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Old 06-26-2007, 07:20 AM   #1
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Eric's First Brisket and strategy questions

Thanks Kimmal and Rich for your experience, advice and observations. I'm starting my planning for a brisket for this weekend. I'd like to try two different styles. Low and slow and then Rich style so I can experience the difference between bark, smoke, etc. Nothing exotic. I'll take a look at Wegmans and at Costco, but will look for one with a fat cap intact and Angus (probably Wegmans then) and not so flat. Any other advice? I'm known for screwing things up by buying the wrong thing.

Now a very dumb question of me, but you bbq gurus should be able to answer. What does temperature and humidity? have to do with bark. I know if you foil wrap your meat to speed up the 'pause' of a meat's internal temp rise, you are risking not having as thick of a bark as possible. Does a higher heat (around 350) produce better/thicker bark than 225 or 250? What would a slower cook do (sub 200 dome temp but longer time?) Also, is there an advantage to not using any water in a WSM other than you don't have to replenish it (thus no need to open the door as often)? Does the sand or dry pan method help produce better bark? In a meat with a lot of fat, is external moisture not as important as long as you don't render all the meet fat?

Sorry for all those questions, but I figured I'd like to hear some of those answers. Thanks

I found my camera so I should be able to take progress questions, including my shopping selections. Thanks...
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:21 AM   #2
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Just my opinion, but, I think 350* is to high of a pit temp to cook anything except chicken. You might boil the fat out of the brisket and end up with a dry piece of meat.

I haven't had a bad bark forming experience in any of my cook using sand or water...if you don't want to have to be responsible for filling the water up then use sand...many people also say sand regulates temp better because it doesn't evaporate.

Everyone I know wraps their brisket at some point...wheter it be at 165* or during the rest...but most experts refuse to wrap unless the color and bark is the way they want it...if its not to their liking they let it go until it gets to their spec.

The fun of BBQ Eric is that you can experiemnet...don't get so hung up in the particulars...just get the general method down and explore for there!

Oh yeah...have fun!!
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:20 AM   #3
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I only wrap mine during the rest & Gregg is correct 350 grate is too high, If you want to try higher temps stay anywhere from 275 to 325. at 325 you will probly have to wrap @ 160 internal due to the thick black bark.
Also unless you want to be smoking for 20 hours or so under 200 is too low...
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:34 AM   #4
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Eric,

Hope this doesn't sound too harsh, if it does I apologize right from the get go, my best advice to you would be to learn how to operate your two WSM's first before you start experimenting with high temps, sub 200 temps, sand, empty pan, humidity, etc.

Buy a brisket, flat or whole packer it doesn't matter, trim what is obviously any "excess" fat, but leave at least 1/4" fat cap on it, put on a good rub either of your own design or commercial, there's one sold on this board that ain't bad, excuse me I digress,

Fill your charcoal ring with charcoal add about 5 or 6 wood chunks, light about 10-15 coals, when lit distribute them evenly over the unlit, foil your water pan then add 3/4 full with warm water, assemble the cooker, put your meat on the top grate fat side down, put the lid on and start monitoring your temps on the way up.

When your dome temp gets to about 230-235 shut down your bottom vents to about half, when it gets to 240-245, shut them down to about 1/4 open, when your temps stabilize, sit back and relax.

DON'T LOOK AT YOUR BRISKET AGAIN until it gets to 165º. Then remove it, double wrap in foil add a little mopping juice if you like, then return it to the cooker fat side up.

DON"T LOOK AT YOUR BRISKET AGAIN until it gets to 190º, if you can insert a temp probe into the meat and it goes in like "butta" it's done, if not put it back in.

When done, while still wrapped in foil, place it in a cooler, cover it with a towel or a wrap it in an old towel, shut the cooler and let it rest for up to 4 hours if you can wait that long, if not at least 1 hour. Then ENJOY!!

Erik, I guess what I'm trying to say, is you're overthinking this whole thing, start with the basics, learn your cooker, learn temp control first and foremost, learn how the cooker works as it was designed to work, then you can start experimenting with sand, empty pan, piedmont pans, high temps and high or low humididty.

Read everything you can on this site and on www.virtualweberbullet.com especially the cooking section on that site. Here's a link to their take on brisket.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/brisket2.html
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:54 AM   #5
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A lot of people have enjoyed the brisket round table show as well...it is in the podcast section...

www.bbq-4-u.com/pods
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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Eric, Bruce has some great advise. Try it that way first. Get to know your WSM's. I have been using mine for 6 months and I am still learning it. I would stay away from the high temp cooks.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:12 PM   #7
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Brisket

I smoke my Briskets at 350-375 and get them done in 4.5-5 hours. They are Perfecto every time!!!!!!

Low and Slow is OK for some, but I do my Butts and Briskets in 5 hours and they are SO much better done thatr way. Moist and tender.

It may not be the way to do it, it's just the way I do it after 20 years of experimenting.

PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Smoke On!!!!!!
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:19 PM   #8
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Re: Brisket

Quote:
Originally Posted by kickassbbq
I smoke my Briskets at 350-375 and get them done in 4.5-5 hours. They are Perfecto every time!!!!!!

Low and Slow is OK for some, but I do my Butts and Briskets in 5 hours and they are SO much better done thatr way. Moist and tender.

It may not be the way to do it, it's just the way I do it after 20 years of experimenting.

PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Smoke On!!!!!!
Did you do them that way when you first started or did you come to it after much learning and experimentation....that's my only point. Not saying high temp isn't the way or it is, I just think there's a learning curve.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:49 PM   #9
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High Heat

I saw a guy smoke his meats at a competition once and he said did his Butts and Briskets in 5 hours.
I said, "Ain't no way!"
He said, "Way."

His name is Myron Mixon. He has won more trophys than anyone else in America to date. I do not know anyone that has won over 2,700 trophys.

That's the way he has ALWAYS done them.

I tried it and I have never went back to Low and Slow.

Smoke On!!!!!!
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:58 PM   #10
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Championship BBQing Techniques

I followed directions from a Champion and it came out perfecto....

http://www.barbecuen.com/champ-brisket.htm

Good Luck!!!
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