1st smoke done (turkey), 2nd smoke tomorrow (brisket)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ozsmoker, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. ozsmoker

    ozsmoker Smoke Blower

    very first smoke (ever) using an MES 30" digital (controller on top, no window), with mesquite wood chips... smoked a 5lb bone-in turkey breast, salt water brined overnight and seasoned with salt and pepper before smoking

    cooked it to 145 while basting with apple juice and butter every 45 mins, then put it on the bbq to bring it up to 160-165, then foil tent

    skin was rubbery, outer parts (nearest to the skin were a little dry) i used didn't use water in the pan....... the rest of the bird was moist. wife loved it and could taste the smokey flavor more than i could... i think i'll try the mayonnaise coating followed by seasoning next time 

    tomorrow i have a big challenge. i have a 15lb brisket that is 21" long, the MES is about 14" wide... i figure i only need about 8lb for tomorrow, so do i cut it in half (ie flat/point) and smoke the rest another day?

    also, i don't have a boning knife, but i plan to trim the fat to 1/4-1/2 inch as uniformly as possible (not sure which knife to use given my limited selection)

    my plan is to wake up early (need the food to be ready around 7pm) and cook at 225F using 1.5 hrs/lb as a rough guide.... i plan to season tomorrow morning with just salt and pepper (is overnight necessarily better???) and let the brisket sit at room temp for 1hr

    wood chips i have are hickory, mesquite and apple... i plan to use just hickory

    my biggest concern is the brisket drying out given that i don't want to open the smoker at all (no basting or spritzing). i have an oregon scientific wireless digital thermometer which may be off a little, not sure whether to stick that in a potato on the same rack as the meat (to get a different reading and aim for a 225F smoker temp) or simply stick it in the brisket... i feel like i need another thermometer

    off to roll call now and to continue reading this site and the ebook i got from amazon
  2. thesmokist

    thesmokist Meat Mopper

    You can test your thermo by sticking it in boiling water should be about 212. I recommend getting a thermo unit with two probes. Brisket should be ok as long as you don't over cook it.
    ozsmoker likes this.
  3. ozsmoker

    ozsmoker Smoke Blower

    tried that, never reached higher than 208f :(

    it's definitely reading lower than it should, i always take my steaks off at around 120f and they come out medium rare

    also, i just picked up a 6" fillet knife for trimming the brisket (made for medium to large fish) it's the best i could do at this time of night 
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Water boils at different temps in higher elevations Google boiling water at high altitudes
  5. ozsmoker

    ozsmoker Smoke Blower

    Las Vegas Elevation = 2000ft

    Boiling Point at 2000ft = 108F

    Now this is getting scary
  6. ozsmoker

    ozsmoker Smoke Blower

    i paid $3.99/lb for choice brisket at albys, it was $6.99/lb at another local grocery store and $8.99/lb at costco

    i separated the point from the flat and then cut about 1/3 off the flat, so i ended up with 3 pieces... i did this so that everything would fit in the MES 30".. i then trimmed the fat cap a little, mainly where it was overly thick... i also tried to maintain a uniform 1/4-1/2" of fat cap thickness

    point was put on top rack (or 2nd rack, i can't remember), then bigger part of the flat below, then the smaller part beneath that

    i used a thermometer through a potato on the same rack as the 2nd/middle portion of meat to get the smoker to 225-240F.... i had to set the smoker at around 260F to achieve this

    about 5hrs in, i removed the probe from the potato and placed it in brisket it was adjacent to

    i overcooked the smallest portion (on the lower rack) because i didn't gauge its temperature until after the 2nd/middle portion of meat was cooked (which was too late) so the smallest portion turned out a little dry, but the flavor was amazing

    apart from that small mishap, the brisket came out very good and the hickory wood smoke was perfect for it

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