My buddy Larry's dad passed away on Friday. His wife called me up on Saturday and told me that they had a bunch of out of town folks to feed after the funeral and asked me if I would smoke a brisket for them. Well, you don't turn down those kinds of requests, so I made plans to do it. I wasn't able to start until about noon on Sunday, so I knew this was gonna be a late night.
Here's my setup to start with. About a chimney of unlit RO lump with a big hickory split. I dumped about a half a chimney of lit lump on top of this. My temps spiked through the roof until I realized I had left my ash dump open . Once I got it closed, my temp stabilized nicely and it was meat time.
This being a last minute smoke, I sent the girlfriend to Wally World to get me a beef critter to smoke, and she calls me and tells me that they have a grand total of one brisket left and its 16 lbs! That's about 3-4 pounds bigger than I usually get, but beggars can't be chosers so I told her to bring it on. I rubbed it with a base of Tony Chachere's, then topped it off with a good coat of Montreal steak. I scored the cap and decided to cook it cap down this time.
Here we are at the 2 1/2 hour mark, everything on schedule. TBS rolling
And here's the brisket at the 21/2 hour mark. Starting to render some fat and pick up some color.
And here's a good shot of my firebox setup after a log change at about the 3 hour mark. I thought when I bought a stick burner that I would be "burning sticks" but I couldn't solve the thick white smoke problem when I would add fresh fuel to the fire. So now I run my smoker as a "lump burner" with the splits off to the side. They generate beautiful TBS, and when they are all spent, you can just rake them on to the coal bed.
The meat hit a wicked stall at about 145. I finally foiled it at about 9PM when it hit 160 and took it up to 191, which happened about midnight. A 12 hour marathon smoke for sure. She went straight from the smoker into my oven (not on) wrapped in some towels to rest. When I woke up this morning, the IT of the brisket was still 150. She's resting in the fridge now. When I get home from work, I'm going to slice her up and put her in a foil pan with the juice from the foil. I'll get the money shots then and update the thread.
As a side note. I never thought I needed a remote display therm, but it sure would have been nice to have one on the night stand during the later hours of this smoke last night. I might have to add one of those to my wish list.
I got home yesterday and pulled the brisky out of the fridge and sliced it up. I got rid of the fat, which was easy to do, since it was hardened from being in the fridge overnight. I then took the remaining pan drippings and mixed them with about a cup of Cattlemen's to give some good moisture to the pan so the meat wouldn't dry out during the re-heat. I put it it in a 200 oven covered in foil while we were at the funeral. I swung by the house after and picked the warm brisket up. I was really pleased with the way this thing came out. I've smoked about 7 or 8 briskets since I got this smoker last year and I think this one was the best yet. Here are some pics of the sliced meat. The meat was cold, so the pics aren't as pretty as they would have been if it was hot.
Edited by Smoke 2 Geaux - 1/24/11 at 4:00pm