DIY Tips for Aspiring Pitmasters
Embarrassing story: The first time I had brisket from a proper Texas barbecue joint, I was 24 years old, and I had no idea that brisket was a part of a cow. I just assumed “brisket” was the name of the tender, salty beast that was making my knees buckle as I shoveled genuinely concerning quantities of meat into my mouth. When it was over, and I thought about something other than my next bite, I almost felt cheated. How did I go nearly a quarter-century before I got to experience brisket done right?
I suppose my experience isn’t unique for folks who grew up in New Jersey. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of great food in the Garden State. Our diverse population offers an enviable number of authentic dining experiences from diverse culinary traditions, but barbecue just isn’t one that's consistently good. Since moving home to New Jersey a decade ago, I’ve searched high and low for barbecue like I found in the Southwest or the Carolinas without any luck. (Side note: If you know of a good spot, please share it in the comments!)
So about five years ago I bought a smoker, spent some time in some YouTube rabbit holes examing videos like the Zapruder film, and tried my hand at smoking. I’ve discovered with a some of knowledge and some free time, smoking meat that can make your knees buckle is something you can absolutely do in your backyard. If you’re interested in doing the same, I’ve compiled the videos that I found to be most helpful in this post.
Spoiler alert: all them feature Aaron Franklin, owner of the legendary Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. Texas Monthly calls his barbecue “the best… in the known universe.” The videos are relatively short (no more than 7 to 8 minutes) and provide the basic information you need to make some really good barbecue at home.
The videos cover brisket, beef ribs (low level of difficulty and our favorite cut), pulled pork, and pork ribs. If you’re ready to get started, we’ve got all these cuts in house all summer. Just give us a call at 908-306-8806 to let us know what you need!
Part 1: The Brisket
Part 2: The Cook
Part 3: The Payoff