Adventures in Cooking

Above is a diagram of a make it yourself cardboard box smoker. Actually, Im getting a little ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning...

A few weeks ago, Mel bought a beef brisket from the grocery store. It was on sale, so she bought it. Briskets can only be prepared one true way, smoking. Keep in mind, we don't have a smoker. We only have a little Weber grill. We use it all the time.

That's the pizza that we grilled last night. Last weekend we had the parentals over for kick-ass pork chops and "Bacorn" Corn, wrapped in bacon, grilled with the husks on and then served in all its goodness. My parents, big butter fiends when it comes to corn (they have at least 3 different types at the dinner table) didn't use any butter on the corn. Pork fat is the best!

Anywho, after watching many an episode of Good Eats on the Food Network, we (okay, "I") decided that we should build the smoker like on the show. It seemed simple enough. We didn't have the same tools as him, but we figured that we could make substitutions.

Here is ours...

In the episode, he used a little hot spot range thingy. The closest thing we had was an electric skillet that we hadn't used in ages. (Travis may recall this artifact from our dorm days and so will his ma' Cathy)

After we filled it with smoke chips...

we found the internal temperature of our box was only 127F at best. We needed something eles to get us to the important 225 beef smoking range. We subsituted out the old indoor grill that we don't use much anymore.

Voila! The internal heat jumped to 198 and was rising.




This is gonna be good.


Perfect. It's really kickin' out the smoke now!

It continues to rise.




Oh shit, what was that? (Melissa was inside at this point watching through the window in fear of having her face blown off)

I lift the cover and


Like "Backdraft" the flames ignite and come under the box. I carefully lift the box containing our dinner and move it to the side. I can see the smoke still lingering inside. Mel has a look of horror and walks off. As I cover the wood in ash to supress the tall flames, Mel arrives with a fire extinguisher.

Damn. It fucked everything up. The indoor grill had a huge crack down the side from the heat and the metal got so hot it changed colors. I don't remember the exact name of the chemical reaction that makes it do it, but its damn cool.

I end up lighting a small amount of charcoal and covering it with a pouch of wood chips and placing the brisket as far on the other side of the grill as I can to smoke it. It's working, just very very slowly. Did I mention that its 7:39 PM and I started this at 1:00? I expect dinner to be sometime later this evening.

At 8:30 we finally pulled the brisket off of the grill. Sliced it up and it was good.

Dinner is served!!!!

Check the comments for a new video of the Adventures in Cooking!


Anonymous 8:21 AM  

What were you thinking, using a skillet as a heat source????
That's why you had a melt down. Next time go out and get a cheap electric single hot plate burner to do your heat source. They run about $10.00. At least you didn't burn your place down or the u-haul boxes. Good luck next time. Don't give up. Dad

Anonymous 8:25 AM  

Looking back at your drawing, what the hell is item "f" ?? Dad

steph 11:40 AM  

brian, lemme handle this one.

item f is a hamster wheel. the hamster keeps the meat turning, and if said pet is inadvertantly cooked up, it becomes a tasty garnish.

hope this helps!

swirlogirl 1:56 PM  

HAHAHAHAH oh my god! as soon as i saw cardboard i thought FIRE... hahah you are outrageous and oh so enterprising. i want to see this method on an infomercial

Captain Big Wang 4:08 PM  

Dont let them get you down Brian, As a fellow male I will defend you insaying that if you had followed Alton's directions to the letter, everything would be just fine, but as a man (RAKEMAN) we feel the need to improvise, this generally earns us "stupid Ass" points from our spouses. Carry on my good man!!!

Captain Big Wang 4:09 PM  

P.S. I think item "f" might be a pizza cutter, it makes sense, along with the indoor grill, doesn't it?

Brian 11:58 AM  

First off, When doing this, I thought, I should call Dad, he would enjoy this. Then the fire and well, I was a little less interested in calling.

Okay, to end the speculation, "Item F" is an optional small fan to circulate the smoke. We didn't have a fan small enough and we were too broke/lazy to go get one.

In response to not using a hot plate, see explaination for no fan. Besides, I realized that the skillet was not a great heat source so I... (forgive me) "kicked it up a notch" with the indoor grill. It worked like a charm... until... it... um'... caught fire and frightened my wife.

Capn' - Thank you for explaining what it is to be male. Your knowledge and vision has enlighted us all.

Let it be known that only a small section of the cardboard got scorched on the inside. It was the outdoor grill that to the biggest hit. The result was very tasty by the way.

For those of you wanting to try this at home, the rub that we used on the brisket is as follows...

2 parts Paprika
1/2 part Cayenne
1 part Black Pepper
1 part Chili Powder
1 part Cumin
1 part Brown Sugar
1 part Sugar
1 part Salt

For extra enjoyment of the event, Mel and I took the photos and put it in a slideshow set to "Rodeo" by Arron Copland (the song from the beef commercials). It was very funny and I wil post it when I get the file size a little smaller.

swirlogirl 12:18 PM  

hey no matter what happened i enjoyed this thouroughly. we grilled shish kabobs last night and it rocked. keep the grill alive!

Brian 12:32 PM  

... and a fire extinguisher handy.

Brian 12:58 PM  

Okay, here's the video. Remember, I'm available for weddings and bar mitzfah's.

It's what's for dinner!

swirlogirl 10:36 PM  

HAHAHA you are so damn ass silly

Josh 4:41 PM  

i like food, its soooo yummmmy.. And I like Fire...

steph 10:36 AM  

dammit, i can't watch it at work because i'm supposed to be working and i can't turn my sound up, i can't watch it at home because i'm on dial-up.

i'm just gonna chug some drano and be done with the whole thing!!!

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