In "Shigging," we ask pitmasters to give us some specifics about how they smoke their meats. In the spirit of barbecue secretiveness and competitiveness, they're allowed to lie once.
This week, we're asking everyone's favorite teddy bear, Jack Perkins at Slow Bone, how he smokes his brisket.
What is the name of your smoker? Miss Jessie
What kind of smoker is she? Oyler 700 from J&R Manufacturing
How old is she? Young. She can't wear makeup or date.
What kind of capacity does she have? +- 70 briskets/1,000 pounds. She also has the capacity for rational thought.
At what temp do you cook your briskets? 225 and 265
For how long do you cook them? 20 minutes, or 14 hours. Whichever tastes better.
What internal temperature are you shooting for? We put the probe in when it's nice and warm, the pull it out when it gets uncomfortable. (Or 190. Whichever comes first.)
Do you have a complicated rub, or do you keep it simple? It's complicated, but I am simple.
What's in your rub? Salt. Pepper. Dust from the Shroud of Turin.
Do you inject? Do you spritz? Neither. We puff them with captured werewolf farts.
Do you mess with the brisket while it's cooking (move it around inside the smoker, or flip it or make out with it)? We put their hands in warm water.
For how long do you let your brisket rest? The male briskets get to rest after, IF THE FEMALE ONES WILL LET THEM!
Brown paper or foil wrap? Neither during cooking. Mink after ... or foil.
What kind of wood do you use when smoking your briskets? Whatever is endangered. If they need it in the rainforest, we want it ... or hickory.
What's your personal preference, lean or fatty? It depends on the face, really.
Do you own any items of clothing that don't smell like smoke? I have some tear-away tuxedo pants and an old bow tie that are in an air-tight case along with a note on a cocktail napkin from Hillary Clinton.
If you could bottle the smell of smoked meats, what would you name this lovely perfume? Night Sweats.
How many times a day do people ask, "What's that smell?" when you're around? Once, why? Are you asking?
What kind of smoker do you have at home? Same kind I have at the Slow Bone. That's where the Death Star lives.
If you were just smoking meats on the weekend at home for friends, where would you buy the goods? I would steal them from a neighbor who bought Jimmy's.
Many thanks to Jack Perkins and Slow Bone for putting up with our shigging this week. If tracking down endangered rainforest wood and stealing from your neighbors just so you can attempt to copy some of the best barbecue in the state doesn't sound appealing to you, go suck up some food at Slow Bone. Get some sides, too. Like that cauliflower and Brussels sprouts gratin. I know it sounds weird to say "Get the sides at a barbecue joint," but the options here are fantastic. And you have a separate stomach for hush puppies anyhow, so it won't get in the way of your meating.
Smoke slow. Smoke often. Smoke hard.