I Dream of Brisket...BIG Brisket: Progressive Q-View

Discussion in 'Beef' started by forluvofsmoke, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm back again, all! I had a packer thawing in my Q-Fridge for several days waiting for the right time...that would be now.

    I wanted to start this big dog several hours earlier, but a wrench got thrown in my gears while I was working on a couple whole birds today, but I think I can get this on the dinner table in 24 hours.

    This is one of 5 larger packers from a case we recently purchased @ a nearby Sam's Club, and they don't label the individual packages unless they unpack and label for single item sale, so, I weighed this one out @ 16.75lbs. I trimmed off about 1.5lbs off the edge of the point and flat, including some off the fat cap on the point:




    The meat-side is rubbed, the brisket flipped-over to the fat cap, fat cap scored:





    I kept the rub simple this time, opting for smoke flavor than dry rub...minced dried garlic, fresh cracked black pepper and kosher salt on both sides.

    A look at the rub as I lay it into the Smoke Vault 24 for a very long night and all-day smoke:




    Smoke for my sleeping giant provided by cherry, pecan and mesquite:


    I'll stab a probe in the morning when I drag myself from my eyelid inspection room. I've got just a basic brisket smoke going here, and in keeping with that, I'll do a basic finish with sliced flat and pulled point.

    Thanks for peekin', all!

    Updates to follow...I got my butt kicked with a 7lbr for my last brisket smoke...I can't wait to see the fight this one puts up...LOL!!!


    BTW: this is one of my slow down & take it easy smokes...LOL!!!
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  2. oh my god thats a monster. let me know how that baby turns out.[​IMG]
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is one monster for sure.  Loooking forward to seeing the finished product
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is a nice looking packer. You will find that doing a full packer is easier than doing a trimmed flat, the fat cap on the packer helps a lot when it comes to keeping things moist. Definately keep us posted.... and I love the simple rub myself, lets you taste the beef! [​IMG]
  5. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Looks like a good smoke is in store cant wait to see how it turns out.
  6. [​IMG][​IMG]  Got the king sized popcorn out for this one...can't wait to see the finished brisket.
  7. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Packer,  Keep the Qview coming.
  8. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey guys! 5-hr update...

    Yea, it's a pretty good size...I did have a 17lb and an 18lb going at the same time last summer in this smoker for sliced flat and burnt ends, which I reheated/resmoked on site for a family reunion, so I know the rig can handle about any size brisket you can find withouot over-crowding the grate.

    Thanks, it'll be some monstrous eating, too...I got a thing for brisket lately.


    Yea, Johnny, I've smoked 'em either way. If you run a really wet smoke for at least the first 8-10 hours with lean trimmed separated flats/points, it works OK, but it can make a guy wonder what would happen if you let it run much above target internal temps. Packers take extra time to cook, but require very little prep. Probably the only thing I like better about doing separations is that you get tons of smoke reaction with all sides of the meat, where as a packer has alot of fat covering the meat and those are "dead spots" for smoke, but you can compensate with using some extra smoke wood for the first several hours to get a heavier smoke. I think the smoke combo I have tonight will go along with that method quite well, too. I haven't used mesquite for awhile, but with pecan and cherry, I should have a really nice aroma and flavor for the brisket.

    Yea, man, I love a good brisket smoke...this one's sure to be some serious eats when the smoke clears.


    Ha-ha! I got some more pics I need to grab here in a bit...approaching the 5-hr mark.

    Thanks Paul, pics are on the way.


    I've been fighting temp issues tonight. I think it's time for spring smoker maintenance. I had it dialed in @ 225* for 30 minutes, then, knowing the temp would spike after that big beast slowed-up it's initial thermal absorption, I checked the smoker @ 1 hour and had 275*. I dialed it back a bit, and it dropped to 250* and was slowly coming down from there. Another hour check and it was at 180*. Back to 250* to make up for lost temp, and 3/4 hour later it was @ 300*. I thought I'd be in bed by now, but I need to get it to hold steady temp, at least between 225-250*.

    I'll need to drop the burner assembly off the bottom and check it out before the next smoke and get to the bottom of this. It's probably in need of cleaning out the venturi intake and burner plenum. If that doesn't look like it's causing the problem, then, the burner control valve and gas tube/orifice will need to come out for a closer look and possible cleaning.

    I've got way too many all-night smokes coming up (begining in just a couple more weeks) to be battling temp swings like this.

    5 hours and lookin' sweet...grabbed these pics quick:



    I've decided to see if the vault will hold @ 250*, as it seems to hate the 225* range right now...man, every smoke is a new adventure. Hmm, I had the same issue with my little GOSM a little over 2 years ago on my first all-night pork picnic smoke during a freezing rain turned to snow storm...man, what a night that was!

    See ya in about 8-9 hours with internal temps and a pic or two!

  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Aaaaaah, some rest for the wicked at last! I have the SV24 chugging at 245-250* for the past 1-3/4 hours now without touching it. It's about 5 minutes away from ending the 8-hour mark and I'm confident the temps will ride reasonably steady for now, so I topped-off the water pan to within an 1/8" of running it over, so, that should keep it happy for at least 6-7 hours with the ambient temp being 40*.

    I'm heading for the sheets....(insert yawn here)

    Nite all!

  10. Sweet dreams as im sure they will be loaded with tomorrows outcome.
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks great so far Eric!
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with Al, but I hate the suspense!!!!

  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Fellas! I woke up this morning after just short of a 5-hr rest and checked the smoker...just under 275* again, which wasn't part of the plan. I got a probe into it: 191* in the flat and 190* in the point @ 14 hours into the smoke!!! Go figure...I start one early, the smoker runs too hot and now the brisket will be done about 8 hours early. I have the flat foiled, wrapped in towels and awaiting a knife, but it may have gotten a bit too hot for slicing, but personally I'd rather have pulled than sliced. The flat went back to the grate in the same orientation (fat cap up) until it hits about 205* for the foil/towel treatment.

    It sure was a pleasant surprise when I opened the smoker door, though:



    Just a couple quick shots after I found that sweet spot to slide the blade into for separation...flat is on the bottom (upper right):




    Into the wraps for the flat and back to the smoke for the point...

    Sliced (I hope, may have to pull the flat) pics to follow in a few hours, then we'll be pulling the point.

    This big dog is almost keeping pace with the baby brisket (7lb) I did a week ago...like I say, every smoke is another adventure!

    Thanks again, all!

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  14. lookwow

    lookwow Smoke Blower

    Well i would rather finish a cook early then late. Last smoke i did i switch from foiling butts to not and didnt give myself enough time. Ended up pulling a little before i wanted to and it was very good but I could tell i pulled in to early.
  15. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looking good
  16. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks like you have a handle on BriskZilla.  Looks absolutely great.  You forgot to issue the drool alert again.  Anytime I see it's one of your smoking in progress reports, I go grab a roll of paper towels cuz I know I'm going to need it.  [​IMG]
  17. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It looks great Eric, but I like it when you separate them before you smoke them, so you get bark all over. These look really juicy & I bet they taste great. I just like the bark. Can't wait to see the sliced pics.
  18. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    18-hr update...sliced flat w/pics...


    Yea, late smokes can really wreck a guy's meal plans. Oh, no-foil butts? Yep, if you increase the time by 1/3, you'll be close to the actual target, providing your smoke chamber humidity and temps remain in about the same range. Butts will let you know if you jump the gun on minimum temps or resting periods...they're a bit fussy that way. Oh, and I found out a couple weeks ago (maybe less) that butts really dislike a higher temp smoke chamber...it slams them through the melting-pot temps too quickly, and the result is for some tough. tough pulling, even with a fair amount of resting time. I tried it just for giggles...I won't ever do that again...LOL!!!!!

    Thanks Terry!

    Thanks Dave, yea, brisket has become somewhat of a past-time for me anymore. I always love the experience, as everyone of them has it's own agend when it hits the smoke...no two are alike, and they show they're true personalities long before the smoke clears. Oh, and of course the eats are GREAT!!!

    Yes, I do forget the all-important droll alert quite alot lately, but then, I figure those of you who follow me much already know from past experience, and those newcomers will earn quickly as well...LOL!!!!!!

    OK, onto the sliced flat...

    The foil pouch had very little juices after a 4-hr rest with the fat layer down, grate marks up...maybe 1-1/2 Tbls, so, IMHO, this can only indicate one of two things: the flat was already very dry before foiling, or, it held itself togetehr and redistributed the juices during the resting stage:


    Another moment of truth, so beware...now's the time to grab those paper towels that NWDave is so accustomed to using...LOL!!!!!!!

    There's a split on the thinner portion of the flat, which I hadn't noticed after separation...maybe the resting period softened it up that much more, and just lifting it carefully out of the foil onto the board was all it took too tear it apart...wicked tender flat, I will say, with a nicely developed bark that was still somewhat hard even after foiling and super tender beef all the way through...no complaints about moisture, either, as I left the fat layer on until after slicing, then I just took off what I didn't want:



    You can see where I started running into trouble after the forth slice..super-tender beef here...I stopped there for pics, and the rest of what I cut was with a serrated slicer, so it would break through the bark before the meat began to displace underneath and tear apart when the blade hit it:



    I just absalutely could not control myslef...even after smoking up a couple dozen briskets over the past year and a half or so...the excitement may wear down a bit, but the anticipation builds rather quickly towards the very end, at least for me...hmmm, sliced beef brisket flat...dinner's at 6:00 pm, the point will be ready for pulling by dinner time, it's now noon, and we have twice as much as we could possibly eat in one meal...hmmmmmmmm.......HONEY! LET"S DO LUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sliced mozzarella and part one of my two-part mission:


    I liked that flavor and texture so much, that I may not use much for a dry rub from here on out with a packer...beef and smoke, with a hint of garlic and pepper? Yea, it's that darn good!

    The point took one heckuva dive in temps when I yanked that beast out for separation...was 190*, dropped to 181* about 10 minutes later when I got it back to the grate, and then continued dropping all the way to 172* before it started the long slow journey towards where it was. Over 4 hours had passed and it still wasn't back to 190*.

    Oh, and if I ever figure this one out, I'll let y'all know: the smoker has decided to cruise along at 225* again about an hour after the point was back in on it's own. I'll let it ride...it should be nearing the 200* mark a few hours before dinner, so it'll get a bit to rest and relax before I take my handy dandy 4" meat tines to it for the grand finale.

    See ya in about 8 more hours...yea, I know...the suspense! It'll be worth the wait, I promise!

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Great looking Brisket, before, after, during, on top, on bottom, in the middle, left, right, and every which way but loose (Thanks Rowdy).

    Your pictures are totally awesome too---And even "Zoomable", the way I like them!!!  (I hate a 2" or 3" picture that you zoom in on, and it is still 2" or 3").

    I'd like to say you out-did yourself, but that just doesn't seem to pertain to you any more, Eric!

    Thanks for the great write-up & views!

    BTW: Super sammie too---I'll take a few of those, with some horseradish, please.

  20. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    Another great job eric!!!! Thats one heck of a monster ya did!!!

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