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May 08, 2019

Good morning crew,

99 cent showAfter the stress (and cost) of all the preparation, the actual smoking part of the smoking project was relatively easy and fun. I mean, what is the best part about cooking out? Playing with fire and drinking beer, right? And I was going to get to do nine hours of that.

Of course, I wasn't feeling very optimistic when I rolled out of bed a few ticks before 6 a.m. It was a brisk 45 or 46 degrees outside and I could see my breath as I pulled the grill and other equipment out of the garage. But as I got the fire started I started to giggle to myself. Squatting there in the gray light of early morning it kind of felt like camping.

The trick to a good smoke is keeping a low but consistent indirect heat, and I was a little worried about doing this with nothing but charcoal briquettes and wood chips, but by piling the coals on one side of the grill and keeping the meat on the other, I was able to get the grill to stay at 250 degrees without too much work.

I was surprised at how much control I had over the temperature just by adjusting the vents. When you are grilling at 450 or 500 degrees it doesn't matter whether the vents are open or closed. But with that low, slow fire I could raise or lower the temp by ten or twenty degrees just by tweaking the vents. It only took me 25 years to figure that trick out.

My one big mistake was trusting the videos I watched online too much. One maniac I watched kept his brisket on until the interior temperature reached 190 degrees! Beef is well done at 170. But I trusted the video over my own judgment and left the brisket on until it reached almost 180. By the time I finally pulled it off at 3 in the afternoon I had dried it out a good bit, but the final product did taste delicious, even if it was a bit dry and chewy. And I can guarantee there was no Salmonella or Listeria in the meat!

Laugh it up,


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"Taco Bell just announced that it will be adding beer to the menu at certain restaurants in Canada. It's the first time that going to Taco Bell will lead to getting drunk and not the other way around." -James Corden


"A man in Oregon walked away with minor injuries after he fell asleep in a dumpster and ended up in a trash compacter. It raises a lot of questions, and the answer to all of them is tequila." -Jimmy Fallon


"Expedia released their rankings of the most annoying drivers in America. For the 15th year in a row, the most annoying driver on the road is every driver but you. The survey says the least popular passengers are backseat drivers. I would have said carjackers." -Jimmy Kimmel

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"Jim, why don't you play golf with Steve anymore?" asked a friend.

"Would you play golf with a guy who moved the ball with his foot when you weren't watching?" Jim asked.

"Well, no, I suppose not," admitted the friend.

"Neither will Steve," replied Jim.

Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes

Conjoined twins walk into a pub in Toronto and park themselves on a bar stool. One of them says to the bartender, "Don't mind us, we're joined at the hip. I'm John, he's Jim. Two Molson Canadian beers please."

The bartender, feeling slightly awkward, tries to make polite conversation while pouring the beers. "Been on holiday, lads?"

"Off to England next month," says John. "We go to England every year, hire a car, and drive for miles, don't we, Jim?" Jim agrees.

"Ah, England!" says the bartender. "Wonderful Country...the history, the beer, the culture..."

"Nah, we don't like that British crap," says John. "Hamburgers and Molson's beer, that's us, eh, Jim? And we can't stand the English; they're so arrogant and rude, not civil and polite like us Canadians."

"So why keep going to England?" asks the bartender.

"It's the only chance Jim gets to drive."