First brisket smoke!

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First brisket smoke!

Postby beerent » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:13 am

I am well into my first brisket smoke. Ive been learning a lot so far, but i am not confident this one will turn out so great. Im smoking a 6.5 pounder and its been on for just about five hours with the temp ranging from 180 to 250. I am trying hard to hit the 220-250 range, and after being five hours in i better understand how to maintain the temp. I just checked the meat and its somehow at 187 degrees and quite tough yet. From what i have read, that doesnt even sound right. Thermometer placement might be poor. I am going to continue take it out when it hits 203. Debating on trying the texas crutch to keep it moist. Ill let you know how it turns out! Im having a blast.


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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:55 am

i would wrap it now
but i'm not a fan of using foil. i think it sogs out the brisket and ruins the bark
most folks use uncoated butcher's paper. you can also use parchment paper
but... both of my granddads used brown paper grocery bags. they "breath" the best
don't worry about coming to 203° some briskets take longer to get to "poke" tender
might be as high as 210°+
"poke" tender is the true test. it should feel like a stick of butter left out on the counter
some folks have a stainless "poke" rod - what most of the famous central Texas bbq places use
Aaron Franklin just uses the point of his Thermapen digital thermometer (watch his videos)
i have a fancy pointed chopstix that i've used for many years - same shape and point as the stainless pokers

here's a pic of my plastic chopstix. i sharpened the point in a pencil sharpener
and my Thermapen digital thermometer

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the first RULE of Brisket is - it ain't done til it's DONE ;)
Last edited by CaptJack on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby beerent » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:24 pm

Thanks thats great info. Its been 6 hours at ~200 degrees. The flat is very tough still. But its temp is now 205. Im taking a risk but im going to just keep it cookin. From what i can tell people smoke brisket at a higher temp and for longer, so in theory i have time left on the cook. We will see!

I chose not to wrap it. For my first cook i dont want to add that variable.

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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:30 pm

you're on your path
just keep going til it get's tender
eventually they get too tender = over-done - like pot roast
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Re: RE: Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby beerent » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:34 pm

CaptJack wrote:you're on your path
just keep going til it get's tender
eventually they get too tender = over-done - like pot roast

Thats good to know. I was wondering if i somehow over cooked it so it became firm. Now i know it SHOULD become moist. Will keep you posted!

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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:42 pm

i spritz - spray my brisket to keep it moist as i cook it
anytime the surface looks dry it's gets a spritz
i use apple juice & apple cider vinegar, but you can use just water
i normally wrap my brisket at the beginning of the stall = 160°
but after reading Aaron Franklin's book, he wraps at 180° at the end of the stall
wrapping is what keeps the meat from drying out
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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:45 pm

at the end of this, if your brisket comes out dry and tough
you can put it in your crockpot with a beer and let it braise for a few hours
or in a covered dutch oven in the oven at 250°
then you can use it for pot roast / stroganoff
a slow braise saves any tough brisket
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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby beerent » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:10 pm

Fantastic! I never thought of that. I am starting to feel confident it will turn out okay, but time will tell! Im enjoying every second, besides smokey eyes haha.

I believe my biggest problem is not leaving the meat alone. I keep probing and moving it. I grabbed a cold one to help keep my hands busy.

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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:41 pm

there's another very true saying about low & slow cookin'

"if you're lookin' you ain't cookin' ;)
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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:54 pm

something else to add
on all of my low & slow cooks i use a water pan
this is the one i use in my new pellet cooker

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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby beerent » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:16 pm

Capt jack i appreciate all of what you had to offer! You really calmed me down and as a result i think i made a solid first brisket. This is also my first time ever using a smoker.

i felt the butter like probe, and now im resting the brisket. What an activity! Cant wait til next weekend.. more photos to come.

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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:43 pm

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and remember
you can always braise the leftovers
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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:51 pm

when you get a chance, read Aaron Franklin's book
the best i've read on cooking a brisket
and a great story about their start and restaurant

https://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Barbecu ... n+franklin

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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby beerent » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:59 pm

I actually just ordered it yesterday. I live in austin so his bbq and book are popular.

Here it is, theres my brisket! Id rate it a 5/10. Its very dry. The probe moves through it like butter. I have a lot of work and learning to do.. cant wait til next weekend!!

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Re: First brisket smoke!

Postby CaptJack » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:54 pm

look how much you learned from your first smoked brisket
you needed the water pan
you need to spray it when it gets dry
you should have wrapped it in some kind of paper between 160~180
i still think 160. keeps it more moist
and you learned a lot about your smoker
how much fuel to add, and when - to maintain the temp you wanted
and the more briskets you cook
the less often you'll open the door and look
not only does it let the heat out
it lets the moisture out

chop up some of your leftovers
make a brown gravy
and serve it over egg noodles
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