Birthday weekend

I turn 53 on Sunday. Before I wrote that sentence I had to do what I always do. “What year is it? Let me do the math from 1963.” I’m serious. I’m not trying to make some douchy point about ignoring your age or any of that crap. It’s just that the way my head works that I can never retain how old I am. What I really want to do sometime is answer in months like parents do with their little kids. “Oh, I’m 636 months old.”

I remember freaking out a little at 29. One of the 30’s kind of freaked me out, but I don’t remember which one it was now. Which is a lot like the rest of my 30’s. Forty and 50 came and went and Sunday will be another one. I’m to the point staying home is what I want to do, and that’s what I’m doing this year. We were going to have some folks over, but my head still isn’t really right and the idea of getting the place ready for actual company just stressed me out.

Here’s the guest of honor for Sunday:




It’s a 13-lb whole packer brisket. You can see it’s kind of long; probably too long to go on the round Egg. For those of you not conversant in brisket, the left side is called the “flat” and the other end is called the “point.” It’s actually two muscles connected by a big strip of fat.  The point is quite a bit thicker than the flat so one of the religious arguments people get into is how to handle the fact that the flat will be ready before the point. Here’s how I’ve dealt with it:


I separated the flat from the point. The point is still a bit thicker, but not overly so. I’m betting I’ll have to go with a bi-level grid, but that’s OK. SmoBoT has two thermometers so I’ll be able to track them both. I’m planning to put them on tomorrow evening and let them go overnight. In theory I could probably get up early Sunday and put them on, but that would require getting up early on my birthday and that’s not going to happen. I’m going to run them really low — like 190F — all night and then see where we are in the morning. I can always kick it up during the day to get the bark to develop. I’m not on a schedule now.

The patient is currently resting comfortably in the fridge covered in a rub I threw together.  Literally.  As in I opened the spice cabinet and said “Oh, that looks good.  And we’ll have some of that. Paprika? Why yes, please.” Real scientific.


For those of you scoring at home, that’s the point section on top. You can see the flat below in the upper left of the pan.

I’ll bore you with more about this tomorrow. It’s kind of a big deal for me. Being able to to a brisket like this is why I bought the Egg and why I’m so excited about the SmoBoT.

It’s the simple things. That’s what 52 trips around the sun have taught me so far.