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Burnt Fingers/Ends, Pulled Flat (WHAT?!?!?!) & PP Q-view

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm trying my hand at mesquite lump charcoal tonight for the first time. I have only one day off work this week, so I gotta make it worth my while.

I'm test firing Best of the West lump in my SNP for the smoke, then will transfer everything to my Smoke Vault after panning/tenting, to hold @ 200* for 6-8 hours.

I wanted to try to duplicate my last brisket with the burnt fingers and pulled flat which was all absolutely to-die-for!

So, I embark on another mission tonight! biggrin.gif

14.6lb untrimmed Brisket rubbed, with full fat-cap down:

14.5lbs of trimmed bone-in Butts rubbed, with approx. 1/4" of fat cap up:

30 minutes in with the Packer:

Butts are just in:

So, far the mesquite lump was pretty wild to light in a chimney (lots of snapping/popping and sparks). I started the SNP on about 4lbs of Kingsford blue bag, then added about 2lbs burning mesquite lump in fist size chunks.

I've been adding larger cold limbs since then...about 1.5 to 2lb sizes (3.5-4" diameter), and this seems to be doing nicely for temp/smoke control.

I also have a 1-gallon pot of water in the side fire box on the intake end for added humidity and temp control.

Back later with more!

post #2 of 29
Some good looking meat there.
post #3 of 29
And another saga of "Man VS. Meat" begins. Go Eric Go!!!!
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks, my wife has an eye for the goods...she grabbed all this @ Sam's on Sunday afternoon while I was @ work...she keeps me in briskets quite regularly now (2-3 a month), as she's hooked on burnt ends PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif, and I don't mind the all-night burns much anymore...every smoke is an adventure, so there's rarely a dull moment.

Thanks Caveman! You can head-up my cheering section tonight! LMBO!!!!!!!

Keeping a nice burn going so far...lots of steam venting out the stack, as it's 37* ambient @ 9:15 PM...beautiful weather with no wind, rain or snow:

I did find that I needed to keep a mix of smaller/med/large lump in order to keep from having temp drops. I guess it makes sense now that I've seen it...if I put only larger pieces in, the temps will drop off before it all gets burning, and with some smaller pieces to catch right away, it holds the temps better. I'm adding about every hour, sometimes more often, as I'm tending it closely so I can learn how it likes to burn.

There seems to be an art to using lump, as well as smoking food. Crap, I can see it already...I'll get this down and then I'll want a stick burner...problem...no hardwoods around here. Well, little by slow, I'll keep broadening my horizons while I search for the ultimate smoke!

Thanks for peekin'!

post #5 of 29
Great looking smoke there Eric
Nice run down on the fire too - keep em coming - I may have to give up the electric for a burner - well maybe just add something LOL
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks brother! Yeah, electrics and gassers serve a purpose, and they serve it well. For the most part, they are very easy to use, and cost effective.

I find that there's just something about fire tending and the extra flavors you get from charcoal briquettes that really kicked it up for me. Now, this lump mesquite burn is turning out to be a really interesting experience.

Having a rig with a sfb can really open things up for experimenting as well as offering grate space for very large cuts of meat. Besides, can you ever have too many smokers? I have 3 now and I'm thinking of the forth and fifth already...don't tell my wife I said that...LOL!!!


I may have forgotten to mention (OK, I know I forgot) that I'm not using any smoke woods with this lump, as it has a fair amount of smoke odor on it's own. My hope is that it won't be too much, but it should be OK as these are large cuts which can handle a long dose of thin blue. Time will tell when I (we) get a look at the smoke rings at the finish line.

I think I'm about 6 hours in on the brisket now (didn't set a timer), and it was 152* when I first stabbed it and after 20 minutes it read 154, so a stall should be in order soon:

Right now I'm thinking I'll pan/tent when it stalls as I'm not going for bark so much as fall apart beef all the way on this one.

My wife wants one of the butts for a dish she wants to try...she hasn't told me much about it yet, other than it's with pulled pork, and it's Mexican style, so I'll be waiting to see and eat this one. The second butt will likely get pulled and frozen for restocking the freezer.

I need to get my hands on 2 more digital thermometers, as I have 2 out of 3 down right now and a pretty big smoke planned for late July.

Well, it's now 12:45 AM here, and all is well icon_cool.gif

post #7 of 29
Good Luck brotha! Gonna check back on you in the early AM. Got a class in the morning.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks Cave!

I did as planned and panned/foil tented everything as it stalled. The packer went to sleep at 162* so I put an emergency blanket on it so it could keep warm...LOL!!!:

Butt stalled @ 157*:

And all into the Smoke Vault 24 for a 200* soak for about 6-8 hours:

OK, this is where I get to catch a nap...I know, foil is cheating, sort of...but I'll get what I want out of the smoker, so I say it's fair play! LOLOLOL!!!!!

So, about 10:00 AM (or earlier) Mountain Time I'll check it all out and see where we are. The checks will be for tenderness by probing & bone tug (butts), not temp checks, as the meat won't reach nearly as high of temps as if you were maintaining smoker temps @ 225* or higher. This is actually an even slower finish of the meats, so it's visual and feel checks only. I may not have explained this on my last brisket smoke with the pulled flat. This is where the true replication of my last brisket really begins. And I (we) can see for sure if it works for pork butts as well.

Until then!

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

Brisket is resting peacefully...

I did a probe check @ 8:00 AM & again @ 10:00 AM (6 hrs/8 hrs @ 200* soak), and she wasn't quite ready, as I felt some resistance in a few different areas and depths. 10.5 hrs was the deciding point. When I stabbed the flat, it fell right through and the same thing with the point...she's DONE now!!!

And what a sight to bless my eyes:

Still laying fat cap down and flat up:

And the Butts are finishing up...should take a couple more hours for these:

I'll let the packer rest for about 90 minutes before tearing into the next step of the project.

Flat/Point Separation, flat pulling, point cubing for BF's & BE's soon!

Then, it's a touch of sauce on the BF's/BE's and back into the smoke.

Uh, gotta get my Vault Jerky grate ready for this...it works great!

post #10 of 29
Another awesome post Eric. I just love these posts of yours. You do a great job of documenting your smoke, and building excitement for us. Well done my friend! Keep up the great work!

post #11 of 29
The suspense is killin' this old bearcarver!

Might as well give you the points now!---->points.gif

Don't want to miss the conclusion of this episode.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Update: WOW!!!! This is a killer smoke!!!!!!

Thanks all! I'll have to post the rest of this in stages, so bear with me here...everything is coming out at one time! LOL!!!

First, let me introduce you the the packer, ready for me to work some more magic...still laying fat cap down:

And, the tip of the point:

I'm keeping the flat up, for the sake of not maneuvering this beast more than necessary, because it is literally ready to fall apart. It would be easier to do the separation with the flat down, I believe, as it's easier to see and work with. However, this flat won't be sliced, so if it is in pieces during separation will not have any adverse effects on the finished product. I'm only trying to keep it intact so that removal of the fat layer and interior membrane on the flat will be that much easier.

The flap I'm using to separate the point & flat:

Beginning the separation:

OK, I now have two relatively intact pieces and I decided to pull the flat while it was still warm, so here we go...




This tore open when I was removing the flat:

Laying with the first two pieces which decided they wanted to go exploring my board during separation...fat layer/membrane removed, crust side down:

I had so many great looking pics of this I couldn't decide which one was the best to share, so I used three! LOL!!!:

I guess that says enough about the pulled brisket flat, other than the lump mesquite was a beautiful touch of flavor...so far it tastes great! And the smoke ring came on pretty nicely as well...I can't complain about this smoke at all!

OK, gotta sort more pics...start of the BF'S & BE's coming right up!

post #13 of 29
Man oh Man thats some fine looking brisket there Eric. I really like the smoke ring it's really deep to. So you know how deep the smokey good flavor went.
post #14 of 29
every time I cook a brisket i debate slice or pull and slice always wins after looking at this thread pull might get another vote next time.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

Time for Burnt Fingers and Ends!!!!

OK, first off, next time I do this, I will try to remember to do the point/flat separation after the smoke, but before the panning/tenting for the 200* soak. This way I could remove the point while still somewhat firm for slicing cubing while the flat was reaching it happy state of tenderness. In order to get the flat to pull when not separated, the point was dangerously close to fall apart texture come slicing and dicing time. It still worked out alright, but would have been easier to slice and cube.

Here's the point, crust down, during fat removal, almost ready for slicing:

Sliced it down near the tip before I got any more pics:

Fingers and Ends, about to be transformed:

And, sauced for a return to the smoker:

Into the Vault @ 225* with small cherry chips for smoke:

So, in about 90 more minutes they'll be out for devouring...been in for 90 minutes right now.

Butts are resting for the past 90 minutes and turned out great so far...pull will follow in a bit...here's a bone-pull test:


I didn't add any more dry rub to these as they'll be great just the way they are.

Finish is yet to come!!!

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

PP, BF's & BE's are ready!!!!!!!

I'm one seriously happy smoker!!!!!!!!!

And, at last, the treasured Burnt Fingers and Burnt Ends:

So, the mesquite lump charcoal alone was responsible for the great smoky flavor and smoke ring. The 200* hold while panned/foiled did the final tenderizing, and it worked out on everything I smoked last-night.

The replication of my last brisket worked out just great and my methods for finishing the packer to pull the flat worked not only for the packer, but for the pork as well. Gotta love it!!!

What else can I say? Thanks to everyone for ridin' along! Been another fun day in the smoke!!!

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I really enjoy putting these out for everyone to enjoy...it's icing on the cake.

Thanks man, missed ya earlier somehow...been a busy smoke I guess!

Thanks Mark, it definitely ranks up there among my top 3 brisket burns...hmm, I don't know, maybe #1 so far! The pulled flat is something I've wanted to perfect for along time, and this smoke just puts me one step closer...

Ha-ha!!! Sliced is too easy for me, so I had to come up with a challenge again...the only problem is, it only took me two smokes to be sure I had it right...now what am I gonna do?

Anyway, sliced flat is the normal way to go...pulled flat is somewhat of a compromise, as you'll lose some bark (or it softens at least) during the final hold to finish it up. Some may have thought I'd shook a few screws loose when they read this thread title, as a flat is "not a pull-able cut" due to it being so lean. I'm not even sure if very many have tried pulled flat and were successful or not...my first couple tries awhile back weren't giving the results I wanted, so I left the idea alone for a long time.

I'm just glad I had the insight after hanging around here on the forum long enough to give it another try. It worked out once, so I had to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

So, here's another gift from me to all the great folks of SMF!!!!

Enjoy, my fellow smokers!!!!!

See ya on the next journey!

post #18 of 29


1st off Eric you are an inspiration to me, and I'm sure a lot of other newbies.

2nd, thanks for the drool warning, you should start your posts with a disclaimer :

WARNING !!! the qview you are about to see can and will cause excessive drooling, please protect your clothes and any electrical devices at this time, for we cannot be held responsible for any stains or damages caused by the qview!! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gifpoints.gif
post #19 of 29
Yet another great job Eric! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif Everything looks great.
post #20 of 29
My class was a monster & work tonight is a bear. Your post, once again, has reaffirmed my belief that I need to smoke & not grill any longer. Ha Ha Ha. icon_mrgreen.gif With that said: points.gifto you!! PDT_Armataz_01_37.giffor a job well done. Again, Man VS. Meat turns out to be a winning show, Eric as the star & meat as the entertainment. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gifPDT_Armataz_01_37.gifas I applaude you!!!
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