A walk in the woods before dinner….

THE remote temperature monitor bleeps at the 6.45am and wakes me up…the brisket has reached 165ºF – time to wrap it in butcher paper.

I drag myself outside and dot he necessary then go back to bed. 45 minutes later the beeper goes again…temperature in the pit has fallen to my lower limit. I go outside, open the vents a little and stabilise the temperature.

After a shower and breakfast the monitor beeps again to alert me the brisket is at 201ºF internal…I want to take it off at 203ºF. I watch carefully as it approaches target temperature then check a few more spots with the thermapen. It just after 11am and we’re done!

The brisket is then double-wrapped in foil, then a couple fo towels and put in a polystyrene box to rest. We won’t be eating until at least 4pm.

Matty arrives around midday, flooded by Mikey and Les. We have a coffee and chat then Catriona, Will and Freya arrive.

Margaret and Les hit the kitchen to make chocolate pots for desert then I mix up some cornflour, plain flour, milk, egg, sugar, baking powder and vegetable oil and stick it in the oven. We can’t have BBQ without homemade cornbread!

Matty, Mikey, Will, Freya and I go out for a walk while the girls make cup some mac’n’cheese.

We’re not long back when we all sit round the table. The brisket’s hailed a success – although perhaps a little drier than I’d hoped. Maybe wrapped in the faux cambro a little too long.

Catriona and Will take Freya home just after 7pm – the rest if us get a second wind and chat and drink ’til nearly midnight.

Smoked brisket, cornbread, mac’n’cheese, slaw, pickles and more make for a grand family day meal