I have confused myself

Discussion in 'Beef' started by jim p, May 24, 2013.

  1. jim p

    jim p Newbie

    I am in no way a master of the smoking domain but I believe myself to be proficient.  Living in Buffalo, NY there is a limited time to smoke and every year I try to relearn what I have lost from previous years.  I am planning on smoking a packer brisket on Memorial Day- join me in raising a glass to those that serve, served and those lost and enjoy the freedom to smoke 

    I have been scouring the site for a refresher for smoking the brisket and in the process have completely confused myself and I wonder how I ever cooked one before.

    Before I just rubbed it, slapped in on the smoker, foiled at 160 and pulled at 190 for slicing.  Now I don't know if I should inject, or cut the packer into 2 individual sections, and now I am reading about burnt ends, and Au Jus and sometimes it takes 90 min and sometimes it takes less so go by the probe test, but use a tooth pick for the probe test and the room is starting to spin.

    I want each smoking attempt to be better than the last, and I want to learn the best way to smoke, but holy smokes it is confusing.

    I am going to inject.  i am on the fence about cutting the brisket in 2 pieces, I am not a butcher.  i am very intrigued about the burnt ends- so then do I need to separate the packer?  Cut the point to inch sized squares and re load with rub and smoke for another 4 or 5 hours- what temp do I start to cube the point?  What temp are the burnt ends done?  These are just some questions that rattle in my head.

    If I am being crazy please let me know, but I picked up so much information I made myself feel dumb.  I will be smoking on an old Smokin Pro with the side firebox


  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jim, morning and welcome to the forum.....   There are many methods for cooking brisket.... all depends on your personal preference...   forluvofsmoke, Eric has a method, I tried recently, and like....  Smoke for the first several hours with moisture in the smoker... then remove the moisture source and dry smoke until done ant 190 or 205 for pulled...  Season with your flavor profile of spices and herbs...   

    Separating the point and flat are not too difficult... there is a fat seam between the to hunks of meat...   find the seam and carefully, using the tip of the knife, split the two pieces...  

    Eric may stop in, along with others and give you pointers....   Personal taste and preference are all that matters when it comes to eating....

  3. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Jim....sounds like you have a good plan.  What I would do it not cut it.  The point will be good attached.  I plan on doing 2 briskets this weekend.  I would take the point off...after it reaches 190-195 IT....and cut it into cubes...then add some sauce...juice or what ever you want...and plop them back in for about an hour.  I don't want mine "burnt"....just a bit more done.

    My 2 cents....others will tell you what they would do a bit later...I am sure.

    Good luck...and just have fun!

  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Jim, if you are planning on injecting the brisket remember the 40-140 in 4 rule. That is the IT (Internal Temp) of the meat must go from 40* to 140* in less than 4 hours for safety. This applies to any whole muscle meat that the surface has been compromised as in injection or being probed before the surface reaches 140*. It also applies to any ground meat that hasn't been cured.
    I don't inject anymore, I don't think the meat needs if if cooked properly and I just like the natural taste of the meat. Also on large cuts I don't stick a temp probe in until it has been cooking for at least 3 hours, I know it's going to take a long time and I really don't need to see the low temps as they rise. After a few hours the surface will be above 140* so it's safe to probe then.

    190* is a good target temp but briskets can be finicky so the toothpick test is the real answer to when it's done. When it gets above 180* take a toothpick and probe in different locations on the briskets, when it slides in like going into hot butter it is done, if there is any resistance then let it cook some more and try again.

    Dave and Kat have you with the burnt ends, you will be amazed how easily the point comes off! I love the sweet/heat flavor on BE's, I use a spicy chipotle sauce mixed with some brown sugar, toss the cubes in it and smoke for another hour! That's the only reason I cook briskets!!!

    Remember we will still be open on Memorial Day if you need any help!!!
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Everything Dave said is right on---Plus I get the Alcohol wipes from the Drug Store, and sterilize my meat probe before inserting it into the meat.

  6. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Thanks Bear! I forgot that part, I do the same thing!
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good points om injecting, separation, etc.

    Jim, if you look in my signature linf for Wet-to-Dry SmoKe, there is a search list of threads related to the method. Key benefits are moisture retention in the meat with high finIshed temp, and better bark.

    I'm @ work, but uif you start with that, it will explain most of the process. Also, I have several brisket/pastrami threads in my sig line which explain poInt/flat separatuin pre or post-smoke, as well as burnt ends.

    I'll check in later.......have the weekend off work, so can help you along the way to great brisket.


    EDIT: I did a different search and changed the link in my signature line item "Wet/Dry Smoke Method" for better results.
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The huff about doing Brisket is sooo, over done. Patience is your friend here. Have a good reliable thermometer and a lot of patience to wait out the 'Stall'.

    Briskey can be a hard piece of meat to cook , doing s many do...

    Simplified , season the Brisket as you want, a day ahead , the day of or just before cooking ,doesn't matter.

    get your smoker to temp. before you insert the meat and try NOT to open the thing everytime you think of it or someone drops by to see... it's still right there in the smoker where you left it, doig it's thing,  no problem.

    When cutting the Point off, you are injecting bacteria, leave it whole and stick it with a Threm. @ 145*F. ( a good probe therm. is good here). Track the IT until the IT is 180*F and wrap if you wish. I don't and love the Bark it makes:

      the point fell off as I removed this one.

    Place the wrapped meat back into the heat until 200*F is attained , then remove and Cube the point for re-seasoning ,saucing and re-smoking.

    The main ingredient here is "PATIENCE" . No Peeking , no worrying , no getting boastful and showing it to your Buddies. You'll be cooking way longer than you want and the party will be screwed. A rule of thumb (for timing of cook only) is 1.5 hrs @ 225*F foreach pound of weight of the raw meat, in this case Brisket.

    How do I know , I like Brisket and do a lot :

    and always get this:

     allways juicy and tender. Wrap if you wish or as I keep the Temp. in the cooker right and don't wrap. You'll get more of the delicious Bark. You shouldn't need a sauce for this as the flavor speaks for itself, Mmmm.

    Above all , be PATIENT and your meal will "WOW" your Friends.

    Hoping for a wonderful Memorial Day and I am Saluting our Service persons for thier bravery.

    Send Q-view.

    Have fun in your challenge , and as always . . .
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's my PM to anyone that wants to know about this brisket cooking method....  To date, following Eric's method, it was my best brisket.... Bride said so.... That's all that matters........  ( I thought it was delicious )  Dave
  11. jim p

    jim p Newbie

    Thank you for posting.  I did an 11 pound brisket in 12 hrs without injecting. For the burnt ends I separated the point from the flat at 170 degrees.  i wrapped the point in foil and towels and then into a cooler while the flat finished cooking.  I pulled the flat at 192 and foiled/towel and cooler for about 90 min.  i cubed the point and added some sauce and put back on the smoker directly on the grate.  I cooked and flipped them over the next hour.  I did not add rub, but I should have to assist in crunching up the bark.  Burnt ends were a hit and the flat was cooked well.  

    Again thanks for your assistance.

  12. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Jim!  Sounds like you had a good cook, but....I'm gonna have to ask you to prove it!!!


    You know the deal...

    Gimme some q-view!

  13. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper


    I'm north of you in Sanborn. What's this about limited time to smoke? :)

    I smoke all year. Stuff coming out of the smoker when there's snow on the ground somehow tastes even better! hehehe. Poultry gets done real fast in the smoker. You don't have to do these long, elaborate, all day (or all night....or both) smokes. Just COOK in it, man! Smoked meatloaf is awesome and doesn't take real long. I have started doing our thanksgiving bird in the smoker. Pork shots and pulled pork for New Years... it's all good. Don't let the cold limit the fun! :)

    And... one of these days I'll try a brisket. I looked at the price of them and was like.... holy cow (pun intended)... $30-$40 for a hunk of meat.... I'd need to get 5 meals out of that.
  14. jim p

    jim p Newbie

    How does your smoker keep the heat in winter?   I smoked on a Columbus Day when it was grey and 35 and rainy and  i could not get it to warm up enough to smoke anything.  I keep my smoker uncovered, next to my grill and would love to smoke all yr round.
  15. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper

    I'd take a photo, but I'm too embarrassed...hehehe. Right now I have 2 cut down sections of solid core doors on either side with a piece of scrap T-111 across the back. And a piece of 1x4 or 2x4 screwed to the top at the front of the door pieces. The entire front is open, but having a wind break on 3 sides made it all possible for me. Oh and there's a scrap of 3/8 plywood sitting on top of the smoker with a couple pieces of 1x4 under it to act as spacers.

    My GOAL is to build a little cabinet for the smoker that looks like an outhouse or something. Ideally, I'd build a wagon for it 'cause I like it closer to the house in the winter. Big wheels and close to the ground for the wagon. Haven't really worked out how I'll do that yet, but the cabinet part is definitely on my short list of things to build before our next winter comes. I've run my smoker as high as 350-375 in the dead of winter (I like to do poultry at higher heat). It's a Smoke Hollow gasser. Not sure I could get those kinds of heat out of an electric even in mid summer... so I guess I'm destined to be a gas guy... or a PELLET guy if the wallet will support it.
  16. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    Doors & lumber? Sounds like a high-class building you had there. Here's what I used with my electric:

  17. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper

    Mine's been through 2 winters so far. Not sure yours would make it... heheheh

    The cardboard looks very clean... almost a modern look. I think I'm headed more for the country trash look. hehehe
  18. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    lol... Yeah, a good rain shower and she's droopy. I was really just trying to see if a wind break would make that big of a difference... and it certainly did!
  19. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    And still no Q-View!

  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My Son got this on sale (only $79) from Home Depot, for his MES 40:

    Last edited: May 30, 2013

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