One of the new traditions that has begun to become part of just about everyone of our gatherings has been the addition of grilled or smoked meats. This is largely due to my influence; although it also reflects the changing traditions that have become a part of my family's journey in the United States. While I do not believe that we will ever completely give up our Japanese heritage or the connections to those traditions, I believe we will continue to incorporate and celebrate our growing heritage here. A slow smoked brisket and pulled chuck roast is a part of the American tradition we have adopted.
I found an excellent Painted Hills chuck roast that had excellent marbling of both fat and connective tissue. This is key, for in a long smoke, both fat and collagen rendered from connective tissue add to a moist end product. Finding the right piece of meat is quite important for making great BBQ. The brisket appeared to be more problematic, as it was from Humboldt Grass-fed Beef, it was pretty lean in terms of internal fat and connective tissue was hard to determine, although it is hard to miss on connective tissue in a brisket. I coated both with a medium coating of Simply Marvelous Sweet and Spicy and then Bob's Top Rub. This was allowed to sit for one hour.
The BIL's kettle was fired up to 275F with Lazzari Hardwood Briquettes and a little oak. The meat was put on and the kettle was brought back to 250F for the first hour and a half, then up to 280F to 300F for the balance of the cook.