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Final Exam - Brisket Time

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


So, I'm going to be taking my self imposed "Final Exam" en route to the title of 'PitMasta'.  I've vetted just about everything I could think of:


  • Mods to the smoker
  • Got the right brand of lump
  • Got a digital probe thermometer
  • Studied the fine art of smoking brisket on SmokingMeatForums.com (shameless plug, lol).
  • Did a few low and slows of Pork Butt, ribs, and smoked a couple of turkeys too.


I can do pulled pork with my eyes closed now, so I think I'm ready to take the 'test'.  Here's a video of my brisket:


Fresh out of the pack:  http://s949.photobucket.com/albums/ad331/alexhortdog95/?action=view&current=2011-04-21_21-11-28_160.mp4


After slight trimming:  http://s949.photobucket.com/albums/ad331/alexhortdog95/?action=view&current=2011-04-21_21-26-37_255.mp4


I have thus named her Bessie, following a tradition of naming all of the larger cuts of meat I have smoked thus far.  I've trimmed her, put the seasoning (see video) on and placed her in the fridge under wrap overnight.  Seeing as how this is my first one, I didn't do a wet marinade (as I've had success with mopping and moisture in the past), but rather a dry 'pat' (not rub).


I have one final question before my test this evening....do I insert the probe at the tip of the flat down into the point?  I know 'thickest part' rules, but this is basically like 2 pieces of meat.







post #2 of 22

Nice video, looks like your well on your way. My advice would be, if you are going to let it smoke all night, don't put a temp probe in it until morning or at least until 5 or 6 hours of time in the smoker. Then put it in a couple of places the thickest parts of course & which ever place has the lowest temp, leave it there.

post #3 of 22

icon14.gifGood luck rmemeber the PIX


post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hmm, that's a good idea!  I'll do that!

post #5 of 22

I always wait atleast 4 hours before I put the temp prob into the meat. Cant wait to see the results.

post #6 of 22

so....this the one where you be taking on your Pops?.....seems like you have had enuf trial runs to do the gauntlet....good luck with the smoke

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Quick update,


It's about 4:10 central right now, I put Bessie on about 11:30 last night.  The charcoal I got is excellent!  Easy to light, and keeps temps for a loooong time.  The basket works wonders as well!


Had it going well, my alarm woke me up about an hour ago.  Good thing - my temps had gone down below my target temp.  So I just refueled (have to get a better routine of refueling down).  I moved the hot coals to one side, and put cold coals on the top with a fresh chimney of coals.  Finished that off with a chunk of wood, temp is back up now and seems to be holding steady at 225.


I poked around with the probe a little bit until I found an internal temp at 145 - I think I hit my stall already? 


Sunrise is in a couple of hours.  I'll snap some photos and post em.


post #8 of 22

Excellent, were following along with you!

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Not sure if I'm out of the stall or not - but my internal temps are now up to 156 degrees.  Smoker Temp still holding steady at 225.


post #10 of 22

Sometimes they stall more than once just hang in there, and whatever you do DON'T kick the temp up in the smoker to get through the stall.

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

Sometimes they stall more than once just hang in there, and whatever you do DON'T kick the temp up in the smoker to get through the stall.

Funny you should say that Al, LOL


I think I just hit a 2nd stall.  I'm at 168 and holding, which is where I thought I'd stall at originally.  I think the first one was me letting the temp get too low in my smoker, so I adjusted the time on my alarm to check the fuel.


At this point, I'm 8 hours into the cook.  I won't be adding any more wood - only coal at this point for fuel.  And seeing as how I've been getting a good 4 hours out of each basket, I'm good to go!




post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Update -


Just checked on Bessie - looking good.  Seems to have a nice texture, I have plenty of fuel to finish this long cook.


My estimates were a bit off.  Bessie weighs a little over 10 lbs, which means she should be cooking for 1.5 hours per pound.  That gives me a cooking time of about 15 hours (that's time wise, not temp wise, of course). 


Of course, it's done when it's done.  But she's almost 10 hours in, and her internal temp is 181, which leads me to believe I may have moved past the stall already and she'll be done in less than the 15 hours.


What do you guys think?


post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Holy crap.


If I hadn't been on this site, I'd be pulling my hair out right now.


I was in the process of refueling (it got a bit windy around here, so it's throwing my fuel times off, so I've adjusted) and I watched the temp drop from 186 to 176 right in front of my eyes.


Another stall, or an effect of me refueling?


post #14 of 22

It could be either one. More than likely you let the fire cool down too much, when they stall they sometimes loose temp, but not that much. Maybe just a couple of degrees. Like I said before just hang in there. Brisket is one of the hardest pieces of meat to smoke. Do you have a good thermometer measuring the chamber temps?

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

I think I'm all good - the temp is back up to 185 now and making progress once again!

post #16 of 22

OK good luck & I warn you ahead of time you better have some photo's at the end, so we can see what your brisket looks like!

post #17 of 22

What Al said, don't forget the Qview...

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Bessie is done...finally...LOL


She probably would have gotten done sooner if I hadn't screwed around with my refueling that third time, dropping the temp.


I pulled her at 190 (you guys weren't lying about the thermometer, it was like the brisket wasn't even in there with it it was so easily manipulated) and have rested her for an hour with foil.


Here's my album.....  I'll post one last one when I carve.







post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

All done!

The taste test was approved.  I am now offically a "PitMasta"!  yahoo.gif




Check out the latest video.  There's one of me that I haven't put out there (too large) that shows me cutting up the flat, but I disappear because the wife wanted to taste the final product.

All in all, it's good!


Thanks everybody for all your help (especially you Al, since you were staying up with me, LOL)!

I'm already thinking of the next late night 'smoke session'.



post #20 of 22

Great job there Alex! Your patience paid off. Your brisket looks as good as any I've seen. Great smoke ring, & tender & juicy looking! 

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