Cookshack SM 160 Fine Tuning...

Discussion in 'Beef' started by motochef, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. motochef

    motochef Newbie


    Well I did 2 brisket's last night and they came out okay for a first time with a new unit. I had a flat and a small packer that weight about 7lbs each. I seasoned them up and placed in the 2nd and 3rd rack from the bottom and hit the preset. 12 hours later @ 225 the one on the bottom came out a bit dry and had an had an overcooked area on the bottom. My guess (please chime in!) to fix this would be to flip it fat side down next time around like you do for the bottom rack on a full load. I thought that if I had it on the second from the bottom rack that would be okay. I trimmed off the dried out areas and sliced it up. The wife and I had some tonight for dinner and she loved it! I may do a light braise with some seasoned beef stock with the leftovers tomorrow. I have a few more packers in the fridge and I'm thinking for doing a light trim and tossing them in for another try. These are about 12-14 lbs each. Any input would be great.

    Thanks for all your advice!

  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You don't mention foiling.  Most of us foil our briskets when they hit 165* and then finish them in the foil by taking to 195*-205*, depending on whether you wish to slice or pull, respectively.  That should solve your drying out problem.  Some folks spritz with apple juice or other concoctions before closing the foil up to add some moisture to the package.  I have not done this -- and never have a problem with drying out -- but thought I would share it.

    You also don't mention whether you smoke with a water pan in the smoker.  That can help a bit keeping moisture up in your product as well (although the water is mostly to keep temps stable in the smoker).
  3. Did you run a thermo in the meat?

    That's the big trick, time/temperature is a good guideline, but it's never always the truth. I had a 17 pounder finish up within 12 hours, while I was expect close to 25 - had I rolled over and kept it going the other eight, then I would have been serving pizza come dinnertime.

    The other thing I never do anymore is trim down the whole packer, I leave the fat as-is, fat down toward the coals in my WSMC as an extra thermal buffer. Whatever doesn't render off or become bark gets trimmed on the board prior to service.

    I also agree Adiochiro - a water pan is a must. I actually switched over to what I call a "mud pan" where the water pan is filled with play sand to keep the heat sink action steady, but I wet it with water to add moisture to the smoke. Wetter smoke environment actually makes a big difference for the end product.

    Foiling is optional, but it's the best place to begin, I never foil, keep the smoker at about 215, and trust my stock thermometer less than I trust a frayed rope.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with your next round of smoke!
  4. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    adiochiro3 is 100% right most of us don't do time we do temperature .

    but it is a good smoke .you can save it if it is to dry slice it thin put it in a pan make a good gravy and bake 1 1/2 hour on 350 you will be surprised

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