The Week of Brisket

I’m not entirely sure what got into J.D. but for the last couple of weeks, he got super fixated on smoking his own brisket on the grill we got last year. We’ve honestly been getting pretty good use out of it, but he generally uses the propane side of the grill because it’s just a quicker cook time and easier clean up.

He’s been slowly gathering supplies from different places, hoping I didn’t notice the bags of wood chips and extra knives coming into the house. And then, he came home from his Saturday morning basketball game with an 8-pound brisket. 

I honestly didn’t care about him wanting to use the smoker — I just thought he should start with something smaller, like a chicken or something less involved. 

But, he watched Aaron Franklin’s PBS barbecue show researched his recipe and felt like he could definitely do it. He even got Bean into watching Franklin’s show, but we later realized that Bean was only watching so intently because he thought Aaron Franklin might be his Uncle Aaron’s because they both have the same name, and similar glasses.

So, we decided Memorial Day would be the best time for the brisket project, because he had the day off and I was planning on staying home to do some yard work anyway. 

He got up before us on Monday and worked on trimming the brisket and getting the smoker started. 

It was lucky that my yard work day was rained out because I spent all day trying to consume the least amount of calories possible so I could feast on the brisket when it was finally ready. I definitely couldn’t have done yard work while waiting for brisket. 


But it was so worth it and we’be been eating amazing brisket-centric meals all week and each one has been more amazing than the last. 

And look how proud J.D. is…

We didn’t get to eat until after 8:00 pm but it was freaking delicious. I think it was honestly better than any brisket I’ve ever had at Rudy’s, which is our go-to barbecue restaurant and way better than the brisket from Killen’s that we had to wait an hour in line for… 

J.D.’s first brisket meal was sliced brisket with homemade mustard potato salad and baked beans. 

Then he used some of the leftovers to make  chopped beef sandwiches on toasted King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. 

Then he had brisket breakfast tacos waiting for us the next morning, which were pushed over the top with buttered tortillas. 

And then he finished off the brisket bonanza with my favorite thing ever — GREEN CHILI STEW!! 

It was so good that I may have scalded the roof of my mouth. 

I am definitely making J.D. smoke another brisket, especially since he learned three important lessons during his first try.

First, buy enough wood chips so you don’t have to go out in the middle of smoking to get more and then still not get enough so you have to switch to using propane…

Then, make sure your propane tank has enough gas so you don’t run out 30 minutes into switching to the gas grill, thus forcing you back indoors for the last hour of cooking. 

And lastly, if you have Bean outside with you while you’re tending to the brisket, make sure you’re watching him and not letting him play with matches, because at some point you’re going to see him pointing to a lit match on the ground and Bean saying, “Uh-oh, Daddy. I make a candle on.”


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