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My first whole brisket in the Certified Previously Owned MES

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Haha I am the only thing certifiable for trying this under my circumstances. So... Daughter was napping and wife was working out so I had a chance to run to a local butcher that had whole brisket on sale for 3.99/ lb. A whole brisket is really hard to find around here and 3.99 per pound is a great price. Super lean trimmed flats are usually 5.99. So anyways. My nephews bday is tomorrow from 11:30-3 and then some of my family is coming over here afterwards for dinner. Just make hamburgers a d hot dogs my wife said. But no...I decided I would overnight smoke this bad boy with my new MES 30 and my AMNPS. Got the smoker all ready, started the AMNPS. Meanwhile... Here is the beast about 10.5 pounds and I gave it a simple rub down with SPOG... Didn't trim a thing.


Got it in around 2:30. Now I am running around 245 degrees as per my trusty maverick and planning on ballpark two hours per pound. But who knows. So a few questions for you all.
1. When and where should I probe the meat?
2. Should I take out the AMNPS before bed (11:30-12:00PM) and reload it or is the 11 or so hours I get from it enough smoke?
3. If I wake up to tomorrow and its still a ways from done and I foil it (out of necessity) what's the highest I can raise the smoker temp or oven if need be?

That last question is because I need to leave the house around 11:30 so I need the brisket foiled, toweled, and coolered before I go to my nephews party. Thank you all in advance!!! I will keep you updated!
post #2 of 12

You gotta nice looking brisket there. As far as your questions I will answer them with my opinions but I am sure you will get plenty more.

 

1. Probe it in the thickest part of the flat. I cook my flats to 192* and points to 200*.

2. I personally would re load it. Briskets can take plenty of smoke and the amnps doesnt put out a whole lot. Get as much smoke flavor on it as possible

3. If everything ran perfectly the brisket would be done by 9AM. I personally would get up between 4-5AM and check the IT. if it is around 180* I would leave it and go back to sleep. If it is around the 170 mark you can foil it. You shouldn't have to crank up the temp if you foil that early. It should reach your target temp no problem within 4 hours. If it gets done early wrap it tight in a towel and it will stay warm for 4-5 hours. If it has a long stall which it might based on the size you can crank it up to 275ish to help push it through. A lot of the top pitmasters smoke theirs at 275-300.

 

Hope this helps.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks! That was all very helpful! It got to 165 and then startled climbing quickly. Thought that was weird so I pulled the probe out and noticed it was like butter. Probed some other parts and they were pretty tough still as I expected them to be. I think my original probe placement may have been in a big hunk of fat or something. So I moved it and it dropped to 163 so we will see how this works out.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well time for bed...here's a picture...



Currently at 167. I'll be sure to share some
Pics in the morning if the wife doesn't kill me before then. Damn maverick works fine in my bedroom but every Half hour it starts beeping that its out of range... Wish me luck.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfPro2301 View Post

You gotta nice looking brisket there. As far as your questions I will answer them with my opinions but I am sure you will get plenty more.

1. Probe it in the thickest part of the flat. I cook my flats to 192* and points to 200*.
2. I personally would re load it. Briskets can take plenty of smoke and the amnps doesnt put out a whole lot. Get as much smoke flavor on it as possible
3. If everything ran perfectly the brisket would be done by 9AM. I personally would get up between 4-5AM and check the IT. if it is around 180* I would leave it and go back to sleep. If it is around the 170 mark you can foil it. You shouldn't have to crank up the temp if you foil that early. It should reach your target temp no problem within 4 hours. If it gets done early wrap it tight in a towel and it will stay warm for 4-5 hours. If it has a long stall which it might based on the size you can crank it up to 275ish to help push it through. A lot of the top pitmasters smoke theirs at 275-300.

Hope this helps.

Your advice really made my life easier. I was able to get some sleep because you said approximate finishing time would be so I slept from like 12-5 and then woke up every hour to check. You were pretty darn close...finished at 8:30. Wanted to take pics but we were making breakfast just as the brisket came out. It's now foiled, toweled and coolered. I will take pics of it whole and sliced around 11. Thanks again for your help. Wish I could keep it coolered until 3:30 when I get back but that is just too long.
post #6 of 12
. Take it out of the cooler and put it in 140 degree oven along with a small pan of water. It will hold til then
post #7 of 12
Looks great, can't wait for sliced pics !
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok so... My wife didnt kill me for waking up every two hours to check on it or for the maverick beeping every 20 minutes when it decided it was no longer in range, just to get back in range after 10 minutes of beeping. And, our family didnt end up coming for dinner because the party went longer than we all expected. So now i have 7 pounds of brisket for a family of three haha... so anyway...The verdict is in...It was tasty, tender, but inconsistently juicy. Some parts of the flat were great but many were dry. Same experience I had when smoking a flat. Tender as all hell but dry. I am pretty sure I overcooked it because the slices were crumbling a little bit. Here she is after the cooler treatment...


Here's a pic of the sliced flat...

I pulled the brisket at an IT of 195 but the probe was kind of in an area between the flat and the point (probably not the best place to probe it but I did I in the middle of the night). The point was amazing but was cooked beyond slicing. Not complaining because its some of the best pulled beef I have ever had. So juicy and fatty (yes, I love the melted fat). And the bark around the point was incredible. I had no sugar in the rub but somehow it almost had a sweet taste. Here's the pulled point...



Overall, not the best smoke but certainly not the worst. The end product although a little dry is tasty and tender and I'll have fun repurposing it throughout the week... Chili, sandwiches, tacos, the list goes on. And as always my dad will get a big Tupperware full of leftovers.

Few things I learned during this smoke...

1. Some of my overcooked parts of the flat may have been from resting against the smoker wall... Maybe next time I can tie it like I have seen people do with ribs.

2. I might want to add some sugar to the SPOG rub and maybe a little heat

3. Never take on an 18-20 hour smoke when you are not sure you will be home when it's done. Too stressful and I could have put it on later in the day Saturday so I could sleep normally that night.

4. The AMNPS is a beast... A little metal tray that gives 10 or 11 hours of TBS...great product... Can't wait to use it to cold smoke in the winter. I had the best luck lighting it and putting in right in the the MES for ten minutes and then blowing out the flame.

5. This site is the best! Helpful tips, responses and a library of old threads to make the impossible possible! Thanks again!
post #9 of 12
Looks awesome to me, I'd say ya did a great smoke on it.... Them dang things can be stubborned ! Nice job ! icon14.gif
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I found the hardest part to be when it's actually done. It's such a non-uniform shape that I had a hard time deciding when to pull it out of the smoker. Maybe next time I'll try foiling it for some added moisture. Maybe I'll try injecting too...just another gadget to buy haha
post #11 of 12

Looks like you did a fine job with your very first whole brisket to me   thumb1.gif

post #12 of 12

Looks pretty good to me. I know what you mean by being really tender but dry. I have had that a few times as well. I have been practicing Brisket quite a bit lately to get ready for a few pro comps that I am looking to do this fall. I have found that a few things tend to work really well. I have started injecting all of my briskets to add flavor and moisture. still playing around with the recipe but I usually use a beef broth / Worcestershire sauce. I have played around with foiling and not foiling. When I foil It always comes out juicy but it lacks a lot of bark which I like. When I don't foil I get a large amount of bark but I run the risk of it being a little dry like you experienced on this cook. I always use water pans in my smoker to keep moisture in there but I always felt like there could be more. After looking at a few cookers at some competitions I noticed water pans sitting directly above the fire which boils the water producing a lot of vapor inside. I decided to install a rack directly above my firebox inlet and cover the rack in water pans. I now get boiling water and I have never run into a dry piece of meat since. 

 

If you want a good store bought run go with John Henry's Brisket rub. Very Good.

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