Monday, July 21, 2014

Last BBQ and a Little Base

I lost a shop day yesterday but it was good to have friends over for food and drink. In this busy world we live in today it doesn't happen often enough. Life is totally out of balance with work dominance distorting our values and life. We started losing our way fifty or so years ago and I'm guessing most of my generational cohorts will need to die for a chance to regain some balance. Enough....When I think about it I can understand going postal.

The BBQ brisket was one of the best I've ever done, almost fall off the fork tender, moist and with almost perfect balance of flavors. All the sides were very good, even the ones that shouldn't be close to a plate of BBQ :-). Here is how the brisket looked fresh out of the pit. Shame there are no more photos but I got too busy enjoying and forgot the camera.

I dry fitted the base this AM just to see how it looks and to take some rough measurements. The base will be 627mm wide and 1463mm long. The top will have a 61mm split and at this time I'm not sure how long it will end up, I'll guess just a little under 3 meters.

I've one shoulder of the base tenons cut. I will need to change sawing technique. My most aggressive cross cut saw is 12PPI and because of the width and depth of the shoulder cut it needs around 9PPI. The saw plate overheated causing the cut to track off line. That is the bad news, the good is it went off line to the waste side and a little chisel work will take care of it. For the next shoulder I will treat it like a tenon cut and saw down the shoulder at 45 degrees, flip the board saw the other side at 45 degrees and then come back an take out the middle. A PITA but I expect less a PITA than the chisel work.

Here is how the base fits together:

Another view, if you look carefully you can see the off track shoulder cut:


  1. Anonymous10:37 AM

    BBQ looks v. tasty to a limey.

    I understand the preference for butcher's paper over fine china, BUT -- what's that white support for the brisket? - should be a plank of wood surely?

    danny (Sheffield, England)
    PS - I'm at just the same stage with my bench - base of ancient oak rescued from a mid-19th cent. door frame - nice wood, but not as finely made as yours.

  2. Danny,

    Damn, you caught me, it should have been on a well worn meter square hunk of oak :-).

    Mine isn't anywhere near as romantic as yours, I just went to the wood store and bought cheap. This bench needs to be finished soon, too many other projects being held up and enthusiasm is starting to lag. Work will interfere this week but I expect within the next two weeks it will be upright.

    Love to see a photo.


  3. Anonymous11:07 AM

    What your process for the Brisket?

    I've tried Brisket several times and failed repeatedly. Too dry, too salty, no flavor. Pork ribs and pulled pork I have covered, but the Brisket eludes me.

    Looks like you start with a packer cut. Do you inject or marinate it? What kind of rub? Cook temp? Foil wrap?

    PS: the bench is looking good.

  4. That is correct, it is best not to use a trimmed brisket, the fat of the clod will help keep the brisket moist and tender. I use just a straight salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic rub. If you see a foil wrap on a brisket run as fast as you can, it ain't BBQ. Good BBQ will need no marinate nor injection, or sauce during the cooking. The old Central Texas BBQ Masters used just a simple rub, controlled dry heat, and time. Temperature control is the secret, your pit needs to be between 200F and 215F with 210F perfect. If the pit goes above 215F for any time the meat will be tough, under 200F you are smoking not BBQing. I usually plan on 4 to 6 hours to stabilize my pit, once there it will hold temp with minimum attention and just an occasional hunk of Oak added to the fire box. Meat goes on clod (fat) side up and will take somewhere around 6 to 8 hours to reach 180F in the middle of the clod. If you can resist "samples" let it set 30 or so minutes.

    Thanks, I should start the pinning of the leg stretchers within a day or two...MsOK and work permitting.