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Sully
05-08-2008, 04:05 PM
I bought my first smoker last week, and attempted my first brisket. It tasted great, but I never got it up to 180, so it was a little tougher than I hoped. Not real tough, just not tender.
My problem was that I could never seem to regulate the heat. I wanted it around 225, but I would either have it between 250-400. I started with charcoal, threw some wood on, and then added wood throughout the day. I was using the wood chunks you can buy at Home Depot.
It seemed that even if I would add one small peice of wood, the temp would shoot way up. The only time it was close to the temp I needed, it stayed there for a small amount of time, then the fire died completely and I had to start over with charcoal again.

So obviously I'm very novice at this. I'm going to try it again this weekend for Mother's Day, and would like some beginner's advice for what I can do differently this time.

Thanks in advance.


...and yes, I marinated the brisket in antifreeze.

Stewie
05-08-2008, 04:08 PM
I hope you're not trying to smoke in a cheap Brinkman, or the like. You'll be nothing other than frustrated.

Der Flöprer
05-08-2008, 04:09 PM
JUST MAKE SURE YOU SMOKE OUTSIDE!!!!!

Sully
05-08-2008, 04:10 PM
http://www.chargriller.com/upload/330/large/236.jpg

This is what I'm rolling with.

Der Flöprer
05-08-2008, 04:11 PM
:drool:

POND_OF_RED
05-08-2008, 04:15 PM
How much did the glow-in-the-dark feature cost?

Sully
05-08-2008, 04:18 PM
How much did the glow-in-the-dark feature cost?

ROFL


Actually, mine is a little different from that. The charcoal tray in the smoke box doesn't pull out like that, there is just a door that opens. And mine has the smoke box on the left.

Oh, and it doesn't have the Pac-Man opening for the grill. It has an overlapping hood.

Stewie
05-08-2008, 04:19 PM
Ah, horizontal smokers take some time to get used to. I'm thinking you didn't start out with enough charcoal. You need enough fuel to stabilize the smoker before you add wood for smoking. There is alot of mass that needs to be heated, plus other variables come into play (wind, outdoor temp). Once you get to your set point, adjust the vents to maintain temp and toss in some smoking wood. Let the wood burn until it's smoking good and toss on the brisket. Maintain temp by venting changes (which should be minimal) and adding wood. After you've smoked for about 3 hours you can go back to charcoal since the meat is as smoky as it will get. You want to save the good smoke wood for other briskets.

Sully
05-08-2008, 04:22 PM
Ah, horizontal smokers take some time to get used to. I'm thinking you didn't start out with enough charcoal. You need enough fuel to stabilize the smoker before you add wood for smoking. There is alot of mass that needs to be heated, plus other variables come into play (wind, outdoor temp). Once you get to your set point, adjust the vents to maintain temp and toss in some smoking wood. Let the wood burn until it's smoking good and toss on the brisket. Maintain temp by venting changes (which should be minimal) and adding wood. After you've smoked for about 3 hours you can go back to charcoal since the meat is as smoky as it will get. You want to save the good smoke wood for other briskets.

Interesting.
I was thinking I used too much charcoal to start with. Hmmmmm.

It seemed like the thing heated up pretty quick, though.
I was running it with all doors, vents, etc closed almost the whole time to try and bring the temp down.

So I should let it burn for quite a while before adding the brisket? ANd after the first three hours forget about the wood.
Good to know.

I'll try it.

Stewie
05-08-2008, 04:37 PM
Interesting.
I was thinking I used too much charcoal to start with. Hmmmmm.

It seemed like the thing heated up pretty quick, though.
I was running it with all doors, vents, etc closed almost the whole time to try and bring the temp down.

So I should let it burn for quite a while before adding the brisket? ANd after the first three hours forget about the wood.
Good to know.

I'll try it.

Are you using a chimney starter for your coals?

Sully
05-08-2008, 04:38 PM
Are you using a chimney starter for your coals?

Yeah.
I don't think I left them in there long enough, though.
I t was my first time using that, as well, since I've been using a gas grill my whole life.

cdcox
05-08-2008, 04:40 PM
My friend has that unit. It takes a little practice to maintain heat. Without getting a run away fire. First suggestion is to start monitoring temperature right at the grill surface. Get an electronic digital thermometer (the kind with a wire, try Target) and find a way to mount it just above the surface of the grill without touching any metal -- you might try putting it through a wine cork, then jamming the cork between the openings in the grill. He used a piece of a pot holder jammed in the grill opening with the the bend of the the themomenter wedged in there and the tip pointing up at an angle.

One other modification you should consider is to get a piece of aluminum flashing, and roll it into a cylinder, and stick it in the smoke stack from the inside of the hood. the idea is to bring the bottom of the smokestack to within a couple of inches of the cooking surface. This forces the hot air to fill the smoker, instead of short circuiting along the top of the cooking chamber.

Now that you are targeting the actual cooking temperature instead of the "dial on the lid" at least you are shooting at a real target. My friend would throw in a full chimney of coals to start. He used regular old Kingsford charcoal. He added just enough wood to keep just a little smoke coming out the chimney. Becareful not to over smoke as it can make the meat bitter. I think he prepared more hot coals in the chimney (maybe 1/3 to half full) and put them in the fire box as needed. Every 6 to 8 hours, he'd do an ash dump to keep the oxygen flow going. Control your burn rate with the vents on the fire box and leave the smoke stack wide open.

Also, that unit isn't that heavy or tight, so it can be very susceptible to cold temperatures or wind. Avoid smoking on cool days and keep the unit out of the wind.

He did some great Q on that smoker.

cdcox
05-08-2008, 04:44 PM
Interesting.
I was thinking I used too much charcoal to start with. Hmmmmm.

It seemed like the thing heated up pretty quick, though.
I was running it with all doors, vents, etc closed almost the whole time to try and bring the temp down.

So I should let it burn for quite a while before adding the brisket? ANd after the first three hours forget about the wood.
Good to know.

I'll try it.

It is constructed of light guage sheet metal so there is not a lot of thermal mass. You may be able to get by will less charcoal, maybe 3/4 of a chimney to start? or let the coals burn down more, like you said.

Sully
05-08-2008, 04:44 PM
My friend has that unit. It takes a little practice to maintain heat. Without getting a run away fire. First suggestion is to start monitoring temperature right at the grill surface. Get an electronic digital thermometer (the kind with a wire, try Target) and find a way to mount it just above the surface of the grill without touching any metal -- you might try putting it through a wine cork, then jamming the cork between the openings in the grill. He used a piece of a pot holder jammed in the grill opening with the the bend of the the themomenter wedged in there and the tip pointing up at an angle.

One other modification you should consider is to get a piece of aluminum flashing, and roll it into a cylinder, and stick it in the smoke stack from the inside of the hood. the idea is to bring the bottom of the smokestack to within a couple of inches of the cooking surface. This forces the hot air to fill the smoker, instead of short circuiting along the top of the cooking chamber.

Now that you are targeting the actual cooking temperature instead of the "dial on the lid" at least you are shooting at a real target. My friend would throw in a full chimney of coals to start. He used regular old Kingsford charcoal. He added just enough wood to keep just a little smoke coming out the chimney. Becareful not to over smoke as it can make the meat bitter. I think he prepared more hot coals in the chimney (maybe 1/3 to half full) and put them in the fire box as needed. Every 6 to 8 hours, he'd do an ash dump to keep the oxygen flow going. Control your burn rate with the vents on the fire box and leave the smoke stack wide open.

Also, that unit isn't that heavy or tight, so it can be very susceptible to cold temperatures or wind. Avoid smoking on cool days and keep the unit out of the wind.

He did some great Q on that smoker.

SOme great ideas I might try, especially the flashing.
I noticed right away it wasn't all that tight.
There was smoke coming out of every seam on the thing.

cdcox
05-08-2008, 04:52 PM
I can't recommend getting an accurate themomenter strongly enough. Try this one, it even has a clip you might be able to rig to get the probe at the right elevation.

http://www.target.com/Polder-Cooking-Timer-Thermometer-Bonus/dp/B000S12U0O/qid=1210283282/ref=br_1_9/602-3501828-0659053?ie=UTF8&node=13003671&frombrowse=1&rh=&page=1

Sully
05-08-2008, 04:54 PM
I can't recommend getting an accurate themomenter strongly enough. Try this one, it even has a clip you might be able to rig to get the probe at the right elevation.

http://www.target.com/Polder-Cooking-Timer-Thermometer-Bonus/dp/B000S12U0O/qid=1210283282/ref=br_1_9/602-3501828-0659053?ie=UTF8&node=13003671&frombrowse=1&rh=&page=1

I bought one just like that to keep in the meat while it was cooking, so I may just buy another for what you are talking about. I can see that the temp difference between the grill and the top of that hood is probably pretty significant.

Donger
05-08-2008, 04:55 PM
I can't recommend getting an accurate themomenter strongly enough. Try this one, it even has a clip you might be able to rig to get the probe at the right elevation.

http://www.target.com/Polder-Cooking-Timer-Thermometer-Bonus/dp/B000S12U0O/qid=1210283282/ref=br_1_9/602-3501828-0659053?ie=UTF8&node=13003671&frombrowse=1&rh=&page=1

Not to get sidetracked (I love these smoker discussions), but WTF?

Better Together

Buy this Polder Cooking Timer/Thermometer with Bonus Pan Clip with Absorption Plus Mattress Pad - Twin today!

Sully
05-08-2008, 04:58 PM
Not to get sidetracked (I love these smoker discussions), but WTF?

Better Together

Buy this Polder Cooking Timer/Thermometer with Bonus Pan Clip with Absorption Plus Mattress Pad - Twin today!

I bet it holds the heat well.

cdcox
05-08-2008, 04:58 PM
I bought one just like that to keep in the meat while it was cooking, so I may just buy another for what you are talking about. I can see that the temp difference between the grill and the top of that hood is probably pretty significant.

If you have one you're all set. I use mine to monitor cooking surface temperature during the first part of the cook. Once I know what dial reading matches surface cooking temperature, I can stick it in the meat to measure cooking progress.

I also found that using foil toward the end of the brisket cook helps keep it from drying out.

cdcox
05-08-2008, 05:00 PM
Not to get sidetracked (I love these smoker discussions), but WTF?

Better Together

Buy this Polder Cooking Timer/Thermometer with Bonus Pan Clip with Absorption Plus Mattress Pad - Twin today!

LMAO

Didn't even notice that. Some kinky folks at Target.

Sully
05-08-2008, 05:00 PM
If you have one you're all set. I use mine to monitor cooking surface temperature during the first part of the cook. Once I know what dial reading matches surface cooking temperature, I can stick it in the meat to measure cooking progress.

I also found that using foil toward the end of the brisket cook helps keep it from drying out.

The good thing was that my meat never really dried out at all. I sprayed it with apple juice and olive oil every hour, and had a drip tray under it full of Dr Pepper. I think maybe all tha thelped.

Fire Me Boy!
05-08-2008, 05:05 PM
If you need mass, run to Wal-Mart, pick up two 12-inch patio stones and place them in the bottom. Did wonders for my old grill. Makes the cool-down time longer, but it'll help stabilize the temp.

redbrian
05-08-2008, 05:07 PM
I hope you're not trying to smoke in a cheap Brinkman, or the like. You'll be nothing other than frustrated.

I have been smoking in cheap Brinkmans for years, they are idiot proof......well that is unless you are an idiot.

Natural Lump charcoal and chunks of hickory soaked in water for several hours.

heapshake
05-08-2008, 05:09 PM
I've cooked with a brinkman that is built like that. If you have a regular chimney starter, I'd start with it full and pour it onto a few handfulls of unlit charcoal (w/ a weber chimney I use 1/2 to 3/4 full). I'd keep the smokestack open all the way and put the firebox vent about 1/4 open. Once it gets up to temp, add a chunk of wood and toss the brisket on. I'd keep the brisket as far away from the firebox as possible and keep the thick end towards the fire. I adust the temp by the firebox intake and I just nudge it if the temp is getting too high or low. I can usually go 1 1/2 - 2 hours before adding charcoal and I normally just add two handfulls. My temp normally spikes about 275 right after I add the charcoal and it usually is around 200 when I add more charcoal. Once the brisket hits 140 or so, you can wrap it in foil to speed up the cook.

I use lump charcoal so if your using briquettes, you might need to add more, but I'd think they'd last longer.

redbrian
05-08-2008, 05:15 PM
I've cooked with a brinkman that is built like that. If you have a regular chimney starter, I'd start with it full and pour it onto a few handfulls of unlit charcoal (w/ a weber chimney I use 1/2 to 3/4 full). I'd keep the smokestack open all the way and put the firebox vent about 1/4 open. Once it gets up to temp, add a chunk of wood and toss the brisket on. I'd keep the brisket as far away from the firebox as possible and keep the thick end towards the fire. I adust the temp by the firebox intake and I just nudge it if the temp is getting too high or low. I can usually go 1 1/2 - 2 hours before adding charcoal and I normally just add two handfulls. My temp normally spikes about 275 right after I add the charcoal and it usually is around 200 when I add more charcoal. Once the brisket hits 140 or so, you can wrap it in foil to speed up the cook.

I use lump charcoal so if your using briquettes, you might need to add more, but I'd think they'd last longer.

I agree with the lump charcoal, burns hotter and faster, but you are not smoking with chemicals (all the binders) as well as all the crap they add from the sweepings off the floor.

Dave Lane
05-08-2008, 05:54 PM
Cook the brisket till its 195 which is best for flavor and slicing. It just took me 14 hrs to get a 8 lb brisket done though at 225...

Dave

Stewie
05-08-2008, 06:00 PM
I have been smoking in cheap Brinkmans for years, they are idiot proof......well that is unless you are an idiot.

Natural Lump charcoal and chunks of hickory soaked in water for several hours.

If you're cooking in the $35 Brinkman and can consistently turn out good Q you're the first one ever. You should write a book because those Brinkman's are like exercycles in garage sales.

Donger
05-08-2008, 06:00 PM
Cook the brisket till its 195 which is best for flavor and slicing. It just took me 14 hrs to get a 8 lb brisket done though at 225...

Dave

How much wood do you go through (in dollars) to smoke that long?

Stewie
05-08-2008, 06:03 PM
I've cooked with a brinkman that is built like that. If you have a regular chimney starter, I'd start with it full and pour it onto a few handfulls of unlit charcoal (w/ a weber chimney I use 1/2 to 3/4 full). I'd keep the smokestack open all the way and put the firebox vent about 1/4 open. Once it gets up to temp, add a chunk of wood and toss the brisket on. I'd keep the brisket as far away from the firebox as possible and keep the thick end towards the fire. I adust the temp by the firebox intake and I just nudge it if the temp is getting too high or low. I can usually go 1 1/2 - 2 hours before adding charcoal and I normally just add two handfulls. My temp normally spikes about 275 right after I add the charcoal and it usually is around 200 when I add more charcoal. Once the brisket hits 140 or so, you can wrap it in foil to speed up the cook.

I use lump charcoal so if your using briquettes, you might need to add more, but I'd think they'd last longer.

Man, that's way too much work.

Get one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Weber-2820-Smokey-Mountain-Cooker/dp/B00004U9VA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1210287697&sr=8-1

OR

one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Weber-2820-Smokey-Mountain-Cooker/dp/B00004U9VA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1210287697&sr=8-1

Dave Lane
05-08-2008, 06:04 PM
How much wood do you go through (in dollars) to smoke that long?

$.50 I'd guess. 5 chunks of hickory and 2 of apple and a charcoal briquet.

Dave

Dave Lane
05-08-2008, 06:06 PM
Man, that's way too much work.

Get one of these:


Not even close get one of these like I have....

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=UPUFP2HQ4HOXVLAQBBISCO3MCAEFEIWE?id=0049000517867a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0470103&cm_ite=0049000517867a&_requestid=72679

Dave

redbrian
05-08-2008, 06:06 PM
If you're cooking in the $35 Brinkman and can consistently turn out good Q you're the first one ever. You should write a book because those Brinkman's are like exercycles in garage sales.

Not all that hard to do, I go through 1 about every 10 years, I'm due for another soon, have to start hitting the garage sales.....thanks for the tip.

I do ribs, briskets, birds of all kinds. The only failure I ever had was a large wind knocked my smoker over.

Now grilling is another matter for that I use a large Webber kettle.

heapshake
05-08-2008, 06:07 PM
Man, that's way too much work.

Get one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Weber-2820-Smokey-Mountain-Cooker/dp/B00004U9VA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1210287697&sr=8-1

OR

one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Weber-2820-Smokey-Mountain-Cooker/dp/B00004U9VA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1210287697&sr=8-1


I know. I just bought one 2 weeks ago. Been cooking since 7:30 this morning and I haven't done a thing all day.

heapshake
05-08-2008, 06:12 PM
Not even close get one of these like I have....

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=UPUFP2HQ4HOXVLAQBBISCO3MCAEFEIWE?id=0049000517867a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0470103&cm_ite=0049000517867a&_requestid=72679

Dave


If I'm going to get a Cookshack, I'm getting one of these http://www.georgias-stuff.com/c-73-fast-eddys-by-cookshack.aspx

redbrian
05-08-2008, 06:13 PM
Not even close get one of these like I have....

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=UPUFP2HQ4HOXVLAQBBISCO3MCAEFEIWE?id=0049000517867a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0470103&cm_ite=0049000517867a&_requestid=72679

Dave

No if I was to go that route I would build my own with cast iron sides and fire brick lining, offset fire box and a chain drive for rotating the meat.

Buddy of mine down south gave me the plans for such a beast and if I ever find the time.........

Stewie
05-08-2008, 06:13 PM
Not even close get one of these like I have....

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=UPUFP2HQ4HOXVLAQBBISCO3MCAEFEIWE?id=0049000517867a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0470103&cm_ite=0049000517867a&_requestid=72679

Dave

That's electric, right?

Dave Lane
05-08-2008, 06:17 PM
That's electric, right?

Yep but the meat is incredible and the Amerique is computer driven and IS virtually idiot proof.

Dave

redbrian
05-08-2008, 06:19 PM
Yep but the meat is incredible and the Amerique is computer driven and IS virtually idiot proof.

Dave

What do you drink when smoking with that a Blush or Rose wine :evil:

And watch Jerry Lewis movies as well.

Chief Wiggum
05-08-2008, 07:25 PM
As with most threads on the CP, there's already a ton of good advice in this thread. My opinions:

"Charwood" (natural charcoal without any chemicals added) burns hotter and more pure than "charcoal." Most chefs use this and not only does it give the meat a better taste, IMO, but is easier to regulate the temperature of the smoker.

Having a tin of liquid underneath what you are smoking helps out quite a bit in having a moist product. (Please keep your snickers to a minimum). I use beer most often to this (as opposed to DP), but it all depends on what you are smoking.

Getting started with a smoker like you have takes some time go get used to. I recommend using a full chimney to get the coals going, and wait for the smoking chamber to come to temperature before adding wood (presoaked in water to maximize smoke) to the coals. Also, always use your chimney when adding coals to your fire box as the cooking process continues - it will keep the temp more regulated, which allows you to use your vents to regulate the smoke and temperature to your brisket.

I'm not nearly as good at this as a lot of Planeteers are (I picked up a lot of knowledge from this site, BTW), but if anyone has any tips for smoking ribs I'd love to hear them. I'm pretty good at smoking just about anything, but I've yet to be happy with any ribs I've smoked. They aren't bad, but they aren't up to my standards. Any tricks I might be able to use?

damaticous
05-08-2008, 07:45 PM
http://www.chargriller.com/upload/330/large/236.jpg

This is what I'm rolling with.

ME too! Have you done any mods?

I extended the smoke stack inside the smoking chamber, baffle, and put a basket in the FSB. It's not a great smoker but does pretty good. I've had a hard time keeping the temp consistent. I'm hoping the summer months will help with that some though.

Sully
05-08-2008, 07:58 PM
ME too! Have you done any mods?

I extended the smoke stack inside the smoking chamber, baffle, and put a basket in the FSB. It's not a great smoker but does pretty good. I've had a hard time keeping the temp consistent. I'm hoping the summer months will help with that some though.

I hadn't even thought about doing any mods till cd brought it up in this thread. But his ideas make sense, and I'm open to others at any time.

damaticous
05-08-2008, 08:13 PM
I love bbqn....I've been doing it almost every weekend since the end of last summer...yes, even through the winter.

I have a Chargriller pro. It's been kind of hard to keep the temps stable but some modifications make it easier.

I'm hoping to compete either this summer or next summer...we'll see what happens though.

Here's my basic brisket routine.

12-24 hours ahead of time I put my rub on (14 ingredients that I created. So far everyone loves it, but I have a little tweeking left for it to be complete). Of course I put mustard on the meat first to hold the rub.

5-6 AM, usually on Sundays, I start the smoker. Lump coal. When the temp in the smoking chamber gets up to 225 I put a couple water soaked hickory chunks on the coal. I let it get smoking then I put the meat in the smoker. I like to hit my meat (giggle. I've been watching too much Family Guy!) with a lot of smoke in the beginning of the cooking process. I do my best to keep the temp at 250-275 (seems to be a sweet spot temperature wise with my smoker). Throughout the day I will use more dry hickory and apple wood and less soaked wood.

After about 8 hours I check the temp of the meat. If it's at around I stop using wood all together. I've been told that around this temp is when the wood flavor stop penetrating (he he!) the meat. I also wrap the meat in Alum foil.

When the temp of the meat hits 190-195 (usually 12-15 hours after I put the meat on) I take it out of the smoker and place on the counter covered with a towel. After about an hour then put it in the fridge cause I'm either too drunk or too tired to slice the meat. The next day I slice the meat at about 1/4".

Usually the briskets turn out ok. I've been doing some MEAN pulled pork, but I think that is because my rub is GREAT on pork.

Anyway, I have a hard time smoking good briskets that I get from walmart. I have to either get em from a butcher or sams.

Sully
05-08-2008, 08:19 PM
SO if I'm understanding you all correctly, I need to worry less about keeping wood in the smoke box, and focus on charcoal.

So just use wood in the beginning and the last 2/3 of the time don't even worry about wood?

Sully
05-08-2008, 08:21 PM
SO I'm okay to make this Saturday and serve it on Sunday?

Do I just slow warm it in the oven?

Chief Wiggum
05-08-2008, 08:26 PM
SO if I'm understanding you all correctly, I need to worry less about keeping wood in the smoke box, and focus on charcoal.

So just use wood in the beginning and the last 2/3 of the time don't even worry about wood?

IMO, you can keep smoking with wood the entire time, although you will see the most benefit the first 3rd of the cooking time. It shouldn't hurt the meat if you continue to smoke it, you'll just see less benefit for your dollar.

Smoking takes so long, oftentimes I put the meat in the fridge over night because it is late and past dinner time. It's still great however you warm it up, but it's not as good as when it comes off of the grill and has had some time to rest.

damaticous
05-08-2008, 08:30 PM
SO I'm okay to make this Saturday and serve it on Sunday?

Do I just slow warm it in the oven?

That's what I'd do.

Here's a really good web site that I like to read about BBQ. Good stuff.

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/index.php

BTW...you can ask 10 different people how to cook bbq and you'll just about end up with 10 different answers. The best way is to "q" as much as you can to learn about your smoker and preferred tastes.

It's a fun and relaxing way to spend the day. When I tell my Girlfriend that I'm bbq'n she has learned that it's pretty much my way of pulling out my "man card"...as much as she lets me anyway. lol :)

heapshake
05-08-2008, 08:36 PM
SO I'm okay to make this Saturday and serve it on Sunday?

Do I just slow warm it in the oven?

Depending on what time you get it done and what time your serving it, you might be able to just double wrap it in foil, then wrap it in towels and pack it into a cooler and let it sit until you cut it up and eat it. A brisket will stay above 140 for a long time packed that way. If you're going to do that, you might want to pull it before 195 though.

Sully
05-10-2008, 05:00 PM
It went MUCH better today.

I did a lot more measuring the temp at the cooking surface that just using the lid thermometer, and I am amazed how much difference there was.

I used more charcoal later than wood.

I cooked it a little too hot, but as I'm learning, I think I'll get there. I'm happy with the fact that it seems to be very moist. But it is a little darker on the outside than it was last week.

Extra Point
05-10-2008, 05:37 PM
Now grilling is another matter for that I use a large Weber kettle.

I've smoked several huge briskets, double slabs of ribs, pork butt sections and a turkey using my 22" Weber. The secret? An oblong cake pan with water, two small piles of eight briquets at the ends of the cake pan, and water or beer in the cake pan.

What does water do? It limits and regulates the temperature to about 220-230 deg, ideal for smoking. Putting the meat over the cake pan reduces the drippings that foul the grill, and provide a barrier between the coals adn the heat, to achieve indirect heat.

Last Sun I put a grate over the cake pan, put a tray of beans under the pork ribs, and got some hellacious drippings into the beans. Also roasted 6 ears of corn, putting three ears on either side long side of the cake pan, keeping the corn in the husk. To boot, cooked a bread pan of broccoli, too.

Give me s*** about my water pan, tell me it's not the true way to smoke-- I don't care. The damned thing is kind of like a pressure cooker, and I get good stuff done quicker. And clean-up is easy.

Color Red
05-10-2008, 07:10 PM
Any different smoker or grill arrangement you will have to get accustomed to, whether you have smoked a lot or not. Nothing really replaces smoking multiple times, maybe several times with your arrangement and learning about what works.

You keep your fire hotter than I like. I won't tell you what I like to keep it at, but let's just say I do it "slow and low."

Keep logs of your smoking excursions, especially while you are someone who is learning. Get out a legal pad and keep track of when you started your fire, when you add fuel to it, what the temperature is, and any other adjustments (adding liquid to your drip pan, ventilation, etc.). You will really learn after multiple smoking experiences what is working and what is not working for you. (I'm not a statistic kind of guy, but even I find doing this interesting.)

You obviously need to control your environment, or at least try to see that it is consistent. I've smoked out in snow and freezing weather, and on balmy days. It is interesting how the change in environment affects your fire and experience.

As far as toughness in a brisket goes, I frankly have cheated a little bit. By using a fancy deli meat slicer I get a thinner slice than if I'm just carving it by hand or with a electric carving knife. Obviously the meat isn't any more tender, but it will be a little more manageable, and it will "seem" more tender.

Best of luck to you; have fun.

Hog Farmer
05-10-2008, 08:24 PM
The good thing was that my meat never really dried out at all. I sprayed it with apple juice and olive oil every hour, and had a drip tray under it full of Dr Pepper. I think maybe all tha thelped.


:LOL: His meat dried out?:LOL: He sprayed it with Apple JuiceROFLand had a drip tray under itLMAO

Baby Lee
05-11-2008, 08:30 AM
http://www.woot.com/

Baby Lee
05-11-2008, 10:21 AM
It is constructed of light guage sheet metal so there is not a lot of thermal mass. You may be able to get by will less charcoal, maybe 3/4 of a chimney to start? or let the coals burn down more, like you said.

You'd probably benefit from finding a [clean] hunk of metal, like an old brake disc and putting it in the bottom as a heat retainer/evener.

damaticous
05-11-2008, 11:03 AM
You'd probably benefit from finding a [clean] hunk of metal, like an old brake disc and putting it in the bottom as a heat retainer/evener.

I don't think I'd use an old brake disk though. It probably has metals in it that might be dangerous for human consumption. I use 4 red bricks that seem to help really well.

Fire Me Boy!
05-11-2008, 11:28 AM
I don't think I'd use an old brake disk though. It probably has metals in it that might be dangerous for human consumption. I use 4 red bricks that seem to help really well.

Same as my suggestion... :D

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=4741728&postcount=22