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I'M BACK! Daughter's Wedding - My 1st to cook for: Planning, Smoking, Q-View (HUGE success) - Page 3

post #41 of 119

I not afraid to ask but can I please come to the wedding. I am surely one of your long lost relatives. Just Kidding Looks like you have everthing under controll.

post #42 of 119
Thread Starter 

14-hr Update: 2 butts are foiled and resting, with my last temp probe being DOA...adapting to overcome.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by REENTS View Post

I not afraid to ask but can I please come to the wedding. I am surely one of your long lost relatives. Just Kidding Looks like you have everthing under controll.

 

Ha-ha! I get that sometimes...even had a request to adopt someone a while back...LOL!!! Things are cruising along quite nicely...just a couple speed bumps with meat quantities so far, but I'm overcoming that today and next days off from work (more brisket). Then I can move forward to pulled chicken and baby backs.

 


 

I didn't get a chance to check at the local hardware store for replacement digital temp probes since my last smoke (work, work, work, and smoke, smoke, smoke), and wouldn't ya know it, my only remaining probe temp probe set was reading about 50* below boiling-point for my elevation this morning. So, I have zero, nadda, zilsh for getting reasonably accurate and fast internal temps on my butts this morning. I did probe with it anyway, and with adjustments to the reading I can make a close estimation, but that's as good as it gets right now. Problem? Not really...there are other ways to get around this.

 

In light of this new development, I decided to go to revert to the more old-school methods for checking how done my pork is by looking for shrinkage based on the original placement/position of the butts on the smoker grates, as well as pull-back from the bone and surface muscle separation or tearing...combine that with how it feels when probing and when lifted with tongs (is it trying to fall apart under it's own weight???), and when in doubt, a little tug on the bone to see if it feels like it wants to pop out freely or not.

 

So, that's what I looked for, knowing only that 2 of the 4 butts were giving a higher reading, I went after them first and did the visual checks...didn't need to do a bone tug at all, as they were sagging badly under my 4" meat handling tines when I lifted them off the grate, confirming the visual checks.

 

My 12-hr best-guess estimations with corrected readings on internals were (from top left to right, bottom left to right) 180, 187, 176 and 183*. At 14 hours I decided to approach this potential issue (over-cooked pork) with more depth...the touchy-feely method.

 

Bones are poking out everywhere I look on all 4 butts (which is why most us like bone-in butts, as an indicator, not to mention the less restrictive cooking guidelines being it's intact whole muscle meat),  and I know 2 of them (on the left) are at least 8-10* lower internal from my sub-par temp probe readings), so now what?:

 

Look for shrinkage of the cut of meat in general, then give 'em a lift to check for sagging...compare this to what it looked like when they first went in...they're cooked, but have they just reached the reasonably pull-able texture I want for a reheat, or will they be super-tender and too soft after reheating? Can't answer that question, as I've never gone strictly by looks and feel when planning for a reheated pulled pork, so it's anyone's guess at this point. Shrinkage is definitely there:

 

So, what's my first victim look like up close and personal...bone at center:

 

 

 

Muscle separation looks pretty normal for a tender pulling pork...think I called this one just in time...hopefully not too late

 

Based on looks and feel alone, the above may be a bit over-done for my intents and purposes, but with the lack of bark attached to the bone, it could be deceiving...I'll find out in a few more hours.

 

The second victim before I decided to yank it out to rest...just minutes apart from the first one out:

 

 

Yeah, I'm thinkin' this one's gonna pull fine as well...bone is showing nicely and everything felt right up this point, so I'm rolling the dice:

 

The bark and outer muscle layer separation look very similar to the first one out, but again, looks alone can be deceiving:

 

I did rotate the grates 180* for the last two butts that are still finishing just to find that warmer spot on the right that has appeared in recent smokes so I can push them along just a little.

 

The smoke chamber temp climbed a little overnight...probably thermal absorption rates with the mass of meat dropping off slowly, and, my drippings foil catch only had about 2 cups of water left to evaporate when I went to bed, just getting ready to transition into a dry smoke chamber. So, with the reduction of water evaporation (water vapor cools it's surroundings) and thermal absorption dropping off, temps will climb, even with falling ambient temps (was 49* last night, 34* this morning @ 8:00 AM). It was cruising @ 230* for quite a while, then this morning was 250*...dialed back to 230*...no harm done as the smoke reaction time was plenty long enough by then anyway, so I have no doubts in them cooking slow enough for the tendering process to be successful, as 14 hours total cooking time with relatively stable chamber temps is more than sufficient time for that. Bark should be very well developed also, and it felt again like the bark was the only thing holding the meat together. Oh, and through it all, I got 5 hours of sound and steady shut-eye last night!!!

 

The temp probe being dead was just one more minor (for me, anyway) hurdle for this project. I never expected all of this to come off without a hitch (or a few dozen...LOL!!!)...I'd be a fool in thinking that nothing would go wrong, especially with me not being so heavily active in outdoor cooking for the past 6-8 months, and I'm cranking out smoked meats just as fast as I can at this point until I reach the end of my list. I'm sure there will be more unforeseen issues for me to encounter in the coming weeks...we'll just have to wait and see where they lead me when I look for solutions.

 

So, I sit now in waiting for the remaining two butts to look and feel close to what the first two did...pics of the pulled pork coming ASAP, and I'll let you know how it came out (too easy to pull, tough, or marginal for what I want with this smoke)...and lastly, did I meet my quota (???)...the roughly 40% yield so far threw me off balance, to say the least, so the 2/3 ratio most speak of flew right out the window for me on this project....smoke and learn. I really would like to have a reliable temp probe for the final brisket smoke next weekend, although if I don't acquire one by then (my next day off got eaten up by unforeseen issues and I may not be back in time to hit the stores), probing for tenderness alone can be done...it just isn't my preferred method as you have fat layering between the point/flat, high inter-muscular fat content in the point muscle, muscle grain direction to probe against or with...there's more room for error, anyway...it may take a bit more instinct than I possess for that at this point in the game, simply because I haven't practiced it frequently...but it's a skill that can be further developed.

 

15.5 hours in and counting...better check out those butts again...back soon!

 

 

Eric

post #43 of 119

Awesome Looking Butts Old Buddy!!!!

 

 

Bear

post #44 of 119
Thread Starter 

Update: final pulled pork smoke is over, done with and freezing...and the best part of all, I was able to surpass my 25lb finished weight!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

Awesome Looking Butts Old Buddy!!!!

 

 

Bear

 

That's Bear! I duplicated the first smoke for this pretty closely...met my quota and things are getting on track quickly...gotta love it!

 


 

Oh, I love it when a plan comes together...even with the death of my only working temp probe, it all worked out fine. I had one butt which took a little more effort to pull and separate, but well worth it because I'll have a bit more chewy texture than some of the rest, and when it all gets mixed together during the reheat, there should be a good balance regardless of heating time or cooker used.

 

The first 2 butts to come out @ the 14-hr mark...4.5 hours resting...they weren't quite as hot as I would have liked them (approx 145-150*), so I did a fairly quick, but clean pull, bagged, weighed and ran them out to the freezer for placement on a bare shelf for a quick freeze...no issues regarding food safety, as it was less than 1 hour in the danger zone until it began freezing...packages were less than 2.5" thick, so freezing went fast. They were getting stiff by the time the second batch was pulled and ready to chill (-20*F freezer temp...I like my freezers very COLD):

 

 

 

I'm still tired enough that until I ran the numbers after pulling the first two butts, I thought I'd still be short, until I realized that an average and a large butt were still resting...5lb-15.6oz bagged and I guess I was thinking I needed 12lbs, but only needed less than 9...don't know why I was even worried, 'cuz this will be a lot of food, regardless. I will need a little break from cooking in a few weeks, I can tell...thought processes are getting slow, inaccurate and unreliable already...LOL!!!

 

The whole bowl:

 

 

 

The 2nd pair to come out, with 3.5 hours resting, plenty hot enough to get some decent burns through nitrile gloves  (maybe 160*) if I wasn't paying close attention...perfect, for food safety purposes (pull it above the danger-zone, toss it a bit in the bowl to cool faster, bag and pop into the freezer...doesn't get any better:

 

 

 

 

 

The wife and kids begged for some small samples...I never even got around to it before it was in the freezer...icon_redface.gif...I'm sure it's worthy of the occasion. I think that overall, when mixed together, there will be a nice balance of stranded meat, chunks, and tidbits of bark that I diligently broke-down for good distribution...should be great PP for the reception dinner!

 

Just wanted to toss those pics in so we could all compare to the first PP smoke...moisture, smoke ring, how clean the pull is, etc (right click and open to another tab is easiest, at least for me). My picture viewer doesn't give good resolution when I zoom in, so this lets me see every detail much more clearly when I post pics on the forums, and I can analyze things that much more easily, and so can others if they desire (in case you wonder why I post so dad-gum many)...(???)...LOL!!!

 

So, I now have another 14lb-8oz to add to my ~16lb from the first PP smoke for a total of approx. 30.5lbs...plenty enough if I happen to fall a bit short on something else (likely the pulled chicken due to yield percentages I've seen thus far...we'll see). With my final brisket smoke next weekend, I expect about 11-12lbs yield, and only need 8.5, so no worries from me on the 2 main meats...so I'll be back on track for chicken and ribs after the brisket is chillin' for it's 2-month wait.

 

BTW, when you toss ~30 or more lbs of -20*F meat into a 4.2 cu ft fridge, don't forget to dial the thermostat back, a lot...nearly to the warmest setting...the mass of all that cold meat turns the fridge into a temporary freezer quite fast. You may not want to have anything that's temperature sensitive in there until the meat warms closer to fridge temps for a couple days as well...monitor temps at least twice daily and dial the temp back down as dictated...just a tip...I had slush sodas high up in the door about 4 hours after my 2 packer briskets went in, with dialing back the thermostat....24*F on my thermometer in the door 3/4 way up after 90 minutes into the thaw...BRRRRR!!!

 

Catch ya next weekend for a rap-up on the briskets! Chicken and ribs should be a SNAP after PP and brisket is knocked off my list.

 

 

Eric

post #45 of 119

You are awesome DAD!! Looks absolutely amazing! (I can almost taste it)....

~Sam

post #46 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samantha Marie View Post

You are awesome DAD!! Looks absolutely amazing! (I can almost taste it)....

~Sam

 

Thanks, Sam! Hey, I don't remember if you were here at home for it when I first made the matching recipes for brined pork butts with Hawg Heaven Rub back in late April 2011, or the second round in early May 2011 (was far superior, IMO), but this may be even better than that was after I get done doctoring it up for the reheat at the reception dinner venue. The main differences between the two versions are that the second round was brined for nearly a week which imparted tons of flavor deep into the core of the meat before it was rubbed and smoked, where this pulled pork is not brined, but instead will have some of the brine flavors added to a finishing sauce for reheating. So, in essence, the flavor profile can be altered during final prep to closely resemble what the original recipe was like, even though the entire process has been changed drastically due to time constraints, fridge space for brining, etc, and I have much easier control over the sodium content when it's finished, as a side benefit...cool, huh?

 

Anyway, if you missed that second round for the original recipe, oh, I wish you could have been here for that, 'cuz right now, you'd know what you're in for in June. But then I know what you'll make a bee-line towards when the buffet table is open for serving...PULLED CHICKEN!!! LOL!!!

 

 

Dad

post #47 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by forluvofsmoke View Post

Update: final pulled pork smoke is over, done with and freezing...and the best part of all, I was able to surpass my 25lb finished weight!

 

 

That's Bear! I duplicated the first smoke for this pretty closely...met my quota and things are getting on track quickly...gotta love it!

 



 

BTW, when you toss ~30 or more lbs of -20*F meat into a 4.2 cu ft fridge, don't forget to dial the thermostat back, a lot...nearly to the warmest setting...the mass of all that cold meat turns the fridge into a temporary freezer quite fast. You may not want to have anything that's temperature sensitive in there until the meat warms closer to fridge temps for a couple days as well...monitor temps at least twice daily and dial the temp back down as dictated...just a tip...I had slush sodas high up in the door about 4 hours after my 2 packer briskets went in, with dialing back the thermostat....24*F on my thermometer in the door 3/4 way up after 90 minutes into the thaw...BRRRRR!!!

 


 

Eric

 

 

That's one of the reasons I like having my special "Meat Fridge-Freezer":

I keep my old ET73 in it, with the smoker probe hanging from a shelf (monitoring air temp), and the meat probe I keep in a bottle of water (This one shows the IT of anything in the fridge).

 

 

Bear

post #48 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

 

That's one of the reasons I like having my special "Meat Fridge-Freezer":

I keep my old ET73 in it, with the smoker probe hanging from a shelf (monitoring air temp), and the meat probe I keep in a bottle of water (This one shows the IT of anything in the fridge).

 

 

Bear

 

SWEET idea, Bear! The water bottle probe would give a pretty accurate representation of the temp of foods in the fridge without sensing air temp, as it would basically be the average temp of peaks and valleys for the past 60 or so minutes.

 

What I have right now is a digital hygrometer/thermometer which is a direct reading that can be switched to read peaks and lows for both sensors until you reset either one to clear the memory (you can clear either one, or both to start over with fresh data). This gives a little more concise info than just the current reading like a typical thermo-probe, but not an average temp, which would be a nice piece of info to have. The water bottle temp probe would give a reasonable average over a shorter time period of a couple hours.

 

Man, wish I had a couple extra digi-probes right now...last one that I thought was working fine ended up reading about 50*F below my normal boiling temp for water the morning of my final butt smoke for this project...bummer. Oh, speaking of temp probes, I went to the local hardware store after I got back from a work road-trip today...none in stock, and they only had one direct read analog pocket thermometer,  so I grabbed it (they're just going through a complete re-vamp of the store right now)...but, it's better to have a couple extra pocket therms and no digital probe than break one or two and be cooking totally by sight and touch...can't have that.

 

Oh, and guess what? I think we're finally getting our spring snow-storm this year....the past three years have been a dry spring, and we normally get a blizzard every spring.

 

Our current forecast:

  • Tonight Snow with areas of blowing snow. Low around 15. Wind chill values between -4 and 6. Blustery, with a north wind around 29 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
  • Tuesday Snow with areas of blowing snow. High near 20. Wind chill values between -6 and 2. Blustery, with a north wind 23 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
  • Tuesday Night Snow, mainly before midnight. Low around 8. Wind chill values between -5 and 4. Blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 22 mph decreasing to 9 to 14 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

 

Top this off with the fact that I have to go to work the morning...should be a real treat with all the suicide drivers on the highways with a fresh coat of snow-pack, ice and drifted snow...if only they didn't have to re-learn how to drive every time there was snow...(sigh)...the major highway near us had 20 MPH traffic flow an hour ago, and the peak of traffic volume hasn't hit yet...can't wait 'til morning after we get another ~6" of snow with heavy drifting...ha-ha-ha!

 

BTW, this storm makes me glad I got my planned smoke done yesterday...smoking in a snow storm in high winds was never my idea of fun...been there, done that.

 

Thanks for the fridge temp probe trick, Bear

 

Next smoke is slated for Saturday afternoon through Sunday, 'til the briskies are done.

 

 

Eric

post #49 of 119

You can keep that Spring Blizzard!!

 

Our cold finally broke----- Touched 80 yesterday---61 this morning------My pellet stove didn't even come on during the night!!! (first time)

 

 

Yes that water bottle probe works great-----That fridge is in the basement, and the remote I keep in the Dining room, so I can keep an eye on it. When I have something in there "curing", it stays between 37 and 38, 24/7.

I mentioned this trick before, but everyone seemed to ignore me. Maybe they didn't understand what I was talking about. You're the first to ever reply to it.

 

 

Bear

post #50 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by forluvofsmoke View Post

 

Thanks, Sam! Hey, I don't remember if you were here at home for it when I first made the matching recipes for brined pork butts with Hawg Heaven Rub back in late April 2011, or the second round in early May 2011 (was far superior, IMO), but this may be even better than that was after I get done doctoring it up for the reheat at the reception dinner venue. The main differences between the two versions are that the second round was brined for nearly a week which imparted tons of flavor deep into the core of the meat before it was rubbed and smoked, where this pulled pork is not brined, but instead will have some of the brine flavors added to a finishing sauce for reheating. So, in essence, the flavor profile can be altered during final prep to closely resemble what the original recipe was like, even though the entire process has been changed drastically due to time constraints, fridge space for brining, etc, and I have much easier control over the sodium content when it's finished, as a side benefit...cool, huh?

 

Anyway, if you missed that second round for the original recipe, oh, I wish you could have been here for that, 'cuz right now, you'd know what you're in for in June. But then I know what you'll make a bee-line towards when the buffet table is open for serving...PULLED CHICKEN!!! LOL!!!

 

 

Dad


WAY COOL..... and YAY PULLED CHICKEN!!!!!! It is my day...so I don't have to share it!!!! :) hahahahahaha!!! lol!!!!!!!

~Sam

post #51 of 119
Looks great buddy.
post #52 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

You can keep that Spring Blizzard!!

 

Our cold finally broke----- Touched 80 yesterday---61 this morning------My pellet stove didn't even come on during the night!!! (first time)

 

 

Yes that water bottle probe works great-----That fridge is in the basement, and the remote I keep in the Dining room, so I can keep an eye on it. When I have something in there "curing", it stays between 37 and 38, 24/7.

I mentioned this trick before, but everyone seemed to ignore me. Maybe they didn't understand what I was talking about. You're the first to ever reply to it.

 

 

Bear

 

80*!?!?!? Man! Well, we did have some mid-70's in the last couple of weeks, so I guess we got an early warm snap this spring...the worst part will be remembering that there will be MUD under the drifted snow here because the ground was warm when this crap hit...snow insulates the ground from heat-loss, so the snow melts from the bottom up...been through this many times before, and we had several trucks stuck in mud/snow because of it. The weather today did shut-down schools in the entire area, and some pretty long stretches of a few major highways, so it's baring it's teeth a little. I was able to get my work done today without much difficulty, but I'm used to the crappy roads and weather...if the highways are not closed, I just go gitter done.

 

As for the probe trick, maybe no-one thought about the possibilities, or felt a need for a better way to track fridge temps. Sometimes, others just aren't thinking on the same wave-length as you...I sense that sometimes myself. I think it's a great idea, I just need to get my hands on a couple of digital probes again.

 

 

Eric

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samantha Marie View Post

WAY COOL..... and YAY PULLED CHICKEN!!!!!! It is my day...so I don't have to share it!!!! :) hahahahahaha!!! lol!!!!!!!

~Sam

 

I thought about putting a "RESERVED" label on the pan of pulled chicken, but I don't think your guests will buy it...might have to set the chaffing pan right on your table...LOL!!! Just be sure to grab as much as you want first time up...I'm sure most will go for the other meats, anyway, but a few will find the pulled chicken to be a nice treat, as not very many want to take the time to do it.

 

I know I haven't made it very often, and you and your sister went after it like it was gold....wish I would have made it more often, but then I did spoil everyone with lots of other smoked and grilled goodies for several years. Maybe I can keep some boneless skinless thighs in the freezer just for when I know you're coming for a visit...pulled thighs are quick and easy, and they are what I got you hooked on to begin with...ha-ha-ha!!!

 

 

Dad


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/9/13 at 8:59pm
post #53 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmudd14474 View Post

Looks great buddy.

 

Thanks, Brian!

post #54 of 119
Thread Starter 

Final Brisket smoke is on!!!

 

I opted for full separation of these two packers, as I had enough grate space to lay out the full flats and both points, using the forth (jerky) grate for a point. So, this is my ultimate method for prep for a brisket smoke, as it allows the most smoke reaction due to having the most surface area, and with a relatively lean trim, there is little fat to interfere with smoke contacting the meat. That said, I'm off for another great smoke to finish up my brisket stash in the freezer until the June wedding.

 

I just looked through my pics and realized that I didn't get any trimmed or rubbed pics...took a bit of time to get them both trimmed and separated, so I wanted to hit the smoke ASAP, I guess, and I had just finished a pulled chicken thigh smoke for tonight's dinner and was posting a thread on that for another member and others to reference...when I'm smokin' I'm busy, busy, busy.

 

Anyway, a couple things I did want to show here...

 

Four grates for a nearly prefect fit...top to bottom are 2 points and 2 flats from the whole briskets...total weight was approx 29lbs pre-trimmed:

 

A good amount of head-space for shrinkage now with single grate-spacing after being separated and the cap trimmed off nicely:

 

The thickest point would normally go below the thinner one...tonight I'm expecting the temps will be slightly higher on the 5th (top) grate position than the forth, and this should allow for more even cooking of the two pieces. If it looks like baffling changed the heat flow through the smoke chamber differently than I remember seeing in the past, I can always change grate positions based on shrinkage and color of the meat:

 

I placed the heaviest flat cut on bottom to catch a bit more heat and baffle the lower cross-sections of meat above it. Also, both of the widest portions of the flat cuts are on one side, which is below the thinnest and widest sections of the points...this allows for more baffling of the thinnest portion of points so that area will cook more slowly, and hopefully not be overcooked when the heaviest portion reaches my desired finished temp:

 

...just a little bit about what's going on here tonight so others can consider this as options for their vertical smokers...bear in mind that this is a 24" wide cabinet, so it can handle up to 18lb whole briskets (two at a time), untrimmed if I choose, but I prefer a better smoke reaction with the extra work right up front before the smoke starts.

 

The current set-up is as close as I can come to getting even cooking and have all four pieces done at approximately the same time without overcooking much of it, knowing it rarely comes out very close having me scramble to foil and towel wrap them all at the same time. I know there will usually be a fair amount of time cushion, but I don't want them to be spread out for several hours between the first one out and the last. A grate rotation or two along the way may be in order based on shrinkage after they are partially cooked, just to even out the cooking closer for finished times...gotta play with those warmer/cooler spots that most vertical smokers seem to have, and make the best of it...we'll see.

 

I haven't decided yet if I want to pull or slice the points, as I seem to have quite a bit more pulled brisket than sliced already in the freezer. I'll decide on that when I see internal temps in the morning and see how it will fit into my timing. We're getting some light snow tonight with a little wind to keep things interesting, so I'll play it by ear from here on out...sleep tonight may not be a viable option, but it's my last all-nighter for this event, and we do what we feel we need to do, right?

 

 

Rap-up on my (Sam's) last briskets sometime on Sunday.

 

 

Thanks to all for riding along so far!

 

See ya tomorrow!

 

 

Eric

 

EDIT: target smoke chamber temp of 225*, water in foil drippings catch (should run dry in about 5-6 hours), with hickory, mesquite and apple chips for smoke on this round. Start time 10:00 PM MT.


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/13/13 at 11:30pm
post #55 of 119
Thread Starter 

Update: Brisket Points and Flats are out, rested and sliced...wet-to-dry smoke chamber comes through for me yet again...

 

I opted to slice the points after their 14.75hr ride (I wouldn't have thought they would take that long, considering I had a few temp spikes). 180*+I/T when I decided to get busy with foil and towel-wrap, and they seemed to have rendered out quite a bit of inter-muscular fat, so I thought it would add another dimension to the sliced brisket...and being we have mostly pulled meats as well as a larger portion of the briskets pulled due to the way I prepared them before smoking, I felt some extra sliced brisket would be in order.

 

The flats were lagging behind the points all along by an average of 10* or so since I first stuck 'em for I/Ts @ 6:30 this morning. I did have some temp spikes late last night and early this morning (250-270*), but I did catch a nap from about 3:00 am - 6:00 am, so I'm not completely exhausted. The weather was playing a big role in temp control with this smoke...snow off and on, changing winds...just not ideal conditions, but better than I expected after seeing the forecast. I had my plan, the meat was thawed, so I had to roll with it and deal with whatever came along the way...not too bad, though.

 

With that, the all-nighters are over for this event...wheew!!! I need a break from that...all-night smokes every set of days-off work for...uh, OK, my days, nights weeks and months all seem to be mixing together at this point...I think 24 days now (4-on, 2-off work schedule). Straight day smokes from here on out until the meat is all done for the wedding reception dinner...yahoo.gif

 

I foiled the two points in the same package, overlapping the thinnest portions with the heavy ends riding solo, towel-wrapped and rested for 2 hours. Sliced with the same carving knife I like so much, and here's the result of their long night in the smoke...note: this is with a wet-to-dry smoke chamber with relatively lean point and flat cuts of brisket...

 

Points are just waking up from their 2-hr nap...1st to go under the knife on the right...the other went back to wraps until the 1st was sliced. I didn't get pics straight out of the smoker with the points, but it looks pretty much unchanged. Notice the signs of a slow weeping of meat juices on the top side...red to pink in color...this is only my second smoked brisket using a wet-to-dry smoke chamber, and I wasn't looking for signs of positive reactions from the brisket for this smoke, but I'm seeing a lot of it with these separated points and flats thus far...I would not have even took notice if it hadn't been so prominent, as this thread is not intended to be about smoke chamber humidity and it's effects on the meat at all:

 

 

 

Check out the zoom-able pics (if you right-click and open to a new tab you get a quick zoom) for smoke ring, moisture, thickness of bark...I give you sliced brisket point:

 

 

Oh, and did I mention these points had a bark so hard I could not slice the heal? On the left, the heal was approx 2/3 or more of the overall thickness of the piece of meat, and so hard I thought I would slip and cut myself because I was forcing the blade down with both hands trying to break through it...very hard bark...LOVE IT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Flats are about to come out for a breather after their 18-hr ride through the smoke @ ~180*:

 

 

Upper flat just out...this is 3.25 hours after removing all of the meat (points) above it, so these juices are from this cut, not drippings, and it's still weeping after being just over 180*...can't wait to see how these slices look...I'm wishing this wasn't for a reheat right now, as this will make for very moist sliced brisket flat...mmm-mmm-mmm!!! However, I do feel I have the skills to repeat this smoke, so I'll just have to wait until I can do a personal smoke and find out for myself:

 

Lower flat just out...some of this may be drippings from the above flat, but I didn't see signs of streaming liquid coming down over the edges/sides of the first one to come out, so little if any is drippings from above...this one almost appears to bursting at the seams form excessive moisture which it can no longer contain:

 

Here's a better color representation of the juices (and bark, btw):

 

It is possible that the interior moisture was being held in place for so long from the dry smoke chamber and heavy bark it created that it was just now beginning to release meat juices through the path of least resistance, but at this high of a temperature??? Doesn't seem normal to me, but then using a dry smoke chamber has produced a lot of unexpected results in the past:

 

 

First flat foiled, upper flat in the smoker:

 

I really like how these sliced up...a bit too tender for a reheat as I had to slice quite a bit thicker to prevent them from falling apart under the blade, but the bark was slightly softer than the points, tons of moisture for a flat-cut no-foil smoke, and pretty nice smoke ring to boot:

 

 

 

 

Last one out...the larger flat cut from the bottom grate:

 

 

 

 

 

 

These flats came out in excellent shape, other than a tad too tender..but for a personal smoke, I just gotta do it again.

 

Nuff said 'bout dat!!!

 

See ya on the 19th (I think) for an 8-bird smoked pulled chicken run!

 

 

Eric


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/14/13 at 7:09pm
post #56 of 119
Eric that looks done right great. Thank you for taking the time to give so much detail. I know the reception will be awesome. Can't wait till see the chickens
post #57 of 119
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Brian, and you're welcome for the details. Lots to do and different things to overcome, especially with the meats, but I seem to have gotten into a groove and it's been pretty smooth sailing. The results of this brisket smoke was a little unexpected for me...much better than I had hoped for, overall. I think that sometimes I underestimate my own abilities when faced with a larger project like this one, and I don't let my expectations get too high, so when things work out as good as this last smoke did, it really gives me a push to want to see what the next smoke will bring.

 

This has been a heckuva project, but it's coming together nicely. Even with having to do 2 extra all-night smokes for the pulled pork and briskets adding an extra 12 days to the smoking portion, I'm way ahead of the game.

 

The pulled chicken smoke will be a little different than I've tried to tackle before...mostly quantity. I haven't sized things up yet, but I think I'll end up doing 2 - 4-bird smokes (based on weights/sizes compared to the 6-butt smoke that kicked this project off), being head-space between grates with a single grate space may not be enough for the birds, so it would be 8-10 hours to get both batches smoked, not including a little rest before pulling. I didn't like the idea of crowding the Vault on that first smoke...just had to get as much smoked with that run as I could so I'd have less thawing to do. I'll look things over closely before that pulled chicken smoke day starts and make a plan of attack. I could make a 6-bird smoke, but 8 might be pushing the envelope on smoker capacity.

 

 

8 yard birds have been thawing in the fridge since I dropped these brisket in last night...5 days...uh, wait, today is pretty much gone, so 4-1/2...and counting for pulled whole chickens. This ones gonna be a lot of fun, and should prove to be an easy method for pulled whole birds.

 

 

Eric

post #58 of 119

Outstanding looking Briskets, Eric!!!------Awesome Detail !!!

 

I'd say you outdid yourself, but ALL your smokes are Awesome!!!

 

That's gonna be some reception!!!

 

 

 

Tip: If a Brisket comes out a little too tender to slice as thin as you want it, I like to use an electric knife, because you don't have to put any pressure on it.

 

 

Bear

post #59 of 119
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Bear! This last brisket smoke almost has me wishing I would have smoked only 2 at a time, so I could separate like I did with these two packers. The way these came out is just ridiculous...if only I'd known then what I know now, huh? I haven't sliced the point for so long I can't even remember when it was...we have a thing about burnt ends, and if I don't make 'em I hear about it...LOL!!!. The first batch I smoked will still be really good, but this second round is some primo brisket. What really got me was how moist and tender the flats came out, and I don't think I've ever seen a smoke ring that deep on beef, either. I used to get somewhat dried-out flats (if lean trimmed) by the time they were tender using a wet smoke chamber...wet-to-dry seems to be the only way to go for me now.

 

Oh, sure, now you tell about the electric knife!!! LOL!!! I didn't even think about using one, obviously, but I'm not sure if we even have one around here anymore, Good thing to remember, though.

 

 

Eric

post #60 of 119

Those briskets look absolutely awesome.... Great job.....   Did you have smoke going for the full smoke ??   

 

I think I'm rethinking my method for brisket...   Yes I am.....     Dave

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