Today is a continuation of the story from yesterday by guest blogger, Ryan Just.  To read part one, please click here.

Cooking Day – Saturday 5:00 AM – Ouch! My left index finger really hurts as I turn off my alarm clock. OK, I think this has to be fun, right? I make coffee, add 2/3 cup of Hawaiian Kona coffee to mop sauce, let garage door slam behind me when getting supplies … nearly waking my 11 month old baby girl however my faithful Golden Retriever runs to my side to assist in this day long adventure. Light grill, add cut pecan wood, breathe in way too much smoke, and put grill lid on. As I adjust the vents, I think to myself… I wonder if the vent on the lid is hot. No it can’t be. I’ve only had the fire lit for 10 minutes. So, I think that this maybe one of those things you “only do once” and reach with my bare hand to open the vent a little. Ouch! 1 inch long burn marks on right hand thumb and index finger. In the future, I will use tongs to open & close vents. So, I put on some burn cream and think … man this really hurts worse now. Oops, the burn cream was actually steroid cream. I wash that off and put on some aloe vera burn lotion… relief.

6:10 AM – Brisket goes on grill, gets liberal mopping, put gill lid back on, go inside to warm up as it is 24 degrees outside, put burn cream on fingers. Now, I don’t know how to pick up my coffee cup. Both left and right hands are really hurting. I am about to surrender to this brisket.

7:08 AM – I find the fire is nearly out, add more bouquets & pecan wood, mop it, oops I spill some mop sauce and try to wipe it up with my wet disk towel I left outside. The towel is frozen solid – I’m dressed in all black with a black stocking cap … now with charcoal soot on my face. My neighbors must think I’m a bank robber.

7:30 AM – Adjust vents for proper heat

8:10 AM – Mop brisket, add charcoal & pecan, and regulate heat. Notice that meat is crusty on one side. I guess the meat is too big as my grill cannot be too small. So I add more mop sauce to rescue the meat as recipe says to do.

9:15, 10:15, 11:15, 12:10, 12:40 – Mop brisket, add charcoal & pecan, and regulate heat. Concerned it is burning. The pecan wood that was soaking in water is now freezing into a giant piece of ice and wood. Note to self: Next time do not BBW when below 32 degrees)

2:30 PM – brisket finished… outside crusty – oh well … cutting off crusty parts will be ok. So I cut a choice piece of meat and turn to wash my hands…and my dog jumps up and eats my first bite. Regardless, the brisket was wonderful.

Lessons Learned: Brisket is more important than loyalty to a Golden Retriever. Don’t touch the vents on a lit grill. Spending 5 dollars to buy wood for smoking is better than losing a finger. Keep a positive attitude and focus on the end goal (smoky yummy beef) …when projects do not go as planned.