How to Smoke a Brisket (Plus, a Pitmaster-Approved Shortcut)

In my hometown of Austin, it’s hard to escape the wafting aroma of Central Texas Barbecue. Yes, that means there’s tender brisket and spicy smoked sausage links at every turn, but it’s way more fun to make your own. If you’ve got the time (half a day, …

In my hometown of Austin, it’s hard to escape the wafting aroma of Central Texas Barbecue. Yes, that means there’s tender brisket and spicy smoked sausage links at every turn, but it’s way more fun to make your own. If you’ve got the time (half a day, but you can keep busy with stuff while the meat smokes), a well-marbled beef brisket, and a couple bags of lump charcoal and wood chunks, you can part-time pitmaster your way to tender smoked meat.

My cookbooks are devoted to firing up dinner quickly and seasoning foods with a whiff of wood smoke in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. But every now and then, when a sunny weekend calls for quality time with my trusty grill and barbecue and all the fixings, only slow-smoked brisket will suffice.

Read More >>

Short on Oven Space? Smoke a Turkey for Thanksgiving

There are a few common methods for how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. The most traditional way is making roasted turkey using a roasting pan in the oven. A lot of butter, a drizzle of olive oil, and a handful of fresh herbs can go a long way to mak…

There are a few common methods for how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. The most traditional way is making roasted turkey using a roasting pan in the oven. A lot of butter, a drizzle of olive oil, and a handful of fresh herbs can go a long way to making a turkey that has crispy skin and flavorful, succulent meat. There’s also the less-popular but quick-cooking method known as spatchcocking turkey, which is also a version of a roasted turkey. The outdoorsy types may be inclined towards deep-fried or even smoked turkey.

So why would you smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving? Smoking a turkey doesn’t necessarily save time, but it does save valuable oven space, making room for larger-than-life casseroles and stuffings. The real reason why you would choose this cooking method is because of those delicious smoky flavors. If you love barbecue, smoked turkey might be just the thing to transport you to the woods of Tennessee, a glass of bourbon in one hand, and a plate piled high with turkey in the other. While there are many methods for cooking a turkey that has golden-brown skin and juicy meat, there is really no way to build an authentic, smoked flavor in the bird without the use of an electric smoker or grill.

Read More >>