Rookie Q-View for new WSM and 2nd brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by siletzspey, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Being new to the forum, I understand I'll be kicked out unless I post some pictures. OK, here it goes, with bloopers included...

    Back in April I bought a Luhr Jensen Big Chief smoker, and besides great smoked salmon and beef jerky, I smoked my first packer brisket. Because the electric Luhr Jensen can only hit 165-175F, I only smoked for ~2 hours before moving the brisket to a 225F oven, and eventually foiling at 160F and pulling at 200F. The result was fairly good. When I found out about the 40-140-4 rule from this forum, I checked my April notes, and discovered I barely hit 140F in 4 hours, and I probed several times prior to that. My wife and I were lucky!

    Fast forward to this August when I got a 22.5" WSM so I could get serious, and broke it in with 2 Safeway select briskets (next time I'll go choice grade, now that I've found a source).

    I used this rub as-is for the April brisket, but due to some suggestions that sugar on brisket should be minimal, I dialed back the sugars for the August briskets. In both cases the flavor was great.

    2 tablespoons sea salt
    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    3 tablespoons white sugar   (adjusted to 1/3 of for August)
    2 tablespoons brown sugar   (adjusted to 1/2 of for August)
    2 tablespoons smoky paprika   (adjusted to 1/2 of for August)
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1 tablespoon garlic powder


    After mixing and applying the rub, I Saran wrapped the briskets for an overnight stay in the fridge.

    Blooper #1 - I used a recycled bulk-garlic shaker to apply the rub, but didn't see any sea salt coming out. Dang it, the shaker lid holes were too small for sea salt.



    I filled the WSM ring 2/3rds full with Kingsford Competition, and dumped a 1/2 load of hot charcoals on top per the Minion method.

    Blooper #2 - I forgot to put some chunks of green lump mesquite in at the start, and when I tossed them on the very top of the charcoals afterwards, they never did catch well or generate much smoke. I'm guessing I need to pack the green lumps in so they'll catch better.


    I used a Maverick ET-732 thermometer to monitor the lower grill and brisket temperatures, and used a kiln thermometer (the gray unit) that I use for cooking rocks (you laugh, go see to monitor the upper grill temp, and a hand thermometer to monitor the upper brisket. And yeah, the lid had a built-in 5th thermometer.

    I discovered the kiln thermometer responds instantly to temp changes, where-as all the BBQ/food thermometers take 15-60 seconds to show any temp change. It was revealing to lift the lid and see the instant heat loss, and the amount of time it took to regain the heat when the lid was replaced.


    Only rarely did I lift the lid to check the upper brisket ITs.

    Blooper #3 - you all say to "foil the water pan". Problem is, you usually don't say which side, so I assumed the water/fat-drip side. Once the water started boiling, the foil poofed up like a jiffy pop popcorn pan. I managed to tear some of the foil out so things could continue.


    I pulled and foiled when the internal temps were at 165F to 172F, and I added a 1/4 cup of beef broth. I put the two foiled briskets into a 225F oven, foil directly on the oven racks, and when it looked like we wouldn't eat until mid-night, I cranked it to 250F.

    BIG BLOOPER #4 - I used the hand thermometer to sample ITs in both briskets. At one point I poked the probe thru the foil top, thru the meat, and dang-it thru the foil bottom. Whoops. Out came gushing a 1/2 cup of steaming hot drippings, and fortunately I had foiled the oven bottom the day before.

    I pulled and rested around 190, and then sliced up. The smoke rings were moderate, but I and my wife were very surprised by the flavor and moistness of the meat, despite them being select cuts. I did not separate the point and flat before cuttting, but will try that next time.




    For those needing a summary graph, here it it.


    Next time, I need to get the green lump mesquite better situated for more smoke.

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That is Great looking Meat and an AWESOME Thread! The Blooper's are hilarious!...Thanks for having the Huevos to post them!...JJ

    JIFFY POP!!! [​IMG]
  3. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    Nicely done! Don't give up hope on the Luhr Jensen. My back up/ABT smoker is a little chief with a toastmaster hot plate on top of the original heat element. I get temps of 300 on high, 225-250 just past medium.
  4. smokinal

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

    Great job!

    The brisket looks delicious!
  5. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looks like it came out all right in the end. Looks like you took great notes too. Sure the next one will be even better!!
  6. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    The pics of the Flat look Great, I would love it if my "Select Grade" beef looked like that. I really think the stores around here are selling "Standard Grade' . I Give you credit in the "Bloopers" also, Nice to see that I"m not the only one thats not
  7. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    looks great.. nice job bet it was tasty
  8. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    Good job man! every smoke I do is a learning experience.

    You won't get kicked out if you don't post pics but I liek that kind of attitude! I never thought posting pics of my cooks for critiquing would be fun but it is!
  9. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Bravo!  Excellent post, and a mighty tasty looking brisket.  I imagine if we were all being honest, we'd say there are always bloopers early on.  And for some -- like me -- still are a fair share years later.  Good for you for posting them!
  10. Love the graph, what a moist flat. You rock [​IMG]
  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great job on both the meat and the post.  Keeping your logs will speed your learning curve on that great smoker.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  12. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    brisket looks great regardless of the bloopers which we all and learn....good job
  13. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very good looking Brisket, bet it was yummy, Bloopers were fun to read, we all do them
  14. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    What is an oven?

    Nice thread and pic's, butt the oven[​IMG]. Just get some cold ones and use the WSM as an oven/smoker.

  15. Nice post nice graph i thought i was anal [​IMG]  Brisket looks awesome good job
  16. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    Looks great
  17. Thanks for the kind words. I did fail to mention one blooper; when I used a fork to lift the finished brisket out of the foil, the meat was so tender the fork tore though, and the meat dropped into the drippings and splattered ;-)

    Wrt "what is an oven". Hum, well, its where I stashed the brisket to make room for some wings. Yeah, that's it.

    Wrt "i thought i was anal". Hey dude, I represent that remark!

  18. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Blooper my a....

    That was good meat!

    As to your bloopers?  Others might disagree. 

    I say if you aren't screwing up now and then, you just plain aint cookin!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  19. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Very nice!

Share This Page