I bought a MES 20 this week, it is the one with the digital display on top at the back. I don't know what generation, one I think.
I decided to cook a whole brisket for the 4th and I got a nice choice aged one from the local butcher shop, 70+ bucks for meat. I know it maybe a little overpriced but they are a small shop and have good products.
----OK EDIT> I've been searching and reading since I posted and, if I'm not making some blunder, I am going to run the MES just a little higher, maybe 200 (and hope it is really 220). Going to just use kosher salt and either seasoned pepper or coarse ground pepper. Double wrap in foil at 150-160, then continue to cook until about 195, then begin to probe every five degrees or so until tender like butter. I hope, since it is a choice cut that it will cook a little quicker. I am still a little foggy about what to do with the "point", I assume that is the top part. Because of the time factor, I'll probably just eave it as is... but when done do I just slice it too or remove it or what?
Thanks for any help... more info below.
I pre-seasoned the smoker earlier this week and have both hickory and mesquite chips to put in it, plus I may add some crushed charcoal.
I plan to keep it simple with either a packaged rub or some kosher salt, McCormick Seasoned Pepper, and maybe a little garlic powder, I am open to suggestions.
I did not know that it was going to take so long when I planned and bought it but I am in the deep end already. I plan to rub, wrap, and refrigerate ice it tomorrow, take it out and wrap it in a couple of towels at bedtime tomorrow and I guess get going about 3:00 AM so it will hopefully be ready by 6:00 PM.
This brings me to my questions. I have gotten different input on the cooking time and temperature. Mike at the butcher shop said an hour a pound and to cook it at 180 until it hits 150. Then take it out and foil it and let it sit an hour and it will be cooked medium.
Then, I've read that if I don't get it to 190 degrees or maybe 200, it will not be tender. I've read that I should cook it for an hour and 15 minutes per pound, I've read that I should cook it for 1 1/2 hours per pound. I failed to mention that is it 12.78 pounds. I worry that I wont have it cooked in time or that I'll end up with a tough piece of meat. I'm thinking that I surely wont have time to cook burnt ends unless I cut them off and cook them the next day.
I am thinking that maybe Mike at the shop said 180 because we did discuss how the MES shows about 20 degrees cooler than it really is at those lower temps so maybe 180 is really 200 in the MES.
Still, if I start at 3:00 AM at 180 degrees will it be done by 5:00 so I can let it rest for an hour and eat at 6:00? Is that a possibility? I plan to use the built in probe and another analog meat thermometer I have so I can check both.
I have some Texas style rub that I usually use on ribs and it is good, I have a spicy and a hot but they are very similar. I may just use one of them.
Please, if you have any input let me know. I want this to workout well but I'll be honest, getting up at 3:00 is not something I look forward to... but I think (hope) it will be worth it.
So time and temp? I pretty much have what I have. I don't have time to order a probe I can drop in through the vent, there is one at the store I could buy to use but I am not sure it would be much help to me. Heck, I could just put a meat thermometer/probe on a rack with the spike sticking down as a double check I guess.
Oh and I almost forgot. I read about wrapping some sand in foil and putting it in the water pan to use as a heat sink so I did buy a bag of sand. The folks at the butcher shop said that they just put the pan in dry and watch the brisket and foil the thinner end if it starts to look dry... I wouldn't know if it did. So I'm thinking I'll just probe the center and foil the whole thing when it hits 150 and, if it is the correct thing to do, keep it going until it hits 190, rest an hour and slice.
Am I on the right track? Should I foil it and keep it going until it gets to 190? Will it be done in 12/14 hours? Should I take it off at 150? Is 3:00 AM to late to start if I want to eat by 6:00? Cook at 180 (200 considering the MES being off on the temps)?
Thanks for takin' the time to read this and offer help.
Also, HOWDY... I am Julien aka jbow. I'm in the great state of GA.
Edited by jbow - 7/2/15 at 7:01pm