American Barbecue in a Japanese Grill

Kamado grills, which most Americans know by the Big Green Egg brand, are renowned for rock-solid temperature control, a wide range of cooking intensities, and incredibly barbecue flavor. Costco recently carried the Vision Kamado grill, which is a pretty strong competitor to the Big Green Egg at a great price. I picked one up recently, along with a nice piece of brisket, and took a low-and-slow spin in the backyard.


My last foray, several years ago, into real barbecue began with a big hole in my parents’ backyard and ended with the less-than-fully-cooked pork shoulder spending some time in the oven. Although ended up tasting great, I was looking forward this time around to having more control over the process than a shovel had given me.

Loosely following the instructions at AmazingRibs, I first dry-rubbed the brisket and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Early the next morning, I filled the fire bowl on my kamado to the brim with natural charcoal, added some hickory chips and lit it up. When the temperature hit 225F, on went the brisket. After about 9 hours (and, more importantly, an internal temperature of 204F), I took the meat off and put it in a cooler that had been warmed slightly, and let it sit for about 90 minutes.


The meat was a huge hit. A few observations that worked well for me:

  • Some sites (AmazingRibs included) talk about trimming the fat cap and other even suggest it. Don’t trim the fat cap. Brisket is a fairly lean cut, and that fat is delicious in the final product. If you don’t want to eat it, cut it off your own piece, but don’t deny your guests the succulent fat
  • Take advantage of the long rest as you time dinner. The rest period can be anywhere from about 20 minutes to almost 2 hours. Use this time as slack as you prepare the other stuff and pull dinner together.
  • A good thermometer that you can put in the meat is key. This saves you from having to continually open the lid

Check out AmazingRibs for directions and the recipe for the dry rub.