I've been smoking for a couple of years now but for some reason have never tried a brisket. The time has come.
Picked up this 12 pounder and planning on starting it Wednesday or Thursday, but trying to sift through all the details is making my brain hurt. This post is going to be littered with all of my racing thoughts, so if anybody has any advice on any point, please jump in and tell me!
I have a MES40 + AMNPS. The temps in my area are also pretty cold, so it probably wouldn't be possible to get my MES to 275 if I wanted to. All of my low & slow pork butts have been REALLY slow... upwards of 24 hours. At first I thought it was the meat I was getting, but it happens every time, so I'm thinking it's just something with my smoker. So I have no idea what exactly I should set my temp to and how long to expect this thing to go... probably over 24 hours @250?
Next on the list of highly contested issues: fat cap. So far, I've found with other smokes that I just prefer getting as much fat off the outside of the meat as I can so as much meat gets exposed to smoke as possible. I've seen others say to leave it on (just not convinced that letting the fat drizzle down the meat really makes it soak in or get juicier), some say score it, some say don't. Unless somebody can convince me otherwise, I think I'll trim off as much fat as I can from the outside.
For rub, I think just a coating of SPOG? Or maybe just S&P? But should I rub it down the night before and let it sit overnight or just coat it up before I throw it in?
I was thinking of transferring it to a tray with some yummy juices and foil it when it hits 160. My concern here is that it's too long to fit in any tray I have. Should I cut this guy in half or is that a sin? I made some fresh beef stock the other day out of some rib bones, I'm thinking about putting some of that, maybe a little apple juice in the pan(s). Any other suggestions here?
Thanks all. Hope to have some good q-view pics up once this gets going!
EDIT: oh ya, forgot to mention the most important thing! I'm planning on using hickory :)