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New Smoker - Sub-Par Brisket on my first attempt with my Master Forge

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am John.  I live in Cincinnati and got hooked on the concept of smoking when I gave a 3 pound brisket a try last summer in my grill with a smoker box.   To my absolute shock it came out perfectly.


I just purchased a Master Forge vertical smoker with the intent of serving up some mean barbeque on the 4th of July.  My first run this weekend didn't go quite as well but I am not ready to give up.


It was a 6.5 pound brisket and I got it going about 6AM.  I had to wake up at 4:30 AM (welcome the world of smoking meat I guess).   It was mother's day and luckily my wife didn't put added pressure on me by inviting family & friends. 


I assumed at 6.5 pounds a worst case around 11 hours with a 1 hour rest giving me a 12 hour cook.  So getting on the smoker by 6 AM I figured worse case of 6PM to eat.   This didn't happen.


By 4 PM the internal temp was only about 155 and it had been stuck there a while.  I have read about this period so just let it go and hoped it would eventually take off.   The temp finally started moving.  I used foil at about 160 and let it get to about 182 when I finally pulled it off as it was about 5:30.   I am guessing I was too early as the brisket wasn't as tender as I would have liked.  I also didn't rest it as long and it seemed to lose a ton of juice while resting.   It was good brisket but I am not sure why it took so long.  I religiously monitored temp of barbeque and had it between 225 and 235 for a majority of the cook.   This was monitored with a Maverick Smoking thermometer.  


I guess for my next run, I need to either start earlier and cook longer, or by a smaller brisket to get it up to 190 or so.   My 3 pounder the previous summer I pulled probably around 195 degrees if I remember correctly.  I am guessing 183 isn't long enough.  


Anyway I am glad to be here and will look to post pics in the future but with a new smoker, new thermometer and large brisket, I had my hands full on this first attempt. 

post #2 of 9


Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

Many of our members have years of experience in smoking meat.  They are more than happy helping Newbies learn the art.

We have members who cure there own Bacon, Hams, Jerky, Snack Sticks, Make Their own Sausage, etc. if you want to learn,
this is the place. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions of them and follow their advice. You won't be sorry, you will be making great Q in no time at all...

Just remember, when curing your own meats follow the instructions included with the cure to the letter, this is not something to experiment with.  

Never use more cure no mater if it is Tender Quick or Cure #1 or Cure #2 than the manufacturer says to use, this can be very dangerous.

Tender Quick and Cure#1 or Cure #2 are not interchangeable, neither Cure #1 interchangeable with Cure #2 or vise versa


Tips For New Members.

  1. Go into your profile and Under Location put where you are.
  2. City & State or Area & State will do. This will help members when answering your questions.
  3. Go to ROLL CALL thread and tell us a little about Yourself (A Name We Can Call You) and Experience & Equipment.
  4. Do Not Post  your other questions and smokes in the Roll Call Forum.
  5. Post your questions and smokes in the Proper Forum, Beef, Pork, Sausage, Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker etc.
  6. Use the Wiki Section, many of our members have posted great tutorials and instructional threads so take advantage of them.
  7. When you can't find an answer ask plenty of questions, we have some highly experienced members willing to help you.
  8. When posting about your smokes be sure to post plenty of Qview (Pictures) Our Moto, "No Pics, Didn't Happen".
  9. Get a good Probe Thermometer, Don't Depend on the Built in Thermometer in your Smoker (They are notorious for being off).
  10. A good choice for a remote dual probe thermometer is the Maverick ET-732
  11. Remember, We Always Cook by Temperature and NOT BY TIME...
  12. Sign up for Jeff's 5-Day eCourse.  Click Here
  13. Don't Take Chances, Always Follow USDA Safety Guidelines When Handling Meat.
  14. If you are wanting to get into curing meat, there are many members here more than happy to help and give good advice.

  15. If you are unsure of a procedure ASK, don't ASSUME, It will make your Smoking experience much more pleasant...

post #3 of 9


Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
post #4 of 9


This site has tons of info.

I would suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Then use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!


Have a great day!!!



post #5 of 9

Welcome to SMF. 

I foil brisket at 165, pull at 205, then wrap in towels for a couple of hours to rest. Then slice.

post #6 of 9

Welcome to the forum.


Yeah....you pulled it to early. Brisket has to hit a minimum of 190° for slicing, but a lot of us go to 200°+. It can be kind of agrivating waiting for brisket, but if you remain patient and don't rush it you will be rewarded. If your MF is a gas smoker you could do what I do.... put it on at about 1:00 AM, it will be ready to foil around 8 or 9 the next morning, and will probably be ready to pull for resting around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. You can hold it in a dry towel lined cooler for 4-6 hrs. and still have it piping hot. But like they say every piece of meat is differant so go by temps, not time.

post #7 of 9

Yup 200˚ to 205˚ here too.


Only thing I do different is instead of taking it out and wrapping it in towels when it's done-------------

I kill the heat, open the door until the heat in my MES 40 gets down to about 190˚ (below the internal temp of the meat), leave it wrapped in foil, close the door, and leave it in the smoker for an hour or two.


Serves the same purpose, but less hassle moving it around & wrapping towels around it.




post #8 of 9

Well you said it...Welcome to Smoking Meat!  


Trial and Error.  I can't agree more with what the others have said.  Temp not time and don't rush it.  


But most of all don't for get the QViews.




My person keyboard only works when saturated with drool.  I have grown accustomed to it so please don't make me buy a new one.




Welcome to the family!!


post #9 of 9


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