I hope this is the place to put this... just some general BBQ talk and showing off. I haven't been here long, but I figure everyone likes pictures and stuff, so here I go... I've tried to do a brisket twice, the first was my first attempt at smoking (not bad, but it wasn't good either) and the second came out ok, but I know I can do better. I've done several pork shoulders and a few racks of ribs that have turned out real well, but I need to get this brisket thing down so I am currently making my third attempt. I started last night with a 12 pound cut from my local butcher. I trimmed it a bit, rubbed it down, wrapped it in saran wrap and proceeded to work on my side dishes. It was a warm 65 degrees in my neck of the woods today, but the winds were blowing at a stiff 15-20mph, so I moved the smoker to the downwind side of the house and set up the sun shade to keep the downdrafts that blow over the roof from blasting right down my stove pipe. I have heard that I'll be considered a n00b until I've spent all night outside tending to the fire, so I didn't put the slab on until 6:00 this evening in the hopes to have it for Sunday lunch with my family (16 hours of smoke + a couple of hours wrapped in the cooler)... shooting to slice into it around noon tomorrow. I've also prepared stuffed jalapenos for our appetizer. Hand rolled 20 with cream cheese, cheddar and fresh fried bacon bits... rolled in egg and corn meal/flour mix. I also plan to make cowpoke pintos... a pinto bean recipe I found in "Smoke & Spice" by Cheryl and Bill Jameson that sounds great with tomatoes, jalapenos, bacon, and I plan to chop a bit of pulled pork to throw in. Mom is bringing her mustard potato salad and I'm also baking some corn bread. I whipped up a tasty baste that I also found in the book, and also mixed two batches of sauce, a Carolina Red (pretty thin and vinegary) and a KC style that is thick, sweet and a bit tomatoey. Hopefully everyone will like one or the other. I plan to finish the meal up with a crumbly peach cobbler baked in a cast iron dutch oven and served with old fashioned vanilla ice cream. How am I doing so far, sound good? Can you tell that I've got nothing better to do than watch smoke rise? Ha ha! Anyhow, on with the photos, and a question or two... Getting ready! The setup. The brisket, slightly trimmed and all rubbed down. Smoke On! Hangin out... playing some Full Tilt poker and surfin the boards. Ok, so nothing we haven't all seen before, but I'm killing time. Got a question... I had to lift the lid a few minutes ago (just checking things) and found the brisket to be looking a little dry on the surface. I touched it and it didn't seem crispy at all or anything, and it could just be the way the rub makes it look, not sure. does this seem at all normal, or should I be basting early and often? My smoker has a thermometer at the top near the stove pipe, which I've used in the past to determine temp, but I've always felt that it might be a bit misleading since it is positioned several inches above the rack and all the way near the stack end. So, I installed another gauge on the back side, just below the rack near the center. I found that when the top gauge reads 220 degrees, the lower one doesn't even register 150. I had to open the stack a bit to get the top one near 250 and the bottom one (remember, it's centered, not at the bottom) to read about 175. Would you think it's safe to assume that the temp between the two would be around 210 or so, splitting the difference? I've always thought that I've been smoking at a lower than desired temp when relying on the single gauge as my pork always has to be finished in the oven, so I hope this higher temp (and my method for metering it) will help. Make sense? Well, I guess I'll wrap it up for now. Hope you have enjoyed reading about my attempt at an all night smoke in January... here in OK it's not too bad to be outside. I'll try to follow up later with more pics of the spread and maybe some testimonials. They will be I hope.