I need a game plan, please

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by captawesome, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. So, my brother's birthday is in mid-August and the whole family is heading up to Nashville to visit him  --well, almost the whole family.  Unfortunately, the wife and I can't go; but to make amends, I want to send some nice, smoky meat with my parents.  

    They're leaving on a Wednesday morning and will not arrive in Nashville until Thursday.  So, I'm looking for some opinions on when to do the cook and how best to pack it for the trip.

    Bubba likes beef, so I'm gonna send him a brisket flat and either some spareribs or (most likely a) pork butt or two for everyone else.  

    So, since they're leaving mid-week, should I take the time off and cook on Monday night - Tuesday or should I just do it the weekend before?  

    I'm planning to send the brisket (& possible ribs) whole and pull the pork before hand.  What's the best way to package it for transport?    Should I break down and get a vacuum sealer?  Obviously a cooler and some dry ice is in order, but should I freeze the meat before hand?  

    This is new for me and I'd hate to send $100+ worth of meat and have it turn before it arrived. On the other hand I'd hate to cook it so early that I eat it all. [​IMG]

    Anyway, just looking for some advice, no pressure! 

  2. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    The brisket and pulled pork will both be fine cooked before hand and sliced/pulled then vacuum sealed and frozen.

    If it were me I'd cook everything the weekend before, seal it up, and freeze it. Then the cooler and dry ice would be fine.

    Unless you just really want to send ribs I'd skip them unless someone here has a trick to freezing them. I've rarely had good luck freezing them.

    Reheating is going to vary as well. I like to reheat pulled pork in a crock pot with a little chicken stock but it'll destroy the bark. You can also put it in a baking dish with a little stock with foil over the top and it reheats well.

    I like brisket reheated in the oven with a bit of stock in a covered glass dish.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    If you have a vacuum sealer , cook all your meats ahead of time and after they cool vac seal in 1 - 2 lb packages. ribs cut racks into thirds and vac seal a third to a package. All meats can be reheated in the vac pacs in simmering water.
  4. Thanks for the responses.  I think I'll cook the weekend ahead.  That will make getting it to my parents easier as they're on the opposite corner of the city.  Around here that's a 45 minute cruise on the highway.  ;-)

    I don't have one, but I'm certainly not opposed to a new toy!  

    We had one when I was a kid and the vacuum action was anemic and the bags were only sealed in a thin seam which broke easily.  Needless to say, I wasn't impressed.  But, that was, well --longer ago than I care to think.  So, they've probably improved a bit.  Any recommendations on one?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't think the dry ice is necessary especially if your going to freeze... reg, ice will be fine.. just use a cooler with a drain plug and drain water regularly if the drain can't be left open all the time (in the back of a pick up truck)...
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  6. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    I am with emen on reheating inside vac bags. I drop the bags in boiling water. The bags are so tight that after the juices thaw out they have nowhere to go but in meat. I have had great success with this method.
  7. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    How long do you have to boil the bags? How do you know if it's heated in the center?
  8. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    I honestly havent timed it. I have never cooked them in water while they were frozen. I usually let them sit out a bit then drop them in. I use work gloves then rubber gloves on top like I do at comps and I just move the meat around in the bag until I feel like they are close. I then cut off a small corner and put my thermapen in and check temp. After you have done it a few times you can tell when its done.
  9. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks, GolfPro. Guess I need to save for another toy that my wife can complain about cluttering up her kitchen that she never uses. Lol
  10. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    I keep mine in the box and store in top of a spare closet. Mrs. Doesnt even notice.

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