1st Smoke For New Years

Discussion in 'Beef' started by aromero84, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. aromero84

    aromero84 Newbie

    Hey there everyone! Sorry in advance for the wall of text, but please hear me out lol...

    I've been scouring this forum ever since I got my brand new SmokeVault 24" for Christmas from my wife and it has been wonderfully informative, but I will say that I feel like I've gotten past my information gathering phase and wanting to get some feedback on my plans from someone who actually knows better!

    So for the technical end, I have a 8 lb (7.93) brisket I'm getting ready to smoke for NYE. Yesterday I ran through my seasoning process and did a half load of wood for 2 hours around 225 if I could help it. I didn't use any oil on the inside like I've read because I figured the owner's manual might give me the best preperation (hopefully that's right!).

    I'm still working out the kinks of maintaining temperature, and I have a Maverick dual probe in the mail so help with IT and cabinet temp. I figure with this size brisket I'll need to smoke around 9.5-10 hours with a temp around 230-240. What are your thoughts?

    Next up would be using the rub. I have a container of Rudy's Rub from Rudy's BBQ in TX/CO, and I have a feeling some simple salt pepper and cayenne might be best but I'm worried that I might not develop the flavor I'm looking for with my first smoke.

    Also, I'm worried about recovery temps as the day is supposed to be around 35-40 degrees here in PA so any tips for that? I've seen the water/sand debate but my Home Depot only sold 50lb. bags of washed sand and I don't know if I'll be able to get anything smaller before Wednesday.

    I guess just any tips you can give me for trimming the meat before smoke of fat, help with maintaining consistant temps in the SmokeVault, or the argument of what to do once you hit The Stall for wrapping in foil or start mopping? (I was thinking about wrapping since I don't want to lose all my temp on a cold day by opening the smoker a bunch to mop.

    So many questions! Thanks for reading at least you guys, I think I made my first post worthwhile lol....
  2. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    I am not familiar with your smoker but having looked at your plans I must say they look fine.  I smoke my briskets at 235 and plan for 1 hour per pound plus 2 hours as an estimate.  I also foil my briskets at 165 taking them to 195-197 before pulling and resting in an ice chest for at least an hour (very important).  You rub is a matter of personal taste, a lot of folks just use spog.  I usually trim the brisket very little and smoke fat cap down.  I am not one that believes that smoking fat cap up marinates the brisket.  I more believe the fat cap down protects the briskets and help keep moisture in.  One of the things not to forget is you can always bring the brisket inside and into the oven if timing begins to become a problem.  Remember the rest period is important.  It is important also to be able to control and maintain the internal temps of your smoker.  Good luck.

  3. aromero84

    aromero84 Newbie

    Thanks a bunch Richard, crazy that I actually came back so quick to post a follow up on whether I should smoke fat cap down or up! I think that since it is an upright cabinet style smoker with the propane heat source/chip tray/water pan directly below the meat that fat down might be the best to prevent dry out.

    Any thoughts on the mustard/oil slather debate? I was thinking musard because it seems like that might develop a better bark, but oil might help with keeping the beef from sticking to my grates. Do you rub the grates down with oil first or just throw things right on?
  4. aromero84

    aromero84 Newbie

    Good morning everyone! So I've had the brisket on the smoke for about 2 hours now, and I was hoping you guys could give me some feedback / peace of mind.  I had the meat out to warm up to room temp, preheated the smoker to 225, and got the brisket on the smoke.  Within an hour, the internal temp reached 100 and currently its at 126 IT.  Is this too fast?  The meat was about 7.5lbs after trimming and it should take 9 hours, so this seemed really quick as at this rate it will hit the stall in about 1.5 hrs??

    I have brought my cabinet temp down to about 185 to slow the meat?  Or just keep it around 200, and when it hits 150 wrap it in foil?  All feedback is appreciated!  

    I'm getting nice thin blue smoke, but how often should you add wood?
  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Leave your smoker temps where they were when you started. The meat temp comes up quickly at first but will slow right down. At 185f it'll be NEXT New Years before that thing gets done!
  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In fact if this is for dinner tonight I'd bump the temps to 250-275. It'll hold for quite a few hours wrapped in towels in a cooler in the unlikely event it's done way too early.
  7. aromero84

    aromero84 Newbie

    Wow, ok! I'll bump it up now, I got scared when I saw how fast it was climbing.  Now I'm at an IT of 132 so should I foil the meat at 150 or 160?  I see a lot of conflicting info about when to do the crutch.
  8. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Foil if you want. It'll speed the cooking and soften the bark. At 275 it should power thru it's stall pretty quickly without foil, but at lower temps it'll hang around 160ish for up to a few hours. Since this is your first brisket I'm inclined to suggest riding it out without foil, but since you have a deadline it might be better to foil and get it done in time.
  9. I have done a number of briskest and pork butts and have tried foiling and not foiling. I never foil anymore, just found it added more work and didn't payoff in the end plus it does soften the bark and I like a good thick almost crispy bark- I find slathering in mustard prior to the rub helps me get the bark I like.

    I'll echo Mdboatbum on temp adjustments. Keep it between 225 and 240 and don't mess with it. It will rise quickly at first but slow towards the end. I've had mine stall at 160/170 for up to two/three hours before. Just ride it out. I like to bring my briskest and pork butts to 200/205 before taking them out, wrapping in foil and into a cooler with towls for about an hour.

    Best thing I've learned is once they go in the smoker do whatever you can to not open the door til it's ready to take out. Hard to do I know.
  10. aromero84

    aromero84 Newbie

    You're telling me, it's so much tinkering just to get temperatures right that all you want to do is open it up!.  I checked it at 160 and I'm going to throw a raw polish sausage on, and I was think that would take about 4 hours.  Thoughts?  

    I'm definitely glad I did the mustard, I've been running it about 260 for the past hour or so trying to see what would happen at the stall.  

    Thank you both so much!  I'll try and get some Q-View but I'm gonna have some hungry guests so i'll see how long it lasts.  I'll keep checking the thread for any more help though!

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