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Come-Back Smoke: Double Packer Briskets, Burnt Ends & Taters in the Vault (Q-View)

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hey all! It's been WAY too long since my last smoke (thinkin' now...8 months, maybe more???), and especially too long since my last brisket smoke (12 months, maybe), so for a small get together (oldest son & wife, other son's co-worker & family), I had two packers in a -10 to -20*F freezer since last summer, and they were just dying to climb into a smoker. They weighed in @ 12lb-12.4oz and 15lb-2.2oz, pre-thaw. I started thawing 'em out in my 4.2 cu ft Q-fridge on Thursday (04-13-12) after cutting back the thermostat to let the frozen meat keep the unit chilled by themselves while monitoring fridge temps twice daily, and started grinding dry rub ingredients on Tuesday (04-17-12) after work, finishing with grinding the dried cherries and adding them into the blend along with the salt, today. I wanted another shot at this dry rub as well, because it was too darn good to overlook on a come-back smoke, and especially with guests coming to dinner.


Dinner is planned for 7:00 PM Thursday. I know this may sound like I'm starting way too early, but packer briskets usually give me a pretty long run for the money, sometimes over 24 hours to hit finished temps, so I don't want us all to be standing around waiting until midnight for dinner.

I guess this is my chance to find out if I've still got it to go...so, let the fun begin!

Recipe per Cherry & RBP Brisket Rub, found here:


Dry rub blended up (double-batch, about 2-1/4 or so cups, and I used all of it) and ready to go this morning:
1 Rub Blend.JPG


Briskets trimmed lightly, fat-cap scored down to the meat for rendering/basting and rubbed heavily for the long overnight/all-day ride...the 15lbr scored:

2 Scored 15lb.JPG


3 Scored 15lb.JPG


4 Scored 15lb.JPG


5 Scored 15lb.JPG


6 Scored 15lb.JPG


12-3/4lb scored:

7 Scored 12lb.JPG


8 Scored 12lb.JPG


9 Scored 12lb.JPG


12-3/4lb rubbed, about 5 minutes after the second and final application here...I took about 3-4 minutes between applications...worked on edges and one side of one brisket, then did the same on the other and went back and forth, until it was time to finish dialing in the Smoke Vault and toss 'em in. They got about a 15 minute rest before hitting the smoke:

10 Rubbed 12lb.JPG


11 Rubbed 12lb.JPG


12 Rubbed 15lb.JPG


15lb rubbed, 6-7 minutes after third and final application:

13 Rubbed 15lb.JPG


14 Rubbed 15lb.JPG


15 Rubbed 15lb.JPG


16 Rubbed 15lb.JPG


17 Rubbed 15lb.JPG


I got pretty decent overall coverage, a bit light on the edges, but I only applied there once, while the top/bottom got hit pretty heavily.


About 15 minutes into the smoke, I was attempting to get some quick and rudimentary grate temp variance readings. I've only smoked 2 packers once before, if I recall back that far (a 17lb and an 18lb pair of monsters for a family reunion), so I wanted to make sure where the warmer/cooler grate position would be, as I wanted a bit hotter for the largest of the two. The Vault (or the packers) fooled me. I originally placed the heavier one on the second grate and the 12-3/4lb on the forth grate...temps were opposite of what I thought, with the upper being 15* warmer, so I reversed the packer's grate positions. Oh, my normal smoking grate temps are a bit hotter on the left and most left rear on most grates, so I put the point (thickest potion) in those areas for a bit more overall even cooking between the point and flat cuts. Oh, if you had not noticed, I use 2 grate spaces for each larger cut, as shrinkage later down the road will bulk them up and make them thicker, usually contacting with the next great above if single grate spacing is used. Also, the baffling effect of larger cut is quite prominent when they are too close above each other.


18 15 min.JPG


19 15 min.JPG


20 15 min.JPG


21 15 min.JPG



I've moved everything since these were taken, and did a bit better placement of therms, so it will look different when I come back with pics sometime later tonight.


Well, smoke is on @ 2:45 PM MST. I already had one small battle with mother nature...was checking grate temps and door thermometer readings when I saw a wall cloud approaching with heavy rain in the distance. I put a propped up lid over my chamber vent (can't find my vent stack mod anywhere, which acts as a weather guard, also) to keep rain from dripping onto my brisket. Could be an interesting evening...time will tell.

Smoke provided by mostly cherry and pecan chunks, with a little apple @ 220-230* target grate temps, with the 15lb riding @ about 15* above the 12-3/4lb...should work out about right, with water in the pan, wood chunks broken down to various sizes with smaller for a quicker onset of smoke, and medium to larger sizes to carry the smoke for most of the duration.

Mother Nature is supposed to try and make things wet and cool during the smoke, with a 60% chance of rain today and day-time highs of 60* (showing 72* right now with rain...hmm) and winds of 17-24, gusts to 34, 35* tonight, 20% chance of rain, 9-15 with gusts to 21, and 52* on Thursday, 30% chance of rain with winds about the same as tonight. It's do-able...I can handle it!

I may place a roasting pan with a few cups of water to catch drippings, then, defat and pour over the sliced flat when it's all finished up, but the baffling effect of the pan under the meat may be too much going on with already having two slabs of meat in there...maybe, just don't want to botch-up my placement of briskets for even cooking, though. I may have to do grate temp monitoring in a couple extra places if I do go that route, just to be sure what it's going to act like.


I haven't decided just yet, but I'm thinking about another ride down Burnt Ends Boulevard with the point cuts...hmm... we love 'em ...wife, kids and everyone else (including myself) may be a bit disappointed without them...it's a packer thing here. There should be plenty of beef to go around for the dozen or so I'll be feeding with this smoke, regardless of how I finish the points. Taters will go in late in the smoke (around 2 or 3 o-clock), around 4-5 hours before dining commences, depending on size, to finish up while the flats are resting and burnt ends are getting their double-smoke (if in fact I do them).


So, finally, after all these months in smoke cessation, I'm having a relapse to the addiction, and I'm smoking again! OOOOOH, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! biggrin.gif


 If I'm lucky, and I do mean really lucky, mother nature and these two packers will let me catch a nap for several hours during the night so I'm not dragging my tail-end all day tomorrow.


2 hours into the smoke right now...updates will follow, so stay tuned!


Thanks for peekin'!



Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/26/12 at 8:49pm
post #2 of 42

Maybe been a year but it looks like you sure got it handled! That rub looks really good! I can't wait to see how this turns out, it's gonna be good!

post #3 of 42

Looking good. popcorn.gif

post #4 of 42

will be watching popcorn.gif

post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!


4-hour update:


Mother nature gave us a short-lived blast of moderate/light rain and it broke off. Weather radar is showing lots of scattered showers continuously building up and sweeping across the state heading in my direction, so it's not over, but shouldn't turn into anything too serious or long-lived for rains tonight. It's a pretty unorganized weather system, so I'm not worried...it wouldn't be my first rodeo with weather, anyway.


I waited for the 4-hr mark to stab 'em with probes into the flat cuts, as they will finish the earliest. When they hit foiling temps @ 185-190*, I'll pull one at a time (smallest first, I'm sure) and separate the point/flat, wrap the flat to towel-up for resting, then cube/season and, if needed, chill the BE's until it's time for the second round of smoke. Yeah, I think BE's are a must at this point in time.


4-hr internals were 135* in the 12-3/4lbr and 128* in the 15lbr. The 40-140*/4-hr rule dose not apply here due to the intact whole muscle nature of these two cuts,, so GAME ON!!!


Here's what my second thermometer probe placement for monitoring grate temps looked like...nothing serious or extravagant, just functional for a temporary task:

22 4hr.JPG


And after stabbing 'em for internals:

23 4hr.JPG


24 4hr.JPG


25 4hr.JPG


I did have a chamber temp spike after the first rain stopped and I didn't bump the dial on the burner to compensate for the rain, either...probes were @ 144 244* bottom and 162 262* top...probably just the initial thermal absorption rate (meat soaking up heat quickly) had slowed down, as it was about the 2-hr mark when the rain hit. I dialed it back and watched the grate temps for a few hours off and on until now, and we were cruising along nicely @ 212-218* om bottom and 224-235* on top, so I stuck 'em  to start monitoring for possible chamber temp deviations later on if I need to slow things down a bit. I don't pay a lot of attention to the stalls unless they run shorter than normal, then it could put an early finish on the meat...you can compensate for it if you judge the stall/weight/chamber temps close enough, and are accustomed to your rig and the process, or course.


I may do a grate rotation again to even out temps if the internal temp variances change and go the other way (due to the higher upper level temp) after about 8-9hrs into the smoke. If all looks well, I'll be hitting the sheets for eyelid inspections for a few hours...getting too old for the all-nighters, but there are ways and times you can play hookie from the smoke...just gotta know when the best time to do it will be, so you don't get caught by the brisket cops...police2.gif...else you may have an over-cooked and dried-out flat...worst case is the point went all the way over 200* too...icon_eek.gif...then, there will be no burnt ends...you could try it, but they will be very poor quality...dry and tough as nails (speaking of which, I like to cube-up the point for BE's  in the mid/upper 150* to lower 160* range...great texture and moisture when they're finished). Otherwise, pulled beef brisket point would be on the menu at that point, and probably well-fed dogs with brisket flat...that would very easily be my worst flop to date, so I don't even wanna go there on this smoke.


Not much else to report for now...back when something happens, as this will be a long night for the briskets, but hopefully note for me.


Thanks again, fellas!




Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/21/12 at 9:48pm
post #6 of 42

Looking good! and I think BE's are a must anytime! I want some right now just thinking about those 2 packers you got going there.

post #7 of 42
Looking great. Cant wait for the finish
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 

Yeah, Dave, I gotta do BE's...been too long without those mouth watering delicacies to nibble on.


8-hr update:


Had a couple more quick showers, just like I expected. My internal temps were beginning to concern me a bit earlier, as it seemed like the small packer was coming on hard and fast, but it hit a stall about 2 hours ago and will settle down a bit from the looks of things. I did top-off water iin the pan...evaporated only a gallon in 7 hours with the somewhat low ambient temps...not bad though. 44* now and beginning to spit some sleet and rain, again.


Internals @ 7hrs are 49 for the 12-3/4lbr and 40* for the 15lbr. Compared with the 4 hour temps, they're slowing down, so maybe I'll take a dip in the sheets for a couple hours and check 'em out again @ 10hrs into the smoke just to be safe, but I think the smaller flat may hold out for the 180* range until sunrise...we'll just have to wait on that and see...fingers crossed, anyway. I did squeeze the chamber temp back about 10* a few hours ago to slow it down, hopefully I did OK on timing based on the temp rise and length I want to hold them back for. Then again, the stall could go on for many hours with a slight temp drop...I've done that number before too. Either way, they'll be done for dinner on Thursday, no problem.


Oh, for the novice smokers, when I added water to the pan, I used cold, so it killed some heat in the smoke chamber, not only by opening the door for 30 seconds or so, but by adding cold mass to the smoke chamber, which will zap temps for 15-20 minutes, depending on the amount you added, among other factors.  In this case I wanted to slow things down just a bit so I opted for cold water. If I wanted to keep it more of a steady chamber temp, then I would have added hot tap water, or boiling water off a gas burner on an outdoor cooker or the stove-top. Vertical charcoal smokers on a long smoke may have low temp issues, so adding hot water if you need to add would be best at that point. Otherwise, you could run a dry pan with washed/clean sand instead of water...it heats slow like water, but once it's hot it adds heated mass for reducing temp swings, and it doesn't need to be refilled mid-smoke, so you don't have to open a door and loose even more heat...good trick to know.


For tonight, I just don't want to miss out on the separation and foil temp for the smaller flat...that's my only real concern at this time.


Took a couple quicky pics when I was getting ready to refill the water pan...slow and easy ride, boys, don't go gettin' western on me now:

26 7hr.JPG


27 7hr.JPG



One more quick chamber temp check, and if all's well, as in the packers are sleeping peacefully in or near a stall and far from needing attention, then, it's nap-time for me, too...(insert yawn here)...I know, it's only 10:20 PM here, but when you got a long smoke going, you're wise to sleep when you can...if I'm off-line soon after this post, you'll know why...biggrin.gif


More later!




post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 

Yep they took a little hit: 145* in the small one and 135* in the big dog @ 8-3/4 hours in...


Nite all!




post #10 of 42

Looking good!

post #11 of 42

Those look great this far! Thanks for all the info on what you are doing, I have yet to try a brisket but I did pick up one a few days ago and will be attempting it soon. 

post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys! Alesia, when you get ready to start your brisket, just be patient...it's done when it's done, as we always say. It won't make too much difference if you have a gas or electric, but some of the info I leave you with here about niches with vertical smokers (if you will be using one) will be helpful. And, of course, there's tons of folks here that can help walk you through it. Don't fear the brisket, just respect it and give it it's due time to cook...if you get it even close to a good finish, you will be rewarded with some dandy eating beef with a very unique flavor and texture. If over or under cooked, think of it as a learning tool, rather than a total loss.


My first packer 3-1/2 years or so ago was a bummer, and I swore I'd never do another packer...I just didn't know what I was doing...about 8 months later I was armed with more knowledge for baseline techniques from others posting on the forums, and with a few twist of my own for techniques and methods, I've been in brisket heaven ever since. There's no right or wrong way to smoke them, but it's more about what works best, and in my case, I like to experiment and play with variables just for kicks, so I tend to not do things the same way very often, but instead look for other little tricks to find just a bit better finished product. Sometime it works, sometimes I get myself into little predicaments and have to pull some tricks to correct things, as long as I catch it in time.



OK,here's an 18-hr update:


I/T's in the flats are 158* on the smaller one and 149* on the 15lbr.


I forgot to mention last night that when I saw the I/T's of the flat at a bit higher temp than I would have liked to see for the 8-hr mark, I cracked open the right side intake (both were previously fully closed with mod) to about 1/8 - 3/16" to add a bit of cooler air so the flats would slow down a little...seemed to to work pretty well.


I couldn't sleep right away due to a late-night rain shower, and thinking something may not be quite right right, so I went out to check the chamber temp about 90 minutes after I topped-off the water pan, and I/T's were still on a slow drop while the chamber temps were still pretty steady. At least they were close to where I left it at before my last post. Then at 4:00 AM (13-3/4 hrs) I got up and did another check...everything still fine, just slower than molasses on I/T's so I knew I could catch several more hours of sleep without any worries. So, as O said in the opening post, find that sweet spot when everything looks good and you don't foresee problems of meat that will require attention, and you can play a little hooky from smoking.


This morning I checked everything out, took a couple quick pics and noticed the water pan was still over 2/3 full. It had caught a lot of drippings, mostly rendered fat, and it was mot evaporating much water. Chamber temps were up about 20-25* above where I had been seeing them overnight, partly due to it being warmer ambient temps now (41* vs 35*), but also due to lack of evaporation., so I dumped the water pan into a metal can (plastic would have quickly melted from the hot grease, and glass would have fractured/cracked or even shattered) and refilled the pan with a gallon of cold water. That will bring chamber temps back down and get a higher humidity, as I'm concerned that the flats could get a bit dry, as I don't want to mess with them by foiling until I reach finished temps for slicing, which for me is up to 190*, depending on how they probe for tenderness. Anyway, the now full water pan should ride for most of the duration from here, with possibly a bit more added during the tater and BE's smoke.


So, I give you 18 hours and counting...


Here's a decent look at what I was referring to about grate spacing earlier...notice how high the point cut of the 15lbr is above the grate support on the 5th position? That would have made for an interesting removal of the packer later on with single grate space usage instead of double (been there once with pork butts, had to remove both grates at the same time while hot, balancing them, and the release from the grate supports can get a bit violent when the warping of the grates and supports spring back to normal, so be ready if you run into this. I don't think it could permanently damage the grates, but it may bend a support...but getting it out of the smoker without loosing dinner to the patio or ground is a neat trick, trust me...when I fist saw what I had done to my potentially good dinner, I about crapped my drawers...it was forth-down and time to punt, but I needed a quick ball return for the win..ha-ha!


The point cut view:

28 18hr.JPG


Front view:

29 18hr.JPG


Flat view:

30 18hr.JPG


I may move the probes into the points here in a bit just for giggles and what if...that area of the smoker is warmer, so they may be nearing my cubing temp for BE's earlier than the flat reaches finished temps...I have run into this on ocassion, so I don't want to miss my prime temp for BE's. The smaller packer will finish earlier, so once I see where both point cut temps are in relation to the flats, then I monitor just the smaller packer point and flat...kinda wishin' I had a third or forth temp probe right about now, but two will work.


All in all, this is cruising much better than I expected for a double packer smoke in a vertical rig...quite a smooth ride so far, with only a few minor fixes to do mid-smoke, and for that, I'm a happy smoke addict! LOL!


Back with prep for separation and processing for BE's later, unless something drastic blind-sides me and slaps me upside the face before then...LOL!




post #13 of 42

wow looking great!


great thread keep up the good workicon14.gif

post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks sunman!


18.75hr update: point/flat separation came on fast and furious.


Man, did I have a RUDE awakening when I checked I/T's in the points after my last post...they were both in the 170* range (171* in the 15lbr and 172* in the 12-3/4lbr), a bit over what I like to separate the point/flat at for BE's, but no real harm done...still had pink juices in them when I cut the fat seam. Anyway, needless to say, I had to do some quick foot, hand and knife work to get things back on track for the finish. So, a little hiccup, but and easy fix. Apparently my left side of the smoker is every bit hotter than the right as I remembered it was, wish I had my vent stack mod yesterday, as it makes some of this issue just go away, that's why I used it in the past. The points should have lagging a bit behind the flats on temps, and this works out great if you want to cube up the  points for BE's after a shorter rest while the flat is foiled and resting prior to slicing...that's what I usually plan on, anyway, but instead the points were ahead of the flats...ouch!!! Lesson learned: check I/T's in the points early to be sure...well, that, and, don't let yourself get so rusty with smoking packer briskets like I did...HA!!!


The points are resting peacefully in foil. I'll give them a couple hours, then cube and toss in sauce for BE's and chill well for a few hours, as things are coming out a bit quicker than needed for the points, but chilling will give them a second run through the melting temps of the collogens for a bit nicer finished texture, so long as I cut them large enough to not dry out on the second smoke.


The flats were both at 153* after panning and tenting, so they have to come back a bit on temps to where they were, and they'll be possible several hours to hit my target for tender but not fall apart slices, somewhere in the 185-190* range...TIC-TOC. Probes are in under the foil and the smokers running slow and easy.


On the way out the door with my bin to grab a brisket and toss into, I decided to just grab a knife and do it up quick outside next to the smoker to save time and internal temp loss on the flats.


The 15lbr just out:

31 18.75.JPG



32 18.75.JPG


Oozing out some pink juices...not happy about being handled while still hot, but it'll survive:

33 18.75.JPG



I went to the side you could see while it was in the smoker to find the fat seem, and began carving the point/flat apart:

34 18.75.JPG



35 18.75.JPG



I started getting into the point muscle a bit with the blade as I was rushing to get this done...two packers to separate at the same time? New one on me. Anyway, in doing so, I left a little of it behind on the flat, but that also means that I left some extra fat behind to help keep the flat more moist while it finishes cooking:

36 18.75.JPG



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38 18.75.JPG



Both points, ready to get under wraps to rest a few hours and slowly cool down for redistribution of the remaining natural meat juices, then they'll go under a knife again for cubing into burnt ends, tossing in seasoning and/or sauce, and a quick chill while I wait for the right time to hit 'em again with the double smoke...just goes to show, I start a smoke early so I know I won't be late, the points cook faster than I anticipated, and I'm way early. But this has some added benefits for resting the meat properly and being in a bit more relaxed state of mind come time for dinner...I can roll with that...:

39 18.75.JPG



Here's a good look at the scored fat cap after it has rendered down quite a bit...love that cool look it gives to the meat:

40 18.75.JPG



41 18.75.JPG



Bottom of a point, where it was once part of the packer:

42 18.75.JPG



43 18.75.JPG



As I separated each packer, I quickly returned the flats to the grates in the smoker to keep from loosing any more internal temp than necessary. Then, when I got the points ready to rest, I came back outside with the foil and pans to get the flats in my "safe-mode" to finish them up.


The 12-3/4 lbr's flat, into a pan with a couple ounces of water, about to get foil tented and returned to the smoker. I decide to play it safe and not finish on open grates due to the amount of temp climb they needed to finish...too big of a temp differential between the points and flats for that to go very well. At leaast the potential was there for a pair of dried-out flats, so I figured why risk it...:

44 18.75.JPG



45 18.75.JPG



46 18.75.JPG



And the 15lbr's flat...this one is actually a lot more uniform in thickness from end to end after separation instead of being tyapered gradually to just a fraction of an inch in thickness, as some do. This is partly due to the extra fat and point muscle I left on it...should cook nicely to the finish this way, and the point will have enough thickness all the way through make for easier cubing into burnt ends, so there's two of the added benefits I see from a slightly botched-up separation...so, not everything that seems to be a bad thing actually is:

47 18.75.JPG



48 18.75.JPG



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Still using two grate spaces to reduce the baffling effect...I'll check I/T's for even cooking, and if the bottom or top is running away from it's partner, I'll rotate the grate positions to reverse that, so they come out about the same time...:

51 18.75.JPG



52 18.75.JPG



OK, I can breathe easier now and my pulse is back to normal, so I had to get caught up posting...ha-ha!!...at least I get a break for several hours until the flats are ready to rest and it's time to smoke-up those BE's.


See ya with...hmm..been awhile so I gotta thing here...cubing and re-season/saucing the BE's and final smoke, oh, I almost forgot the taters!!! Then, the finished pics of sliced flat, BE's and taters...whew!!! Ah, it's not that hard, really, I'm just a wee bit rusty is all.


Man, I miss the long smokes!


Later all!




post #15 of 42
Thread Starter 

Dang, I'm rusty! I forgot to monitor chamber temps more closely while I uploaded the last set of pics...the smoke chamber temp spiked to about 290* due to the baffling from the pans reducing flow through the chamber. One I/T was 207*, so this one will likely be for pulled flat...it works if you keep them moist enough. The other was at 192*, so it will will likely still make a bit thicker slices without falling apart...we'll see. I forgot which one was at 192* now, and I rotated the grate positions and dropped the burner to low so they can start coming back down slow (a forced resting period, so to speak) as the chamber temp cools off.


So, another hiccup, but, the added benefit to this boo-boo is pulled flat instead of sliced, which you don't see every day...I used to make pulled flats a lot a few years ago, on purpose, just to see if it could be done, now I don't even have to try...so you'll see sliced and pulled flat later today, as long as the 192* peak temp of the only one with potential for slicing wasn't too much temp to tip the scale to fall-apart texture. They did come up to these temps kinda quick, though, so they may not have tenderized as much as I think. We'll find out in a few hours.


Man, this is what I get for going on the smoke-wagon, huh?


It'll work out to some good eating flat, no matter which way it comes out, though, so no worries.




post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 



Flats are both sliced and BE's are cubed-up and smoking, along with 8 Russet and 8 Gold taters. Taters went in @ 3:00 PM @ 300*, then dropped to 225* when I popped in the BE's.


How about those flats? They both sliced pretty well, I went a bit thick because they were pretty tender, or they would have fallen apart on me.


The drippings from both pans had tons of collogen, so I defatted with ice cubes after slicing and poured over the sliced flat after putting into a oval crock pot for warming.



I got the flats slowly down to 143* and 147* before removing from the smoker to further rest while I got the taters into the Vault. Then, crossed my fingers and grabbed a serrated knife for easier penetration through the bark.


Victim #1:










I'm glad I panned and tented these when I did...still good moisture, so we did alright on these afterall...I was surprised that both flats woudl slice, because of the accidental 207* peak temp on one, I figured pulled, but I'll settle for sliced:












Victim #2:





















Into the crock pot with the drippings poured over the top, then added about 3/8 cup of water down the side to settle onto the bottom for slow steaming...crock pot set on low awaiting the buffet to begin later:











The BE's prep actually took place before the flat slicing, just for clarification...then rested in the fridge waiting to chill and get their double smoke. I just wanted to post pics of the prep and beginning of the smoke in the same segment...cool?


BE's were cubed-up, tossed with sauce and chilling until I give 'em their final ride in the smoke. If I were really thinking about BE's before started these packers, I should have trimmed back the fat-cap on the points fairly lean so that it would require much less trimming and loss of bark from the fat cap, but they'll be good even with less bark from the primary smoke. I could taste some of the dry rub on a few small samples I tasted while cubing up the points...nice and mild. I did leave the bark on where the fat cap was fairly thin, so some will still have the original bark...I just didn't want anyone to bite into a big ol' chunk of fat.


First point to process:







Here's what I meant about it being better to trim more fat-cap prior to the smoke...I trimmed most of this off before cubing:




Here's where you start seeing the tubular construction of the point muscle...lots of inter-muscular fat, which keeps it moist at higher temps than the flat muscle:











This is what I wanted to see...moisture galore:








First dose of sauce was a bit light, and I don't measure for this, just eyeball...when it looks right, roll with it...easy does it for full coverage, but a light coat:





Another couple Tbsp of sauce drizzled over and some more tossing...looks betetr now, time to cover and fridge rest until the smoke:





I like to barely coat them if I sauce so that it builds a very light glaze (sometimes I re-season with rub, but sauce works best for really great BE's, IMHO). If done right, they get a bit crisp all over, with a contrasting tender, but popping chew inside. This light application of sauce will give a nice caramelized glaze without overpowering flavor from excess sauce.



OK, rested, chilled and time for smoke as we approach the 3-hr mark until my deadline. Taters were already in on top, so the BE drippings won't hit them.


94 Taters 1hr.JPG


This batch weighed in @ just over 5.5lbs:

95 BE's.JPG


96 BE's.JPG


97 BE's.JPG


98 BE's.JPG



1.5 hours into the double-smoke:

99 BE's.JPG


100 BE's.JPG


102 BE's.JPG


103 BE's.JPG


104 BE's.JPG


Gotta run back out and turn over the taters for even cooking. I'll be back with the finish sometime this evening after our guests have happily filled their bellies and have gone home to succome to brisket coma. I'll let you know how it all came out and grab a couple more pics of a plate for you drooling pleasures.


75 minutes 'til dinner...what a long wait, but the wait is almost over after...hmm, let's see here...28 hours since I dropped the packers into the Vault...will be 29.25 when the BE's come out for devouring.


See ya soon!




Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/19/12 at 5:15pm
post #17 of 42

yahoo.gifThe man is back and in excellent form.  I truly have missed your epic smokes.  Just hasn't been the same since you were "away".  Matter of fact, it's your fault I went over to the dark side and got a WSM. th_wsmsmile0ly.gif Oh, I still have the GOSM, but it's just not the same.  You still using your Brinkman? 

post #18 of 42

That looks AWESOME! I know it was a lot of work but I bet the flavor was worth every minute of it! Great write up too! (Do you think you could email me one of those BE's? I would really like to eat one right now.)

post #19 of 42
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by S2K9K View Post

That looks AWESOME! I know it was a lot of work but I bet the flavor was worth every minute of it! Great write up too! (Do you think you could email me one of those BE's? I would really like to eat one right now.)

Thanks, Dave, yeah, it's definitely worth the effort. I've been saying for years that we need PM Smoke Deliveries, but I haven't seen the upgrade for it yet...LOL!!!!



Originally Posted by NWDave View Post

yahoo.gifThe man is back and in excellent form.  I truly have missed your epic smokes.  Just hasn't been the same since you were "away".  Matter of fact, it's your fault I went over to the dark side and got a WSM. th_wsmsmile0ly.gif Oh, I still have the GOSM, but it's just not the same.  You still using your Brinkman? 

Hey Dave! Been awhile, my old friend! Yeah, I missed doing these a lot, myself. I was hoping nobody was getting the itch for me to get back at it, but it's bound to happen, I guess. "The Dark Side"...I like it! I remember that now, when you decided to grab a charcoaler for that deeper flavor, color and smoke penetration...I think I was playing with the gourmet a lot back then. I still have it, in fact I bought a smoke n grill to add to the gourmet as a double-stacker with 4 cooking grates. Another experimental project for something to keep me busy. I played around with it for several weeks dialing it in for more even grate temps while I smoked some smaller stuff...never got it completely done last summer, but I still have it.


I just haven't cooked on anything outdoors for a long time (DO's, smokers or grills)...went through a phase with just too many life-changing events and too much chaos, I guess. Not any health issues, but I decided to make some changes for the better while I was "away"...more balance, mainly.  I was in the "fast lane" for too long at too fast of a pace, too. I may just start out of the gate a bit slower and hopefully I can hold onto the reins and stay in the saddle. That was a wicked paced 2-1/2 to 3 year stretch I went through with q-view posts, but man what a fun ride! Ha-ha!!! I looked at my threads started page a while back just for goggles...something on the order of just under 300 q-views, or close to that...gave up trying to count all of them...that's just all-out nuts, some would think. Maybe I did about 20 too many last year? Ah, it was fun anyway.


Speaking of q-view, our guests have gone for the evening, so I've got pics to upload!


Back shortly!


Thanks fellas!



post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 

The finish at last!


Russets on the left, Golds on the right:



A variety of levels of finished texture with this batch, some a bit softer exterior and lighter flavor, and some with a good crunchy bark and deep carmelized flavor...no, not burnt-up or heavily scorched, but not too far from it either...so there's something for everyone's liking. I bumped chamber temps up from 225* to about 275* for the last 30 minutes of their 3-hr smoke:



I grabbed some of each of the BE's to get the full experience, a gold tater and two large slices of flat...oh, the sliced flat? Tender enough to cut through both slices simultaneously with a fork...and no, I won't complain about it being that tender and juicy...mmm...it's funny how I was thinking I may have somewhat botched the flats from too high of temps, but if this how a fouled up smoke turns out, I want to screw up a couple more...soon...LOL!!!:











SB & BE's were great. The rub was just like I remembered...very tasty and unique. Smoke was a solid back-up for the brisket's flavors and enhancement of the rub...not weak, not overwhelming...jeez, I always liked cherry with beef and heavier flavored pork cuts.


I did dust that gold tater with black pepper, but didn't need any salt...the smoke was nice and smooth with a light but moderately deep penetration. I didn't do anything special with them either, in fact nothing but toss 'em on the grate dry, no seasoning, oil or butter...simple, yet very nice eats.


If anyone's counting pics...it's a lot...I number my pics when I sort them in folders so I don't loose track of where I'm at with uploads as often (still happens to the best of us, though, I'm sure), so let me just say that if a picture says a thousand words, you just read 111,000 words, not including text. That's a rap...you can stick a fork in me now, 'cuz I'm done! HA!!!


Man, this is one addiction I hope I never kick! Glad to have fallen off the wagon, and glad be back!


Thanks all! Been another fun ride through the smoke!




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