Chef LeMaster's Barbecuing Tips
Texans prefer the flavor and texture of barbecued beef brisket over all other cuts of beef. The brisket is a fairly tough cut of beef and relatively inexpensive. We recommend 12 to 14 pound briskets (this is the No. 120 brisket). Barbecued long and slow, it becomes a tender, juicy delicacy. Cook at 200°F for 14 hours.
Excellent for barbecue, also fairly inexpensive, we recommend the No. 114 whole clod (more flavorful). Best size clod to use is 15 to 18 pounds out of 600 to 700 pound carcass. Cook at 200°F for 14 hours.
Beef Ribs (Rib Bones)
These ribs are the 6th to 12th rib inclusive and generally are about 10 inches long. The chine bone should be removed by the supplier. They are very inexpensive, but absolutely delicious barbecued in a pit. A side will generally weigh 4 to 6 pounds, 3 ribs is a nice serving. They are a very profitable item to serve. Cook at 250°F for 3 hours.
Other Cuts of Beef
Large 60 to 80 pounds "steamship" rounds can be barbecued at 200°F for 24 to 26 hours and carved to order.
Prime Rib can be barbecued at 250°F for 6 hours, rare in center but the faint smoky flavor adds a delightful touch to this naturally flavorful cut of beef. The "navel" or belly portion is very, very cheap and has a wonderful flavor when barbecued. Although it's a big job picking the lean out, some aficionados of barbecue think it is worth the trouble.
Recommended Procedure for Handling Barbecue
Remove cooked product from pit and let stand at room temperature. Remove fatty outer cover and place in hot cabinet at 140° to 150°F as needed. Remove from hot cabinet as needed to cutting block and hold under heat lamp (in a warm place). To finish, trim, slice and serve.
1. Do not hold in hot cabinet for more than 2 to 3 hours. Barbecue held for more than 3 hours in a hot cabinet may lose its smoky flavor.
2. Wrap meat in foil or place in a tightly covered container prior to refrigerating, refrigeration removes moisture and flavor.
3. Do not keep barbecued meats in steam table pans.