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Brisket Dinner - Work From Home? Smoke from Home!

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    Brisket Dinner - Work From Home? Smoke from Home!

    In this thread I'll give you a blow by blow for my brisket smokin' today.

    I am quite blessed to work remotely for my company. This unique status means I am on point for dinner most nights. This is often complicated by the fact that my home office (and therefore an evening meeting) is an hour behind us, meaning that I am often on the phone and computer when I'd normally be prepping dinner (5ish). This makes smoking a great way to get dinner ready. While this is an option for me most days, most desk jockeys can spare a day or two during the year to work from home and I highly recommend trying if you haven't yet.

    Benefits of Work/Smoke From Home (WSFH) Day:
    • Smoking is mostly downtime, so I can periodically check the smoker all day in between meetings
    • It gives me a reason to step away from the computer periodically
    • I get more smoking done year round allowing for more experimentation and learning
    • Only the family is subjected to my less successful exploits
    • I have an option to smoke on Fridays to have meat ready for a party on Saturday
    Downsides (and there are many):
    • Daddy's favorite BBQ helpers (Children, Copious Beer and frequent naps) are not available
    • It's easy to get distracted with work and forget to check the BBQ
    • It's easy to get distracted with the BBQ and forget to call into a meeting
    • You are more likely to blow your time windows meaning that you should have backup dinner waiting in the wings
    So the BBQ experience is not there, which is a major drawback. But once you do it a couple times, it becomes an experience all itself. There is something special about chatting in IRC with the lovely aroma of mesquite in my clothes.

    My normal BBQ is ribs and pork butt, however these weren't options at the store this weekend so I picked up a brisket- a meat that I have mixed success with. I opted for a thinner brisket to give more surface area and hopefully a quicker smoke time. Pics are coming.

    I can feel a slight cough approaching. Might have to have me one of these WSFH days soon


      Here is the brisket ready to go. I salted it overnight and then added the rub while getting kids rousted for the morning.

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      As noted before, this is a flat thin cut for speed of smoking. I left more fat than normal just because I think it will help basting the meat to keep it from getting dry. The rub is similar to the big beef rub provided on this site, but I substitute very mild chili powder and paprika for the chili powders because (much to my shame) my kids immediately burst in to tears whenever they taste food that has been in the proximity of anything spicy.

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      It's a cold, drizzly day in northern Colorado (around 46 degrees) as I get the weber going. The smokenator is stuffed full of charcoal and 12 briquettes are lighting up on the propane assist.

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      At 10am I have the weber ready to smokenate. I have it setup for cold weather- extra briquettes and the water pan pulled out of the smokenator and set on top. Despite letting it sit in the rub for over an hour, the brisket is still around 45 degrees when it goes on the smoker.

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      Smoker is lidded and ready to rock. About an hour later than I would have preferred, so I am definitely looking at making crab-stuffed shrooms as an alternative tonight. In the cold weather, it took about an hour for the smoker to come to temperature. But it is holding steady at 235 F.

      In addition to letting me work from home, my company provides me with some office supplies. That includes the file-clips that I use to position the thermoprobe display so I can see it from the kitchen window.

      More to come.
      Attached Files


      • barney
        barney commented
        Editing a comment
        Your backyard looks wonderful. Is that fenced in area a veggie garden ? Love me a brisket & fresh tomatoes.

      Looking good, I kind of come and go as I please as well, stayed home to smoke last Friday, will do the same tomorrow.


        1:00 Update: As I expected, the cold, drizzly weather is slowing down the cooking time. The smokenator is a great tool for the weber, but it is extremely sensitive to even minor adjustments in the vents. You can easily go from 200 to 280 just with a tiny change on the top vent. However, I have dialed it in and seem to be holding steady at about 230 F.

        Brisket is sitting at 150 F right now, so I will probably do a gut check in about an hour to see if I need to wrap it and throw it in the oven. I would really like to render out a little more fat before doing that.


          I also work from home and smoked a small brisket today


          • Steve Vojtek
            Steve Vojtek commented
            Editing a comment
            That looks really juicy... Awesome

          Nice...very nice


            Guys it's probably the best brisket I've ever done - lord it was good


              You are quite blessed and to be working from home and being able to smoke while you work is awesome! Unfortunately i cannot work from home so i found the next best solution ... Smoke at work .. I bought a Davy Crockett pellet grill - the wifi enables me to keep an eye on things with minimal interruption to my work and the boss doesn't mind.He actually bought one himself when he saw mine. I have keys and can get to work early if i need to do a long cook - perfect....At home i have a charcoal kettle to play with - life is good..........


                Steve- That is awesome. Smoke From Work day sounds like a perfect idea. I just might find a reason to do that when I go visit the mothership some time.

                Update on the brisket: As I had worried, the brisket wasn't done in time for dinner. Instead we had crab-stuffed shrooms which were awesome. I had ended up using the texas crutch on the brisket when it was clear that I couldn't make dinner, so when I was done in the oven, I just moved the entire brisket to the fridge- juices and all. The next day I tossed it in a 200 degree oven to warm up for a couple hours. Here is how it came out:

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                All in all, the brisket came out tasty and moist. There was little if any residual fat left on the meat, as I had scored it prior to smoking. Of course, since I used the crutch, the bark was not as crispy as I like. But it was still buttery and had that rendered fat taste.

                Obviously, my preference is to never reheat a brisket, but sometimes life has other plans. When I know that I'm going to have to reheat it, I find the best thing to do is get it tightly wrapped in foil during the end of its time in the oven and then take the whole package to the fridge. The next day it goes straight from the fridge to the oven, without touching the foil. That is, I try to handle it as little as possible between heating sessions.

                In my experience, reheated Brisket suffers from two problems- 1) Oxidizing, where proteins and fats get off flavors from interaction with the air. 2) Re-denaturing proteins where heating up then reheating up the proteins causes them to mush up. #1 is solved by making sure that there is time for most oxygen to be pushed out of the foil envelope during the end of the first cook, and not letting any air in before it starts cooking again. #2 is somewhat unavoidable, but can be lessened by reheating as slow as possible, in the liquids from the previous cook, and stopping just as soon as things are softened up.
                Attached Files


                  Awesome cook man!I agree nothing beats fresh off the smoker. (with two hour rest of course)



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