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Column: Maybe a bit to cold to cook outside

I’m not sure why I thought cooking ribs outside in December was a splendid idea, but it did not stop me from battling the below-zero temperatures for a nice home-cooked meal.

It was probably about the third time I spritzed the ribs that I really questioned my decisions. I’m not much of a New Year’s Resolution type, but maybe in 2023, I will refrain from putting on the apron and standing outside like an idiot as my beard freezes.

When the weather finally returned to the 30s later in the month, I decided to try the pellet grill with a recipe I had not tried. One of my favorite things to eat is brisket, but I do not have the patience to spend countless hours cooking. I’m also sure the first time I cook one, it will be a complete disaster, so if I’m not even going to attempt it. A perfectly cooked brisket is a masterpiece of juicy meat, and sometimes during the winter, I daydream about when Blue Smoke Barbecue will open again for the season.

Maybe I should have a resolution for next year about not eating so much because I daydream about food too often.

The other day when daydreaming AGAIN about brisket, I thought about how much I loved burnt ends but figured I did not want to make a long drive for some and certainly was not going to spend my life savings buying a brisket to make some. After researching the internet, I found out many people use their pellet grills to make “Poor Man’s Burnt Ends.”

Anything that has poor in the title appeals to me, so I found a few recipes and decided to use some ideas from all of them.

I started with purchasing a chuck roast, an excellent and versatile piece of meat.

I use it for French dips, chimichangas, and tacos, and it never disappoints.

At around 9 a.m., I took the meat out of the fridge, slathered it with some mustard for a binder, and put a simple rub of salt, pepper, brown sugar, cayenne, and paprika.

After getting the smoker to 225, I put the meat on and left it alone for two hours. I went to watch some wrestling while I waited to spritz, and in between matches was already daydreaming about dinner.

Once it had been on the grill for about two hours, I started to spritz it every 45 minutes. The first time I looked at the meat, it was beginning to take on an amazing color, and I started to get excited.

I had initially wanted to take the roast off and wrap it at around 165 degrees but could not find the elusive aluminum foil and was too lazy to ask someone if they knew where it was or go to the store. I had already left the house for the first time of the day, and I certainly wasn’t going to make two trips.

The dreaded “stall” of the meat temperature stinks, especially without wrapping. Still, I managed to get involved in watching an Italian crime show, so I was pretty well occupied other than my periodic trips to spritz with apple juice and apple cider vinegar.

Once the meat reached 185 around 5 p.m., I took it off the smoker and let it rest for 30 minutes. I then cubed it up and put it in a pan with brown sugar, butter, and ¼ bottle of barbecue sauce.

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