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ET-73 and a big smoke


Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 15, 2007
Whenever I do a project (woodwork, remodel, etc) I buy a new tool or gadget to do the job. Over the years I've aquired the equipment to build almost any piece of furniture, tile or drywall any room, or plumb any house. Why should a big smoke be any different?
I've been reading a lot on SMF about different thermometers and finally decided on the ET-73. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to some thread or post on this site over the past few years about their thermometer. I've read all of them I think
) Should be delivered Monday in time for my big project.

My boy graduates from High School May 18th. When my daughter graduated we had a nice party for her and catered the food. This time around we decided to cook ourselves. She suggested burgers and dogs which means me standing over a grill and not being able to celebrate with my son and our guests. I, on the other hand view this as a valuable opportunity to offer my BBQ to a lot of people (40-50). I don't expect everyone to eat. Several will be stopping by to congratulate him and then continue to other parties. It will however be about dinner time so I am planning to feed all guests but not planning on them eating so much their pants burst.
The menu will include: Pulled pork sandwiches and beef sandwiches, Dutch's baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, chips and drink.
After figuring possible times for the cook (while writing this) I think I will take the friday before off work and plan on smoking Friday and Saturday. My smoker is large enough to do 5 or 6 butts @ 8-9 lbs each (I plan on cooking 5). I'll cook, pull and refridgerate Friday. I will do the briskets on Saturday, also pull and refridgerate. I haven't found the briskets yet. Our local store said they can get packers in cryovac wrap (each package has 3) for a pretty good price. I've only smoked roasts a couple of times and never briskets but the roast were great and I've read up on briskets here at SMF. I'm just leary on the cryovac beef. Anyone have any experience with those? I'm going to Sams this weekend to see what they have.
Dutch's baked beans I've done once and were awsome. I'll cook those Sunday so they will be done upon our return.
I'll take the meat out of the fridge before we leave for graduation, and put in the oven to heat up when we get home.
The most people I've ever smoked for was 15, but I knew all of them were going to eat. I'm either going to have a lot of leftovers or none at all.
If anyone sees huge flaws in this plan or advice that will better my odds for success (I'm rigidly flexible) please let me know.
Of course there will be Q-view.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined May 14, 2007
Sounds like a good plan and congrats to you and your son.

I would just be careful of the amount of time you are going to leave the meat out of the fridge before you reheat it. You shouldn't keep meat at between 40 and 140 degrees for more then 4 hours do to the rapid muliplication of food borne bacteria. Sounds like you will have plenty of vittles.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 25, 2008
Sounds like you have an awesome plan there! I've been in the food industry for years and I don't find anything wrong with the cryovac packaging issue. It is the quality of the beef thats inside what matters. The packers cut briskets I buy have always been cryovac'd and have found nothing wrong at all. In fact, I'm from Virginia, and moved to Missouri three years ago. The thing that struck me the most was how tasty the beef was around here over Virginia. I'm talking the grocery store meat. Around here grocery meat tastes like beef should, and what I used to have to get local from a farmer or such, never at a grocery! In other words, if the price is good, fire away and go for it. Yesterday I bought 2 10 pound roasts at 2.29/lb and a full brisket at 1.29/lb. Not a bad deal. You should be able to at least match that price for a full 3 pack of briskets, methinks.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Dec 29, 2007
I'm hunting around for my first digital therm and am teetering on the edge of the ET-73. Glad to see it's a popular item!

It definitely sounds like a well thought out plan, Stacks. Ron brought up a key point about making sure the meat temperatures. You want people to be talking about your bbq - but not in a bad way!

Good luck on the smoke and for taking Friday off to bbq. Nuttin' like having a long, smoking weekend!


Smoke Blower
Thread starter
Joined Nov 15, 2007
Ron thanks for the advice on the temp. And to all for the encouragment. I had it in my mind to get the meat closer to room temp before puting in the oven to speed reheating it. While I only expect it to be on the counter a few hours... Not worth the chance to save a little time

A question did occur to me tho. I'm going to use SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce for the first time. Do I wait until after the re-heat on Sunday to add the sauce or right after I pull then refridgerate?


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Feb 18, 2008
Stacks, I did this for Easter. I used the finishing sauce while pulling. Then I used a spray bottle to moisten (with half apple juice and half water) and then tossed it good before I reaheated it in the oven on Sunday. I was told it was better than what I had made a few weeks earlier which wasn't reheated.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Apr 5, 2007
Wait to add the finishing sauce. The vinager could break down the meat and make it mushy. It's great stuff though. By the way, thanks SoFlaQuer for the recipe.


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Mar 7, 2008
I buy my whole brisket at Costco in the cryovac and they have all been great. I actually like it better then the Syran wrap foam container in my grocery store, less air and bacteria getting in.


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 8, 2008
Sounds like your going to have an awesome weekend with the smoker!!! I love those
. Congrats on the grad, it will be a great day for him!!!
Congrats on the ET-73, LOVE IT and their customer support is awesome, just sent me a FREE replacement food probe as mine was going haywire.

As for cryopac, no worries there. I have done quite a few briskets all of which have been packed like that and they were dang good. The last one I bought from a LARGE Chicago meat distributor and was expecting the briskets to be out of package as everything else was but nope, cryopacked
I will say one thing try to get Choice meats and not Select if possible, may cost ya a bit more but that would help with quality of the meat. The one drawback with the cryopac is that I would rather see the meat better before I purchase, fat cap, grains of meat, fat distribution, color, things like that. Good luck and more importantly, have fun!!!

Drawback with the cryopac, poet and didnt even know it!!!

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