craptastic brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by coryb, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. coryb

    coryb Fire Starter

         I'm well on my way into destroying a perfectly good trimmed 10.5lb packer brisket.  Got the meat on my 22.5 WSM right at 7am.  By 8am had the smoker finally holding right in the range of 200 according to the lid therm.  I struggled getting it up there as I have to set up in the driveway on the N side of the house and its only in the 20's today with a steady breeze out of the W.  I set up as good a wind break as possible and mitigated the breeze into the charcoal pan pretty well.  However the icy wind on the lid has affected how accurate my lid therm reads.  Too late i found out that grill grate temp was probably 10-20 degrees hotter than what was exposed up top.  Odd as we all know heat rises and generally you fight the opposite, but none the less here i am.  By 10:20am grill grate temp had soared to 250 and the thickest part of the flat was registering 145 degrees.  I'd had all three vents closed for an hour by that time to no change.

         Just before typing this up i pulled the meat off, put it in an aluminum roaster pan, covered it with HD foil and put it in a 215 degree oven to finish.  I'm guessing the damage is already done and we'll all reap the tough reward for dinner tonight...if we manage to even get it there due to too early a finish or out of frustration i toss it out the window into the back yard for the neighbor's dog.

         Lessons learned???

         1, buy a water heater jacket for Winter smoking

          2. build a wind break
  2. are you sure you just weren't in the Plateau stage? what temp where you shooting for?
  3. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dang...Sounds like a rough day for smoking!! Good luck with the brisket, hope it all turns out well for ya.
  4. coryb

    coryb Fire Starter

    going for around 195 generally for finish.  The other 1/2 dozen briskets i've done from 10-13lbs generally take about 9-10hrs to get there smoking 225-250.  My plan was to attemp to keep smoker around 200 and take a little more time to cook.  BUT once i almost reached my foiling temp after 3.5hrs and i couldn't control my smoker temp I gave in to the digital control of my oven.

    I still have faith it can be eaten and somewhat tender.  Hope for the best, but always be prepared for the worst.  All else fails Smokey D's isn't too far away!
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Let it ride and don't jump to conclusions yet... I would double check the meat therm. For a packer to get that hot in 3 hours the temp may have been running higher than expected but you want to be in the 140*F range in 3-4hours Anyway...I doubt all is lost...JJ
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011

  6. I agree I have seen briskets sit in the 140's for hours, I think you'll be fine since you have moved it to a better controlled enviroment
  7. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    What they said. But sounds like you need to invest in a digital thermometer. They are much more accurate than the one in the lid of your smoker. Especially during these midwest winters. Check with TJohnson, he has a very good one. Hang in there and good luck.
  8. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  I agree 100% with the above posts I'm betting all is not lost. Please keep us updated on it. I know all too well the frustrations of smoking in the cold wind. Have faith all is not lost my friend. Keep the TBS rolling
  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The lid therm in my WSM is about 50-60 degrees cooler than the grate temp. If my lid therm says 175, I'm cooking at 225.
  10. coryb

    coryb Fire Starter

    You know I've always read about briskets plateauing on these forums, but i've never actually had one plateau before today.  I've seen it PLENTY with Boston butts, but never with a brisket until now.  In any case its in the oven and i knocked the temp down to 200 even.  Meat temp is at 178 as we speak.  If it takes another 4hrs to hit 195 i'm all for it.
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's funny that you say that, I've never had one that didn't stall. The worst on stalled at 163 for 6 hours.
  12. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    just reiterate what everyone else here has a digital therm like the Maverick 732 so you can watch the grate temps and the meat temps.....don't go buy the stinking lid therm..its not a good indicator of your cooking temp.

    Next...why pull the meat off at 145F????  It is a brisket and could possibly sit at that tem for the next 2-3 hours...this is where the internal fat and collagen start to break down, and actually can often drop the temps of the meat.

    Just don't panic too soon.

  13. Sounds like it just stalled. The last brisket I did it was in the teen's and it finished in 12 hours.  I have never had one not stall 163 for 7.5 hours turns dinner into midnight snack/breakfast and I must say Brisket and Egg's works out well. 

    Like others I would pick up a good thermometer, then just kick back and enjoy the ride.

  14. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm with those guys up there. You need a couple of thermo meters.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  15. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hope it worked out well for ya.  [​IMG]

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