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my first smoke - brisket - help?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

so i did my first smoke over the weekend consisting of ~4lb of brisket.  i started at 1pm and went until ~615pm.  i gave up after 615 and threw them on the grill for the last 15 min.  after reviewing my performance, i came to the conclusion that the smoker was too cold.  i was maintaining ~200 degrees consistantly, but I needed to get it up to 225.  when i was cleaing the equipment afterwords, there was A LOT of ash from the charcoal, and that is what i think was killing my temp.  the coals were buried in ash.  is there any way to get rid of the ash or prevent it from stiffling my heat?


I have a vertical charcoal smoker - beginner rig, nothing fancy.  the thermometer i used was next to the meet.  i didn't use the one on the outside of the hood.

post #2 of 17

Get yourself a "coal basket" that is raised off the bottom some. Makeone out of expanded metal you can find at Lowe's and/or Home Depot.

post #3 of 17

Welcome to the forum!


Please fill us in on what type of smoker you have - the more specifics the more we can help. biggrin.gif


If you haven't taken the free 5 day e-course yet sign up for that - it answears a lot of questions for new to smoking folks.


From your description I am betting you have either a round of square vertical charcoal smoker. If you do some searching on this site you will find almost all types of smokers and for the cheaper ones there are lots of mod's you can make to get them to run a lot better - like a charcoal basket as Barney pointed out.


Best of luck! and ask as many questions as you want!

post #4 of 17

not really enough information to give you helpful insight. Except, your probably smoking at too LOW a temp but was the brisket trimmed or had fat on it? if so how much fat? i can most certainly tell you even if it was a trimmed brisket with very little fat 200 is too low unless your going to make corn beef hash even a lean brisket i will do 220-225 degrees. alot of popular restaurants featured on food channel and travel channel will cook at 165 degrees for like EVER haha that goes into a processor anyway. just remember that the brisket os one tough piece of meat! Even wrapping it in foil and placing it in the oven for the remainder is a WAY better thing to do then placing it directly on a hot grill. (belive it or not alot of million dollar BBQ restaurants do this to save wood, bring in consistancy, and avoid bad weather.


hope this helps


keep on smokin'

post #5 of 17

Indianaman, sorry to hear it didn't turn out well. I have a Brinkman smoke 'n grill, that i've modded with air vents and place the fire pit on a cement footer. I bought a metal pail from Walmart for my ash. When I do a long smoke, like ribs, I'll fire up more coals, then when they're ready I'll lift up the smoker off of the fire pit and then dump the ash into the bucket and refill with hot coals. I have a grate piece in the fire pit that I cut from an old grill grate that raises the coals above the ash some, and helps with circulation.


I'm doing my first brisket tomorrow, so I'll post on how it went. Thanks for the great info Backwoods BBQ, because my brisket has been trimmed. I hate that, because the fat is the tastiest part. lol

post #6 of 17

wrap it tight cook it slow, place celery inside the tin foil to keep it moist, next time buy a good brisket :)

post #7 of 17

LOL, thanks backwoods. I got some good advice as well about pulling at 135 then foiling. Going to see if that helps.

post #8 of 17

you aint gotta do dat! wrap the thing from the get go you can wrap it loose if you want, you will still form a good bark and attain a nice smoke ring 275-300 1.5 hours per pound! try it.

post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by Backwoods BBQ View Post

you aint gotta do dat! wrap the thing from the get go you can wrap it loose if you want, you will still form a good bark and attain a nice smoke ring 275-300 1.5 hours per pound! try it.

I must be missing something here...Wrap from the get go??? How you going to get smoke on it in Foil? Tight or loose you are Steaming in the Foil, you get tender but if there is no Bark you won't form one in Foil... I'm confused... confused.gif  ...JJ

post #10 of 17

smoke will still get inside the foil, just wrap it loose.

post #11 of 17
You can always poke a few holes in the top also.
post #12 of 17

Backwoods, I have seen some different ways of Smokin Brisky...But yours is a new one on me! Very interesting, I would like to see you post the next time you do one with some details on time and temp and how foiling from the beginning affects the cook time, tenderness and bark... Thanks for the response, I love to hear about new ways of doing things...thumb1.gif...JJ

post #13 of 17

Well I saw this after an hour and a half in, it's up to 126 now, and may just wrap it before I go to work at church this morning.

post #14 of 17

If you tend to have dry briskets I recommend foiling early.   Mainly in an attempt to get a moist, delicious brisket even if you don't get all the smoke you might want.  125 in my experience may be a bit early but as long as you like your final product it's all good!  Lets see some qview,  we love looking at great food!

post #15 of 17

No problem chief will probably be next weekend or so... Im doing 20 pounds of deer jerky today and building on my new 500 gallon smoker tonight. Will keep ya updated!

post #16 of 17

I'm with JJ confused.gif , what did I missicon_question.gif

It gets me to wondering about how it's done........cool.gif


Expalin more and show us some stuff... how about those Deer Jerky ???


Inquiring minds want to know.....................

post #17 of 17

making deer jerky for the out of town guests for my wedding in July. This batch is for a lady at my work, i get to keep half for my trouble! around ( alittle over 3 pounds) recipe is easy:

Cut into 1/8" to 1/4 inch strips

let sit in a bag of buttermilk or Salt water (this will remove the blodd and get the gamey taste out!)

marinate in equal parts Soy sauce & worstershire sauce 

1 TBS garlic powder, 1 TBS onion powder, 1TBS Cayenne pepper

Let marinate in ziploc in fridge over night

Smoke on smoker at 150-160 degrees dont go over 175

4-6 hours check pieces as smaller pieces will be done sooner.


BAG em and seal em! 

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