Subtitle: How I got my first brisket on
At last count, dear worst-reader, I think my Weber Grill is five years old. It might be six or even six and half but it’s definitely not seven or even four. Go figure, I lost the purchase receipt. It is said that these über expensive grills are worth every penny–if you can afford them. Or am I the only one to say that–because I can afford them? Nomatter.
The ultimate question for worst-writer when it comes to buying expensive $hit is this: would I buy it again? The answer is: indeed I would. Then again, I happened across the new generation of Weber grills the other week while at a hardware store and I was a bit surprised at their new product line. The equivalent grill’s price has risen so much that I’d be forced to give another brand a look. Napoleon grills come to mind first. But that’s neither here nor there.
The Über Grill, baby.
As you can see in the pics, I have the copper version of the Genesis series that includes the GBS system. I’m not aware anymore what GBS even means. It has something to do with the grill grates and being able to buy über-expensive inserts that enable fancy-pants grilling-galore. Whether it’s searing, using a griddle or–and get this–Korean barbecuing, you can go to any Weber store and just hand out cash-galore for anything except a kitchen sink to fit in this thing. Sound familiar, dear worst-reader? Indeed. Weber has its Apple-like product marketing machine on full mimic. Although I do use the griddle that I purchased for the GBS system–a great way to avoid losing Seaford on grill grates, btw–I no longer–or rarely–use the GBS cast iron grates. I just place the griddle on top of steel grates now. Go figure, eh.
Grates and other add-ons.
I replaced the GBS grates with third-party steel grates after initial purchase. Reason? Steel grates just cook better than cast iron grates. And that’s not all. Since my better-half convinced me she’ll do special things (for worst-moi) if I smoke her meat, I even splurged and bought a third grate system that includes a smoker box. That’s right, dear worst-reader, I have three grate system for this grill. WTF, eh! And keep this in mind. The third grate system I bought includes a fancy-pants smoker box specifically made for this grill. That’s right, baby. I don’t use them cheap (but über expensive) little smoker boxes offered by Weber that you put on top of the flavour-bars. Fcuk that!
At the time of purchase, the smoker box I wanted was no longer available from Weber but I managed to get it on that silly auction website. Due to the location of the smoker box, though, you also have to get a special cut grate so that the three elements fit. Well, I guess, if you’re experienced enough at grilling, you can just skip the extra grate–if you can even get the smoker box. Since the smoker box I bought came with the grate, I’m good. Now I have three grates for this damn thing, don’t you know. Am I happy with it? Indeed I am. It’s worked like a charm so far, don’t you know. Most recently it worked great when making my first brisket. More on that in a sec.
As far as quality of grill goes, this Weber replaced one of those first purchase, save-a-buck compromise grills that ended up rusting completely within three years. Although there are a few minor blemishes on it, my Weber has had no issues with rust whatsoever. Heck, even those silly-named flavor bars lasted for about four years till they started to rust. They lasted, of course, because I took care of them and cleaned them a few times a year. I did make one mistake replacing them, though. I replaced the rusted flavour-bars with original enamelled flavour-bars from Weber. Next time when they need replacing I’m gonna just order third party stainless steel flavour-bars. What a stupid (marketing) name for flame defusers, eh. Oh well.
Maintenance and then some, baby.
As far as maintaining it goes, I give the grill a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. That is, I remove everything and scrub all the grates, flavour-bars, bottom defusers, and take special care to keep the burners clean. Although the burners, after about five years, are showing a bit more rust than I was expecting, they don’t seem to be corroding to the point of dysfunction. They produce more than enough heat, especially when I keep flavour-bars and the bottom defusers clean. Tip: want more heat from your grill? Keep it clean and free of old cooked, charred, charcoaled stuff. With every major clean, I’m able to get the grill well beyond three-hundred and fifty degrees celsius (ca. 700f) within fifteen minutes of lighting it up. Although I rarely need those high temperatures, it does come in handy when grilling pizza on a rather large pizza stone–also something I bought third-party so as to save a bit of cash instead of wasting so much on Weber’s (Apple?) marketing mayhem galore.
The rest of the grill is in perfect working condition after five or so years. The doors are still very solid. The enclosed-frame is also without any rust or corrosion. Even the wheels still work great if/when I have to move it. Speaking of moving it. I even lugged this damn thing to Bangalore, India, in 2016. Although we were supposed to stay there for a few years, it turns out we only got eight months out of the deal before we headed back to #Eurowasteland/Germania. I never once was able to use the grill in India. On the trip back, though, a few parts from the grill got lost in the packing and it turned out to be a pain in the arse to get those parts in Germany. My beloved #Americant to the rescue, baby. On a trip to the US, a month or two after returning from India, I was able to get those parts toot-sweet via a hardware store’s showroom. Cool, eh.
The cooking magic, sugar-tits.
I love this grill. I love it mostly because 1) controlling temperature is a dream and 2) at times it’s more convenient to use than our kitchen oven. Not to mention that preparing meat on this thing is as fun as petting and trimming the breast flesh of a bovine about to be grilled and smoked. Grilling veggies is also magic and, as previously mentioned, grilling homemade pizza is nothing short of dee-lish. Although I’ve cooked all kinds of meat on it in all kinds of ways, until recently, I had never made a brisket.
Keep in mind, dear worst-reader, German butchers, for whatever reason, don’t cut up a bovine like butchers in my beloved & missed #Americant. That said, if I understand it, I was only able to get the breast-part of the brisket cut. That is, the shoulder portion, which the #Americant butchers include, wasn’t available. Although my butcher told me that I could order it next time with advanced notice, the breast cut weighed 4.5kg, that was good enough for this first try. Remember: the whole point of a brisket is cooking a piece of meat that otherwise is un-eatable.
My biggest concern with making a brisket wasn’t the cut of meat. Instead it was maintaining a low temperature for the all-day smoking. Luckily, after recently cleaning her up, I was able to maintain low temperature and still get the smoker-box to work. Hence the reason I only wanted this type of smoker box. After thirteen (or so) hours I was able to get some serious flavour into the meat. I also managed to dry it out a bit. Obviously it didn’t matter because the brisket was gone and gone and gone once it was served at the baroque gathering/picnic. For a first try, I’m stacking this up as a success. The only issue I have to face now is that my wife got some smoked meat for the first time in a while and she’s hungry still. The problem is, grill-smoking–even with a gas grill–all day ain’t a very practical since I live in a townhouse and my grill is in an open atrium in the centre of that house. There are people on both sides of us and behind us. No one complained but I won’t be pushing my luck with smoking a lot while we’re living here.
Weber grills, although very expensive, are the bomb, baby.