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First time smoking Brisket!

rrrowsdower

Newbie
5
5
Joined May 28, 2020
Ok, actually my 2nd time. First time I was impatient and cooked it in an hour at high heat. It probably goes without saying I ended up throwing that away. Lessons learned...

So this time I came into it with a bit more knowledge and a valuable tip from a co-worker I never knew about which I'm sure most here are no-doubt familiar with...the charcoal snake.

So I started using a rub I bought randomly with no knowledge, it was called Bone Suckin Sauce. I bought it purely because the label was plain and simple and figured maybe they spent more time on the recipe than on the marketing. So I applied the rub, then went out to the grill around and started making 3 rows of coal around the borders of my grill (2 bottom, 1 above), all the way around, with a small gap at the end so the front doesnt ignite the back. Then I placed mesquite chunks 3 or 4 inches apart over the coals for smoke. Lit the very first coal around midnight sunday night (or monday morning, whichever way you want to look at it). I did not use a water pan as I didnt have one that would fit between the coals.

Lit the first coal and then slept until 4AM. Got up, checked the temp and it was only at 170 degrees (and it was raining), so holding an umbrella in one hand and using my phone's flashlight sitting on the edge of the grill I ham-fistedly tried to quickly get the temp up. Quick thinking resulted in my spraying some lighter fluid on a few adjacent coals to hopefully get more heat (would have made more sense to mess with vents, but I was half asleep and annoyed at the rain.)

So once im satisfied with the coal and see the temp starting going up a tiny bit I go back to bed. Get up again around 7 or 8AM (dont remember). Checked temp and it was at exactly 200. I was pleased with myself and went inside the house for a bit. At some point I came back out and it had climbed to 350-400 due to too many coals going (and vents wide open. Panicked that my hours of sacrifice would be in vain I filled up a kiddie pool with shallow water and started scooping out coals one at a time and dropping them in the pool, then closed both side vents and chimney to be barely open. Over time it did get back to around 225, so once again we were saved. I then mixed water and worcestershire sauce in a spray bottle and occasionally sprayed the brisket when I would check on it.

Around 10-11AM my temp probes only ever got to about 180 in the thick part of the meat so I was concerned about doneness as I've read internal temp of 205 is recommended before wrapping and removing. I went ahead and wrapped in foil. Around noon or 1PM it was still 180 so I decided to take it out and avoid drying it out. I wrapped it in two bath towels and put it in an empty ice chest. Set it in the kitchen while I cooked the rest of the days meats. So it "rested" for a good 2 or 3 hours in the chest. Afterwards temp got around 190, so I took the towels off and left foil on, set it in the oven on 450 with a water pan for about 30 minutes before finally deciding to kill it and try my luck.

As it turns out the meat was perfectly fine. We started with the flat and it was good. Later i cut into the center and I almost uttered to myself "oh my goodness". it was super soft and tender. Cant wait to try this again and do it better! Here are the few pictures I took:

The fabled snake...
20200525_000114.jpg


First cut into the middle:
20200525_183719.jpg



All sliced up:
20200525_184343.jpg



The flexibility test:
20200525_184057.jpg




And finally a snack afterwards while doing ribs. What can I say, I was curious:
20200525_134850.jpg
 

gmc2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
11,316
6,051
Joined Sep 15, 2012
Looks like a success to me.

Point for sure
Chris
 

MJB05615

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,586
1,292
Joined May 12, 2018
Looks excellent, nice smoke ring, bark looks great too!
You'll make a lot of Briskets til you're satisfied with your own methods, seasonings, etc. Once you are happy, you'll know it, and do it that way every time after.

Mike
 

lancep

Master of the Pit
1,421
359
Joined Apr 6, 2016
Way to adapt and overcome! The kiddie pool is one I haven’t heard. Just a suggestion, bring your smoker up to your desired temp before adding the hunk of meat. When you add meat you are adding a cold mass that will lower your chamber temp but not the temp of your fire. So if you’re adjusting your fire based on CC temp, it’s going to go all out of whack as the meat starts to warm. Example, my smoker likes to run between 175-190. So I start my fire, bring it up to temp, and then I toss in the meat. The CC temp drops but I don’t care. I just keep feeding the fire as usual and as the meat warms my CC temp comes up to normal. With charcoal, same thing. Stabilize your temp with the cook chamber empty, and ten, add the meat. The temp will dip but you know that fire is where it needs to be and you can just leave it alone. The CCtemp will come back to normal as the exterior of the meat heats up and should stay there. From that point, cook the meat.
 

aeromax

Newbie
1
0
Joined May 22, 2020
Smoker noob here. I tried my first brisket the other week, a little 3lb flat. I trimmed the fat, did a 50/50 salt/pepper rub, and put it in my box smoker on top of a foil-wrapped cardboard, trying for a target of 250. My smoker likes to flare up something awful (hit 280's at times), so I had trouble controlling the temp. It was a really quick smoke, hitting 165 in no time. I wrapped it in foil, smoked to 205, and then rested for two hours in a cooler. It was like a 3-4 hour smoke, with virtually no stall in the middle. While the flavor was "ok" and a bit too pepper, the consistency was dry and tough, like a cheap steak that I threw in a smoker.

Was pretty disappointed. I'm not exactly sure why, although I'm chalking it up to too many flare ups, perhaps the water pan accidentally running dry, and maybe the nature of smoking a small brisket not having enough time in the smoker to render the meat properly.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,342
2,367
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Ok, actually my 2nd time. First time I was impatient and cooked it in an hour at high heat. It probably goes without saying I ended up throwing that away. Lessons learned...

So this time I came into it with a bit more knowledge and a valuable tip from a co-worker I never knew about which I'm sure most here are no-doubt familiar with...the charcoal snake.

So I started using a rub I bought randomly with no knowledge, it was called Bone Suckin Sauce. I bought it purely because the label was plain and simple and figured maybe they spent more time on the recipe than on the marketing. So I applied the rub, then went out to the grill around and started making 3 rows of coal around the borders of my grill (2 bottom, 1 above), all the way around, with a small gap at the end so the front doesnt ignite the back. Then I placed mesquite chunks 3 or 4 inches apart over the coals for smoke. Lit the very first coal around midnight sunday night (or monday morning, whichever way you want to look at it). I did not use a water pan as I didnt have one that would fit between the coals.

Lit the first coal and then slept until 4AM. Got up, checked the temp and it was only at 170 degrees (and it was raining), so holding an umbrella in one hand and using my phone's flashlight sitting on the edge of the grill I ham-fistedly tried to quickly get the temp up. Quick thinking resulted in my spraying some lighter fluid on a few adjacent coals to hopefully get more heat (would have made more sense to mess with vents, but I was half asleep and annoyed at the rain.)

So once im satisfied with the coal and see the temp starting going up a tiny bit I go back to bed. Get up again around 7 or 8AM (dont remember). Checked temp and it was at exactly 200. I was pleased with myself and went inside the house for a bit. At some point I came back out and it had climbed to 350-400 due to too many coals going (and vents wide open. Panicked that my hours of sacrifice would be in vain I filled up a kiddie pool with shallow water and started scooping out coals one at a time and dropping them in the pool, then closed both side vents and chimney to be barely open. Over time it did get back to around 225, so once again we were saved. I then mixed water and worcestershire sauce in a spray bottle and occasionally sprayed the brisket when I would check on it.

Around 10-11AM my temp probes only ever got to about 180 in the thick part of the meat so I was concerned about doneness as I've read internal temp of 205 is recommended before wrapping and removing. I went ahead and wrapped in foil. Around noon or 1PM it was still 180 so I decided to take it out and avoid drying it out. I wrapped it in two bath towels and put it in an empty ice chest. Set it in the kitchen while I cooked the rest of the days meats. So it "rested" for a good 2 or 3 hours in the chest. Afterwards temp got around 190, so I took the towels off and left foil on, set it in the oven on 450 with a water pan for about 30 minutes before finally deciding to kill it and try my luck.

As it turns out the meat was perfectly fine. We started with the flat and it was good. Later i cut into the center and I almost uttered to myself "oh my goodness". it was super soft and tender. Cant wait to try this again and do it better! Here are the few pictures I took:

The fabled snake...
View attachment 447415

First cut into the middle:
View attachment 447416


All sliced up:
View attachment 447417


The flexibility test:
View attachment 447418



And finally a snack afterwards while doing ribs. What can I say, I was curious:
View attachment 447419
Hi there and welcome!

What an adveture!
FYI, don't fret briskets dont care what temp they are cooked at as long as they aren't being burnt lol.
Keep at it!
 

rickc1970

Fire Starter
46
12
Joined Apr 1, 2017
It looks good. I love brisket...I hope the prices on meat come down soon so I can do another one.
 

phatbac

Master of the Pit
2,165
1,075
Joined Jun 11, 2013
Great cook and good looking food!

Happy Smoking,
phatbac (Aaron)
 

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