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Smoking newb; first brisket ever - Page 2

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Cael View Post

Don't worry. This will be fine but just a note that my last six pound brisket took over twelve hours. So don't rush it.

I've had similar probe results before and it was all placement. A fat pocket, a crooked entry. No big deal. It will level out now that you've hit it in a better place. Moving it was a fine idea.

Just chill and let it keep going.

Well, I didn't change the meat probe, just the chamber probe.  But, it was pretty dark out when I stabbed it with the meat probe, so...I can only hope it got about where I'd like it to.  I went for the thick part between the little bit of the point and the flat.


Anyway, 10AM update -- meat hit 165 about half hour ago or so, then I noticed the smoke dying down so I dumped the embers and added new wood chips.  Then the meat lost 5 degrees and now it's stalling there.  So...maybe this one is stalling at 160 (or it's probe placement).


At least the smoker temp has settled in around 245, finally.  Actually it just overshot where I wanted it and so I quickly "burped" it to let some heat out.  Didn't get a good look at the meat though.


As far as the plan...at this point, I'm not sure if I'm going to wrap it or not.  With how much heat I lose each time I open it up to do something, it may just make it take even longer to pull it for wrapping.  But, I do want to spritz and stuff.  I'll let it go for a few more hours and if it still isn't moving, I'll wrap it up to push through.


Also, I believe I've read that meat stops "taking smoke" after four hours or so.  Which means I guess it's not a big deal that I didn't soak enough wood chips...I thought I did, but this last batch went quicker than I thought.  No big deal.


Finally, the two probes are getting a little closer in their readings (about 10 degrees off one another as opposed to 20), don't know why.  Too many variables...the day is getting hotter, the meat is getting hotter, etc.


edit:  11AM(ish) update -- meat is finally back up to 165, had to add more chips and the water pan was depleted so I filled that up with hot tap water (maybe should've boiled it, but...).  Temps took another 15 minutes or so to get back to 135 where it sits now.  This is probably going to take forever with the recovery time of this smoker.  Oh well...we eat when we eat.  I knew starting it early was a better idea, should have listened to my gut instead of letting the wife convince me.  Though, let's be honest, I'm not a morning guy, so the convincing part wasn't hard given I got an extra 3 hours of sleep, lol.


edit:  2PM update (8 hours in) -- meat is at 190, checked it at 185 about half-hour ago with a wooden kebab skewer and it wouldn't get in past the initial poke at all.  So, will check again 2:30.  Next time I open it up I may snag a quick pic.

Edited by dreamwarrior - 9/26/15 at 10:53am
post #22 of 27

Meat will take on smoke throughout the entire cook.   The 140 theory concerns development of the smoke ring and I believe it is a bit off as well.



FWIW, your chamber temp is going to drop any time you add colder thermal mass to the chamber.  1/2 gallon of 120 degree water will drop the chamber temp as will 10+lbs of brisket that was right out of the fridge at about 40 degrees.


Just let it all ride.

post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 

Well, 5PM I pulled it and it's now resting away in a cooler wrapped in a towel.  Its final internal temperature read 201, but I was checking it every 15 minutes or so and pricking it with the kebab skewer and finally it seemed to go in and out pretty easily.  While I was transferring it to the foil / blanket to wrap it was pulling apart a little, so it may be a bit overdone, but better than tough and under I guess.


Here's a pic of it right out of the smoker.



Lots of peppercorns on it, and it's really blackened.  Slicing it up in a bit after about an hour's rest.  Wish me luck!

post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 

So, figured I'd post the final results.  Over-all, I've got much to learn.  I guess my interpretation of "like a hot knife through butter" was insufficient.  Either it was ready and I should have let it rest on the counter and not wrapped, or it was already overdone, but it was overdone.  It was falling apart as I was cutting it (I suppose "crumbly" would apply) and a bit dry, especially at the thinner end.  The flavor was pretty good, a bit spicy, but I enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, after a few pieces it was notably dry and while it was certainly tender (I could break apart every piece just by pulling on it) the dryness just ruined it.  So, the rest will end up in a chili.


Here's a pic of it after slicing a few pieces off.


post #25 of 27

Still looks pretty good.  You have to gauge when to start probing.  Opening and checking every 15 minutes probably delayed the overall cooking time.  Could be several different factors.  Try another one.  Good job, though!

post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mfreel View Post

Still looks pretty good.  You have to gauge when to start probing.  Opening and checking every 15 minutes probably delayed the overall cooking time.  Could be several different factors.  Try another one.  Good job, though!

Thanks.  Yeah, maybe I started probing more than I should.  Plus, towards the end the smoker was getting hotter and would occasionally hit 260-265 and I'd have to open the door slightly to let some heat out.  Oddly, at some point the Maverick monitor stopped chiming when the temp got too high in the smoker, I don't know why.  So, I have a feeling the temp was swinging high pretty often towards the end.  Which probably didn't help with the dryness.  Plus, a few times I opened it the water pan was empty, which didn't help the humidity level in the smoker.  Wonder if there's any way to monitor that better.


At the end of the day, I think it probably should have been pulled it at least an hour sooner.  But, I'll appreciate any good recommendations for a brisket chili recipe for the left overs, lol.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

Welp, the brisket found its final resting place in a pretty darn tasty chili tonight:



I mixed up a few different recipes I found online and then added a touch of my own.  Roasted up some poblano peppers and added them in and used the drippings that I saved from the brisket to saute the onion, garlic, carrots, and jalapenos I used.  No dryness to the brisket after simmering in there for an hour, lol.

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