I have been watching PITTMASTERS on TV, and taking notes, but it tends to get confusing, with 3 judges, and 3 contestants each having a (slight) difference of opinion. Plus the different cook schedules on each show.
The other week I caught BBQ with Franklin on PBS. He demonstrated 3 methods of smoking a brisket. 1) "naked" 2) foil wrapped 3) butcher paper wrapped. All done @ 275 over 11-12 hours (foil was quickest, Naked was slowest).
No injecting, just rub, and smoke... PERIOD.
(I digress...) Last Friday, I was out riding around, and I decided to stop at a local BBQ shack.. (Byrd's in Durham). I tried the brisket... it had a decent crust (wouldn't call it a "bark") flavor was good....but kinda "pot-roasty" if ya know what I mean. That evening, I met up with some friends at a chain BBQ (City BBQ in Cary). Better flavor, less "pot-roasty" but still not much of a bark. I noticed they offered various sauces for sale, so I asked the manager if he sold the rub... he did not, but offered to give me a sample.
Basic rub... heavy on salt/pepper, but with a dash of paprika, garlic, and Jalapeno.
I spotted a nice sized Brisket while shopping, and decided to follow Aaron Franklin's steps. Got the smoker going (Master built 30 dual fuel) Hickory chunks (a couple of apple chunks too) leveled off at 275.
I had put the rub on the previous night, so it went straight in the smoker..
Around 5 hours into the smoke I went to add the temp probe... it slid in like a hot knife through warm butter.... so I probed around and everywhere was the same. It's about the DONENESS more that time/temp so I pulled it off and let it sit..
Some small pieces pulled away, as I was removing the brisket, and I am not one to waste the goodies... so hot as heck, they went right to my lips.
HOLY BRISKET... talk about a religious experience.... succulent, inside, with a crisp crunchy bark. Of course I am prejudiced... being the cook... my wife declared it the best I'd made, so I took some to a friend down the street.... who concurred.
I still have some tweaks to do.... I think the next step will be to smoke 4-4.5 hours, see how it feels, and then wrap to keep the bark a little more moist. I see some folks misting the brisket... How well does that work? compared to wrapping in foil?
Another question ... on another forum.. there was a thread regarding filling the water tray with sand. Reasoning the sand is a better heat sink than water, and will maintain the temperature better than the water Thoughts?
I know this post is worthless without pictures.... but I will smoke again... and next time the camera will not fail me