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Another Attempt at Brisket

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I hope this is the place to put this... just some general BBQ talk and showing off. I haven't been here long, but I figure everyone likes pictures and stuff, so here I go...

I've tried to do a brisket twice, the first was my first attempt at smoking (not bad, but it wasn't good either) and the second came out ok, but I know I can do better. I've done several pork shoulders and a few racks of ribs that have turned out real well, but I need to get this brisket thing down so I am currently making my third attempt. I started last night with a 12 pound cut from my local butcher. I trimmed it a bit, rubbed it down, wrapped it in saran wrap and proceeded to work on my side dishes.

It was a warm 65 degrees in my neck of the woods today, but the winds were blowing at a stiff 15-20mph, so I moved the smoker to the downwind side of the house and set up the sun shade to keep the downdrafts that blow over the roof from blasting right down my stove pipe. I have heard that I'll be considered a n00b until I've spent all night outside tending to the fire, so I didn't put the slab on until 6:00 this evening in the hopes to have it for Sunday lunch with my family (16 hours of smoke + a couple of hours wrapped in the cooler)... shooting to slice into it around noon tomorrow.

I've also prepared stuffed jalapenos for our appetizer. Hand rolled 20 with cream cheese, cheddar and fresh fried bacon bits... rolled in egg and corn meal/flour mix. I also plan to make cowpoke pintos... a pinto bean recipe I found in "Smoke & Spice" by Cheryl and Bill Jameson that sounds great with tomatoes, jalapenos, bacon, and I plan to chop a bit of pulled pork to throw in. Mom is bringing her mustard potato salad and I'm also baking some corn bread. I whipped up a tasty baste that I also found in the book, and also mixed two batches of sauce, a Carolina Red (pretty thin and vinegary) and a KC style that is thick, sweet and a bit tomatoey. Hopefully everyone will like one or the other. I plan to finish the meal up with a crumbly peach cobbler baked in a cast iron dutch oven and served with old fashioned vanilla ice cream.

How am I doing so far, sound good? Can you tell that I've got nothing better to do than watch smoke rise? Ha ha!

Anyhow, on with the photos, and a question or two...

Getting ready!

The setup.

The brisket, slightly trimmed and all rubbed down.

Smoke On!

Hangin out... playing some Full Tilt poker and surfin the boards.

Ok, so nothing we haven't all seen before, but I'm killing time.

Got a question... I had to lift the lid a few minutes ago (just checking things) and found the brisket to be looking a little dry on the surface. I touched it and it didn't seem crispy at all or anything, and it could just be the way the rub makes it look, not sure. does this seem at all normal, or should I be basting early and often?

My smoker has a thermometer at the top near the stove pipe, which I've used in the past to determine temp, but I've always felt that it might be a bit misleading since it is positioned several inches above the rack and all the way near the stack end. So, I installed another gauge on the back side, just below the rack near the center. I found that when the top gauge reads 220 degrees, the lower one doesn't even register 150. I had to open the stack a bit to get the top one near 250 and the bottom one (remember, it's centered, not at the bottom) to read about 175. Would you think it's safe to assume that the temp between the two would be around 210 or so, splitting the difference? I've always thought that I've been smoking at a lower than desired temp when relying on the single gauge as my pork always has to be finished in the oven, so I hope this higher temp (and my method for metering it) will help. Make sense?

Well, I guess I'll wrap it up for now. Hope you have enjoyed reading about my attempt at an all night smoke in January... here in OK it's not too bad to be outside. I'll try to follow up later with more pics of the spread and maybe some testimonials. They will be PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif I hope.
post #2 of 21
Nice setup! If ya notice the surface dry, that's when I start mopping.Tht way it'll not wash off the rub, but complement it. I would not worry bout those temps,but later on get a digital probe into the brisket...that's the temp that'll matter. If ya figger yer in the 200's+, yer all set.

post #3 of 21
yeah.......what rich said.............

first off......congrats on your first all niter.............

but.........SPRITZ.........SPRITZ..............app le juice and capt morgans........or any spiced rum
post #4 of 21
Looks good, nice set up. Like Rich said, get a digital thermometer, its nice to have a couple of probes to moniter meat, and have a probe at grate level to check smoker temp. Good luck.
post #5 of 21
Looks excellent to me! Don't forget to post pics of the finished product. It's about time for me to try another brisket icon_razz.gif . Keith
post #6 of 21
Seems we should be hearing from <seeing from?> K5 soon!
post #7 of 21
Looks like a great start! Looking forward to more q-view!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Still here

Yes, I'm still here... got another hour or so before I can pull the slab off the smoker, and I'll need to quickly wrap it and pack it in the cooler to keep for our noon time feast. I do intend to shoot some pics when I slice into it and report on the results.

Might need a nap after I eat <Yaaawn>, but I'll get back to ya'll soon.
post #9 of 21
BRAVO! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
Another joins the ranks of the all nighters!
I'd give ya more points...but the system won't let me PDT_Armataz_01_27.gif
post #10 of 21
Great set up!! Last time I pulled an all nighter was for a whole hog......lots of fun.biggrin.gifPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #11 of 21
Nice setup, be patient spray the meat down a little and best of luck!!!!!!!!!!
post #12 of 21
Congrats on a successfull smoke and your first allnighter. Let us know how it turns out.

post #13 of 21
Sounds good! let me see......... it's 11:05 now it takes about 15 min to get to owasso..............I am getting hungry.................I'm on my way!PDT_Armataz_01_14.gif

I hope this one comes out good! Look forward to seeing some pics!
post #14 of 21
Sounds like your having fun to me. Nice setup you have there.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Final Report

Ok, finally got the gang together for eats. Sorry to report that I only got a couple of photos, but as the host I was kind of busy trying to get everybody happy. I'm sure you understand...

The brisket was on for almost 15 hours. All said and done, it turned out as tender as any I've ever had, but the ring was pretty strong. Not bad, just could have been a little milder. I used about a 50/50 amount of hickory and pecan. I got a message from a local that said my smoke looked a bit rich (white and thick), and he suggested that I shoot for a thinner blue smoke. Anyone have any suggestions on the best way to achieve this? I normally choke the firebox and open the smoke stack. I normally find that this prolongs my burn, and generates a lot of smoke, but I'm not surprised to learn that I may be doing something wrong, that's why I'm glad I stumbled across this place. Again, I am using an offset smoke'n pit, so any tips would sure be appreciated.

In addition to the meat, the beans, cornbread and potato salad were also great. Can't report on the peach cobbler yet as it is still in the oven, but that is for a different thred anyway. I think I'll wind down with a scoop of cobbler and go get some rest.

I cut the point away and sliced it up.

A nice juicy slice... mmmmmm.
post #16 of 21
very nice, Kudos on the all nighter! I wish I was young again!PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif ,
Since richtee can't hand em out right now, ya got em from me! very nice views, and comentary. That brisket looks perfect. The strong ring might be from too much wood. I have the same kind of smoker, and I found that if I wanted to burn sticks/logs, I had to pre-burn them, or I would have too strong and bitter bark. I switched to lump instead, and like the results. I don't know for sure how much you used, but I seen that wheelbarrow full and the axe, so I just figured...............!

Nice thread!
post #17 of 21
Good evening! :{) And thanks Dan... yeah, relax on the wood... smoke it don't choke it. Or..if ya smell smoke..yer smoking. Great effort, and ya learned alot.. carry on, soldier.
post #18 of 21
You've done real well with providing as much information as possible! That really helps us narrow down your problem.Thank you for that.

Yes thin blue smoke is what it's all about! If not it would be OTWS instead of OTBS PDT_Armataz_01_11.gif

here's a link that talks thin blue smoke.

Hope this helps!
post #19 of 21
K5YAC, That brisket looks totally awsume!!! Here's your point.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the comments. I wish I would have found this site long ago... lots of good info to be had, and I'm sure the next time will go even better. Glued2it has put me on to a couple of threads that seem to answer a lot of questions about smoke control... looking forward to reading more. Honestly, I really thought the whole idea was to pump it to it... PUFF PUFF PUFF... MUAHA HA HA HA!

Pulling the all nighter didn't make me any less of a n00b, but the fact that I was looking to kill some time by posting this thread did waaayy more for my skills than sitting out under the stars in a cloud of smoke. So, I guess the all night session did actually lead to some great learning after all. Thanks again for all the info.
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