kruizing with kikukat

Monday, May 13, 2013

Remember the Salt Lick: BBQ Brisket

Its been about a year since I went to Texas, but the smoky aroma wafting from the Salt Lick is still clear.  The Salt Lick was truly an experience, but I don't remember the food being fantastic...I was too busy trying to take pics.  I should've been more careful because I brought Salt Lick grease home with me via my lens filter.  That would explain the haze on all of my pictures taken after the first day.

In spite of the food not being to my liking, I would definitely go back, and I would encourage everyone to make the pilgrimage there.  Having dinner at the Salt Lick is not merely a meal...its an experience for the senses.  And liking or not liking 'cue is of no consequence.

I wonder if they will cater in Hilo

the famed BBQ pit at the Salt Lick. . .where magic happens

What bothered me most about the taste of Salt Lick food was that the barbecue sauce looked yellow.  Even under the outdoor lights, I could tell it was yellowish.  And in the land of Q, the yellow color usually means the devil's condiment.  Because I was "in the moment", I just ate the food in front of me, but after reading Steve Raichlen's The Barbecue! Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, I'm certain that the hue was caused by Fucking Gross.  In order to purge that memory, I had to try making my own barbecue brisket and slather it in my own sauce.  With any luck, I could re-imprint my brain.

I didn't want to risk prison and reprint the recipe I used for the brisket rub, and it turns out I'll be okay because Steve Raichlen's recipe for Texas-Style Barbecued Brisket can be found on Epicurious.  I used my kamado to smoke the brisket, and I instructed The Help to keep the temperature at 250 degrees.  It took about 6 hours to smoke a 5-pound brisket.  BTW, do not try to find brisket (other than corned beef) in Hilo.  I had to drive to Kona Costco to get it.  I don't think most people in Hilo know brisket in any way other than stew meat or corned beef, which I completely detest because it's often accompanied by the vile condiment.

I think my brisket endeavor turned out well.  I served it with cole slaw, baked beans, and Ina Garten's  Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, which is my favorite mashed potato recipe of all time.  Too bad I don't always have sour cream on hand. The Help did a good job slicing the brisket thinly (between 1/8" and 1/4").  I was able to cut bite size pieces with the side of my fork.  In order to complete the memory imprint, I used my own BBQ sauce recipe to serve with the sliced brisket. I think my memory has been successfully excorcised!

The baked beans and cole slaw recipes were featured last week and the week before that. 


  1. Kikukat - you so funny. Devil's condiment...vile condiment...FG...had me rolling. Is there a back story about the hatred yellow stuff? Do tell! - Matsu

    1. For as long as I can remember, I've never liked it. I have bad memories of public school lunch having it smeared on the bun of a pastrami sandwich (pastrami is another food I will not touch). When McDonalds first came to Hilo, I remember wanting to go and eat all the fun food, but one bite of the burger was enough to keep me from ever asking to be taken to McDonalds, and for a kid, thats huge. I also remember it being served with sashimi at family parties, and that grossed me out too. It has nothing to do with the heat because I CAN eat hot, as in Korean hot. I gotta think more about this one. Thank you for asking!