Oak is used, but mesquite is preferred. ...anything to get rid of the dang stuff! In the Hill Country, some folks use the local oak species, which is live oak. I do on occasion, for brisket, but it's because I have a ready supply on our property. Live oak smoke is fairly neutral, as opposed to mesquite's definite taste (which we like). Other oak varieties can be harsh- - I remember using some oak from Alabama, in my Army days, that made our tongues go numb! ...so watch what type of oak you use.Shuswap wrote:Funny that oak was mentioned in this thread because I've been wondering about that. We are heading to Texas next week where there are more than 30 species of oak but Duk never mentions it as a smoking wood.
The folks up at Salt Lick use oak, but they do weird eastern-style stuff like roast over an open fire and mop the brisket frequently to try to keep it moist, which is why they have to serve it with sauce. They're busy getting into the winery business, which may cloud their judgement. Smoked brisket was meant to be eaten with beer and a slice or two of Texas Sweet onion. (Everybody knows that!) Smoked the right way, it remains moist.
Most folks around here are from the "don't mop because it washes the rub off" school. Usually the rub is simple, too- - a little salt, mostly black pepper, some garlic powder and onion powder, but that's about it. Our meats are smoked, not roasted. You stick it in the smoker, close 'er up, and tend the fire, slow and steady, 'til you hit an IMT of 185 or so. ...and we don't use sauce because we don't need to.