Just getting started.

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by brisketlover, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie


    I am new to smoking. I have done a few small things on my chargriller smoker-grill,mostly poultry. I just recently got an Oklahoma Joe's longhorn smoker.

    I have used it once to smoke some chickens and I am planning on trying my first brisket tomorrow. I have had some first hand advise from a friend who owns a smoker, but other that that I am pretty much new to smoking.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I will take some pics of the brisket I do and post them here.[​IMG]

  2. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to the forums. I have a tip but it has nothing to do with the brisket, it's your smoker. I have an offset smoker similar to yours and have benefited from the smoker modifications described on this website. Just type in" Oklahoma Joe smoker mods" in the search box at the top of the page and you will see that it has problems you never knew existed.
  3. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie

    I read that page and have done a few of the mods so far.
  4. brentex

    brentex Fire Starter

    I have one of these but a much older model. I do brisket on it all the time and it is always good, if you like "Texas Style" brisket.

    I am not sure what you are looking for here but I can tell you what I do.

    First... It does not take 15 hours to smoke a brisket. I you arnt eating within 8 hrs of putting it on, you 'aint' using enough heat.

    The old 'Low and Slow' is valid but within reason...

    Also, after reading here, many like to mod everything (not that that is bad, but some of the things I see i wonder).

    A little smoke leaking around a lid doesnt matter when its going out the chimney or lid when you open it anyway.

    So here is what I do. ( not saying its right..Just works for me)

    First find a nice Brisket that has some flex.. (look for a nice thick flat, that does not have too much fat, but you need some)

    You need to be able to bend the brisket, meaning pick it up and make sure when you grab it on the ends you can almost make a U out of it. If you cant, keep looking.

    I start the coals in the sidecar using a pretty good amount (4#s or so) and let them get about 75% white.

    While the coals are getting happy,

    (the next step can be done the night before and put in the fridge for best results but if you dont have time)

    I take the Brisket and may or may not trim a little fat off it. ( it will break down and keep it moist anyway).

    Season the brisket:

    Kosher Salt

    Course Blk Pepper

    Onion Powder

    Garlic Powder


    Red Pepper

    I coat it pretty good both sides (but do what you prefer here. Its big meat and needs big  seasoning)

    Once the coals are happy. throw some nice wood of your choosing. ( I like pecan or mesquite, but thats just me and I can get it in my back yard lol)

    Put the Brisket (fat side up) on the grate and close the lid. Set the damper about 1/2 open close the sidecar lid and let it smoke like hell.

    Now, here is wear people are going to come out of the woodwork. (im ready for the attack lol)

    Dont worry if you are at 300-325 degrees on the gauge for now, you need to get things rolling and extra heat is how you do it.

    just make sure you put enough wood on it to get it really smoking heavy..

    You want to eventually get the heat to around 250, and it will get there just fine, Just make sure you add coal and wood as need.

    Once you have heavy smoke on the meat for a couple of hours  , that is all you are going to get flavor wise anyway. So after that you are just cooking.

    Go drink a few beers and after a hour or so open the lid and roll it over. (repeat / repeat / repeat)

    Dont ever stab the meat (ie with a fork) always roll it over.

    (scud launch coming lol)

    After about 5 or 6 hours when it is a nice dark brown juices are flowing clear.

    wrap that puppy up with some wide heavy duty foil. and go drink a beer, hard part is over.

    make sure you have some good heat 250-300 at this point so that it keep cooking.

    (the foil just keeps the juices in and keeps it moist)

    couple of hours and you should be salivating.

    Couple of Sidenotes:

    you can mop the brisket during the process as well, and I do this more times than not, but this is a fail proof method to have some delicious tender meat...

    Here is the one I did last weekend..

  5. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie

    I am following a modified version of geeks basic brisket that I found here on the forum.
    I do like your recipe also and I will probably try that next time.
    The only problem I am having is the temp, I can't seem to keep it above 200 and definitely not in the 225-250 range. I am using kingsford blue bag charcoal and misquete chunks.
    Any tips you have about that would be greatly appreciated
  6. brentex

    brentex Fire Starter

    How many lbs are you putting in there?

    I usually use lump type coal. (around here there is a brand called B&B, but did use the Royal Oak lump and was pretty impressed with it.)

    When I buy it it is usually the 18-20# bag.

    When I am doing offset smoking, it is nothing for me to start with almost a half a bag to get it started or around 8 lbs give or take. I may use 3/4 a bag by the time I am done.

    Leave the lid open on the side car until most all are turning white. Then add your wood chunks right before you put on the meat.

    Another thing I do if I am having trouble with keeping the temp up is. Use a fireplace shovel and put some of the coals in the main chamber and add some more to the side car.

    (It a little pain to keep clean if you are one of those but I just shovel the ash out before the next cook.)

    If you are not seeing improvement in temp, might want to check the stat in the lid by putting a oven thermometer in the main chamber and see what it says. It could be the stat also.

    If you do put coals in the main section. Just pile them up on the side by the sidecar and put the brisket on the other end. That way you still have indirect and can enjoy a beverage without burning anything.

    * went and looked at Geeks Recipe and I may try that one myself. Have never heard of using Coca Cola. Sounds interesting and his end product pictures looked outstanding.

    I think you get the same wrapping in foil and using the pan. I like a good bark on brisket and would think that you would get that by being directly on the grill before going to the pan (or foil).

    But, hey..live and learn, and I am going to give that one a try also...

    Enjoy, hope it comes out perfect for ya...
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  7. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Not being able to reach higher temps are what the mods can help you with. I couldn't get over 225 before I did my mods, now it's no problem to go over 300. Here are the ones I did:

    Using a 2 3/8" hole saw from Ace Hdwr., I cut an additional vent on the front and back of the firebox and made a swing-away tab to control air flow. The vent you see in the door was not letting enough air in.

    I had an old 3/8" aluminum plate that I cut into strips using a metal cutting blade from Ace on my circular. These tuning plates help even out the uneven internal temp of the smoker.

    Using a piece of sheet metal, I made a diverter to direct heat/smoke from the firebox under the tuning plates.

    Stuffed a dryer vent elbow from Lowes into the exhaust pipe to hold the heat at grate level.

    Installed a couple of cam locks (1 on each side) to hold the lid of the smoker against the wood stove gasket tape to keep heat from escaping from around the door. I used some black silicone high-temp adhesive to hold the gasket in place. (All bought on E-Bay.)

    Made a charcoal basket from 3/8" expanded metal from Ace. They sold it by the sq. ft. so, I just bought 4 sq.ft. and bent it by hand using a board and beating the bend with a hammer to make it sharp. You'll need a helper for this. I have a small welder, but you could wire it or bolt it together.

    Used the same hi-temp silicone adhesive to fill in the gaps. It doesn't look this bad in real life.

    Preheated to 300, loaded 2 large, spachcocked chickens and it's still at 277 and climbing back up. I was using Kingsford in the blue bag with a couple of oak splits. I put about 6 lbs. in the basket and dumped about 3 lbs. lit charcoal on top. It was overkill, it was my first time cooking large spachcocked chicken. In 1 1/2 hours or so, the chicken was 165 IT. I removed the chicken and closed all the vents. Now that it seals up tightly, the charcoal went out and I recovered about 5 lbs. of charcoal that didn't burn.

  8. brentex

    brentex Fire Starter

    that is very interesting on the mods I will say...

    I still think he needs to verify the stat for starters..

    I have this same pit. alot older and mine may be heavier metal, dont know.. But I could put 5 or 6 lbs of charcoal in it and when its really fired up fi I dont watch it I can stick the dang thermo on 450. and its got smoke leaking out all over the place. (not a big deal to me, it will hold the temp just fine)

    I dont get how he is getting such low temps unless not enough coal, stat is off, or the baffle at the coal door is closed and or the baffle at the smokestack is closed.

    You have to have air flow to move the heat around.

    Unless, they changed something, if i open the doors and look  into the main chamber at the sidecar. I have about a 4"X8" opening right into the coal area. That is more than enough unless there is no circulation inside the pit to pull the heat into the main chamber.

    I guess if the mods work for ya go for it.

    I just dont get the sealing every thing off  if you are opening the lid and have the baffle open to allow air to pull the heat thru.

    If you are too air tight, you are going to kill your coals and land up with less heat and  a bunch of leftover as stated.

    (just my opinion. Im not saying its right or wrong. Everyone has to do their own 'thang')
  9. brentex

    brentex Fire Starter

    This was driving me crazy so I had to find out...

    I had some time on my hands so I went to Char Broil. The people that make this thing. It is much different from mine in that it is much thinner metal, but still you should not be having issues with getting this thing, as it is, to any temp you want,

    Here is what the online chat support tech said about it.

    You: Have a friend with one of these and is having trouble getting the temp above 200. Even with more than enough coal in the offset. I told him make sure that the vents are open on the side by the coals and also the smokestack baffle was open some, so air could pull the heat into the main chamber. Do you have any other ideas
    You: I should have said maintaining 200 or better
    Mike: One moment please, it may be a moment while I research a solution. I appreciate your patience and look forward to resolving this for you.
    You: thanks
    Mike: I apologize, but I am still looking for the correct answer for you.
    You: thanks
    Mike: Thank you for your patience. As long as he is using enough coal and the vents are open to let in as much oxygen as possible, the smoker should be reaching maximum temperatures. If this is being done and the smoker is still not getting hot enough, I would recommend creating a support case with us so we can research this and see if there is anything else that can be done to increase the temperature.

    There ya have it... (do with it what you wish)
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  10. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie

    I switched to lump charcoal and got the temp up to about 260 for the last 5 hours, also I opened the chimney door all the way and the door of the sidecar.
    Also by burning more charcoal than what I had brought the temp up some too.

    Thanks for all your help!
  11. brentex

    brentex Fire Starter

    That is awesome..It was driving me crazy as to why you could not get up to temp. I suspect, more coal and it would go higher.

    another thing that I failed to mention with the smoking. If you are doing this at home and have access to your oven. After about 5 hours on the smokers, I will wrap it up with heavy wide foil. The wide is important so that you keep the juices around the meat and it wont run out like it does with 2 pieces of foil. I will put the wrapped brisket in a oven safe pan and throw it in the oven at 225 and let it go for a few hours. It really works well, the meat will be extremely tender and is pretty failproof.
  12. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie

    A friend that does a lot of smoking told me to do that, except at 190 overnight, so that is what I did.
    I will post some pics when I unwrap it
  13. Brentex that is exactly how me and my bro have been doing our briskets for a while, only I use a squirt bottle with half apple cider vinegar half dr pepper, and add ground mustard to the rub. Sometimes we add beef broth to the "foiling process" always comes out nice and tender, glad to hear someone else isn't scared to get the heat going. Great advice.
  14. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie

    Here are sime pics of the brisket, it worked out great!
    Thanks for your help.
  15. Welcome to the forum

    Gary S
  16. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie

    Umm it has been 24 hours since I uploaded those pics, I don't see email.
  17. brentex

    brentex Fire Starter

    I can't see the pics
  18. Welcome to the group. One issue I have with using high heat and a lot of smoke flowing is, you can sear the outside of the meat at higher heat and not allow the smoke to penetrate. Also heavy smoke can leave a bitter taste to the meat. Light smoke gets the flavor into the meat better and starting with lower heat around 225/250 will still break down the fat. Once it has reached the foil point of the cook you could bump up the heat. Anytime I have cooked a brisket I went with low and slow the whole time ending with at least a 1/4 to 1/2 inch smoke ring and tender juice meat full of flavor.
  19. brisketlover

    brisketlover Newbie


    Maybe the pics will show up in this.
  20. brentex

    brentex Fire Starter

    Still not showing..are you clicking the picture frame next to the paper clip to add?

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