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First Brisket Smoke with Q-Views

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok, I am not sure where this goes so I figure I would put it here until I learn the layout better of the forums.


I am putting up pictures of my first Brisket smoke.  I marinated it with Beer, Brown Sugar, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin, Coarse Ground Pepper, and Morton's Kosher salt for a little over 24 hours. 


I took it out, rinsed it a little with luke warm water, then dried it off with a paper towel.  I then added olive oil to all the surfaces and then started putting my rub on.  My rub included the same ingredients as the marinade except for the beer.  It actually went on pretty well.  I still have to learn just how much rub to put on, but I think I did ok with this one. 


At least I did remember to try the rub seasoning before I put it on this time.  lol


I reconfigured my smoker based upon a few ideas that I got from various posts on this site.  I bought a wok grill and since I want to use charcoal and propane (to save propane usage and also for flavor) I put the charcoals in the original chip bin, put the wok grill over the charcoals, on top of the chip bin, and then put my cast iron skillet on the wok grill with a few chunks of soaked apple and hickory wood.  I couldn't decided on one or the other so I used both. 


The meat is cooking right now as I type this.  I have about an hour and a half before I will check it for the first time but the temp is holding at 250 degrees F. 


Here are the pictures, hope you like them. 


First Brisket, another side view of fat pad

Side view of brisket fat pad. First brisket.

I know there is no temp gauge but I will get the Maverick 2 probe that everyone loves next month when I have money again.  lol

one more view


This one below is a picture of what I am calling my "candy" piece since it will be done early and the wife and I can have an early treat for a taste test.  OHHHH I cannot wait...

a close up


Just putting brisket into warm smoker. See the candy piece on top? Yummy


Closer view of the candy piece.  I had some extra bacon scrap that I cut off of the brisket so I figured why let it go to waste...

This little piece I cut off the end so it would not burn. I call it my candy piece since it will be done quickly and I can get an early taste of the meat. mmmmm


I probably needed more rub on the sides but I was afraid to get too much.  Just part of the learning curve I guess.

Side view of first brisket rubbed


Another view of first Brisket pre-smoke


Had to put bacon over this part, no fat on the fat pad in this area


Another view of bacon on brisket, first brisket pre-smoke


This one below was the pre-bacon.  You can see on the left side of the brisket where some idiot butcher (store bought this way) cut off all the fat pad in this area.  I read on these forums I think it was that I should put bacon on it so I did. 

First Brisket with rub on


This is the new setup I configured today.  It has the original chip tray, then on top of that, charcoal, and sitting on the chip tray is the Wok Grill I received in the mail today.  I then put my soaked (30 hour) hickory and apple wood chunks in the cast iron skillet.  The water/drip pan is above that.  I do not have foil in it because it is an old pan and I just found a store where I can get the huge disposable one's for a dollar each.  Still have not been to cosco or sam's to see what their price is.  I will use the disposables from now on after this smoke. 

New Upgrade with the Wok Grill I put charcoal in the chip pan and then the wok grill over that, and then the skillet. I also have a water/drip pan


Another view


Just a close up of the charcoal/wood chunk cast iron skillet configuration.  The only thing I might do next is put some bolts through the cast iron skillet to raise it a little more above the charcoal.  I had to keep the propane at about medium level though in order to keep the temp steady at 250.  Probably because the pan is so small that you cannot get a lot of charcoal in it.  But I like the charcoal taste on my meats so I would rather some than none.

close up of the gas/coal/chip setup I am trying


Here is a picture of the smoke being generated.  It is really much more thin than it seems here.  I will get videos uploaded soon. 



could it be blue or is it just white.... either way, I like the fact that it is a small amount of smoke as compared to last time




little blue smoke maybe??? Hard to tell at night  Not near as much smoke as my first attempt which is an improvement




post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 


Ok, 6 hour update:

Here is the picture.  Only took one to make it quick, did not want to keep the door open too long.  Is it starting to look pretty good?  The internal temp is 160 degrees and cooking temp has been a steady 250 all night.  I am hoping to get the internal temp up to 180 since my wife and I like our meat more on the medium well side.  (She complains if meat is red or dark pink. It has to have a huge of pink but be light brown).  And I have to say, I absolutely love Bacon and I cannot wait to eat a piece of the bacon that I have on this thing.... It looks really good to me...  And the smell of the inside of smoker is amazing....



Editing this, I forgot to say that the 'candy' piece that I put in here was done at the 3 hour mark when I opened up to spray the meat with apple juice.  It was very tender and had a really nice flavor that my wife loved.  It was on the mild/sweet side and since I did not use cayenne this time, she was pleased.  I will try to sneak a little cayenne into the next recipe but very little.  Just to add a different flavor. 


I hope you can see this and let me know what you think.  I am trying to keep the smoke thin but I am not sure I can see a blue tint.  It definitely is not bellowing out like it did the first time.  I will upload the night videos as soon as they are finished editing in You Tube. 






Edited by EdDisabledVet - 3/6/14 at 6:05am
post #3 of 12
Ed-nice mod for the gas burner- Apple and Hickory is a good mix for brisket, I usually do a 60-40 mix of apple to hickory. Nice flow of the TBS you have going-I'm looking forward to the money shot of that brisket should have a nice smoke ring on that meat.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok, here is the final smoke.  After not being able to sleep all night due to having a 40 plus dollar slab of beef on the smoker for the first time...


Tell me what you think?







My wife loves it and says that I cannot give any of it to my mom or my in-laws.  We do have to share some of it with our neighbor since she donated all the charcoal.  But since it is probably 6 lbs of cooked beef, I don't think my wife will miss a little.


As for the bark, I was expecting it to be a little more hard.  I probably should have pulled the water bowl after the first 4 or 5 hours. 


I also wrapped it sealed in alum wrap, then wrapped it inside 2 towels and stuck it into the cooler I got yesterday. 


But I suppose for my first brisket and only my second smoke, this is not bad huh?


Forgot to mention, it does not fall apart but it pulls apart easily.  It is moist all the way through and the bacon I took off of it is really good also.


Now, can anyone tell me the best way to store and reheat this?  Should I cut the entire thing up and then use ziplocks or should I use storage containers?

post #5 of 12

Looks awesome man 

smoke ring looks great, I have not done too many briskets, (yet) but I would slice what I am going to eat and leave the rest as is. For re-heating I would steam it on the stove. This seemed to work well for me. again looks great  I have to do one really soon 


Oh just remember once you start to share with the in laws they will put there orders in LOL 





post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

That is funny Kitt...  Yeah, it did not make it to the in-laws or to my mother.  I sliced some for my neighbor for giving me a big bag of charcoal and she went nuts.  Over half of it is gone now since my wife and I have been eating on it off and on all day and giving the neighbor some. 


Thanks for the compliment on the smoke ring.  I expected it to be a little thicker ring but I did not put a lot of rub on it so that probably had a lot to do with it. (still need to learn what the technique is to get a really good smoke ring...)


I put it in a zip lock bag and put it in the fridge whole.  I got it out about an hour ago, sliced a few pieces off for the wife and I.  While I was slicing it, she was eating it and drooling waiting for me to cut faster.  We figured that it has such good taste that we did not even have to heat it up.  We ate it cold and it was still moist and tender without warming. 


I guess I will get either the pork ribs or the 5lb pork loin out of the freezer and have them ready to smoke Saturday night to be done Sunday afternoon.  Hell, I might go ahead and smoke both of them at the same time, then I can cut 1/2 off of each and seal them in my vacuum sealer. 


What ever I end up doing I will post it and provide some Q-View for sure.

post #7 of 12
Props to you for tackling brisket so soon. I only did one and it was maybe my 20th smoke. It looks amazing dude!
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks worktgthr,

post #9 of 12

Looks like it turned out pretty good !!!    Looked moist and juicy, nice smoke ring,  Did the flavor turn out the way you were wanting.?  Not sure what to suggest on a former bark, since I don't smoke on an electric. All in all I would say you have the skills and are probably addicted already.  Really good pictures.



post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks Gary,  It was pretty flavorful, I would have preferred a little more spiciness but my wife is not into that and she loved it.  So much so that she refuses to allow me to cut any off to give to our parents.  lol


As for electric, I do not use an electric either.  I have a propane that I have configured to use charcoal with the gas.  It seems to work pretty well but I need more practice and a thermometer so I do not have to make guestimates about time and when to open the smoker to check it. 


If you look close to this picture, you will see that in the stock chip pan that came with the smoker, I have a good amount of charcoal.  I use the propane flame to get the charcoal started and then turn the propane all the way down using the dial on the smoker.  I just bought a valve that will allow me to turn down the flame more or give me more precise control of the flame. 


close up of the gas/coal/chip setup I am trying


I need a good pair of heat resistant gloves though since the skillet and the wok grill are very hot and I have to take out the skillet and lift up the wok grill to add more charcoal.  Since I do not have the gloves, what I did on the brisket in this post was to turn the propane flame up as the charcoal burned up.  The good news is that I only had to turn the propane flame up to 1/2 way to maintain the 250 heat for 9 hours, which is how long it took to cook the brisket.  I pulled the brisket at around 172-175 at the thickest point.  Then I wrapped it inside two double layers of reynolds wrap and then inside two towels and placed it in a medium sized cooler for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. 


None of these mods are my invention.  I stole them from mods that other people have done and just combined the ideas.  I don't remember if I read an forum or review that put charcoal in the original chip pan under the wok grill or if I came up with that myself.  I think to make myself feel smart, I will say I came up with that on my own.  (If you came up with the idea, please correct me so I can see if I read that forum or not). :-)  Since I like charcoal a lot, I figured, why not put the charcoal over the propane and the wood chunks over the charcoal.  I also like this setup because it allows me to pull everything out to make it easy to clean everything and vacuum out the ashes from around the propane burner itself.  (when cool of course)


As for being a smoker addict, you bet I am hook, line, and sinker...  And it is WONDERFUL to finally have a hobby that my wife is also excited about.  She does not like the actual preparation or cooking, but she loves eating the rewards.  lol 

post #11 of 12

My mistake, not sure why I thought you were smoking on an electric,  Anyway  it's fun to experiment with different flavors. My brisket I keep pretty simple just salt and pepper, But that's what I like.

Over the past 40 years I have tried all types of rubs and flavors. Now ribs are a different story all together. My #2 son and one of the grandsons likes dry and spicy (real spicy) Wife, #1 son, other grandson and granddaughter like wet and sweet, I like a little wet, sweet and spicy, (sometimes) depends on my mood. But as you can see I end up doing 3 versions of ribs. Pork shoulders I inject sometimes when I do usually just apple juice, I give them a good rub down with mustard and a coat of rub. Everybody likes different things, that's what makes BBQing so great. The best secret I have learned in all my years of smoking is Cook what you and your family like. When I fire up my smoker I usually fill it up and cook for everybody, and it doesn't last long. One of my grandsons is a junior in high school you know it's not cool to take your lunch when you are at that age, but when he has BBQ he takes it to school. Makes me feel pretty good. Another funny story my #2 son (the one I build pits with) when he has time. decided to smoke some ribs, now you have to understand he has two speeds Wide open or dead stop, I tried to tell him be patient don't rush the ribs, there ready when there ready, long story short, when he took them off both grandsons were there so he gave them some ribs and asked Well, what do you think, They both looked at each other and said " There pretty good But not Papa's Ribs" I think it hurt his feelings a little, but he has to learn good BBQ takes time.



post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Great story and very nice tips.  We son's will never be as good as our fathers.  It just takes some of us longer to figure that out than others.  ;-)

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