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Overnight brisket & challenges with a stall

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Summary - I Have a MES 40 Digital Smoker.

And I Smoked a brisket & Learned some things.

I was focused on low n slow - and internal temps.

My Goal - Foil at 170 and pull it around 190.

It Stalled at 175 internal temp for 10 + hrs. Is that common/normal?

So I pulled it at 175.  26+ hours into the cook. 12 1/2 lb brisket

It was OK but not great.  And Q view below.

 

The longer story-

So - I planned on smoking my 1st brisket - overnight and having it ready for lunch on Sunday.

I got what I'd call an inexpensive brisket. I didn't look too much at the cut - I just looked at the briskets and picked a cheaper one ( smaller one ) 12.5 lbs - because I'm not feeding an army this time.

Lesson one - I should read up on choosing my cut of meat better. The brisket had several really hard lines of fat - almost bone hard.

 

So I put on a simple dry rub with molasses and dropped it in my MES 40 Electric Smoker - at 225 - at 8 pm Saturday. With an internal temp probe. I added Applewood chips just or 3 times during the night.

Lesson two- probably not enough wood chips - It doesn't have a great smoke ring, but it tastes smokey.

So around 8 am Sunday- internal temp was 171. So I wrapped in foil. and let it continue to cook.

But at 8 am ( 12 hrs into it - ) No signs of dripping fat yet - is that normal ?

I checked it again at 11 and about every hour until 5. It never reached over 173 internal temp.

My Smoker is less than a month old and the temps stayed very consistent - according to the digital readouts.  So I did some reading online - A 7 hour stall maybe ??

I cranked the temp. up to 250 at 5pm and let it go more.

I did open the door 2 quick times - to cook salmon ( since brisket wasn't ready and my crew was hungry for something from the smoker :)

But the internal temp stayed at 173-175.

So I read online that some folks pull their briskets at 170-180.

And at 10 pm (26 hrs into cook ) I pulled it off and put in an ice chest to rest for just over an hr. - mostly because I have to work in the morning and needed to know that I didn't turn it in to shoe leather with 2 overnights. 

Then I cut it up.

 

Conclusions - its OK but not great. Smoke ring almost not there at all. Tons of fat still in the meat - probably needed more cook time.

Is that normal ?  more than 26 hrs...or did I cook it too low ?

I know some briskets are different and take longer - but a stall at 170-175 for 10+ hrs...??

Next time I think I'll start smoking my brisket at noon. So I'll be able to finish it the following afternoon or night.

 

Here s the Q view. see the fat woven in the meat - I expected more of that to melt away.

And not a great smoke ring - I guess I need to add more than 2 rounds of chips.

it tastes Ok.  We will eat it all week long...Speghetti with smoked meat sauce one night mmmm. 

 

 

post #2 of 3
Here are a few of my thoughts...
 
Were you going by the MES factory thermometer for temps? They are notoriously inaccurate. I use a Maverick ET-732 to track temps in mine. It sounds like you may have had lower smoker temps than you thought which would explain the longer cook time.
 
About the fat, the point has a lot higher fat content than the flat does.
 
As far as the smoke ring goes you won't get a good smoke ring in an electric smoker. I would suggest getting an AMNPS to use for smoke generation - they are great & I don't use my MES without it  2thumbs.gif
 
When I'm picking out a brisket I pick them up in the center & see how far they sag. I then choose one of the most flexible ones. I have had really good luck with this method.
post #3 of 3

Smoking B knows his stuff!

 

Smoke ring, was the smoke taste to your satisfaction? Don’t worry about the smoke ring for some odd reason I have never seen a smoke ring with an electric smoker. Call it a trade off, you don’t have to tend the fire box all night, you don’t get a smoke ring. I’ll swap the ring for sleep.

 

Quality of meat makes a difference, also I don’t but some folks will trim off some of that fat. Its just personal preference. Best to start out with poultry IMHO its a cheap way to acclimate to a new smoker. Brisket and Pulled Pork are like crown jewels.

 

Like Smoking B said, check your temps with another calibrated thermometer, MES are bad about being calibrated wrong from the factory. I;ll bet you'll see a why it took you so long.

 

You can always finish in the oven. If you have a smoker problem, a conflict in timing, or some other strange emergency the oven works fine. After 150 to 170 its taking a reduced amount of smoke anyway (you foiled at 170 anyway), and you know Momma's stove is right!

 

There is a reason that you estimate 2 hours/pound, you can’t rush ‘em and they are like pretty women, there and no two alike, you can't rush 'em and if you'll remember that they'll be exceptional.

 

Lastly get a notebook and dedicate it to your smoker, fill in what you did, what happened, what you liked, what you want to change, and save it for the next time. Research what you'd like to change ask the Gurus, those are the people with the Moderator or OTBS tags like "Smoking B's" above, or just do as you did and opening it to get all the strange folks like me.

 

Here's a link to help you

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/attachments/3

 

Remember to appreciate the day and enjoy the smoke.

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