New Old Country Wrangler Smoker - First Brisket

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by mickhlr, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Well, I got brave on my 3rd smoke and decided to do a brisket. 

    First smoke was a sausage roll stuffed with cheese and jalapenos, wrapped in bacon...a tenderloin...and some jalapeno sausages.  Wanted to do something that would smoke fairly quickly, as I had just finished seasoning the Old Country Wrangler and it was a weekday.  But, I just had to throw some meat on.  I was able to keep the smoker between 225*-250* the whole time, it was all ready in less than 3 hours, and turned out wonderful. 

    So, for my next smoke, I tried a couple racks of baby back ribs and a whole chicken.  Definitely not the best I've smoked of either one.  The ribs were tender and had a good taste, but were a little dry.  I think because my fire kept getting too hot.  So, I was disappointed, to say the least.  I think I finally figured out how to play with the temp when adding wood that day though. 

    Yesterday, I was debating on whether to do more ribs, or a brisket...and bought both at the grocery store.  By the time I got home, I decided to do the brisket.  I'll try to walk you through what I did, and how it turned out. 

    I made up my favorite rub, and started trimming the brisket.  I know this rub is a little different, with a lot of ingredients.  And, I know Aaron Franklin, from Franklin's BBQ in Austin, Texas, only uses salt and pepper.  But, I really like this rub, and it works well on just about anything.  I think the distinguishable taste of this rub is mainly from the allspice. 

    3 Tbsp kosher salt
    3 Tbsp pepper
    2 Tbsp thyme
    6 Tbsp cumin
    4 Tbsp allspice
    6 Tbsp paprika
    2 Tbsp garlic powder

    4 Tbsp chili powder
    4 tsp celery salt

    1 tsp cayenne

    Ready to put in the fridge overnight.

    Starting my fire with lump charcoal at 6:00am this morning.

    Used Pecan wood, let it heat up to about 350* and then started closing my damper to bring it back down.  Threw the brisket on at 285*.

    Within a few minutes, we were right at 250*-255* with TBS...looking good.  I added another stick of Pecan about every 45 minutes to one hour.  After 4 hours, internal temp at about 160*...and I'm taking it off to wrap it.

    Put it back on the grill wrapped in foil, not knowing how long it may take to get to about a 205* internal temperature.  Keeping the fire at about 250*-275*.  About 2 1/2 hours later, we're at 205* internally, so I remove from smoker and bring it in to rest.  So, I had planned on up to 12 hours to smoke this brisket, and was pleasantly surprised when it was done in 6 1/2 hours.  This was the hardest part, looking at it and smelling it, while letting it rest for a while. 

    After about 45 minutes, it was cool enough that I could handle it, and cut it.  OMG!!  The most tender, juiciest, best-tasting brisket I've ever smoked in my life.  It was totally awesome!!  I think I'm getting better at this stick-burning thing. 

    Can't wait to try a Boston Butt now!  :)
  2. the boston butt was the first thing i did on black betty.  It took about 10.5 hours to reach 205 kept temps at 220-240 and it was amazing! [​IMG]
  3. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I could go for some brisket and eggs right about now. It looks good.
  4. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Great post. Love that smoker. Nice compact sturdy looking rig. Brisket looks amazing. Brisket is hard to cook correctly and you nailed it. The Boston butt should be a breeze! :grilling_smilie:
  5. stripernut

    stripernut Fire Starter

    Beautiful Mick. I want to follow your lead soon. I like the way my ribs and butts turn out on my Smokin' Tex, but my briskets have always turned out too dry. I think that's because I never foiled them.

    So, I didn't see foiling pics above, but you indicate that you foiled at IT of 160, and pulled it off the smoker at IT of 205. The bark and XS cut look great. Question: I've always thought that foiling, the purpose of which is to conserve moisture, would lessen the bark, which to me is a great flavor component. In your pics it looks like you lost no bark with foiling. True? Any comments or further explanation would be helpful. For instance, I was thinking that removing the foil at the end and putting it back on the smoker for 30 minutes would strengthen the bark - do you think that's worth it, or would the loss of moisture offset any gain I'd get in bark? Thanks in advance for your help.

    At any rate, that is one good lookin' brisket, and I want to emulate your success.


  6. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys.  Hambone1950...yes, this Old Country Wrangler smoker (from Academy $499) is sturdy, all welded construction, with 3/16" steel.  My first stick-burner, and for the price, I think it's hard to beat.  I shopped for a while to find what I wanted with a budget less than $500.  Everything else I found in my price range was 1/8" steel...and very few were all welded. 

    Wes, thanks.  I smoked for years on an old GOSM...and I mainly smoked ribs.  It was outstanding for that, and I could smoke 8 racks of ribs at a time.  It was easy to do...the propane kept the temp consistent and they always turned out great.  I don't know why I could never smoke a good brisket on it.  Like you, mine was always too dry.  I never foiled them either.  So, I used to always do briskets in the oven, with marinade and injecting.  They were always tender and juicy...but just didn't have the smoked taste...which posed a conundrum.  I haven't smoked or cooked a brisket for two years because of that. 

    So, when I got this new smoker, and did a little research, I was determined to smoke a good brisket on it.  Yes, I foiled it at 160* IT, which I checked at the 4-hour mark and it was right there.  I did not wrap it tightly in foil, as most folks do.  I put it back in the foil pan that I'd used to rub it...and just put a piece of foil over the top of it.  That way I was able to get my Maverick temp lead under the foil on one end and back in the brisket.  I was trying to figure out how I was going to do that if I just wrapped it tightly with foil.  And, I don't believe I lost any bark from the foiling.  In fact, I even got some really good burnt ends, that I didn't think I'd get with the foiling.  To tell you the truth, I had anticipated putting it back on the smoker at 300* for about an hour after I took it out of the foil.  But, I didn't want to check it until I'd let it rest for about 45 minutes.  So, I kept my smoker going and holding at 300* while I was waiting on it to rest...then I was going to put it back on to crisp it up some and give me the burnt ends I wanted.  I was very surprised when I didn't need to put it back on the smoker.  I believe it even browned up a bit while it was foiled.  Pic #5 is when I took it off and foiled it.  Pic #6 is when I took out of the foil to rest, two hours later. 

    You can see how juicy it was in the pics.  You can't see how easy it was to cut...and I didn't have a good knife, just an old butcher knife from the wife's steak knife set.  But, even with a knife that wasn't the best, it cut very easily and did not crumble from over-cooking.  Maybe I just got lucky...I don't know.  [​IMG]
  7. stripernut

    stripernut Fire Starter


    Thanks for further explanation - it's just what I needed. I am copying this thread to my evernote library and will follow your lead on my next brisket attempt. Great job!


  8. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    That brisket looks outstanding, Mick!  Very nicely done!

  9. Nice work, Mick. You are getting to be a pro. Beautiful looking brisket.

  10. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Thanks Red and Ed...I may have just gotten lucky!  And, I'm usually my own worst critic...but I could find nothing wrong with this one.  And, I really enjoyed watching the temps and adding wood when I needed to.  You can see the smoke ring on it, and I think the pecan gave it a mild smoke taste, and left the flavor of the meat to shine through.  I'll keep practicing and having fun.  The worst part yesterday was I started so early, by the time I was ready to switch from coffee to adult beverages, it was almost ready!  LOL!!
  11. I have been looking at several smokers and had just about narrowed things down to this and a Weber 22.5 kettle because I also wanted to cook steaks at a high temp.  Your post might just have sealed the deal on buying this model!  Great product in that brisket!
  12. Looks like you nailed it! I did a brisket for my first cook on the Wrangler. I had a little trouble getting the temp up - I used mostly charcoal and some wood. Here's the thing - it was tender and smoky with a nice smoke ring. However, It didn't have a good bark. It was more like a roast beef if you know what I mean. Everyone who tried it loved it.

    I'm going to put the heat to the next one. I had my old smoker down to a science. Part of the fun is figuring out the new one!
  13. Mick, your a Texas boy, good brisket is in your DNA; you just lost it for a while! [​IMG]  GREAT job my friend. [​IMG]   I will say that myself and many others are smokin brisket in the 300-325 range but havin said that, you smoked a brisket that YOU like in YOUR smoker.  What else ya need?  I'd do 'em ALL just the same way!  Keep Smokin my Tx. brother!

  14. slice it thin and fry it like bacon :)
  15. Good looking briskit!!! I was curious how many lbs was that brisket? I have the wrangler also and for mother's day my wife wanted me to smoke a brisket for her families gathering. It was a little under 9lbs so I figured 10-11 hours of smoke time. Like you I checked my internal temp after 4 hours and it was already at 165. So I wrapped it up in foil stuck my probe in and finished it off in the foil at 245° or so..I was not thrilled with the way it came out. However her family said it was the best they ever had.. I also had little to no bark.. Later I discovered the my oven temp accuracy was off by 35°.. Not sure if you know but on the wrangler the hot side is the smoke stack. Usually runs 30-40° hotter than the hot box side. Any tips on how to create more bark? From what I've read the longer you smoke the more bark you will have... Thanks and again good looking briskit. This is a picture of mine from mothers day.
  16. I wasn't really pleased with the smoke ring either... But it was my first and I'm planning to smoke another tomorrow.. I guess practice makes perfect.

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