphis Rub, mine has more spices and I am not giving that away

Memphis Rub

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne

Normally I would leave the rub on for 24 hours before I cooked the brisket but I didn't have time for that.  So while the rub was being absorbed into the meat.

Fire Preparation

I follow the standard wisdom about setting up my charcoal in the Big Green Egg the very largest lumps of charcoal at the bottom, followed by a layer of wood chips, followed by a layer of smaller pieces and another layer of wood chips, and finally a last layer of charcoal plus more wood chips and the wood chunks along the edges of the fire box and charcoal.  I fill the firebox to the top for these long burns.

When I light the charcoal I use only one 'lighting' block because I want the fire to heat up slowly.  Once the fire gets to hot it is very hard to cool down.  Then I put the on the plate stone, which basically allows for indirect heat cooking.  You could also use it to bake bread.  Then the grill.  After that I wait until I see that the temperature inside the grill is at least 100 degrees F.

Time to Start Smokin'

At this point it is time to bring out the brisket.  It is best to put the fatter side down because it protects the rest of the meat from the heat of the charcoal.  There is plenty of fat in the meat to make it moist.  Then it is just a matter of checking the meat every once in a while.  Here is the photographic evidence from the night's smokin'.

At about 6:00 am on Sat. morning this is what came off the grill.

I then cut off the portion that is used to make burnt ends.  The rest was wrapped in aluminium foil and all of it was put back in the Big Green Egg.

After about another hour the portion that was wrapped in aluminium foil was wrapped in a towel and put into a small ice chest.  This allows the meat to continue to simmer in its own heat and moisture.

The burnt ends continued to cook for about another hour or so.

By 11:00 am on Sat. everything was done, sliced or chopped, and ready to be served at our party at 4:00pm.

I heated up the Big Green Egg to over 500 degrees F to burn off all the grease and grim on the plate stone and grill.  After 20 minutes at that temperature everything is essentially dust and is quickly scrapped off.  I then shutdown the BBQ Guru Digi Q II and closed down the Big Green Egg to get it to cool off.  There should be enough fuel left for me to relight it around 2:30 pm or 3:00 pm and get it to 200 degree F. to reheat the brisket and leftover ribs for the party.


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