This week we used our trailer pit to cook: 1 brisket, 2 pork butts, 3 racks of ribs, several sausages, and a bunch of chicken thighs. A vertical smoker, a pit, and a grill made up our cooking areas, and we put it all to work. To satisfy a friend’s request, we used varying smoke exposure, adding an interesting twist to cooking the different meats at the same time. We purposely designed our trailer to handle a lot of food at once while allowing us to vary heat and smoke. It certainly delivered as intended (thank you, Lonestar Grillz!). Several great meals and full bellies later, we can report that the results were wonderful.
In the Vertical Smoker…
one pork butt and one brisket cooked low and slow — meaning the temperature was around 225-250 degrees; and the rate of cooking was slow, taking many hours to smoke. For some people, the process of waiting all these hours presents a challenge; often our eyes are wide with anticipation as we grip a fork in one hand and a knife in the other. It may help to set down the fork and knife, remove the napkin bib you’ve tucked into your shirt collar, and take some deep breaths. Personally, I have not tried this. Good luck to you.
In the Pit…
chicken thighs and ribs cooked in the middle section of our trailer. You can see, they were exposed to a good bit of smoke and barbecued quite nicely. Obviously, these don’t take as long as a brisket to cook and you’ll be ready for a bite fairly soon after pulling them off the racks. If you are cooking these meats for someone else, I’m sure they won’t notice if a little chicken thigh or rib has gone missing. Dig in when nobody’s looking.
On the Grill…
one pork butt and one rack of ribs cooked in a section on the opposite side of the vertical smoker. This grilling section obtained heat from the firebox that sits directly against it. Also, some of the heat was provided by natural draft. However, without charcoal heat and almost zero smoke, one could say our grill worked similarly to an oven. And though the temperature of the firebox can be controlled due to it’s position separate from the rest of the pit, we chose to cook low and slow as we did in the vertical smoker – just without the smoke. It’s interesting to think about how the pork butt in this section cooks and tastes compared to the one that is in the smoker at the same time. It may be a little painful to think about which one you prefer. Thankfully, we don’t have to in this case. Since we’ve cooked both ways, we simply enjoy both. It’s a beautiful thing.
Brisket Smoke Ring
Capturing a great smoke ring can take a bit of practice. On this try, we think it turned out really nice; the meat had a good pink color under the crust. This brisket started out at 10.6 pounds. We used our Texas Flame and Smoke Cattle Ranch dry rub to prepare it. We typically rub the brisket the night before to give it time in cold storage. It smoked for 7 hours in the vertical smoker and, as mentioned, smoked low and slow. It was wrapped for an additional 2 hours, and then it rested for 1 more hour. It was a real test of patience but we finally sliced into it and were very pleased.
Notice the burnt ends, the nice bark, and it was absolutely juicy and succulent when it was cut. The flavor was exceptional.