Ask Matt

Previous Questions

  • We have friends coming over around 6pm on Saturday, what time should I put the brisket on the smoker?

    Submitted on July 3, 2018

    Great question. So, in order to enjoy the whole process and not sweat it out huddled over your digital thermometer, let me offer this advice.

    First of all know this: every smoker cooks differently, drafts and hot spots are different and wood sources all burn with a mind of their own. Whole packer briskets (flat & point muscles) can be cooked between 12-15 hours, while flat-only briskets can be cooked in 8-10 hours or so. Very general timetable here, lots of variables including brisket product and overall marbling. Spend some intimate time with your smoker, big or small, and take a few notes along the way.

    I'm a big proponent of the over-night cook, if you're up for it. It's part of the bbq process that kind of burns in you and really start to enjoy. I'd shoot to put it on around 10-11pm, which will allow you to check it once or twice before bed, monitor the coals and have a night cap.

    Your brisket will continue cooking well into the mid-morning (or your 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee), and you'll wrap around 180 deg. and give it PLENTY of time to rest before dinner. Check out the How to 'Que section for more specific tips for the finishing process.

    Just give yourself time to let that beautiful piece of meat do it's work, while you shower, change and chill. You've earned it.

  • Do you always skin your ribs?

    Submitted on June 26, 2018

    I do, and you should too.

    Takes a 30 seconds, and will really help the ribs to tenderize and help the smoke & spice flavorings penetrate deep w/in the meat.

    Plus, you don't want to mess with you or your guest pulling silver-skin membrane out of their teeth 'round the table. This is no "fast-food 'Que."

  • Why do people from KC always put sauce on everything?

    Submitted on June 26, 2018

    Uh, well first of all they don't.. and secondly, maybe there are just a lot of good sauces out there? Lots of bad ones too.

    I firmly support your BBQ sauce "Right to Choose." I've learned a ton about this over the years, growing up in KC & living in Texas now almost as long, and appreciating different styles. Unless it's a chopped sandwich, the good spots would never sauce the meat for you and it's truly the best way to evaluate the flavor.

    That being said you'll always find bbq sauce in our fridge, small containers in my son's backpack, and often times in my wife's purse.