Best Brisket Ever - Pellet Smoker Instructions

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heislord5

Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 14, 2022
32
9
Texas
I just made what was maybe the best brisket I've ever had on my pellet smoker. Burnt ends were smokey and delicious. Pull test was perfect...easy pull apart. Here were the things I did:

  • Stuffed all the vents on my pellet smoker with foil to prevent smoke from escaping so easily (Most here believe this step is dangerous).
  • wrapped both wood "chips" and wood "chunks" in foil and placed on metal plate that sits on top of the pellet burning container (so the wood chips and chunks would get hot enough to smoke).
  • Bought "Prime" grade brisket 15lbs to 18lbs not an exact science
  • Cut out excess fat on top and on point side of brisket.
  • Dug in and cut out a lot of the fat between the flat and the point until it was kind of "C" shaped and laid much flatter.
  • boil down (render) fat in a pan and strain (until all fat is dryish/dark brown).
  • Season all sides included in-between the cut out C. (I just used Montreal seasoning...nothing else)
  • Set pellet grill to 195, start grill with hood open per grill instructions (safety first), then close and allow to heat up. Cook at 195 for ~14 hours
  • Pour rendered tallow (fat) over brisket while wrapping in butcher's paper
  • Cook another 5 hours at 175 degrees
  • Transfer paper wrapped brisket to an ice chest / cooler and wrap in towel with cooler closed. Rest for ~4 hours, bring cooler to your party or whatever event.
  • Remove from cooler, towel and paper. Cut and serve immediately.
I honestly don't think I could have made it any better. It's hard for me to imagine the flavor being any better whether from pellet grill or stick burner. Maybe I'll add a little cayenne pepper or other seasoning flavors to make it spicy but it was delicious.
 
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  • Stuffed all the vents on my pellet smoker with foil to prevent smoke from escaping so easily.
I'm sorry, but I have to say please do not block your vent stack or other vents on your pellet grill to prevent air flow. This is a fire safety issue; the hot air has to exit somehow and by blocking the designed exit path you are creating a potentially very dangerous situation.
 
I'm sorry, but I have to say please do not block your vent stack or other vents on your pellet grill to prevent air flow. This is a fire safety issue; the hot air has to exit somehow and by blocking the designed exit path you are creating a potentially very dangerous situation.
The pit seeps smoke from the sides and the temperature never rises. The pit is designed to burn pellets only to reach the specified temperature. When above that temperature it doesn't burn any pellets. A pellet grill with covered vents is NOT a fire hazard any more than a measuring cup without a life jacket is a drowning hazard.

There is literally no scenario where a pellet grill digitally controlled by temperature would catch on fire or explode due to a vent being covered.
 
OK, I stand corrected, lol:

exploding pellet grills. I've heard it all. I still don't think given that air seeps from sides, that putting foil in my vents will do any harm...don't see the connection there.

another video explaining the theory on why it exploded:
 
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I'm not going to debate it because there is a thermodynamic explanation of the exploding pellet grill. In a nutshell it is caused by incomplete combustion and a build up of gasses because the air flow is not right. Plugging the exhaust is doing just this....ie just like a poorly maintained grill and or improperly operating the grill (what the guy did above to blow his up).

As I said above, please do not continue to use your grill this way or encourage anyone else to do it.
 
I still don't think given that air seeps from sides, that putting foil in my vents will do any harm...don't see the connection there.
caused by incomplete combustion and a build up of gasses
Creates a " rich " environment , and if or when it leans out enough it combusts all at once . Like when you open the lid . Causing a violent explosion .
 
Oh, for educational purposes, I will add if your pellet grill ever runs out of pellets, turn your grill off and wait for it to cool before you add the pellets and restart it. IE take your food to the home oven to finish cooking as dumping a bunch of pellets into a hot pot increases the chance of a rich environment, ie the explosion the guy had in your vid. All the owner manuals of the grills I have owned (or several others I have read) state this very clearly, including having it a specified distance away from a house.....
 
There is literally no scenario where a pellet grill digitally controlled by temperature would catch on fire or explode due to a vent being covered.
Yea, and Ford said a Pinto wasn't a fire hazard either. Vents/chimneys are there for a reason. I've seen a pellet grill go nuclear because the PID was junk and caught the entire smoker on fire. Pellet poopers have fans that blow oxygen to the fire pit. Also, if your pit puffs smoke out of the sides, it can inhale oxygen as well. They absolutely CAN catch on fire. Vent, or no vent. You can cover them all you want, just don't move next door to me.
 
Smoke is flammable. Do not do plug the vents on your pellet grill since your are creating the exact environment in the video you linked to.
Please heed everyone's warnings above. You may not be as lucky the next time.
 
OK we seem to have hijacked the main purpose of this thread over one line people disagree with. Feel free to do the "safe" thing and not block your vents if you like. I think the other 11 mentioned bullets produce an amazing brisket.
 
The thread wasn't hijacked, you appear to not want to listen to guys that have more experience than yourself and have a better idea of what they are doing. Each and every comment advised against blocking the stack and vents, you aren't listening. If you blow yourself up you may well be in line for a Darwin award, tho in all likelihood it will have to be awarded posthumously. Just sayin', if you don't care about getting blown up I sure as hell don't, I won't be on the cleanup detail. RAY

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OK we seem to have hijacked the main purpose of this thread over one line people disagree with. Feel free to do the "safe" thing and not block your vents if you like. I think the other 11 mentioned bullets produce an amazing brisket.
Read the room my dude. You have 3-4 very experienced smokers saying the same thing and you are actively dismissing their advice. They're not saying these things to hijack your thread or shame you, they're saying them so you don't blow up your smoker. Believe it or not they do actually care.

I know you are new around here but people do give a sh*t about each other even though most of us haven't and will never meet in person. It's a good community and all of us learn more on a daily basis, even the experienced guys.

I'm glad your brisket was good. Please take the advice of these gents seriously next time.
 
Please take heed to the above advice. We don't want you to be a one-and-done poster.

Chris
 
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So I updated the original post to align with your warnings even though I don't agree foil in vent is a danger. I have learned what may be two real dangers based on my research:
  • Starting grill after the grill did not successfully shutdown and the burnpot was not successfully emptied.
  • Starting grill with the lid closed is a danger
Both of the above situations are referenced as dangers in my grill manual. My manual says nothing about covering vents being a danger. In fact it seems the danger all revolves around ventilation during the startup processes and fuel in the burnpot during the startup process.

It's not dumb to want information backed up by facts and not just legend. This video is another speaking about the dangers of starting up with the lid closed.

This video also says the startup procedure is what causes the explosions:


Thank you for the discussion because I had been starting with the lid closed so I read my manual more closely and now I'm aware of the dangers of the startup process.
 
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We're all just trying to help. One thing to consider is that any smoker/grill has a certain amount of maintenance involved. I dump the ashes in my Webers after every use, and shop vac my pellet pooper after a long smoke. If you properly care for your pellet smoker and it's over fueling the burnpot during startup and causing a Hiroshima, the PID is junk. I've been firing up my Rec Tec for years with the lid closed. Never a problem. Of course, that's with the vents open.
 
My grill has a startup bypass to keep it from dumping too many pellets in the firepot if it should need to be restarted in the middle of a cook because a buildup of combustible gases would result in a normal start with fuel already in the firepot.
 
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