Pitmasters, this will be hard to swallow: Some of the best smoked brisket comes out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. And it practically cooks itself.
The secret is in the smoker. And the secret to the smoker is everything a group of 16 Harvard engineering students could do to turn the finicky art of smoking meat into a controlled, semiautomated science.
In prototype form, the smoker looks like a combination of a giant pepper mill, a tandoori oven, and V.I.N.CENT from The Black Hole. It weighs 300 pounds. It has a refueling chute built into the side of it.