Actually I have tried to smoke briskets in the past but all have been failures so I don't count those. Besides no pictures were taken so they didn't really happen. I had been trying to smoke for years using BBQ grills and ECB's and had never had a brisket that came out worth mentioning. Looking back most of the reasons for the failures was me not really knowing what I was doing. I purchased a home made SFB smoker about a month ago, found this forum, and since then my results have been getting better.
While at work on Friday I decided to smoke a brisket for the weekend. On the way home I stopped by Sam's Club and bought this 13 LB packer.
I got my smoker going and rubbed the brisket with Jeff's rub and let it sit while I started a thread on SMF to see were I should probe the brisket for temperture readings. While doing some last minute research for my smoke I realized I forgot to rub the brisket with mustard prior to the dry rub like I intended to do. Within minutes of posting the question about where to probe the brisket I received a few suggestions which I really appreciated. Here is the brisket after the application of the rub.
I placed the brisket on the smoker, fat side down, about 12:30 Saturday morning. I tried to keep the chamber temperature about 230. I used Kingsford charcoal and hickory chunks for the smoke. I wanted to use lump charcoal but the Home Depot I stopped by was sold out and I didn't want to go to Walmart.
Here is my rig.
I let the meat smoke for four hours and did not touch or look at it for the entire time. I then inserted the temperature probe into the thickest part of the point and misted the brisket with some apple juice/captain morgan's mixture I had leftover from my butt smoke. I noticed I had placed the thin end of the brisket toward the fire box. I meant to place the thick end to that side. First the mustard and now this, I thought I was heading for disaster. Here it is after misting and turning it so the thick end is toward the fire box. The IT was 146 at this point in the smoke.
I tried to maintain a fairly constant chamber temp. I fell asleep a few times and let the temp get away from me a little bit but not more than 30 degrees in either direction and for no longer than 30 minutes at the most. I enjoyed staying up working on this smoke, I even turned on my wife's party lights. My smoker is located on our lower level patio. This is where my wife and her friends hang out when we are having parties. She was really pissed when she came home and found this smoker on the patio. I told her she could move it to wherever she wanted. Since she can barely lift the front cover it will be on her patio for a long time.
I misted the brisket about once an hour. At 9:00 am the IT reached 170. I removed the meat from the smoker and wrapped it in three layers of heavy duty foil and put it back in the smoker.
At 11:30 am the IT reached 198. I removed it from the smoker, wrapped the foiled brisket in two bath towels, and placed in a small cooler. I was expecting it to take longer than 11 hours to reach the desired temperature.
At 4:00 pm I removed the brisket from the cooler and unwrapped it. I separated the point from the flat.
I sliced the flat with a sharp boning knife. I snuck a few bites while slicing and the meat almost melted in my mouth. This is one of the best briskets I have ever tasted.
I cut the point into some chunks to try to make burnt ends. I placed the chunks into a pan and mixed with some rub and BBQ sauce. I put the pan on a Weber set up for indirect heat.
At this time it is about 8:30 pm, time to wait for the burnt ends, have a smoke, and a little whisky and coke.
The burnt ends never did get carmelized and crusty like I had hoped for but I couldn't wait any longer and I was starting to get tired. My wife ended up going out with her friends, my son decided to spend the night with his cousin, my daughters were out like always. I was left at home all alone with my whisk(e)y, my dogs, and my sandwich - life is good.
I believe my past failures were all due to using time instead of IT to determine how long to cook. I was a little intimidated by briskets. I have probably tasted more bad briskets in my life than good ones and that includes what I have had at restaurants. After a few hours of research on this forum I was able to smoke a brisket that turned out really good. The only complaint I have is that it could use some more smoke flavor. The next time I will try to use more hickory during the smoke.
Thanks for looking.