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First Brisket - Masterbuilt Smoker - Getting Ready For Tomorrow

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I've been smoking for years using the "cheap" electric type cylinder looking smokers.  I think all I've ever smoked, on the old smoker was ribs and butts.


After convincing my wife that the smoker was worn out I talked her into letting me get one of the Masterbuilt 40 In. smokers this time.


Smoked some pretty good ribs the other night with it and I'm going to smoke a beef brisket tomorrow, using the advice of solaryellow in this thread....




I'm using the rub recipe that he provides, and one exception is that I went on and applied the rub today.  The brisket is about 10.7 pounds and is about 1 inch thick as the smallest end and goes up to about 3 to 4 inches at the thickest part.  


For the ribs I used the 3-2-1 method with the temp set at 225, and the ribs we're actually probably too done.  They we're falling apart, which I guess I shouldn't complain about, but I think we would of preferred that they "stay together" a bit better.  


Since the ribs seemed to "overcook" I checked the temperature today with a couple of oven thermometers that I have, and the temperature of the smoker seemed to run about 8 degrees hotter than the readout indicated, so I'll adjust accordingly for that.


Anyhow back to the brisket, using the recommended temperature of 235 what would the "probable" (which I know this is a guess) cook time be?  We usually try to eat about 6 PM, so how early should I start the brisket?  I have coolers and towels that I can keep it in if it finishes off early.


Any help or suggestions are certainly welcomed.


The first photo is the fat side.  Most of the fat was trimmed off of the "thin" end, and it appeared to be pretty well trimmed off on the "thick" end also.  I should of taken a photo before applying the rub, but I didn't think about it.


post #2 of 20

You can count on appox.!5 hrs. , but add 3 hrs so you don't get caught with you pants down... You can use the coolers.


Be diligent but Patient, the stall( if one)and thatone looks Lean , so it may fly through the cook. Again, the coolers.


Have fun send Q-view and remember our Heros.

post #3 of 20

Hi Jim.


Good luck with that brisket!  As far as time is concerned, a good rule of thumb is 1.5 to 2 hours per raw pound of brisket, plus a little of what ChefJJ calls CYA time (I'd add another hour at least).  So for your 11 lb. brisket you could be looking at 20-24 hours on high side.  This is of course only a guess, every brisket has a mind of its own, but as you said, you can wrap it and rest it in a cooler for several hours.


Briskets take some real patience...so hang in there!  And don't forget to keep the qview coming!



post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick responses guys.  How often do you suggest adding wood?  I'm going to use mesquite on the brisket.  I know in the past I've always added wood chips every couple hours, but I'm thinking that might be too much.  We prefer just kind of a moderately smokey taste. Also when you add wood do you suggest filling the round cylinder up completely or just a few chips when you add more or?????

post #5 of 20

You can't get more than a handful of chips in that MES chip loader at a time.  Typically, for continuous smoke the chip tray would need to be reloaded every 30 or 45 minutes.  If you have reloaded less often and like the smoke results, then stick with what you know.  I never used mine at all because I used an AMNPS from Amazen products.  If you want to produce hours of perfect smoke without reloading, you really need to check our Amazen (link at the bottom of the page). 


Good luck!


post #6 of 20
Mesquite is a pretty strong wood so you might want to just add a small handful of chips at a time. If you are using water in the pan the meat will absorb smoke faster than a dry chamber. If you are looking for a moderately smoky flavor then you might want to start a little heavy on the chips then back it way down after a few hours.

A little tip on your ribs, I don't think an 8* difference in temp really affected it, it was probably the time in the foil. When in the foil is when they get their tenderness, too long in the foil and they will fall off the bone.Cut back on the time in the foil and add that time to the front end or back end just a bit each time you do them until you find the ratio that works for you. The 3-2-1 is just a guideline for starters, most of us have adjusted the times to get the texture we like!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Preheated the smoker to about 250* for 30 minutes.  Adjusted the temp. down to about 235*, and placed the brisket on the smoker (fat side up), at about 1:15 AM.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Forgot to mention that when I put this on I went on and put a couple handfuls of wood chips in the tray.  When I got up at 5:30 there was still smoke seeping out of the air vent (which is closed) and down around the chip loader hole.  Brisket already has a dark crust on it and seemed to be "steaming".  Felt confident that the internal temp. was probably good, so opted to not stick the probe in yet.  Will wait until the 6 hour mark as suggested by solaryellow in his post.  Took a 4 hour photo but the car reader doesn't wanna work on this PC.  Will post in a few hours.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

OK, we're 6 hours in, and I just stuck the temperature probe in and it showed 189*.  Panicking I went in and got a meat thermometer and it also read right at 190*, so the new smoker is apparently cooking extremely HOT.


I dialed the temperature back to 190* (which is probably more like 210*), while I wait for suggestions on what I should do.  I don't need the brisket for another 9 to 10 hours.


First two photos taken at about 5:30 just over (4 hours in), and the second photo just taken at 7:20 or so (6 hours in).





post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Think I'm going to take this off, cool it, and go to bed for a few hours.  When I get up I'll decide what to do.  I'll either use this one somehow, or I'll slice it and freeze it, and go grab another smaller brisket and throw it on my overly hot smoker.

post #11 of 20
Always leave the top vent fully open!
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Dave, thanks for the reply.  Would keeping the vent open....made that much difference?  I guess I need to get the thermostat calibrated, since this is twice now that things seemed to cook way too fast.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

We decided to go on and use the brisket "as is".  I sliced it up and we'll just kind of do "whatever" with it tonight for dinner.   I do have to say that other than the "timing" not working out, this is probably "THE BEST" piece of smoked meat of any type that I've ever had.  I do enjoy a nice piece of brisket occasionally when we go out, but normally we just do the ribs and pulled pork thing.  My wife is a die hard pulled pork fanatic, and she's not been home today, so the real test will be what she thinks of it.


I just need to get this temperature/timing thing figured out.


Thanks to everyone for the advice and comments.


post #14 of 20

Looks nice!



post #15 of 20

yeahthat.gif what she said!

post #16 of 20

Get yourself a good digital thermometer such as the mav 732.  The mes is notorious for displaying a very inaccurate temp on the controller.

post #17 of 20

Same here .. I just got a new MES and while a smoking newbie, was way surprised to open it up to manually check the temp after less than half the recommended cooking time and find whatever I was smoking totally nuked ... dog food. The dogs have been pretty pumped since I got this thing.

post #18 of 20

Hey All! 


I am going to smoke my first brisket this weekend and I just had a quick question I was hoping someone could answer. I called the butcher and ordered a 7 lb. flat which was $8.99/lb. I was at the grocery store the other night and found it for $4.99/lb. (still USDA Choice), so I cancelled the order with the butcher. The brisket from the store only comes in 2-2.5lb cuts. If I am going to do 3 of those cuts at the same time, will my cook time be similar to the 7lb. cut or will the cook time be significantly less? I was planning on a low and slow cook at about 225 and was figuring on 1 hour per pound. Any input is greatly appreciated!


Happy Smoking!

post #19 of 20

Just to add to the confusion, I find my MES 30 (first gen.) runs COOLER than indicated on the controller.

If I need 275^, it cuts out long before my Maverick 732 has reached that temp.


That being said the most important thing is the IT of the meat which is MUCH more important than controllers, time/temp, etc. When your meat gets to temp. Pull it.  The exception being Turkey (or poultry). I have found that with cooler weather I am having

a heck of a time achieving 140^+ in four hours. If I can't get out of the danger zone in four hours, I am going to pull it with

what ever smoke it has absorbed and place it in a 325^ home oven to get it to temp in about an additional 1/2 hour.


Anyway, trust the meat and a GOOD thermometer and don't worry about the smoker's gadgets. Just use good "pitmaster sense."



post #20 of 20
$8.99 a lb for brisket?? Damn... find another butcher. 4.99 is bad enough.
Got to have a maverick if you own an mes as the masterbuilts suck on temp control.
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