Burnt Ends & Remnant Flat cut: Q-view

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Smoking Guru
Original poster
OTBS Member
Aug 27, 2008
Hi again everyone! This is part two of my brisket brine/curing project which I started yesterday (Cherry Spiced Cured Brisket) which left me with some goodies to smoke today. I like doing these types of projects, as a whole brisket is more than we can eat in a meal, and it gives me a chance to do some curing for a later smoke and have a nice dinner smoke as well, without freezing the leftovers.

I had about 1.5lbs of flat and a point left from a 12-3/4lb brisket curing project I started yesterday afternoon, so today I get to smoke up some nicely trimmed point and the remains of the flat for dinner tonight.

The point with the edges and fat trimmed away:






The point and flat remnants rubbed with my red bell pepper rub (by request), wrapped and ready for the fridge...this was @ 2:00 pm yesterday, so these got a 16-hr rest to soak up some rub flavors while they waited:


Loading the grates in the Smoke Vault 24...I'll center these pieces on the grates so I have plenty of side/front/rear wall clearance. Also, I'll load the small flat cut remnants over the point cut so it gets some heat baffling from the point. This will help it cook slower or else it would be finished in about 1/3-1/2 the time the point will take:


The little piece towards the rear was a flap about 1" thick and 3" long which was loose from a rough meat cutter at the processing plant. I cut it off so I wouldn't have it hanging and getting over-cooked. It should make a nice snack for the chef in about 4 hours or so...hmm, brisket jerky? Naw, that would be some serious chewing!!! I'll probably toss it into some foil after it firms up in several hours...it's way too small to probe for temps, so I'll use the touchy-feely method: 


Got SNOW??? Starting-up with a cold smoke, in the literal sense of the term. Tossed the pan full of snow before I fired the burner to get the smoke wood tray hot. This will keep the humidity low in the chamber until it heats up, yet not leave pan completely dry while I'm heating things up. I don't like to pour liquids of any kind into a hot pan, as in this case, pan warp-age could easily result, and excessive steaming into the smoke chamber will result:


Smoke is on @ 7:50 am MST with hickory chips for smoke, building up from cold to 200* chamber temps in 5-6 minutes , and holding it @ 200* for the first 45 minutes. I bumped it up to 220* and will let it ride there for the next 4 hours until I probe the point for internals and decide about when it's time to foil and rest the point before cubing it up and re-seasoning for a hot smoke (300* or so) to finish up the burnt ends.

It's warm this morning...well, for here in January...33* @ 9:30 am...watch out for that global warming! Ha-ha-ha!!! Got a warm weather break in between storm fronts...been almost -20* nights for the past several days and barely above 0* for daytime highs with fresh snow on a regular basis.

Anyway, just wanted to get this started while I had the chance. Pic uploads are sheer torture lately for some reason...about 90 minutes for 10-12 pics. So, I'll bring you the rest of the story as it unfolds.

Thanks all!

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Very interesting. Snow in the water pan. That's one option we don't have here in Florida. But the way this winter is going I wouldn't be surprised at anything anymore.
A block of ice from your local grocery would work just as well.  Our snow just disappeared down the drain, thanks to great amounts of rain and 2-3 more rain storms sitting off the coast, just waiting to march in.  Eventually, this stuff will hit Wyoming as, you guessed it: SNOW.

I truly hope the picture uploading problem gets cleared up.  Pictorial tutorials are so much better, and we certainly don't want you being discouraged in your fine submissions.  Keep 'em coming.
Hey guys, I tried to qoute and reply with pic uploads, but had to restart my reply due to upload stall, and lost the quotes...catch ya in a bit.

4 hour update:

I too a peek for the usual signs of progress before probing, mainly shrinkage and the formation of juices on the top surfaces, along with the development of the color, of course. Juices were puddling-up nicely, so I grabbed a direct read analog and digi-probe which I had cleaned and wiped with alcohol to prep, fed the cable through the top vent and stabbed the the probe into the point. It was reading 140* @ 3-hrs, 20 min into the smoke, so danger zone time/temp is not a concern any longer, as the meat cutters made some wicked boo-boo's during processing this brisket, leaving some deep cuts in the edges of the full packer...worst one I've run accross so far, btw.

I checked the point temp again @ 4 hours, and apparently have hit one of the lowest temp stalls I've ever seen in a piece of beef...ever...140* turned to 138*, and at 4.5 hours in it's reading 144*. So, a micro-stall, but it tells a bit about the personality of this particular point cut.

The small flat cut has slowly climbed from 147* at 3-hrs, 20 min, to 153* at 4 hours into the smoke, so it may not have a stall, but it's such a small piece that a stall wouldn't last long at all anyway. I'm thinking I may just foil this with a bit of liquid and take it to 200* for pulling. That should put it at the ready point closer to when the burnt ends are finished. A rest in the fpoil wrapped in towels for an hour while the burnt ends are in for the second smoke should be about right.



Under-sides are about the same color, so a nice even smoke and cooking is building up for some great burnt ends: 


Point with lots of juices forming on the thinnest section and a bit is starting to ooz out the heavy end as well...yep, time to probe:


This little fella just looks gorgeous with the few bits of fat I left on:


Foiling the flat to bring to finish temps, and foiling the point to rest for a bit before cubing, then cubing re-season and double smoke to follow soon.

Thanks again all!

Very interesting. Snow in the water pan. That's one option we don't have here in Florida. But the way this winter is going I wouldn't be surprised at anything anymore.
Yeah, with the milder/warmer conditions you have, I don't think water vapor condensation would be much of a problem. Once it down to about 35*, I start using anti-condensation precautions, or else I have a mess of water and smoker residue dripping out of every crack and cranny of some of my rigs...hasn't been a big problem with the Smoke Vault, but I just stay in the habit for extra measure.

A block of ice from your local grocery would work just as well.  Our snow just disappeared down the drain, thanks to great amounts of rain and 2-3 more rain storms sitting off the coast, just waiting to march in.  Eventually, this stuff will hit Wyoming as, you guessed it: SNOW.

I truly hope the picture uploading problem gets cleared up.  Pictorial tutorials are so much better, and we certainly don't want you being discouraged in your fine submissions.  Keep 'em coming.
I don't think a guy would have to go to the extreme of block ice, but a pound or so of ice cubes would go a long way. My loose snow didn't even completely melt until I was up to 200* for about 5-6 minutes...doesn't take much just to keep the pan cool until chamber temps are up above 170* or so, deepending on relative humidity and ambient temps.

Yeah, we're forecasted for colder temps soon, and tomarrow is for rain turning to snow, then sub-zero nights again for the next several days. We generally don't get tons of snow all at once except during the spring storms...last snow of the season....those get down-right ugly...road closures for 2-3 days is pretty normal... maybe only 10-12" of snow, but piled up in drifts too deep for anything with rubber tires to get through...wait tractors with V-Plows, snowblowers on trucks, everyhting the county road and bridge dept has in their arsenal along with the highway dept's crews with the same equipment...not a pretty sight, ever, but 9 winters out of the last 10, that's what we get here.

Pic uploads are a PITA for me right now, but, it's just another day in the world of smokin' for me...I ain't gonna give just because technology doesn't agree with my plans...
...adapt, over-come...take some names and kick some internet butt!!! I'll get through it and still have a smile on my face when the smoke clears! Hee-hee!!!

Thanks guys!

8 hours into the smoke...interesting how this is shaking out.

I must say Eric... no, I dont know what to say, LOL... as always I love your posts!
Thanks Steve, every smoke seems different than the last, and this one's no exception to the rule.

Awesome post!
Thanks, hey man, glad to see ya back with us! Got any Dudestrami in the works lately?
bring on the ends!!

Cubing and reseason to finish coming up in about 3 hours or so...dang, the wait, I'm more into this than my curing brisket flat right now...maybe 'cause I know these will get devoured before I do eyelid inspections tonight.

I'm seeing a bit different progress in the internal temps than I've seen in a long time. At 4 hours, the point hit a micro-stall, and recovered slowly from that. Well, it almost seems like that was the onset of the real deal. It's now 8 hours in, and has yet to pass 151* after a 140* drop to 138* over 4 hours ago. But it has had a few small speed bumps along the way, so I'd have to say it's just a low-temp stall, which would make perfect sense considering the game I played with the cold start-up and 200* temp for the first 3/4 hour, and running just a tad cool @ 220 since then. I have had a couple unexplainable spikes, which I'd just take advantage of by opening up for a peek and pic grab, but nothing over 245*.

Anyway, the small flat cut landed in the foil @ 7 hours and 160* I/T, and @ 8 hours I had a spike and grabbed a couple more pics for your drooling pleasure:



I may need to do something about the thinner end on the right...looks to be about done, but I'd hate to cut the center section to separate this meat while it's this hot...tons of juices could be lost...hmm, what to do...

...AHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!! FOIL WRAP THE SMALL END!!!! Why didn't I think of that!!! Oh, I just did....duh...I used to be blond until I was about 6 or 7 years old...hah-hah-ha! Foil to the rescue again!

Gotta take care of this ASAP!!!

'Puter logged me off the site and I almost lost this post when I tried to submit it...error message with something about not checking/having permissions to reply, so I ran out and did the foil-job, came back, logged in on another browser tab, and viola!!!

There we are!!!!:


I think the foil will slow things down a ton for the thin end of the point...wheew!

I did a double-take on the temp probe when I was getting ready to head inside...dropped from 151* to 144*??? I pushed the probe about 3/4" deeper and got 142*??? This point is trying to drive me nuts...must a took another temp drop @ mid-stall, but I've only seen this about 2 or 3 times. Man, like I always say, every, and I do mean every smoke is a new adventure...

A couple more hours (???) and we're on to the downhill grade...this smoke is getting about as weird as they can get, so I'll make no promises on finshed time at this point...
...confusion doesn't find me when I'm in my outdoor kitchen very often, but it sure landed a hard left hook into my chin this time...
...I never saw it coming either! I invite the stall all the time...that's what low & slow is about, maybe I need to keep my thoughts of stalls to myself?

Ah, we'll get through it!

Thanks all!

Lookin' Great Eric!

Good thing I'm not working swing shift anymore.

I used to hate these continued stories.

Like "Rich Man Poor Man".

I'd get interested by watching 4 weeks in a row---Then get Middle shift & miss the next 2 episodes!

BTW: This was before VCRs & DVDs & DVRs, and all that good shet!

The finish is at hand!!! Warning for those who haven't viewed much of my q-views just yet...now's the time to grab a bib and cover your keyboards...

Lookin' Great Eric!

Good thing I'm not working swing shift anymore.

I used to hate these continued stories.

Like "Rich Man Poor Man".

I'd get interested by watching 4 weeks in a row---Then get Middle shift & miss the next 2 episodes!

BTW: This was before VCRs & DVDs & DVRs, and all that good shet!

Thanks Bear! Hey, I know what you mean about the long progressive threads like this...gotta drive some folks just plain bonkers, too!

But it does bring out a lot more to the table for others to contemplate when the blow-by-blow includes all the bloopers and creative moments, and I managed to overcome a few stepping stones/stumbling blocks today which I hadn't experienced yet...yeah, even I haven't run into every possible issue on what "should be an easy smoke".

Love me some burnt ends!! another amazing post thanks eric!!
You're welcome, Les! Hope you have the chance to try th BE's, if you haven't already...they're a great treat!

Lookin good as usual, Eric

Can't wait to see the finally
Thanks, hey man, long time coming, but I finally brought you the rest of the picture show!

I was battling the thought of yanking the point out before the 160* mark to rest a bit before cubing, as temps were hanging in the mid 150* range for what seemed an eternity. I finally decided to just go for it @ 157*. As it turns out, this was probably the best choice to keep more moisture content in the point. It was oozing with pink juices on the heavier end when I sliced, as you'll see, and I used a bowl-style board to be sure I'd catch everything and get it back into the cubes, and it worked out great.

During my pacing while tossing wheather to let it ride some more or get to cuttin', I grabbed the board and re-oiled it for a fresh coat to keep the juices from soaking into what looked like pretty dry wood...it's not my smokin' board, but it was over-due for oiling...wife won't mind...couldn't find any canola or vegetable oil, so olive oil will have to do:

Much better!!! Nice and shiney now:


The little flat cut is double toweled in the foil (in the white/blue striped towel), and the point still has the foil over the thin section from earlier in the smoke:



I forgot to mention earlier that when I put the foil on, I used the shiney side out instead of in, because I wanted to deflect more heat away from the meat than hold it inside th efoil, to slow the heat penetration down as much as possible without placing it into a pan on a an elevated rack (another option).



Now that I have a chance to really look close, yeah, that thin section needed some help...glad I foiled it up...could have done it earlier than I did: 



And I give you the cold start, low initial temp smoke ring I love sooo much...I was just itchin' to see this myself, but really wanted you all to have a look. No fat cap, so it took on a great smoke on both sides, and the edges can it get any better?:


And that ring is showing up with pink meat in ther middle...gotta love it!:




In the center of the board are some juices from the undercooked meat...well 157* is not undercooked for beef, but it is for beef brisket:





Still juices on the board...I'll mop those up with the cubed point before I toss 'em into a bowl:


Got most of the juices picked back up:


Into a non-reactive bowl...stainless for me when I can:


This is one of the few times you'll ever see me use a sauce with smoked meats to finish the job...about 2-1/2 oz of Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Bbq:


Tossed and rolled to give 'em all a nice light coating, and we're going back for round 2 in the Smoke Vault:




300* for just 1-hr, 20-min with enough remaining charred smoke wood in the pan to re-ignite and start the smoke all over again with the higher burner setting:



The baby flat cut ready to slice after about 90 minutes in waiting...cooked weight is probably just under a pound...petite fella for sure:




And here's my trophy for the day:





The Red Bell Pepper Rub my wife requested is just a basic general rub, but without making any variations for the heavier brisket flavors, it's a nice touch. I had been thinking about trying my latest flavor craze, the cherry rub (the beef roast variation), with a few minor adjustments in the blend, but my wife made a good call on the RBP...it's so simple that it's good on everything.

The flat was still tender, just a tad dry as I got hurried and didn't add any OJ or AJ to the foil, but not enough to really notice unless you were the one holding the knife which did the slicing. Everyone here thought it was just as good as any other sliced flat I've done.

The burnt ends I've done from untrimmed full packers were easier to judge when it was time to rest/cube for the second smoke, but these had a different texture due to being smoked without the basting of a fat cap. A bit less of that juiciness and popping kind of chew. Different chew, but still a great experience to eat, and we all liked these just the same as my other BE batches, too. I did a good thing by getting it onto the board earlier for sure, and could have even went for the 150-153* mark, I think. May have to give that a try on the next round and see what happens...as long as the meat spends enough time in the lower temp range before the final smoke brings the temps up over the 200* range, then tenderization should still be there.

Wheew!!! I think I covered everything...nor=t sure...if anything else comes to my smokefried brain (LOL!!!), I'll come on back.

Man, that was another fun smoke, even with getting my face slapped by the weirdest stall I'd seen in a few years! Ha-ha!!!

OK, you can stick a fork in me...'cause now I'm done!

If you have any questions about something I may have over-looked, or didn't explain very well, please feel free to ask...lots of info (and enticing pics) to digest here, so don't sweat it.

Great smokes to all!

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Nice looking smoke Eric...
Thanks Paul! I stomped on your post when I spent a couple hours pulling all these final pics and text together...notr frustrating, just timew consuming. Worth the effort in getting the word of another good smoke into the forum though.

Dang, OK, I must be getting tired 'cause I'm not thinking in straight lines anymore, and can't type for squat either with my clumsy paw-sized fingers! LOL!

Long day, but fun for sure! Eyelid inspections are in order for this boy...soon, very, very soon...

Thanks again all!

Hope you enjoyed it!


You even outdid yourself on this one.

Pictures galore !!!!

I spent a lot of time left clicking so many of them to zoom in---Awesome pictures of awesome meat!

This is about the most pics you ever posted of something.

I'm wondering if it's because you aren't afraid the "insert image" thing will freeze up any more??

Thanks for some GREAT VIEWS!

Eric those look terrific... Do You Deliver? LOL

Those look better than any I have had in ANY Kansas City Q Joint...

I wish he delivered I think I would be his best customer too. Now that looks awesome there Eric. Man I have to make me some burnt ends hear pretty darn quickly too.
My God what a great finish to a long day. I've been following this since the snow in the water pan. Everything looks soooo delicious. Thanks for the great post.
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