No foolin' on this April 1st...<7lb packer...Cherry RBP Rub: Q-View & Recipe (finished)

Discussion in 'Beef' started by forluvofsmoke, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey all! It's been a busy past couple of weeks for me, with just enough play-time for a triple slab loinback rib smoke on my last days off work, but I had a chance to burn a bonus brisket from a 74lb case we recently purchased. The bonus is that it's small enough to fit my lil' gourmet, so this one gets a charcoal fired ride.

    I was surprised to find this small of a packer when I unpacked the box several days ago, but realizing that I'd have a shot at a smoke, I kept it out of the freezer.

    I had to weight it, just to satisfy my curiousity...smallest packer I've ever seen...ever:



    I'm guessing that Sam's Club specs are for 75lb cases on whole brisket, so the packing plant tossed this one into the mix to finish out the case-weight along with the rest of the boys...6 in all.

    I trimmed off the connective tissue on the edge of the point and removed most of the fat cap, leaving mostly just a thin layer of fat on the flat cut of the packer for self-basting...there's a flap on the lower-left of the point (near center of the pic), flipped up here, and laying down in the next pic...strange cut on this packer:



    I may just trim that flap off so it doesn't get over-cooked after the I/T is into the 170-175*...OK, OK...for sampling???


    5 Tbls ground dried tart cherries

    3 Tbls ground red bell pepper

    1 Tbls ground rosemary

    1/2 Tbls ground oregano

    1/2 Tbls ground thyme

    1/2 tsp cumin

    1/4 tsp cinnamon

    1-1/2 Tbls ground black peppercorn

    1 Tbls ground garlic

    2 Tbls ground onion

    1 Tbls paprika

    2 Tbls kosher salt (mix into blend after all other ingredients are ground)

    Rubbed and wrapped for an over-night (8-hr) rest before the smoke:


    Hmm, now for smoke woods...I'm thinking a small chunk of mesquite (love it with a hefty flavored meat) to go along with hickory (for some bite) and cherry (for a subtle fruity/sweet flavor)...the cherry won't be prominent in the mix with the heavier mesquite and sharper hickory, but noticable.

    Time for both of us to catch some Z's...nitey-nite, baby brisket.

    7:30 am, and unwrapped for a second rub application:



    Let the thin blue smoke begin!

    See ya in about ten hours (I think)...

    Thanks for peekin'!

  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great looking start but you do realize today is the 31st?
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    DANG!!! [​IMG]   You're right, Al! I guess it has been a very long month for me. Ah, but, a couple good smokes to close out the month will surely make things better. I have 2 big slabs of spare ribs for dinner tomorrow and a great tasting dry rub to hit them with, so I'm looking forward to both my days off work...[​IMG]

  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    It does look good and the rub with the dried cherries looks interesting, never used something like that, may need to give it a try.

    Keep the pics coming!
  5. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Not to pass any bad luck but if this smoke goes as some of yours have, it might not finish until tomorrow.  [​IMG]
  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Al, I posted a process for prep of the dried cherries along with other recipes in the Wiki found HERE. I'll update the Wiki process as well, I have found an easier way to process the dried cherries lately, instead of mincing them by hand before grinding, so it speeds things up quite a bit. I just add about 1/2 Tbls of whole dried cherries to the grinder at a time and use short pulses while avoiding letting the blades/motor stop completely. If the blade stops, it might jam, and needs the cherry pieces moved a bit to grind some more.

    Anyway, adding dried fruits to rubs has taken things to a whole new level for me...can't go wrong, except for high heat searing on the can burn pretty quickly from the natural sugars in the powdered fruits.

    Ha-ha-!!! Yea, Dave, I had myself wondering how long this might actually take, but I did some more mods to my gourmet last night after I rubbed and wrapped the 7lbr (well, closer to 5.75lb after trimming). I now have a weber 18.5 charcoal grate suspended from the fire pan by heavy wire hooks. My problems in the past were excessive fuel usage, and at times, low temp issues, both due to having the charcoal grate too close to the water pan. This created higher humidity, but steamed off the water so quickly that it required too much fuel to maintain higher temps, so by lowering the fire, I have a bit more clearance from the water pan, using less fuel and resulting in higher chamber temps. I was actually running my main intake draft control at 20% and that was pushing nearly 250*, so I added more cold water and backed it off to 15%. It's chugging along nicely now in the 225-230* range, with the fire burning only in the center of the grate, so now I may be able to use a minion method for longer smokes like this, which will be really nice. I have 8 pork butts in the freezer just waiting for the right time...

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I'm getting bumped off the computer right now, so I'm only making this comment to put my mark on it, so it won't fade into the archives before I get a chance to study it!


  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looking good so far!!!

  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Eric, Every other brisket that you have done you have separated the flat & point prior to smoking. Did you leave them together because it's such a small packer?
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Alright, now I got a chance to study the beginning, and a great beginning it is!

    This is gonna be awesome   =>>>==============>   [​IMG]

  11. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Looking good will have my eye on this one.. [​IMG]
  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    4 hour update w/pics...coming along very nicely. I just stepped back out to double-check I/T's and it just hit it's first stall in the upper 140's...was 148.7* @ 4 hours, and is now 147.6* @ 4.5 hours in.





    Thanks, Bro!

    Yeah, this is one of those "back to the basics" smokes. I do seperate alot, but, I make burnt ends from the point most of the time as well, and to have them seperated before smoking just makes it a bit easier to get each cut out of the smoker exactly when I want. Also, it speeds up getting into the first stall so I can let it ride at whatever chamber temp I want to play with. Sometimes I predict the stall ahead of time and back the chamber temps down 10-20* to allow the plateau to hang on longer for more tenderization with a bit lower finished temp...just depends if I feel like rolling the dice that day, or whether I have time or not.

    This one, being so small fit pretty well onto the gourmet's small 15" grate. Last night when I was trimming, I flipped it over and looked at every edge and both sides, and I was sooooooo tempted to do a separation. The more I thought about it, the more I leaned towards just a basic smoke, sliced flat and pulled point for the finish. Also, I would have needed to use both grates, and the gourmet is somewhat of a PITA due to grate rotations when using both, just so you can even out the cooking temps better.

    Anyway, that's the reason behind leacving it whole...I like to do a simpler smoke sometimes, and this gives me a chance to excersise skills a bit more in this area. Change keeps things more interesting...hmm, we haven't had pulled brisket from the point since....jeez, I don't know...probably since I learned how to make burnt ends about 2 years ago! LOL!!!
    Thanks Bear!

    So far, so good! It started raining off and on late last night, was raining when I woke up, and hasn't stopped since. I guess spring is here in the Rockies...I'm waiting for our annual spring snow-storm to shut down tyhis whole area for a couple days, and then, the big melt-down which comes immediately thereafter, ushering us into summer.

    Mother nature will be hard-pressed to foil my smoking fun today, 'cause I have a roof over my outdoor kitchen, so, I'm holding a pretty solid poker hand...nah-nah, nah-nah, nah! I should keep my mouth shut though, cuz she might have an ace up her sleeve and call me out...LOL!!!

    Finish to come in about 6-7 hours if nothing goes south on me...should be an easy smoke from the looks of things.

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  13. figjam

    figjam Meat Mopper

    Looking good.  Can't wait to see the finished product.
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Same here!
  15. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Tick-Tock  Tick-Tock........[​IMG]
  16. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Dave, you were right about this one possibly turning into an exorbetently long smoke. Like many other's under my belt, this little bitty  brisky is wreaking havoc on the clock. No 1.5-2.0 hrs/lb is happining here today.

    Oh, I tried to quote for responses, but I get an error message to compliment a white screen when I've tried it for the past couple of hours, so that's out.

    I moved the probe around a bit to check for tenderness and double check I/T's at 12 hours in. I think it was showing 172* in the heaviest section of the point, and the central area more into the flat was reading 166*, so I left the probe there for getting to finish temps.

    This little fella has one mean streak of stubborn-ness, and it's showing it's true colors. It stalled for almost 2 hours in the upper 140's, then again for for over 3 hours @ 156-158*. I originally figured on it coming out to rest at around 10-11's now 14.25 hours in, probing is still kinda tough and temp is 186* so I'll hold out for 190* and probe again.

    Here's the 166-172* mark at 12 hours:



    The cherry rbp rub seems to holding out OK for this long smoke...not burning or scorching, just getting a nice dark carmelization, so that's cool by me.

    I have this sneaking suspicion that the long-stem analog thermo I have under the brisket to monitor chamber temps may have gotten tweeked. I haven't checked calibration on it since about 2 smokes back, so close to 3 weeks, but it's been a true reading thermo since it's initial calibration. I'll check it out in the morning before I toss some spares into the smoke vault and see what's what.

    Anyway, no sliced and pulled brisket for dinner tonight...10:00 pm now, and we had some quick stuff to cook up in the freezer for meats, so it's not starvation blvd here, but dang, I (we) wanted brisket.

    So, I guess a foiled resting with some hot towels to wrap it up will be in order, and slice the flat and pull the point (if it will pull) in the morning. Hmm, brisket for breakfast doesn't sound too bad, does it?

    Ah, if smoked meats were quick and totally uneventful leaving you without any real test of skill, it wouldn't be so good to eat...and, everybody would be doing it. As the old saying goes: good things come to those who wait...this should be a truely delicious outcome. I just wish my big gut wasn't trying to eat my little gut! LOL!!!!!!!!

    I'll bring you the finish ASAP, but then, that's still a long time to wait...

  17. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey all! I foiled it up coming into the 15th hour last night @ 187* as my fire was dying down a bit, and tossed it into the "O" @ 170*. I had a couple temp spikes in the gourmet from low water late in the game, but other than that it all worked out pretty well...just much longer than I expected.

    The bark got pretty dark (I thought I had made a form of blackened cajun there for a few minutes...LOL!!!), but I couldn't taste any charring this morning after I sliced and pulled it. The flat did get just a tad dry from about 2 hours too long of holding (I should have set the oven to shut off earlier...I've done this a few times before, but with much larger briskets). The point was just right for pulling, with the long, stringy texture I always loved, similar in size to spaghetti noodles, only BEEF.

    The dry rub has a bit more of a spicy-heat in nature than I expected, so maybe cut back on the black pepper for those who "can't take the heat".





    Well, I got slammed on the time it took, but managed to get pretty decent eats. I'm still amazed at how well the cherry-based dry rubs build such a tantilizing this stuff!

    I can't use the preview button again today...error message and blank white screen, so...(fingers crossed)...SUBMIT

  18. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well, speaking for those "who can't take the heat",  perhaps its more of a case of I'd rather taste the quality of the meat and the various spices and smoke then to have my taste buds overwhelmed by FIRE!!!! [​IMG] That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  So, looks like the smoke gods got an April Fools joke in on you.  Sure does look like some great eats are going to be had in your hacienda tonight (if you can wait that long, that is).[​IMG]
  19. Wow what a stubborn little also plays out for me the same way.. when i figure times for a meal i hit the nasty stalls. Great looking finished brisky and another fantastic Q-View.[​IMG]
  20. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Looks like some good eats.[​IMG]

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