Hi from Virginia, aspiring Brisket-King in training

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by teravos, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. teravos

    teravos Newbie

    Jeremy from Virginia here, and new-ish to smoking.  Smoked my first few briskets using my Weber gas grill with a make-shift wood chip box.  The wife liked them so much she got me the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, and now I feel like I'm back to square one! 

    So far using the MES I drastically undercooked a top round, turned a piece of bottom round into a hockey puck, and then nailed a ready-to-eat corned beef brisket.  (Probably not the best cooking methods for the first two pieces of meat.  We're still learning!)

    So this Tuesday the wife and I are hosting both sets of parents, and she promised them I'd smoke the brisket. So now I'm looking for a good crash course on using that MES!  I'm laying out my plan of attack here.  Any advice is welcome!!!! 

    Meat: a 6.7 pound brisket, about 3" thick.  The label says 'brisket mid cut', haven't heard that term used before.  It's in hand, and in the fridge now.

    Dinner's supposed to start around 5:30pm on Tuesday. 

    Here's my plan of attack:

    -Season the meat with my spice rub tomorrow evening, let it sit overnight in the fridge.

    -Apple juice in the pan at the bottom

    -Probably going to go with hickory wood chips, but have mesquite and apple chips on hand also

    -Set the smoker to 225

    -Meat into the smoker around 8:00am.  I'm going to use the MES internal meat sensor (it's got a nifty remote sensor, so I can check the temp from the couch.  Not gonna lie, I'm a fan of that feature).

    -When the internal meat sensor says we're at 160ish, going to double wrap with aluminum foil.  I expect this to be around 3 hours in, around 11:00am. 

    -Keep wrapped until temp says 195,  expecting around 7 hours after starting (hopefully around 3 pm), and remove from heat.  Move into a Dutch Oven and let it sit there until it's time to eat. 

    I'm definitely focusing on timing.  I'd like to time this sucker to finish between 3pm and 4pm, so it can rest for a good while before we dive into it.  Thoughts?   

    Is there any chance that I overcook this piece of meat?  

    Also, when using the MES, do you guys mop the meat during the cooking?  They say not to open the smoker for any reason, so that would mean no mopping.  When I would smoke brisket on the grill, I was able to mop it every hour or so. 

    Either way, I'm looking forward to learning from you all!   I'm here for tips, tricks, recipes, and anything you can throw at me to really turn that smoker into something worthy to share space next to the grill. 


  2. chestnutbloom

    chestnutbloom Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Jeremy! I notice you said you undercooked and then overcooked beef roasts. Were you using the MES temp probe? I would highly recommend an alternative temp device. Even if you have to open the door to stick in a meat thermometer I would do it. ---Rich
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice to meet you Jeremy!

    Looking forward to seeing your smokes.
  4. Hey Jeremy good morning and welcome. Sounds like you have a plan, I smoke on a reverse flow, so I won't be much help, But Bearcarver is an expert with the electric, Lets see it we can't get him to throw his two cents in.

    Gary S
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Jeremy!!

    First of all, if you want to see how I did things in my MES, you can go to the bottom of any of my posts, and click on "Bear's Step by Steps". Then click on any of the items in the list, like "Brisket Flat".

    Your plan is a little fast. I would guess it would take longer than your 7 hours---More like 10 hours using 225*.

    I would also not trust either the MES smoker temp or the MES meat probe temp. This could be why you over & under cooked things in the past.

    I have also found that putting Apple Juice, Beer, or anything flavored in your pan does nothing, and most of us MES owners don't put any liquid in the pan. We just wrap the pan with foil to protect it, and some guys put sand in it for holding heat.

    It's up to you, but most of us will recommend an AMNPS for long time even smoking, and a digital wireless therm, like a Maverick ET-732 or 733.

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  6. Bear's the man !!!!
  7. teravos

    teravos Newbie

    Hey Guys, thanks for the inputs. My previous problems with the MES were less the failing of the therm, and more me just not knowing what kind of meat I was cooking.
    I'm scared to admit I confused the bottom round with a brisket, and after 7 hours on that 3lb piece of meat, the temp wouldn't go above 165. Thats when I looked again at the packaging and well, we decided to order pizza that night. Whoops!

    Do you recommend smoking the meat in an aluminum pan on the rack? Or do you go panless (meat on the rack by itself) and let the juices drop into the pan that's got apple juice in it?

    I think I'm leaning on starting cooking at 6am, and allowing it to go a full 10 hours.
  8. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    First off Bear is the MAN! Secondly I can almost guarantee the therms are off, I have had two MES and both probes in both machines were off from 10-30 degrees.  Maverick 732 is what everybody reccomended and I am happy with mine.  Again I agree with Bear on the AMZNPS they are awesome for hot and cold smokes.  The AMZNPS allows me to start a smoke at 8pm and have a awesomely smoked brisket at noonish without worrying about adding chips or anything else.  I Did a 6lb flat this last weekend it took about two per LB.  I did not foil it because I love the bark it provides and I only use salt and pepper.  It took about 4 OK briskets to decide to go with S&P only and after that I never looked back and the wife won't let me, but you stick with what you like because that is all that matters.  Beware of the stall, don't let it beat you, just keep going at 225.  I have been using oak for my briskets again it is what I found I liked and have stuck with it.  I no longer use an aluminum pan because I don't plan on foil wrapping it.  Mine is placed directly on the grate and does not move until I probe it then until it is done.  I like your 10 hour plan better and foiling it will help it be done closer to ten hours but better early than way too late.   Hope it goes well for you good luck and if you have any questions hit us up.
  9. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Jeremy

    Welcome to the Smoking  forum.   You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have.  Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right.  LOL.   Don’t forget to post qviews.  And yes--listen to Bear

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Jeremy!!

    As for the pan or no pan, you should try both ways yourself.

    However I used to put my Prime Ribs on the rack so it would get all the smoke. Then I tried the method in the picture below, and got the same amount of smoke flavor, plus it caught the juices better, and clean-up was a lot easier, because it wasn't dripping all over the place below & no meat or juices would be stuck to the rack.

    I put the meat on a wire cooling rack, inside a foil pan. That way the meat isn't laying in the juices, and can catch all smoke real good.


  11. teravos

    teravos Newbie

    Got that smoker started at 5:50 this morning, and tossed the brisket on the grate at 6am.   It's now 9:45 and the temperature reading is reading consistently at 165 for the past hour.   Starting to think the internal therm is off by ~10deg, since everything I read says the stall hits closer to 150 than 160.   Oven temp reading rock solid at 225, but no other way to verify. 

    Will wrap in foil around noonish.

    Love that Hickory smell!  Photos tonight!

    Also, thanks for the tips fellas!
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds good----Got my fingers crossed for you !!

    You definitely gotta think about getting an accurate digital wireless set of therms, like a Maverick ET-732.

    I find it hard to believe you got a 6.7 pound Brisket to 165* in 4 hours, in a 225* smoker. I would think that would be more like 6 hours or longer.

    Be Back,

  13. Brisket and Hickory   just go together.    I would do what Bear suggested on the Therm's  I check the temp gauge on my smoker several times a year just to make sure it is accurate also have a digital that I check as well.  I have smoked so many briskets that I haven't checked the internal temp in so long, can't remember the last time. Pretty much just by looks feel and time, BUT 4 hours does seem pretty quick for 165º @ 225º. just saying !!!

    Gary S

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