Lakeland, Florida played host to a great BBQ Brisket and Stuffed Burger class this weekend hosted by Chad Ward of Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply. Held outside of the shop’s location at 116 Tennessee Avenue, class attendees were shown up close and person the process by which Chad and the Whiskey Bent BBQ team sources, selects, trims, injects, rubs, and smokes their award winning Beef Brisket.
Part two of the class showed us how to turn 75/25 ground beef and spicy chorizo into stuffed burger awesomeness – cooked using the reverse sear method. As Chad said, you can go leaner as your diet requires. However, if you know Chad at ALL you know he’s all about the flavor. So, be prepared for some fat in your finish and yeah, that 1/2 lb insert for the stuffed burgers? Didn’t see the light of day brother. It was 3/4 pounders all the way!
Cooking Competition BBQ Brisket a la Whiskey Bent
While I’ve written a lengthy post on how to cook competition BBQ Brisket here previously, there’s nothing like seeing the prep and cooking method for competition BBQ brisket live. Chad offers a cool perspective on prepping and cooking brisket both for those who have done competition brisket for a time and those who are pretty new to it. By this I mean that as attendees we got equal parts “how to” and “why.” It was a bit like watching an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats.
If you’ve seen Chad’s Whiskey Bent BBQ In the Pit radio show videos of late or caught the audio stream, you already know how easy going Chad is when he talks and jokes about BBQ. It’s all business, but Chad has a way of presenting the nuts and bolts of real competition BBQ to folks so that they can “get it” no matter how familiar they are with it. I really enjoy his style of information delivery.
Scenes from the Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply Brisket and Burger Class
Another thing that was nice is to see how open Chad was to questions from attendees. BBQ is a brotherhood, or family of sorts as we all know. But, there are times — even in a class setting — that too many questions, especially about specifics on recipes etc, get answered with a little vagueness. Chad was absolutely forthright with the technique and recipe questions that were posed by all, and having spent some one on one time with him during cooks etc, I know for certain he held nothing back. Full value… all the way.
Especially awesome was the way that Chad allowed his team’s past failings to serve as lessons to us during the class. It’s not easy sometimes to admit when things go wrong, but Chad clearly has a comfort level in his BBQ expertise that allows him to get past that and spill the “camp beans” so to speak. This was great, as many of the folks in the class got to see that hey… even the pros have to deal with the “stuff” that creeps up unexpected.
Sourcing, Selecting, and Aging Your Brisket
Here in Central Florida, the sources for full packer briskets are a bit limited. Mac’s Meats of Winter Haven, Restaurant Depot, and Master Purveyors of Tampa are good choices.
Mac’s Meats offers great quality choice brisket packers as does Restaurant Depot. You can get Certified Angus Briskets (CABs) at both locations. Master Purveyors ramps it up by providing access to the higher quality Waygu briskets.
Price wise, Chad explained to the class that Master Purveyors does very well – coming in a few dollars less per pound than other companies selling the same quality beef, etc.
If you’re interested in cooking some of the higher quality Waygu briskets, give Master Purveyors a call at (813) 253-0865 and ask for Shawn McCranie. Tell him Chad Ward from Whiskey Bent sent you, and you’ll be treated very well. Be sure to ask about specials or seconds on other cuts as Master Purveyors supplies the finest restaurants in the area and may have some cuts on hand. They do sell Duroc pork, which is definitely something to check out. As Dorsey Odell from Team Unknown BBQ would say…Them Durocs are the Cham-Pag-ney of pigs.
Wet Aging Your Brisket…
When you get your brisket, it’s likely going to be about 14 days from the kill date – give or take. One way to get it to its best flavor and most tender stage is to bring it home and “wet age” it for between 15-20 days or so. A simple process, wet aging brisket involves leaving the full packer in its original cryovac packaging and placing it in the back of a fridge that doesn’t get opened often. You’ll want to keep the temperature for wet aging is around 39 to 42 degrees average.
As you can see from the image above, there may be a bit of discoloration with wet aging. Simply trim away these areas before prepping and cooking.
What Exactly Is Happening with Wet Aging?
What this process of wet aging your brisket does is allow some of the naturally occurring enzymes to break down some of the muscle fibers in the meat. The flavor also becomes a bit more pronounced with some extra beefiness during this time. Be sure to rinse off the brisket prior to beginning your prep once you’ve aged it the desired length of time. There may be a touch of a funky smell when you open it up. This is normal, and the rinse off will take care of it. If the smell knocks you over on your ass, then you’d best dump the whole thing and go again for less time!
Products Featured In This Class…
If you’re interested in some of the products showcased in this class, check out Smokin Guns Rubs, Obie-Cue’s Yankee Blaster, Hot Wachula’s Smoky Grillin’ Sauce, Butcher BBQ Brisket Injection, and of course the Fox Run Burger Stuffer.
Want to Ramp Up Your Own BBQ Game A Little?
As you can see from what I’ve written here and the images above, Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply is a nice little oasis of professional competition BBQ know how and provisions. Live in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Auburndale, Bartow, Fort Meade, Mulberry, or the surrounding area and want to ramp up your BBQ game a bit? Definitely stop by and see what Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply has in store for you.
Not in the area? No problem? You can pick up your professional BBQ Rubs, Spices, Sauces, and more direct from the Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply online store.