BBQ with Franklin on PBS

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by skootchnc, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. skootchnc

    skootchnc Fire Starter

    I have been watching PITTMASTERS on TV, and taking notes, but it tends to get confusing, with 3 judges, and 3 contestants each having a (slight) difference of opinion. Plus the different cook schedules on each show.

    The other week I caught BBQ with Franklin on PBS. He demonstrated 3 methods of smoking a brisket. 1) "naked" 2) foil wrapped 3) butcher paper wrapped. All done @ 275 over 11-12 hours (foil was quickest, Naked was slowest).

    No injecting, just rub, and smoke... PERIOD.

    (I digress...) Last Friday, I was out riding around, and I decided to stop at a local BBQ shack.. (Byrd's in Durham). I tried the brisket... it had a decent crust (wouldn't call it a "bark") flavor was good....but kinda "pot-roasty" if ya know what I mean. That evening, I met up with some friends at a chain BBQ (City BBQ in Cary). Better flavor, less "pot-roasty" but still not much of a bark. I noticed they offered various sauces for sale, so I asked the manager if he sold the rub... he did not, but offered to give me a sample.

    Basic rub... heavy on salt/pepper, but with a dash of paprika, garlic, and Jalapeno.

    (end digress)

    I spotted a nice sized  Brisket while shopping, and decided to follow Aaron Franklin's steps. Got the smoker going (Master built 30 dual fuel) Hickory chunks (a couple of apple chunks too) leveled off at 275.

    I had put the rub on the previous night, so it went straight in the smoker..

    Around 5 hours into the smoke I went to add the temp probe... it slid in like a hot knife through warm butter.... so I probed around and everywhere was the same. It's about the DONENESS more that time/temp so I pulled it off and let it sit..

    Some small pieces pulled away, as I was removing the brisket, and I am not one to waste the goodies... so hot as heck, they went right to my lips.

    HOLY BRISKET... talk about a religious experience.... succulent, inside, with a crisp crunchy bark. Of course I am prejudiced... being the cook... my wife declared it the best I'd made, so I took some to a friend down the street.... who concurred.

    I still have some tweaks to do.... I think the next step will be to smoke 4-4.5 hours, see how it feels, and then wrap to keep the bark a little more moist.  I see some folks misting the brisket... How well does that work? compared to wrapping in foil?

    Another question ... on another forum.. there was a thread regarding filling the water tray with sand. Reasoning the sand is a better heat sink than water, and will maintain the temperature better than the water      Thoughts?

    I know this post is worthless without pictures.... but I will smoke again... and next time the camera will not fail me
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think you've hit on a cardinal rule. Do it yourself and see what works. The TV shows are edited to make them more entertaining and to fit into the allotted time, so most of the info is about as useful as Dan Aykroyd portraying Julia Child.
    boboso likes this.
  3. bworthy

    bworthy Smoke Blower

    I have the same smoker and recently placed sand in the water tray. I have only done a couple of smokes with this mod but it seems to work. Temperature seems much more steady, no chasing the temps and no refilling the water.
  4. How big was your brisket? Im gotta try smoking brisket at 275F next time.. my brisket keep going for 18 to 20+ hours.. crazy long and tiring smokes
  5. vwaldoguy

    vwaldoguy Smoke Blower

    So why did it smoke so much quicker than you thought?
  6. He has  abook out on his style of bbq. Amazon has it or you can d/l to a kindle. I got the book. A-Z on his thoughts on bbq. He added a few recipes at the end but the book is money well spent.

  7. The reason for wrapping a brisket or butt is to get past the “stall”

    When the brisket gets to about 150º the water vapor evaporating from the

    surface cools the brisket down and makes it harder to reach the final temp.

    Wrapping tightly in foil will prevent the evaporation, allowing the cook to continue.

    Warping loosely, like in butcher paper is not as effective.

    So what do you think misting does?

    Early in the cook misting is fine, good. If you mist once the brisket gets near the

    final temp will just cool the brisket down.

    I tried this will my last pork butt. The internal temp was about 185º and I mopped the butt.

    The internal temp fell rapidly to 165º. 

    Now, the pit master’s job is balance this with getting a nice bark and keeping the brisket juicy.
  8. skootchnc

    skootchnc Fire Starter

    I saw that on another BBQ forum.. figured if it would help maintain temps it can't be a bad thing
    yanno... I didn't look... my guess is 10-12 pounds... I will pay more attention this time around
    I have NO idea....usually I probe the brisket when it goes in... (I have a maverick remote) and keep an eye on IT, and the smoker. This time I had the mind set to just leave it be for 10-12 hours.  I don't know why I posted 5 hours. it went in at 6 AM and I pulled it off just before 3 PM... so it was short of 9 hours.... which makes more sense to me

    Bikerchef... I have no clue... I just see folks mist the brisket on TV... and wondered WHY??? to my way of thinking, if you were cooking along, the mist would more likely COOL the meat.... but?? maybe that is the trick. So.. I asked.

    I knew the purpose of the wrap (texas crunch) was to get the meat past the stall. but from watching the video Franklin had 3 briskets going at once. Foil wrapping, and butcher paper wrapping, made for great BBQ... but the "naked" unwrapped one brought a thicker, crunchier bark, So I gave it a shot.

    I am thinking I will get another brisket this week end, return to my basic rub, and try the sand method. I will report back with better data (weight/smoke time)  and pictures

    As always, I am grateful for everyone's input, and suggestions

  9. skootchnc

    skootchnc Fire Starter

    my current guess is the size of the brisket.

    275 degrees is 275 degrees no matter WHAT.

    Today I smoked a 11.7 pound brisket, went in @ 6:30 was done by 1 PM

    (confession time)

    I used to take the brisket, sear it on the grill, and then place in over (mea culpes... I did not know better) for 6 hours...

    so?? 6 hours is about "right" for a "small" brisket
  10. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Glad it all turned out so well.  It just goes to show that there are no set rules when smoking meat. 

    I am a fan of anything BBQ related on TV but there is obviously a HUGE difference between backyard BBQ and competition Q.  Most of the time on those Pitmaster shows I hear Myron and Tuffy say "I'd smoke that brisket, butt, loin, whatever at 275F.  Moe usually says 280F. 

    The other night they were smoking brisket flats on the show and I heard 325F and 350F.  I cracked up laughing.  Those are the temps I used to use in the oven on brisket flats before I started using a smoker.  I've always said a smoker is just a smoky oven and they just proved my point.
  11. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Meats all take a little different time. You can have 2 of the same cuts of meat (same shape, size and weight) and they will cook slightly diffrent. I have seen brisket that were almost exactly the same take very diffrent cooking times. Meat is done when it is done, it has no concern for your time line.......

    225 is traditionally the smoking temp, but people are cooking at hotter temps to push through the stall and also to speed things up. I also find that cooking at a hotter temperature your timing (with practice) can be a little more predictable. You dont have the stal to deal with as much. In competition and the food service world that is a big thing when you have a hard service time.

    You will have to time it perfectly in order to get a nice crisp bark at a restaurant. Most places will cook in batches and allow the meat to rest. It rests in a hot box with other meat, steam builds up and kills most if not all of the crisp bark. That is why at home you can have a better success story with the same rub. 99.9% of restaurants will cook more than they will need in fear of running out. Places like Franklin's cook a spacific amount and don't worry about running out, actually that is one of the novelty things about them. You are pushed to get there early so you can get some before they run out. That also helps them with quality since they only have a short push for service, so the meat is not holding for a long time like other places.

    Just a guess on the brisket you tried during the lunch time. It was probably leftover from the day before and reheated. The one you tried later in the day was from that day.

    I do not spritz any of my meats I cook. I go by the "if you are lookin you aint cookin" school of thought. But spritzn and mopping is what many peoples fathers and grandfathers did, so they think that is what needs to be done...... again traditional vs newer ways and thoughts...
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
  12. When you wrap in butcher paper its not supposed to be loose. Your supposed to wrap tightly. It has the same purpose to keep moisture in but not to steam the brisket. Since I've been wrapping in

    paper my briskets as well as my beef ribs have been killer. Pork, still get the foil....

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