I just got my MES last weekend and I decided to jump right in by trying out an 11 lbs brisket. I did a few hours of reading on the site trying to find what I felt was the best approach to smoke the brisket. So I thought I would share what I came up with and the results. I do have a few pics as well.
I got a full brisket from the butcher in town. I read about trimming off the fat between the flat and the point so I decided to go for it. The picture shows how much fat I took out.
I did a real simple rub of equal parts salt, brown sugar, pepper, and paprika. I threw a little onion, garlic, and cayene in as well.
I preheated the MES to 225 and put the brisket in along with Hickory wood chips. An 11lbs brisket in an MES 30" is pretty tight. I had to fold the point under a bit to fit it in. I am sure I will wish I had bought the 40". I filled the wood tray every 90 minutes or so and let the whole thing cook down for about 13 hours. I took it out at IT of 190 (I tried the tooth pick and it slid through the meat easily) and cut the flat off and wrapped it in tin foil and towels. I took the point and cut it into 1" pieces and put it in a tray that I had used to catch the drippings for the last 3 hours. I put the tray back into the smoker for an hour.
Overall it was a success considering it was my second smoke ever. I found the flat to be tender but drier than I would like. I thought the bark had good flavour and a firm consistency. The burnt ends I smoked for the extra hour in the drippings were awesome. Really tender, moist, and great flavour.
I definitely want to try Chef JimmJ's Au Jus next time. It sounds awesome. Leaving the fat on the meat and taking it out a little earlier should help with the moisture issue I had with the flat. I also bought an AMNPS from Todd so I can sleep after I put it in at midnight!
Love my new smoker and appreciate all of the insight I found on SMF.