Brisket on my new MES - help!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by ynot2k, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    Hello fellow smoky meat lovers,

    I ordered a 40" MES with window a week ago.  It should arrive next Monday, Sept 22nd.  The BIG party is Saturday, Sept 27th.


    I have a Traeger which will be put into service on the two pork shoulders - no problems there.  I'll smoke them during the day on Friday while I'm at work and finish and pull them Friday night.  They'll end up in crock pots for serving on Saturday with a vinegar based finishing sauce.

    I need to smoke the 2 briskets on Friday, Sept 26th in the brand new MES (while I am at work) and to tell you the truth, I'm nervous as H-E-double hockey sticks.

    I'll burn the MES in when I receive it, and season it with some hickory chips.  No problem there, I hope.

    I plan to put the two packers in Friday morning at 5:30 am - 225 deg with enough chips for at least 3 hours of TBS  (how much would that be?).  That should let it get good and smoky before I arrive home at 5:00 pm.  I'll push the heat up a bit to finish it off for tender slices and foil and wrap in a towel and rest in a cooler until I go to bed (probably be about a 3-4 hour rest).  The plan then is to reheat on Saturday in the oven at 200 deg.  Party starts at 1:00.

    Does any of this make sense?  Am I way off base here?  I throw myself, and my plan, on the mercy of the Order of the TBS.

    Also, I'll be serving alder smoked salmon (it's frozen now) and ABT's.  The wife is making some sides - I have no idea exactly what.

  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If it was me I would put the brisket on the treager with the sboulders.

    The chip tray on the mes doesn't work very well.

    The AMNPS is a mactch made on heaven with the mes.

    Todd @ amazin products sells them.

    I would not try to cook for a crowd with my first cook in it.

    Just my opinion.
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Howdee, I have a MES30 and 40. Just a suggestion, just like poker, never bet on the draw, If you have not recieved it yet, or seasoned it, I would hate to depend upon it being ready so fast. AMPs or no AMPs, you'll need to check your thermostats validity as well as the meat probe. Its an easy enough thing, then you know the difference between what you see and what you get, and you can program accordingly. BTW even though MES is notorious for the miscalibration, neither of mine had that problem.

    Now as to butts, I would HIGHLY recommend that you smoke the butts ahead of time. More on that in a minute. You have ABT's, maybe some pork shots to keep that smoke flowing while the guests are there to apprceiate it.  So no need to stress over late pig piece.

    Cook the Butt as much as a week before, pull it, add some finishing sauce, and bag and tag it. Then the day of the party, throw the pork in a crock pot (it heats slowly and keeps that moisture in). You can always adjust with some more finishing sauce if needed. Butt is like beans or stew, its always better the second day because its had time to absorb those special flavors in the finishing sauce. Now that is said, you also can never predict the smoke time of a butt.

    I usually buy a 10+ lb. butt, I plan a 22 hour cook cycle at 200 to 220. But someone sometimes forgets to tell the pig. My last butt 10+ lbs. only took 13 hours at 210.. You just never know with a butt. So its a great thing its better sevred the next day or week. Think about that.

    Finishing sauce, I recommend Chef JJ's its totally awesome. I did a small mod. and added some honey to mine, but its a stand alone finisher!

    Just my immediate thoughts. Take it slow, do ahead all you can do, and you'll better enjoy your friends and guests time.

    Bon Chance, and remember as a friend is always saying, its all about "Patience"
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If the MES40 is your first electric, realize its a completely different smoker than a firebreather.

    A fire breather is opened and tended thereby continiously releasing moisture. That moisture has to be replentished by mopping, spritzing, injecting. You raise the lid you lose heat, with a fire breather it replentishes itself quickly and...... releases that moisture.

    With an electric is back assswards. You don't open the door, no need. Its a self contained enviroment the less you open that door the better it is. It recovers really slowly especially the MES40, I mean really slow. Lets say you open once and hour to spritz and check the smoke. Once and hour doesn't seem like much but........ if it has a 15 min. recovery, well lets just say 10 mins, its easier math. Lets say you use all the crutches to do it as fast as possible, on a 12 hour brisket, 10 mins. per hour is 120 mins overall. That is an additional 2 hours added to your smoke, plus all that moisture lost.

    Electrics are made for convience, plug and play. Stick a remote sensor in the meat, and walk away. They make great smoke when loaded and used properly. An aux. smoke generator like AMP's is a plus. It keeps that door closed. Also being a pellet type its affords you the ability to try smoke types you might not get where you live. IF you use the chip tray, ensure you add small quantities as suggested by Masterbuilt, and ensure that you have a complete burn before adding more or your new chips may never smolder still on those incompletely burned from the prior load.

    Its really easy, its just different than a fire breather. I just can't imagine lighting a fire anymore for long smokes. The old pipe pits are used more these days for grilling.

    BTW one last thing, know that you'll not see a smoke ring from and electric like a fire breather, its a reaction, that's enough said. But if I can sleep all night on a 20 hour smoke, and the smoke ring adds only appearance, It can live with that swap off.

    Once acclaimated to electric you'll love it. Grab a good remote temperature sensor w/ an alarm....... and you you'll only need worry about how to now justify all that beer drinking while you no longer need to tend it...LOL

    Bon Chance
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome , 2K . Glad you chose the SMF for your new "Home" [​IMG]. Take your shoes off and sit back for a beautiful trip to BBQ Haven [​IMG]

    I'm the one , Kevin (Foamheart) , mentioned . . .[​IMG]  You'll hear me 'preach' the word of "PATIENCE" often . . . and as you  learn your hobby , you'll see why [​IMG].

    Farmer , mentioned using your Traeger . Very good idea , you  know this machine and all it's quirks [​IMG]  . You trust it and have done Que on it before...

    The first thing I request of a 'newbie' is to LEARN   your smoker before cooking on it . . .

    As stated , many problems could arise in a new Smoker and they must be addressed before inserting any meat (like dating ) [​IMG]

    So , in your shoes , I'd cook my Butts now , and the Briskets (if you have room in the Traeger ) and be cool and calm during the 'Party'.[​IMG]

    Maybe no rest tonight , however a great Party later.

    Have your [​IMG]handy and as always . . .
  6. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    I'm not exactly a 'newbie'.  I've been smoking meat for years on all kinds of smokers...just never with an MES.

    I'm hearing you all though. 
    I will do this for sure.

    Guess I'll use the Traeger for the briskets too - overnight Friday.  Wrap 'em with foil and a towel and rest 'em in a cooler until time to serve Saturday afternoon.

    Thanks for the advice - I really appreciate it.  I think this plan will take most of stress out of the food prep and allow me to just enjoy the party.
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I appoligize if it seemed I was talking down to you. I was only trying to help with your first electric with not knowing how accustomed you are to them. They are easier than a fire breather, but just not the same smoke.

    I do wish you good luck with your party, and look forward to some good Q-view.
  8. I do agree with all that has been said about not doing a BIG smoke the first time through.....especially with briskets.   Me? I would do the shoulders in the electric as it will be more forgiving than would a brisket.   Electrics are an animal that you have to learn all their idiosyncrasies before taking on a big project. 

    Just my .02 as well

  9. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    No apology necessary - I appreciate the insight and guidance.

    I'll be sure to post Q-view.
  10. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    And that is exactly why I asked the question.  It's pretty darned nice to have a forum of informed, knowledgeable pitmasters to bounce my ideas off of.

    Thanks again for all of your responses.

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