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MES 30" 2nd Gen w/cold smoker- 8lb Packer Brisket - QView

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
At some point tonight (it's 8:30pm right now in Boston) I'm going to put an 8lb packer brisket in my 30" 2nd gen MES - my first one in the MES. I don't need it until dinner tomorrow so I'll probably have to extend the rest quite a bit or maybe even put in the fridge to reheat later. I just don't want to have to start it in the morning. I feel like I'll probably have to start it after midnight to be reasonable about it. I had a hard time finding a place here in town that had full packers and ended up picking it up at Savenor's in Cambridge (Julia Child's former go-to butcher) for $4.80/lb (normally $6, but 20% discount due to pre-remodel discounting). Blows me away that some of you are getting it for $3/lb. I'd do brisket every week! It's kind of a treat for me to drop this kind of change on a packer though. Anyway, I'll post as I go with Q View.

Here is my plan:

- Rub - last night I put the rub on it. Found it online, never used it before. No injection.
3 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- Cold Smoker Attachment -Smoke a full tower of hickory chips, probably 6 hours worth.
- When chips run out leave it - I don't want a bitter flavor, which I've heard is an issue with hickory. I hope 6 hours is enough. I thought about mixing with apple chips 50/50, but I've never used hickory so I want to get the full effect this first time.
- Temp in Box - Goal is a 225' so might have to set it for 235'-240'. I use a remote Maverick 732 Redi Chek thermometer
- BTW, I'm not separating the point and flat prior. Will probably do burnt ends with the point. That would also be a first.
- Texas Crutch - Really don't want to wrap it and want to just push through the stall since I've got time, but am concerned about drying out. I like a nice hard bark. I keep reading that everybody wraps so I might. Still deciding.
- Mop - had SWMBO get some apple juice while she was out but not sure I'm gonna use it. If i do, I'll spray it every two hours or so. We'll see.
- Jus - No joke, I did not know jus with brisket was a thing until today. I've got a long way to go on all this but I had SWMBO get some drip pans too so I'm gonna catch those tasty drops and try to do something with them. No time or inclination right now to do the full on fancy with veggies and red wine and all that but I plan to another time.
-Temp - plan to pull it off at 190 IT or so. I'm going to use two therms so I'll have temps on the point and the flat.
- Cooler - I'm going to heat water and pour in my cooler to get the insulation and wall temp up so it's not sucking heat from my meat, then put some old towels inside, wrap meat in foil a couple times, then wrap in towels, place in tin pan, layer on top with towels, and let it sit. I'm still going to keep my therm inside to monitor IT temp. If it gets too low (since this is for dinner) I'll just pull and put in fridge and reheat.
- Eat it!!!!

That's the plan. Forgot to take my prep pics of trimming extra fat and whatnot, but I'll update as I go.
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Here is a shot of it with the rub and wrapped in seran. Just put my hand in it for scale. It'll be 24+hrs in the fridge prior to smoke. Will probably put it on a bit after midnight.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Woke up at 4:30am and put it on at 225' with hickory chips. It's now five hours later at 9:30am and I'm holding steady in the stall at 151' IT. Have been for about an hour.

The left therm is in the flat (146') and the right one is in the point (151').
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
The power went out on the block at 10am. At first I thought I had tripped the electric box by running the smoker and attachment out of the same outlet so I'm glad it wasn't me! Power company says it'll be two hours before it's back on. Glad this is a dinner brisket and not a lunch one!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Good news: power came back on around 11am or so.
Bad news: In that hour to hour and a half, my IT dropped from 151' to about 120'.
Bad news: it is now 1pm and I'm just now back up to 153' IT
Bad news: at some point between 4:30am when I put it on and 9am when I came back out and checked, the chip tower on my cold smoker jammed and went without smoke. I have no idea for how long, but I pushed the chips back down onto the grate. Maybe I overloaded it. I dunno. I'm not going to add anymore chips though, so it'll still be one full tower, it's just gonna be for a lot more than six hours.
Good news: I have decided I'm definitely doing burnt ends with the point. I'll pull it off and separate it at about 190 or so and put the flat in the cooler.
Note: Although I asked SWMBO to go out and get apple juice, I'm not going to mop it.

Left temp is flat, right temp is point. Btw, I have it on the second lowest rack with the point to the right closest to the heating element.

post #6 of 14
Oh man, hope your luck turns around there for ya ! Lookin forward to seeing how it turns out, hang in there ! beercheer.gif
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterinHoleBrew View Post

Oh man, hope your luck turns around there for ya ! Lookin forward to seeing how it turns out, hang in there ! beercheer.gif

Oh, thanks man! It's 4:30pm here in Boston (12 hours since it went on, minus power outage time) and I'm at 178 IT. Box temp is 244. For an 8 pounder this is going to be a long smoke/cook. And I didn't put any water in the pan. Never done a packer in the MES yet so if it turns out crazy dry I guess I'll put water in the pan next time. I've just had moisture issues before and have read that the MES is a big humidifier and can handle a dry smoke. Chip tower has burned out by now but I'm still getting a really nice waft of tasty hickory out of the vent.

Question: Water in the pan versus dry pan.... Pros/Cons??? Humidity here right now is 63% but it can get a lot higher here in New England. Today is actually a really nice day. Also, I didn't soak my chips, although it says you're not supposed to in the cold smoker attachment. I'm doing dry pan. We'll see.
post #8 of 14
In most smokers, the water pan is just for temp control.... I have a WSM with a water pan but I just put sand in it & cover with a few layers of tin foil.... Makes for a snappy clean up ! The soak or don't soak on the chips is debatable depending on the smoker, I've done both ways in the WSM & really unless they are huge chunks, I didn't see much of a difference ! But being an electric smoker, just for safety I think I'd stick with the dry ones.... Just my 2 cents ! Hope it helps some !
post #9 of 14
Looks like a late dinner coming. You are probably going to need to get to at least 195 to 200 IT and a minimum 1 hour rest is very important, too. I'd boost that cook temp if I were you. Best of luck.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterinHoleBrew View Post

In most smokers, the water pan is just for temp control.... I have a WSM with a water pan but I just put sand in it & cover with a few layers of tin foil.... Makes for a snappy clean up ! The soak or don't soak on the chips is debatable depending on the smoker, I've done both ways in the WSM & really unless they are huge chunks, I didn't see much of a difference ! But being an electric smoker, just for safety I think I'd stick with the dry ones.... Just my 2 cents ! Hope it helps some !

Hey thanks for the two cents - I'll take it and more! I've heard that the pan is more for a heat sink than moisture introduction but I'm still figuring my rig out. I've never used sand but then I've only done maybe 5-6 smokes in my MES thus far. I've got a tin drip pan underneath (looking to capture some jus) so I guess I could use a foil covered water pan with sand and try it out next time. I did a rack of St. Louis ribs a couple weeks ago and had wildly fluctuating temps until I put water in the pan (ranged 20-30+ compared to my remote therm up and down a lot). My dad has a bullet style charcoal smoker that I've used a number if times, but that's back in Indiana so all I have now is an electric. All I've read about the WSM is really positive so I think I'm going to put it on my wish list. I'm not going to soak chips when I use the cold smoker attachment - for once I'm going to follow the instructions!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geerock View Post

Looks like a late dinner coming. You are probably going to need to get to at least 195 to 200 IT and a minimum 1 hour rest is very important, too. I'd boost that cook temp if I were you. Best of luck.

It's 5:15pm in Boston and I'm looking at an IT of 185 now on the point, but the therm I've got in the flat is only 167.


She looks good though. I'm going to pull it off when the point is 190' (or should I wait until the flat is 190? It's only 167 now!) I'm afraid given the big range between them that the point will be too high by the time the flat is at 190') I'm doing burnt ends with the point so I feel like I should pull it, separate them and put the flat back in to bring it up along with the ends. Not really sure. First time with all of this. Do you put the therm in the point when you are cooking or in the flat? I've got my cooler hot sitting with hot water right now ready to drain and drop in the towel wrapped flat whenever I need it. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I did crank up the box temp to 255'. I usually try to stick to 225'. Should I bump it up even higher? I know I need to give the ends at least an hour. Just trying to map this all out.

post #12 of 14

Hi Rainy!!

 

In my MES 40, I never put water in my pan. It doesn't need it in a good electric smoker.

Some guys put sand in or a brick or 2, but I don't, because I never open the door, which means I don't need a heat sinc.

I just cover my water pan with foil, and put it in place, but mine is a Gen #1 with the big pan.

 

I use an AMNPS, so I don't use wood chips or chunks, but when I did, I never soaked them.

 

If you need any other info, you can click on "Bear's Step by Steps" at the bottom of all of my posts. Then click on anything that interests you.

 

 

Bear

post #13 of 14
RP
Well, you're learning a lot about smoking and your smoker on this cook. The mes definitely cooks hotter on the right side. Although the point tends to cook faster than the flat, its the reason why you should put the point to the left cause you are waaay ahead. When the point passes the probe test for tenderness (usually around 200 IT) its time to separate the point from the flat. If you pull the flat it may be inedible due to toughness. Pull the point, let the flat keep cooking until that same probe test result. And finally, don't feel bad about smoking brisket at 265, 275, or higher. Nothing to lose but waiting time. No loss of moisture or tenderness.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geerock View Post

RP
Well, you're learning a lot about smoking and your smoker on this cook. The mes definitely cooks hotter on the right side. Although the point tends to cook faster than the flat, its the reason why you should put the point to the left cause you are waaay ahead. When the point passes the probe test for tenderness (usually around 200 IT) its time to separate the point from the flat. If you pull the flat it may be inedible due to toughness. Pull the point, let the flat keep cooking until that same probe test result. And finally, don't feel bad about smoking brisket at 265, 275, or higher. Nothing to lose but waiting time. No loss of moisture or tenderness.

Dang, that must have been why it was so uneven. I got it backwards! I pulled the whole thing off at 193' on the point and put it in the pan. The bill was for scale.



Then I tented it, but only for about 20 minutes. I would have done more but I'm in a hurry.



I put a food glove over the ov-glove and started separating the point, but you can tell it was way too early bc you can see the juice flowing out. It was still very hot.



Only an 8 pounder, but it still looks like it's going to give me a lot.



Double heavy foil wrap with blankets. Cooler was hot with towels already.



Point being cut up.



In a hurry so only tossed in the drippings. Put back in the smoker at 235' - been 40-60 min so far. Added some apple chips to the cold smoker to finish them off.

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