John A. Fullilove of Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, Texas, shares his secrets to smoking like a pitmaster.
Choose Your Wood
Texas pitmasters preach post oak, but fruitwoods give a sweet finish. Soak the wood chunks in water for a slow burn.
Build the Fire
The key is indirect heat: Meat never goes directly above the coals. The smoker temperature should hang around 225 degrees.
Don’t lift the lid like it’s show-and-tell. Brisket might take up to six hours in your chamber. Aim for a meat temp of 195 degrees.
Let the finished meat rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. When your knife cuts in like butter, it’s go time.