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davidlsi

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Joined Sep 2, 2010
have smoked my second brisket.  I guess I am serious enough to believe I will be around for a long time.

My name id David and I will admit that the Bbq Pitmaster show has sparked my interest in giving smoking a try. 

I bought the red Brinkman Electric Smoker thinking that would let me concentrate on the meat.  Allowing me to learn one thing at a time.

I smoked my first brisket and was less than impressed with the results.  It just so happened that before I had my attention on smoking my wife arranged for us to go see the Bears play in Dallas.  I took the opportunity to located a local bbq place.  I wanted to give myself something to shoot for by having real Texas Bbq.  I asked quite a few people (everyone I ran into) nd more than a few mentioned a place that was only a few miles from the hotel. 

Called the Hard 8 this place was a great suggestion here is a link to my  little video on this place.

[h3]http://www.hardeightbbq.com/

Hard 8
688 Freeport Parkway
Coppell, TX 75019[/h3]
I did take home the idea to copy the "Brush Poppers", along with a fun time watching the bears play

My next attempt I paid better attention and employed the foil wrap at the end.  Here is my video showing the rusults of the second try and my first toss out of a "Q-View"

You tube link


I was very happy with the outcome this time but really need to figure out a way to slow down the cooking.  The meat is still not tender enough for me.  Any suggestion on how to accomplish this with an electric smoker let me know.

After searching I found the suggestion to precook the bacon, which I did but not enough.  A little longer next time as I had to finish the the bacon off under the broiler.  These were a good the first time out but will be better next time.

I do look forward to learning and sharing with everyone here.

SeeYa

David
 
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meateater

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Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
 

forluvofsmoke

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Welcome aboard, David! You've come to the right place for shared info on any outdoor cooking...smoking meats being the main staple, of course.

Brisket can be a truely beautiful work of art when you use proven methods. I've done quite a bit of experimenting with brisket over the past 18 months or so, and have had very good results with various techniques.

Your mention of your brisket not being tender only brings a couple thoughts to my mind. First, the internal temperature is a baseline only, while actually being able to slide a skewer or other semi-blunt probe into the meat with little resistance being the best indicator. If you feel resistance when probing for tenderness, it needs more time at low chamber temps to finish it up...just be patient and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

I'm not a big fan of TV shows myself, and reality programming just seems too predictable for my intellect. That said, I don't hold much faith in what may be done on TV cooking shows. Not to open up any heated discussions on that subject, just so you know where I'm coming from.

My first experience with brisket was nothing short of disapointment...that was before I really knew much about it. I wanted no part of smoking brisket for quite some time afterwards. then, I was inspired by several members here to try it again, and having good results with the second, I had to try it again. I've been a brisket fanatic ever since, right down to the burnt ends and corned beef pastrami from scratch. I'm really partial to a couple times when I deliberately held the temps for hours and hours during the foil stage so i could pull the flat cut of the brisket...this isn't a common practice (why, I don't know), but the resulting table fair is nothing short of fantastic.

Low and slow is the key to a great eating brisket. As the internal temp of the meat come up over the 150* range, the melting point of the connective tissues is being reached. At this stage of the smoke, you want to leave things alone, and let the natural cooking processes go to work on that tough cut of beef. 225* smoke chamber temp works for me, and it's done when it's done. You can't rush a brisket. 18-24 hours on an aveage weight brisket (~14lb) is not uncommon to get a great brisket. Foiling is a great way to cut down on time, and I swear by it for brisket. Of course, to go along with foiling, is the towel wrapped resting period, which goes for any large cut of meat.

It does sound like your commited to this, and that's what will really count when you're looking for a great smoked brisket. Keep reading up on it here, especially the beef "sticky" threads, and member's Q-views of their successful brisket smokes. Tons of great tips and methods in those threads.

Many will say that the brisket is king of smoked beef, and anyone who says so will have my vote of approval. Keep on smokin' brother, 'cause practice makes perfect!

Hope to see your next brisket post soon!

Eric
 

kcbluesnbbq

Meat Mopper
252
10
Joined Aug 7, 2010
I can't say much,  forluvofsmoke  pretty much said it. So I will welcome you to the forum. Practice and try different methods. A full packer brisket is one of the hardest things to learn on when you are starting out.

I can remember my first few briskets not coming out to good. Didn't take me to long to figure out.

Keep on smoking and you will be turning out good que in no time at all.
 

davidlsi

Fire Starter
63
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Joined Sep 2, 2010
Thanks for the replies...

I went for my second chicken and first ribs yesterday on my Brinkman electric.  I purchased a thermometer to sit on the rack with the meat so I can now watch the temps inside and out of the meat.

The ribs I used the 2-2-1 method they turned out great with only one slab cooked there were no left overs.

The chicken I split open so it laid flat and in 3 1/2 hours the internal temp was up to 192.  I then finished it off in the hot grill to crisp up the skin.  We only ate about 1/3rd of this bird so I pulled the balance of the meat off and mixed enough sauce to coat everything.  Into the refrigerator over night, I took this to work today along with some crusty bread.  It was a a very tasty lunch.

I used apple wood only this time and filled the cast iron smoke box twice.  I think the lesson this after this smoke is only fill the smoke box once. The ribs and chicken soak up the smoke flavor and this time I feel it was too heavy.  

I wonder if the smoke flavor is like spicy food and whiskey and takes time to appreciate?

 
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pit 4 brains

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Welcome to the site! It looks like you're well on your way!
 

mballi3011

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First off Welcome David to SMF. you'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Welcome To Your New Addiction    
 

eman

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Welcome to smf!

 I think the problem w/ the electric brinkman is that there is no thermostat where you can controll the temps.

 if i am reading right you plug it in and its on ?? If so you are probably cooking at a higher temp than 220-235 recomended for low and slow briskey. For a low and slow smoke it is better to have something that you can controll the temps.

 Looking at the video that brisket looks real good.
 

beer-b-q

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Joined May 1, 2007
 

Hi David, Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.
 


This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.
 


For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE
 

davidlsi

Fire Starter
63
13
Joined Sep 2, 2010
Welcome to smf!

 I think the problem w/ the electric brinkman is that there is no thermostat where you can controll the temps.

 if i am reading right you plug it in and its on ?? If so you are probably cooking at a higher temp than 220-235 recomended for low and slow briskey. For a low and slow smoke it is better to have something that you can controll the temps.

 Looking at the video that brisket looks real good.
You are correct it is just on...

But the temp yesterday seemed to be a steady 225 - 230
 

eman

Smoking Guru
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You are correct it is just on...

But the temp yesterday seemed to be a steady 225 - 230

  Is that by the stock thermo or have you gotten an after market thermo and calibrated it?

 just asking questions to try to figure out anything we can tell you that will help you w/ your smokes.
 

davidlsi

Fire Starter
63
13
Joined Sep 2, 2010
 Is that by the stock thermo or have you gotten an after market thermo and calibrated it?

 just asking questions to try to figure out anything we can tell you that will help you w/ your smokes.
That is an after market, but it has not been calibrated.
 

scarbelly

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Hi David and welcome to SMF. I just read thru the post and everyone has covered the issues you faced. I will say that I pull my chickens at 165 and will crisp the skin on the grill but for me 190 is pretty high temp.  Not saying it is wrong but I have had them dry out pretty bad at that temp. Glad you are enjoying your new hobby
 

forluvofsmoke

Smoking Guru
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Joined Aug 27, 2008
Hello again, David! Glad to see you're back and trying new things already...dang, you'll be hooked soon, if you aren't already! LOL!!!!!!!

I dropped my thoughts in among your questions in bold italics:
Thanks for the replies...

I went for my second chicken and first ribs yesterday on my Brinkman electric.  I purchased a thermometer to sit on the rack with the meat so I can now watch the temps inside and out of the meat.

Very good to have grate and meat temp readings...this will soon be one of your most valued tools of the craft. Oh, I like to put my grate temp probe into a small block of wood so it's not touching meat or metal with the probe for the most accurate readings.

The ribs I used the 2-2-1 method they turned out great with only one slab cooked there were no left overs.

The chicken I split open so it laid flat and in 3 1/2 hours the internal temp was up to 192.  I then finished it off in the hot grill to crisp up the skin.  We only ate about 1/3rd of this bird so I pulled the balance of the meat off and mixed enough sauce to coat everything.  Into the refrigerator over night, I took this to work today along with some crusty bread.  It was a a very tasty lunch.

As mentioned above, 165* if hitting the grill after wards will be less risk of drying out. Spatchcocking the bird is a very good way to go to speed things up and helps to even out the cooking temps. I even like doing separate quarters so I can get the breast out when it's ready instead of waiting for the dark meat while the breast is already done...great results with that method.

I used apple wood only this time and filled the cast iron smoke box twice.  I think the lesson this after this smoke is only fill the smoke box once. The ribs and chicken soak up the smoke flavor and this time I feel it was too heavy.  

Apple wood is a very good choice for poulty and pork ribs...personally, I think it's too light for pork shoulders, just so you keep it in mind when/if you do some pulled pork from a butt. If the smoke comes on pretty heavy and stays that way for more than a few minutes, the, quickly fades away, you'll probably want to find a way to get the smoke wood further away from the heat source or close off most of the air getting to the smoke wood. More heat/air means faster heavier smoke...less of either means lighter and longer smoke. It should only take a small handful of chips (or a small chuck) for a 2 to 3 hour smoke as above. A long smoke like a brisket or pork butt will use more.

If the smoke flavor was bitter, that's definitely time for a lighter smoke on the next round.

I wonder if the smoke flavor is like spicy food and whiskey and takes time to appreciate?

What I have found, and I think many experienced smokers will agree, when I spend several hours (and especially all night and into the next day) around a smoker, you tend to get accustomed to the smoke odor. It permeats your clothing and hair, and you take it with you everywhere you walk. I walk into the house and my wife and kids give me comments like "mmm, you smell REALLY GOOD!!!"  This can make you actually loose your sense of taste for the smoke. Also, with successive smokes, you may tend to start laying it on a bit heavier and longer, or using a sharper, deeper, less sweet smoke wood than you normally would use, just to see if it will taste better to you, and it will eventually become an overpowering strength of the smoke flavor and aromas after it's cooked, so be careful of that...I've done it more than once myself. On long smokes, it always seems to taste better the next day...that's not anything to do with the smoke, dry rub or meat...it's your nose and taste buds, so don't think that you did something wrong when it doesn't taste quite right, or the way you think it should...the next day when you eat leftovers will be the moment of truth...that's after a shower, 6 or 8 hours of sleep and fresh change of clothes has come into the equation. Yep, it's all coming back to me here...hah-hah!

The real appreciation for the smoke flavor should be instantaneous, I think. The first smell of the food should get your attention and lure you in for a closer look, and entice you to have a taste. If that doesn't happen, either the smoke wood just isn't what you like with that meat, or the dry rub and smoke wood don't match up very well. Some folks just don't like smoked foods at all...period...I rarely hear talk of such a thing.

Anyway, my suggestion is to be sure you have a light smoke, and preferable a sweet smoke as you have with apple...cherry is another good smoke for a starter. You don't need to see smoke to be smoking your meat...if you can smell it above or downwind of the smoker, you're smokin'. Less is more when it comes to smoke.

You're coming along just fine with having just a few opportunites to try your hand at smoking. A few lessons along the way is expected, and really, we don't learn much if we don't make mistakes. The best part is, you get to enjoy your mistakes by eating it...it has to be a total flop, which is rare, to not be able to eat it.

You will find a few things sometime down the road which you will prefer over others, like certain smoke woods or seasonings for certain cuts of meats. That's just part of what makes this so interesting and fun, IMO. Many, many variables to play with, and it's all great eating!
BTW, the ribs and yard bird look pretty darn tasty from where I'm sitting!

Enjoy, my friend, and by all means keep on smokin'!

Eric 
 
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