going to do my first brisket...qview added

Discussion in 'Beef' started by kingt36, May 24, 2013.

  1. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    Looked through a bunch of threads but really didn't see my question answered, well, there were answers but I'm feeling a bit confused. I'm using a BBQ Grillware propane smoker. 

    1. I wanted to cook it fat side up, but I kept reading some compelling arguments for down. The smoker has a water bowl and the chip pan between the flame and the brisket..will the meat really need to be protected from the heat by going fat side down?

    2. Sometimes I spritz a pork butt with apple juice and vinegar. Would that work for brisket as well, or should I not spritz at all?

  2. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    Here is the brisket rubbed down. I put it in the fridge about 20 minutes ago. 

  3. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    i dont think you want to spritz a brisket with that mixture....look up brisket mop sauce in the search bar....probably worcestershire or soy sauce with beef broth or some such...and im no expert , but ithink fat side up or down is one of those eternally debated questions...whatever you do will be right....or wrong. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
    kingt36 likes this.
  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I don't see any problem with fat side up when you're doing an indirect heat cook. I used to always go fat up before I went to the lean trim method.

    OK I'm going to confuse you some more but you will probably learn a lot if you take a little time.
    Here is a link with some of forluvofsmoke's threads. He goes into great detail and explains things very well. I have learned a lot from him and since I have adopted some of his methods I have taken my smokes to a new level. Read about his dry smoke chamber method and wet to dry method. Most are about pork but he and I have done it with brisket too. Scroll down and you will find his thread on his daughters wedding, he did a bunch of briskets on that one.

    kingt36 likes this.
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Kingt36, hello. Good name -King [​IMG].

    You'll do good with the Fat up, your Water pan with Water - or - whatever, will give you moisture and the Temp. will stay in good range (saving you don't over load the fire...).

    Done a lot of Water pan cooks and they all were great. Trick is, once you get TBS and place the Meat in the Smoker, DO NOT OPEN the LID. Keep all that goodness in there making Love to you Meat. [​IMG]

    I don't even wrap in Foil, you'll be very happy with you results. All this is IMHO and not in stone , you make your plan. I just do it how I know.

    Have a good Probe therm to track the heat in the Meat(IMT) and as always have fun and. . .
    kingt36 likes this.
  6. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    Thanks...I'm thinking I'll go ahead and try fat side up...maybe next time I'll go down.

    I'm also thinking I'm going to leave it on unwrapped the whole time and aim for a 225-235 smoking temp until a 190 or so internal temp...It's only an 8 lb brisket, so hopefully that won't take more than 10-12 hours...
  7. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    With no foil it could go close to 2 hours/lb, might hit a long stall so I would plan on a little more time. If it does get done early you can always wrap it in foil and hold it in a cooler with some towels for insulation and it will stay hot for hours. Always better to be done early than late when you have hungry people giving you the eye!
  8. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Dave, thanks for hitting on the wet-to-dry smoke chamber method...nothing like having an ally to spread the word! I had to look for your posts to find this one, but at least I made it to the party! LOL!!!

    Kingt36, after seeing the photo, maybe I'm too late...looks like it's not lean trimmed and is already rubbed for a rest in the fridge...maybe next time for this method, as it works best with lean trimmed meats. Hot off the press, tonight:


    Although, if you don't mind doing a second dry rub application, after trimming it up and possibly a point/flat separation, this would work out fine, and the brisket wouldn't even know that you had other plans in mind before switching to a lean-trim with wet-to-dry smoke chamber...just sayin'.

    Have a GREAT smoke! I'll be watching this, regardless of what method you use...I love a nice brisket smoke!

    kingt36 likes this.
  9. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    So if I'm understanding the Wet to Dry method appropriately, once the Brisket reaches an internal temp of 140 (which should be about 4-6 hours in), I should remove the water pan and just let it continue cooking until I get to the desired temp (I'm thinking 190??). Is that accurate?
  10. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    By the way, the brisket bought was labeled "whole brisket," however there really wasn't much fat on it. One side was almost completely lean. The fat cap from only 1/4" thick, if that, and had a few "bald spots." 
  11. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I'm definitely interested in the "lean trimmed wet-dry" method. That will be the method I use next time I smoke a pork butt or brisket. I'm thinking about trying it on this one even though it's already cooking and does have a little bit of a fat cap on it.

  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sorry was busy getting ready for a smoker here...
    You could still transition to a dry smoke chamber manually,by removing the water from the pan and replacing...not sure if your pan can take direct heat without warping due to being empty, though, so be aware of that possibility. If you have clean, washed, sand or gravel to toss into the pan ready to go now, you could dump the water, add the thermal mass (smoker will take a temp drop due to the cold mass being added), and roll with it from there.
    Yes, as soon as you think the desired amount of smoke has been reached, switch to dry.
    The brisket would still benefit somewhat from the dry smoke chamber to reach finished temps. You would notice less bark on the actual meat, but the fat, if given enough time, will get crispy if it's not a heavy fat-cap...either way makes for great eating. The inner side of the brisket (next to the ribs when cut off the carcass) will usually be pretty lean, while the other side has a heavier fat-cap (under the skin of the animal)...depends on the market, but some do a light trim on the fat-cap of a whole (packer) brisket.

    I need to step out for about 20 minutes, but will be back shortly.

    kingt36 likes this.
  13. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I don't have any sand or gravel to replace the water with. Do I need to put the pan back in at all?

    Thanks for the information Eric. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  14. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi King.

    These guys have you covered with the best advice you can get.  Just be sure to keep the qview coming!

    Good Luck!

  15. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes, you need the water pan in place when cooking. The water pan in vertical smokers acts as a baffle so you get indirect heat to the meat...without the pan, you have a lower intensity heat source compared to a gas grill, for example, but the same direct heat cooking...not what you want with larger cuts of meat. Also, the grill temp vs smoke chamber temp may have a huge variance...grate temp could be much higher than you expect and could scorch the meat on bottom.

    Hmm, without any sand or gravel to put in the pan, you could try it without, but I wouldn't recommend this, due to the risk for warping of the pan. May want to hold off on trying this method until you are better prepared...don't want to do any damage to your smoker by not doing what we know works to protect it.

  16. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    It appears that I've hit a stall at 141 degrees. It's been sitting there for about 45 minutes. I'm about 6 1/2 hours in.

    As you can see from the picture, there are no drippings in the pan I placed directly under the brisket.

    I also noticed that my wood chips and chunks that have been in there the whole time aren't smoking at 225 - 245 (temp range since smoke began, mostly 225, 230). I haven't seen any tbs for a few hours, however when I opened the cabinet just now the wood is still brown. Weird..makes me want to turn the temp up.
  17. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    Double post
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  18. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Make sure your top vent is fully opened. This will allow you to produce more heat with the burner to get the wood hotter to produce more smoke without getting quite as high of chamber temps. Also, if it has intake vents on the lower sides, open them up part way to let some cooler air in to help keep chamber temps down, and this will also help to reduce the humidity in the smoke chamber, if your shooting for a dry chamber.

    You won't get much more smoke flavor at this stage in the game with a dry smoke chamber though, so maybe keep the water in the pan until you get a few hours of smoke from the chips/chunks. Dry smoke chamber reduces smoke reaction with the meat quite a bit...noticed that when I did my first dry-only smoke chamber run last spring.

  19. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I did open the top vent fully. There are no side vents.

    The brisket climbed up to 142, then dropped to 139 where it is sitting now and has been for about 30 minutes. Is that typical for brisket?
  20. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep, typical low-temp stall...chamber temps and how stable the temps have been will dictate stalls to some extent. Lots of chamber temp drops can bring on stalls earlier, in my experience. I have also seen temps drop a lot...2-4* is common, but 5-6* is not unheard of.

    You may see a high-temp stall as well, but not always...170* or so, up to more than 180*, again depending on stability of chamber temps. Evaporative cooling of the meat from natural moisture evaporation seems to play a major role in stalls as well...reducing evaporation seems to reduce this effect. Also, with un-foiled meat, one member here reported to me that with closed vents in an electric smoker (after he stopped the smoke) caused a rapid rise in internal temp of the meat...pork butt.

    As you can see, there are many factors which can effect the stall, or prevent it from occurring, to some extent.

    Hang in there...the stall just means it hit a slump and is working on personal issues (each piece of meat shows a personality of it's own at some point in the smoke..not all react the same to low & slow cooking), but will be back in it's groove and getting happy again.

    Last edited: May 25, 2013
    kingt36 likes this.

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