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Newbie, and a Question...First Brisket Smoking

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey all, I'm in Texas, so it's practically required to smoke meat here!  So, I just retired my Weber gas grill and got a "combo" gas/charcoal/with a smoking chamber model....just want to be able to smoke meat but also fire up something quicker on the gas side at times also.  It's probably an "entry" level cooker,  got it on sale at the local Academy for about $230.

Anyway, here's my question.... I've had a 10 lb brisket on the smoker for about 4 hours now, and the temp of the meat is not rising, its actually dropped.....had gotten to about 140, then stayed in the mid 130s for about an hour, now its at 127.

Using lump charcoal and hickory chunks. Any advice/thoughts greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 9
What's your chamber temp & how ya tracking it ? Ya have a reliable therm or ya going off the stock therm on the unit itself ? If your using the stock therm, they aren't very reliable !
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well, I haven't been very successful in keeping the chamber  temp around 275, which seems to be around what most people shoot for, it's more like 350-375, (this according to the built in gauge that came with the grill) and my 30 dollar digital probe thermometer does not seem to be very accurate.....stuck in the mid 120's now for awhile... I stuck a regular meat thermometer in the brisketand its showing about 160 now.  I think shortly I'll take it off, coat it with the wrapping mixture and foil it up and put it back on.

post #5 of 9
Try the boiling water test with your probes... In your area ya should be real close to 212* if your therm is accurate !
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion Brew.....212 degrees in boiling water, so probe appears to be fine .....so now I'm even more confused. Just stuck it back in after doing the test and the brisket is at 127..... after 7 hours in the smoker,  with temps higher than normally recommended at that. This is my first time using this unit,  so I guess I just need to get used to it.   

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well, I was never able to get the internal temp above 142, so I ended up removing it from the smoker and putting it in the oven (yeah, I know) I REALLY didn't want to, but I was 11 hours into a 10 lb brisket and it just was NOT getting there.  I also had a hard time maintaining a steady chamber temp,  fluctuated quite a bit as I needed to add lump charcoal/hickory every so often. I don't understand why, especially since the chamber temp was generally higher than the 250-275 range. I was following a "recipe" that called for coating it with a "finishing sauce" (saved brisket juice, bbq sauce, apple cider vinegar) then putting the brisket back on the "cooker" for 30 min after it sat in a cooler with a towel over it for an hour.  The end result? Edible but TOO DRY, not moist enough.  I think using the oven was a mistake obviously,  but felt like I had to. 


Looking for any thoughts on what went wrong and how I can go about something differently next time.  Probably shoud have started with a chicken or ribs, but hey, it's the Fourth of July...!  

post #8 of 9


texas.gif  Good evening and welcome to the forum, from a warm & partly cloudy day in East Texas and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.



post #9 of 9

Meat probe placement can be pretty important in accurately tracking meat temps.  Try to avoid large fat pockets,  don't stress about the point, it will do fine.  Make sure that your probe is near the center of the thickest part of the flat.


Internal temp is just a gauge.  Once it reaches 190* start regular testing with a probe in the flat.  (Toothpick, ice pick,  thin thermometer probe).   You are looking for very low resistance to probe insertion.  (It is a learned feel).


Until you develop a reliable feel for the probe test a dependable dual probe thermometer is your very good friend.


Don't sweat smoke chamber temp swings too much unless they go above 300 degrees, and even then with "long term smokes" ,  (Like brisket),  don't fret unless the temps stay elevated for over an hour.  It will work out OK.


As WHB says,  "the supplied thermometer with most smokers" is at the least suspect.  A good budget minded therm is the dual probe Maverick.




Every hunk of meat is going to act as it's nature dictates and so it is very difficult to tell you exactly why your brisket turned out as it did. 


Experience is going to be what it takes to develop a feel for each cut of meat but as long as your not having to throw away your practice smokes your doing good.  (I am sure that there have been plenty of "first smoke" briskets that became dog food).  It is one of the more difficult cuts to get a real grip on.

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