Brisket+WSM+Fuel dilemma....

Discussion in 'Beef' started by ccpropilot, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. OK...I have been smokin' meat for about two years. I have done a handful of briskets (all packers) and I love this cut of meat. Typical smoke for me: SPOG+Wooshy morning of cook. Then come about 9PM fire up the WSM and brisky on by 9:30 for an all nighter. I get up hourly to check the smoker and start spritzing at about the 6 hour mark. I NEVER life the lid during the first 4 hours. So, in other words, I keep it pretty simple.

    This week I have a 10.85 lb packer, trimmed with 1/4" fat cap (10.85 lbs after trimmin) that I am making for my sons baptism. After a lot of reading on SMF I have decided this week to put a pan underneath to collect drippings and make an au jus. Question is---Beer or broth??? + onions and garlic. I'll de-fat it while I am making my burnt ends/mac n cheese... and the brisky rests in the cooler.

    I have been having trouble with my WSM when I run lump charcoal in it. Either the fire goes out, or the fuel just gets burned right up. I think my 10.85 lb brisket will take 15-16 hours....another factor is that overnight the temps here in Wisconsin will be hovering around 40 degrees. This is the first time I will smoke overnight under these conditions, and probably my last brisky til' spring. I don't like the idea of a 15+ hour smoke in the bitter cold.

    So... what to do? Break out the ol' Kingsford blue? Anyone have any tips with the lump? I really like lump.;...and it is quite possible that I am shooting myself in the foot with the lump when I pack it/start it (minion method---Royal Oak lump).

    Anyone ever mix lump/Kingsford? I love the natural wood flavor :)

    Thanks for any advice guys... I will be sure to start a thread Friday night with Qview and keep you all up to speed with the good ol' Brisky :)
  2. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I'll let someone else help you with the drip pan.

    As far as the fuel personally I would stick with the lump, it burns hotter and longer than briquettes.  How are you running your vents all open, all half closed, etc.  On my WSM I start by putting a layer of unlit lump about 3-4 inches thick then I start a chimney of lump let it burn for about five to eight min then pour it out in the center of the first layer and then pour out another heaping pile of unlit on top of that.  This is how I do all of my longer smokes and I can usually get 8-10 hrs out of it before I have to add any.  I also wiggle in a half dozen to a dozen chunks of the wood I am using in the first and last layers.  Nothing against the minion method, this is just how I learned to do it and it has always worked so "if it ain't broke don't fix it".  I am running and 18.5 WSM FWIW.

    As far as vents go I very rarely have to use more than one once I get up to temp.  I start with them all open and once it gets about 185/190* then I shut one down, then when I get to about 200/210* then I shut another one down, then I will set the last one where I want to run.  If it is really windy then I will put the door on the down wind side and put my open vent on the bottom downwind as well and the vent on the top on the opposite side as the open vent.  If there is no wind or very little I still leave the door on the down wind side, but I put my open vent on the upwind side and put the top vent on the opposite side.  If it is reeeeeeeeally cold then these rules of ventilation can be fudged to work with the climate conditions, sometimes it is necessary to open more than one but I have only had to do that when it was below zero and pretty windy. 

    Hope this helps


    ps I run Royal Oak Lump as well, I have used several other brands and this one so far seems to be real good.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use beef stock in the pan for au jus. 

    As for charcoal I use Blue bag. I fill the ring to the top, with about 10-12 chunks mixed in with it. Start with about 10 lit briquettes, and I get over 20 hours of 225 temp with smoke

    rolling the whole time in my WSM without adding anything. I also use sand in the water pan.

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