Starting Right

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by ddub, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    Hi all,

    Recently picked up a smoker due to my wife wanting to make authentic Texas brisket for a party.  As such, we went out and picked up a MES 40 digital no window from Lowe's along with some chips and off I went.  Although I was born in [​IMG]  I am outside of Sacramento, CA now.  Zero experience with smoking, but I have been grilling for a while.  So not one to take it small, and needing some practice before the actual party, I decided my first smoke would be some brisket this weekend and to have a few friends over.  This turned in to 40+ people and 2 12lb packers in my fridge right now (yeah, I've got backup plans and more food than the brisket).  So tonight I jump in with both feet and some pressure to deliver on the other end.  BUT, I'm much better prepared having read everything here, so thanks in advance.  Oh and the Maverik 733 should be delivered from Amazon today, so at least I have that.

    Plan is to keep it basic, SPOG rub, 225 cooking temp, minimal trim and fat side up.  I'll decide on wrapping vs no and foil or paper depending on how it is going in the morning.

    Wish me luck!
  2. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Wow!  I like the plan, sounds like you've got it covered.  I'm not very familiar with the electric smokers, but lots of folks here use a device to get the smoke going on in there.  I'm sure someone will know what I'm talking about.

  3. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Oh Yeah....I'll be watching!

  4. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    Ok, it's went on at midnight last night.  For those that don't remember, this is what a totally clean smoker looks like.  MES 40 digital.

    My two victims...

    One of the packers, trimmed and dry brined for 24 hrs.

    Rubbed with equal parts SPOG, no liquid.  It stuck just fine. 

    Got the MES heated up about 2 hours early and got to experience the classic temp oscillation.  It was also running a bit hot compared to my Maverik 733.  As such, I set it at 220 and put them in.  This is the last I saw of them.  Starting temp of the meat was 46.  Meat was on at 1210 with dry chips to start.  Fat is up, point is to the right, although when calibrating, there was little difference between right and left temps, maybe 2-3 degrees.

  5. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    Temps so far

    2 AM - 90, 93 IT - added new chips, wetted

    3 AM - 122 IT

    5 AM - forgot to log it, but I added new chips, wetted

    7 AM - 160, 162 IT

    8 AM 162, 163 IT

    9 AM - same, added chips

    10 AM (now) 163 IT on both

    At the classic stall.  Haven't cracked the door yet.  Eating around 6pm, so it looks like I am right on schedule.  If I don't get movement in the next hour, I will wrap, leaving at least 4 hours of subsequent cooking and 2 hours rest. 

    Or not, the alarm just beeped as I was writing this, IT at 163,165 now.  Should have movement soon.  Going to do a whole lot of nothing.
  6. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't be afraid to bump heat to 250F to push through the stall.
  7. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ddub, I'm in Roseville.  I must have missed our invitation!  [​IMG]  [​IMG]

    Sounds like you are in great shape for the party.  Be sure to post some pics of the finished briskets! 
  8. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    Weird you didn't get it.  I addressed it:


    Sacramento, CA

    Should have been there by now...[​IMG]

    BTW, I got the meat at Roseville Meat Market.  Untrimmed, Choice for 5.99/lb.  Also checked Costco, but it looked like they only had flats and it was $5.29/lb.  Didn't know if those were good prices or not.  I see people in other parts of the country getting $3/lb, but I don't know what that is for.  If you know of a better source, please let me know.
  9. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    Through the stall I think.  It is moving up slowly.

    11 AM 167, 169 IT

    May bump 5 degress as I am only set at 220 now.

    Another question: 

    At this point, I assume that the smoke is not really doing anything (based on what I've read about smoke flavor being done in the first 4 hours).  Should I be keeping the chip bin filled or taper off on that?
  10. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    Correction.  I am at 220 actual, but set at 215.  I just moved it up to set at 220 which should be closer to 225 actual.
  11. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dang, guess I should check the mail more often!

    I've pretty much given up on Costco's meat department in Roseville.  They have good tri tips and boneless pork butts, but that's about all I've bought there recently.  Not a fan of them any longer.

    Winco Foods up in Rocklin next to the Lowes is my new best friend meat market.  The meat section alone is about 1/3rd the size of a whole Raley's/Bel Air market.  They have fantastic prices and solid quality on all cuts of meat.  Two weekends ago they had untrimmed "select grade or better" briskets that looked like they could have easily been Primes for $3.58/lb.  I picked up a 5.2 lb brisket point that was labeled Choice that I would have sworn was Prime for $4.08/lb.  It smoked to butter tender!  

    It takes about a gallon of gas in my truck round trip to get from the house to Winco.  I went item by item on the receipt on a six bag grocery trip and calculated we SAVED $90 and didn't give up any of the quality from our usual grocer (Raley's/Bel Air).  You bag your own groceries but what the heck.  Well worth the trip.   
  12. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Personally, I've never believed this. I don't think a large piece of meat like a brisket can get too much smoke. I smoke everything the entire time it's in the smoker.

    Maybe someone else can chime in on that [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  13. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    1 PM 171,174 IT

    Adding a few chips every hour when I check. Alarm is set at 190 in case something crazy happens. 
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  14. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    3:30 PM

    oh yeah, it's looking good now.  wrapping for the final hour to ensure I hit 190.  Probes went it smooth and here is how it looks.  currently 176 and 183 IT

    A lot less dripping than I would have expected...

    Close up to see how the bark is coming

    Right before they go away from sight again...

  15. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looking great ddub!

  16. Oh boy, That looks great!
  17. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Gonna be eating good!
  18. ddub

    ddub Newbie

    It turned out pretty good for my first time.  Everyone at the party loved it.  I thought the point was good but the flat could have been done more.  It wasn't really pull apart done.  Flavorful, very smokey, but no smoke ring.

    Slicing up the flat.

    Bark was good though.  Right at the point in slicing where the point meets the flat.

    Separating the flat from the point

    Point was much better done.

    Thanks for the help and encouragement everyone!
    mike5051 likes this.
  19. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Nice job ddub! [​IMG]

    I always monitor my IT until 195-200, then switch to temp probe going in like butter.  Once it passes that probe test I pull and wrap with foil and then towels.  Rest it in a cooler for an hour or two and then slice.  Sometimes, I'll separate the point and cube it for burnt ends prior to wrapping.  


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