Q&A: Smoking Brisket

David Dukevares of BMW of Hawaii Kona talks us through his BBQ journey

How did you start your BBQ Journey? 

 It started when I traveled to Texas, the BBQ Mecca and ate at Terry Blacks and Franklin Barbecue in Austin. I never had that level of BBQ before and because we don’t have anything close to that here in Hawaii, I needed to recreate it or get close. 

How long did it take to master the art of smoking?

 It took me a good year of smoking at least a few briskets per month to get somewhat decent at it, which can be a commitment considering it can take between 10 and 20 hours to smoke a brisket. There were definitely some undercooked and overcooked briskets during that first year of trial and error especially since the margin for error on a brisket is rather small. Just a few degrees over or under will result in an undesirable end product.

What is your favorite wood for the smoker?

I always prefer to use wood found locally and Kiawe is my go-to wood for smoking. Kiawe Is very similar to Mesquite found in west USA but produces a sweeter smoke. It has an easily identifiable smell and imparts an authentic taste to the food you smoke. It’s also easily found up and down the Kona coast, you just need a 4X4 and a chainsaw.

Do you have any signature techniques when you smoke meat?

 The thing I love about central-Texas style BBQ is the simplicity. For most meats, it's just salt, pepper, smoke, and a lot of patience.

What makes all the extra work worthwhile?

This is kind of cheesy to say, but bringing people together over some good BBQ and seeing the joy on their faces makes the work worthwhile.

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