Re: [gardeners] Long winded BBQ school, Texas Style

Barb Rothenberger (
Wed, 07 Jul 1999 07:04:02 -0500

Penny:  when I was teaching, the kids in ag shop class made bbq pits out of
oil drums.  You might check with your local high school and see if 1.  they
do that and 2. what they would charge.

As for pig roasting, we did that in gourmet one time - and only one time.
There is someone locally that will roast a big for you for a party.  think
that would be easier way to go!
Barb in central MO.  - who woke up to a cool morning this morning!! would
that it would last!!

At 02:27 PM 7/6/99 -0300, you wrote:
>Hi Allen
>An interesting read.  Even tho I've had lunch I'm drooling.  We have an
old oil drum with a lid on it.  Not sure now why agreed to take it free.
Anyway, I was wondering if there is any way we could make a BBQ, similar to
what you describe from it.  Not sure how we would do the vents.  Have
thought about roasting a pig for a party.  Could just  make a pit in the
ground, but it would be nice to be able to better control the heat, etc.
with vents.
>What do you think.
>Penny in Halifax, N.S. (the other Penny)
>>>> Allen and Judy Merten <> 07/06/99 01:11AM >>>
>Hi Penny,
>    One of the things that I love to do and talk about is BBQ. It's a
>family tradition.
>    You asked how to slow cook a brisket over coals.
>    My pit is like a horizontal barrel. It has 2 vents on each end. The
>vents are located at the top and bottom of the ends of the barrel. The
>bottom vents control the air intake and the top vents control smoke
>exhaust. The manipulation of the vents control the heat. I always have
>more air coming in than smoke going out. I open the bottom vent on one
>end of the barrel and partially open the top vent at the opposite end.
>    The heat is from coals of oak, hickory, mesquite, or pecan wood that
>I begin burning with the barrel open. Once the wood is burning well, I
>close the pit and open the vents. This slows down the burning process
>and starts making hard coals that will last and produce heat at a steady
>    I begin preparing the brisket before I start the fire. I buy "packer
>trim" brisket in heavy kripac bags. The weight is usually from 12 - 15
>lb.. Some of this is fat that needs to be trimmed. (Suet for bird
>feeders). I trim most but not all of the fat. I sprinkle soy sauce or
>Worcestershire sauce and concentrated lemon juice over both sides of the
>brisket. Next I heavily season with garlic powder, salt, paprika, onion
>powder. You can substitute steak seasoning or ready mixd brisket rubs
>for the other dry ingredients. I don't care that much for the steak
>seasoning. It is mostly salt and not much else. You can add red or
>cayenne pepper if that is your taste. I cook for mixed crowds of kids,
>women and men so I go light on the pepper if I use it at all. I always
>have hot peppers on the side anyway. One alternative to all of the spice
>application is to use Italian dressing as a marinade. Place the brisket
>in a large rectangular cake pan covered with foil, or double or triple
>wrap the brisket in foil. Place it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350*.
>    The fire should be just about right by now. I take the brisket out
>of the pan and reserve the drippings to baste with. The fire was laid at
>one end of the barrel as much as possible. I light the ends of the wood
>nearest the bottom vent that will be open. Place the brisket on the
>opposite end from the fire, nearest the top vent that will allow smoke
>to escape. The meat will be cooked by the hot smoke passing by not by
>direct heat from the coals. If you have flames flare up when the pit is
>open shut the vents completely and let the flames suffocate. This
>creates intense smoke inside the pit which will flavor and color the
>brisket. Turn and baste the brisket every 15 to 20 minutes or sooner if
>it looks dried out. I cook brisket for 2-4 hours depending on the weight
>of the brisket and the heat of the fire. I cook all my BBQ using this
>same method. Only the oven is omitted for lighter weight meats like
>chicken, ribs, Emu, venison, etc. I use the same method to smoke
>turkeys. The best BBQ chicken is split at the breast but not at the back
>and cooked butterfly fashion.
>    If you are going to BBQ brisket away from home and oven, triple wrap
>the brisket and cook wrapped for 1-2 hours. Unwrap it and finish cooking
>until done. Don't over cook brisket. If you wait till the meat is all
>gray it will be tough as a boot, maybe a boot heel. Brisket is a juicy
>meat. When you cut a little slice to test if it is done, you want to
>quite cooking when it is still faintly pink, not rare. After the brisket
>is sliced most of the juices will drain out of the meat taking that pink
>color with it. Keep in mind that the smoke will color a "rind" on the
>outside of the brisket. This is where the flavor is. Pecan wood will
>give you a redder and deeper rind than any other wood that I have cooked
>    Like Jimmie, I can cook out side in all kinds of conditions and be
>just happy to be cooking outdoors. I can make homemade biscuits and
>sunny side up eggs on a campfire. I shocked 3 of my sons by cooking
>sausage over a open fire one rainy day using a shovel for a grill. We
>were clearing dead brush and dead falls from the area for our house. I
>have cooked stews, chili, beans, soup, wild game, fish, fowl, etc. on an
>open campfire. I enjoy doing it. It is such a kick to have people think
>you're some kind of wizard 'cause you can cook the way the old trail
>drivers, hunters, pioneers, and travelers  did it.
>    If you are going to cook that way you have to have cast iron. Teflon
>and that fancy stuff won't get the job done.
>    I have rattled on enough. I told you I enjoyed talking about BBQ.
>Bastrop Co., 98* w/thunder and a rainbow, but no rain.
>SE Central Tx.
Barb Rothenberger
Columbia, Mo.
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