My first brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by 1fastss, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Hello again,

    After introducing myself in the roll call area I thought I would post my first brisket here and explain what I did and some questions I have. I did do Jeff’s free e-course on smoking and it was a lot of help as well as surfing the forums here.

    I pulled the brisket out of the package the night before and put mustered on it and I chopped up the mesquite seasoning that I got from Costco and rubbed that into the mea then wrapped it. I started the smoke about 8:15AM in the morning and it was about 38-40 degrees out. I had it around 225 with some hickory chunks that I bought from Menardes and threw the brisket in. The temp dropped as I thought it would and slowly went back up. I worked it though out the day and hit the 170 plateau at around 2:30PM and it stayed there till around 5:30-5:45 and then it started going up. I noticed that as the brisket temp went up the temp on the smoker went up and as long as I let the temp rise on the smoker the brisket kept climbing, the smoker topped out at 242. Once the brisket got to 190 I pulled it out and wrapping in foil and through it into a insulated bag for about 45 mins.

    Here are some pictures of the smoke.[​IMG]Here is the brisket with the rub[​IMG]Cutting the brisket[​IMG]

    So I have some follow up questions.

    1.       I noticed a slight bitter taste on the brisket and I think it was from the smoking because I saw it throwing thick white smoke not the “thin blue smoke” a few times. I used 2 2X2 inch chunks, too large/to small? The “thin blue smoke” did not seem to last long before the wood was gone

    2.       The meat was drier than I thought it would be, was that because I cooked it for too long? It was in the smoker for 10 ½ hours for a 4.7# brisket. Or was the heat to high for the last hour of smoking 237-242. Starting off I was about 218 for the first 1 ½ hours.

    3.       The fat cap did not seem to melt off, weather too cold? I did have the vent opened wide at the top.

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    Sorry for the wall of text trying to put in as much info as I can J

    BTW I have a GOSM wide body from Wallmart

    Looking forward to the advice and the help

    Paul
     
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    1.       I noticed a slight bitter taste on the brisket and I think it was from the smoking because I saw it throwing thick white smoke not the “thin blue smoke” a few times. I used 2 2X2 inch chunks, too large/to small? The “thin blue smoke” did not seem to last long before the wood was gone. Sounds like what you were tasting was creosote, or it may have been the rub you used.

    2.       The meat was drier than I thought it would be, was that because I cooked it for too long? It was in the smoker for 10 ½ hours for a 4.7# brisket. Or was the heat to high for the last hour of smoking 237-242. Starting off I was about 218 for the first 1 ½ hours. I like to smoke mine in the 210-220 range, if you want it to be a little more moist, foil it at 165, with some liquid, then take it to 205. Let it rest for a couple of hours in the foil wrapped in towels in a dry cooler.

    3.       The fat cap did not seem to melt off, weather too cold? I did have the vent opened wide at the top. I usually remove most of the fat cap before smoking.
     
  3. Like Al says, the bitterness was likely creosote, or it could be sulpheric acid created by a reaction between elements of the wood smoke, and water, but it takes alot of wood and alot of water to make this happen in quantity.

    Right now, I'm experimenting with swapping the pan full of water in my WSMC with a pan full of play sand and seeing what results that yields, because I feel sand is a little more controlled than water.

    I believe your dryness issues could either be traced to cooking method- brisket cooked without the "Texas Cutch" will be drier than if you finish it with a braise in the smoker with foil. I believe there's a four-to-six-hour window where the smoke penetrates the most, and afterwards, no matter how much smoke you throw at it, it will make little difference. After this window, you can unabashedly foil without compromising your final product's flavor, but it won't have the level of bark.

    Solid beef fat doesn't melt. That fat cap is a web of fats and protiens holding each other together, and many of those fats are saturated, which means that they will remain relatively structured. Given time, this fat can be rendered out, but by the time (and temp) this is completed the meat would be ruined, and the fat would be on it's way to becoming tallow.
     

    Really great first time! Keep on q-ing!
     
  4. Thanks guys for the responses so far.

    I did a lot of searching on the forums yesterday and learned different ways of getting the TBS that I am going to try when I do a pork shoulder this coming weekend. I realized I  made a few mistakes this weekend ;)

    The rub will be changing was not that happy with it and I will be making my own or at least pulling recipes off the forum to try. [​IMG]

    Yes the addiction as started, I am happy to have a forum of enablers...hahaha
     
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If you haven't tried Jeff's rub & sauce I highly recommend it. It is a great place to start. It is excellent as is or can be tweeked to your tastes. I am always experimenting with it, but the original is hard to beat.
     
  6. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    ... agree 100%
     
  7. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like your off to a good start. Don't worry most of use hardly got it right the first time. As for that TBS, where are you placing the chunks. They work better when they are off to the side a little or mixed in/under the charcoal. That way they kinda smolder & not catch fire. Placing them directly on or under the HOT coals will give you the bellowing white smoke. Also have you calibrated the temp. gauge that came with the unit? They can also be off as well as the probe.
     
  8. Yea I am looking at buying Jeff's rub and sauce everyone is saying they love it and that is good to hear. I will be cooking another brisket in a couple weeks so will post what I did. Even though I was not super happy with how things turned out my wife and almost everyone at work that tried it loved it. I get picky when I grill so smoking will be the same way I think, drives the wife crazy.

    So a few things I am doing different is new rub, home made, and will get the chucks of wood smoking to get through the white smoke faze then put in the brisket.

    realtorterry, I have a propane smoker so no charcoal for me, I also use the ET-73 so I don't look at the door temp. I love the wireless :)

    I hope to through a pork shoulder in this weekend. We will see how that turns out.

    Thanks guys for your help!
     

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