I’ve been on the carnivore diet for about six months now. I continue to feel amazing, with lots of brain and energy.

However, just having meat all the time, every day, can get a little monotonous. I’ve really had to up my seasoning, rubs, and cooking game. So I thought I’d talk a bit about what I’ve learned in terms of meat.

NOTE: I am NOT an expert. I’ve only been doing this seriously since the start of July, so about four months now. There are people out there with YEARS of experience. I can only tell you about what I’ve learned to bring me to this point. I may change my mind as I learn more.

First of all, I bought myself a pellet grill this summer. This has turned out to be one of the best purchases I’ve made in a while. I use it between two to three times a week. I got a Z-grill, for half-price, because it’s the previous year’s model.

I’ve spent a lot (a LOT) of time reading books as well as various websites about meat. I got myself Myron Mixon’s Keto BBQ book, as well as Meat Illustrated from America’s Test Kitchen. (I got another book on low-carb BBQ for your pellet grill, but it wasn’t actually low-carb. Someone took their regular recipes and just added “Or use a low-carb alternative” for all the sugar they added to their sauces, etc. Obviously, no one had tested or put any work into making the recipes low-carb. Myron did the work.)

SIDE NOTE: I would recommend Myron’s book for the Voice. Every once in a while I ran into a paragraph that had been massaged by his co-author. For the most part, though, it’s entertaining and you can just hear Myron speaking to you about it.

One of the things that I’ve learned is how much variation there is in the meat itself. I’ve been teaching myself how to tell if a piece of meat has a large amount of fat it in (even if I can’t see the fat), whether the cut is going to start tender or not. A lot of that has to do with feel, how much the piece of meat bends when you flex it, or how it feels when you press against it.

I’ve made a few briskets at this point. I’ve gotten to where I can consistently put out tender, juicy meat. But it’s a process.

SIDE NOTE: I can’t eat nightshades. That means no tomato, no cayenne, no paprika, no peppers of any sort. (Black pepper is not a nightshade.) So I have to make all of my own rubs, marinades and glazes. In addition, Blaze is allergic to onions and mushrooms, so there’s none of those in anything I make either.

First off, I inject the brisket the night before, generally with a combination of whatever juice we have (usually apple or pineapple), tamari, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and water. Possibly some sherry. What you want is a broth that tastes kind of meaty, to enhance the meat flavor of the brisket.

In the morning, I dry off the brisket and put on a rub. One of my favorites is what I call the CCP rub, which is composed of equal parts dark cacao powder, instant espresso coffee, and black pepper, with a touch of brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves thrown in.

Cloves are one of my secret ingredients. I don’t use enough to taste the cloves. Instead, all you’re getting is an earthy taste, similar to what you get with peppers.

I put the brisket on the grill at 225° F. (That’s the temp that my grill likes. Your piece of equipment may cook better at a different temperature.)

In my grill, I always have a pan of water. I got a cheap pot from Goodwill, the thin tin kind that you generally use camping.

I let the meat cook for anywhere between 45 to 90 minutes, then I start to spritz. The spritz is often the same combo of flavors as what I put in the injection. How often I spritz depends on the meat. With ribs, I’ll do it every fifteen minutes after the first thirty. With brisket, I’ll do it every thirty minutes. Other cuts of meat, more like once an hour.

I cook the brisket until it reaches what’s known as the stall. Though the meat is still cooking, the internal temperature stops rising. It generally happens somewhere between 150-165° F, though I’ve hit a stall as low as 145°.

At that point, I wrap the brisket in butcher paper. I used to slather tallow on the paper before I wrapped the meat. Now, I soak it with the spritz.

You need to wrap the meat tightly so that none of those juices leak out. Then I put the brisket back on the grill until it reaches an internal temp between 190-195°. I’ve tried going longer, but that left me with dry brisket. I frequently raise the temperature of the grill once I’ve wrapped the meat, going from 225° to 250°, or even 275°. I continue to spritz the meat once every thirty minutes.

Once the brisket reaches the right internal temperature, I take it off the grill and I let it rest. As meat rests, the muscle fibers relax, which gives you more tender meat. In addition, some of the water that has been sweated out of the meat can be reabsorbed, which makes your meat more juicy.

I put my brisket in a plastic bag in a cooler, then I let it rest anywhere from four to twelve hours. I’ve discovered that letting the brisket rest is as important as everything else, at least in terms of making the meat juicy and tender.

And I guess that’s it for this week’s version of MEAT.

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