First Brisket - MES30 - Please Advise

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by raven70, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. My daughter is coming home from the Navy tonight, and I promised her some Texas BBQ since she has been stuck in Chicago for 9+ months.  Great Pizza and Italian Beef, but Texas Brisket, not so much.  There are so many threads on here it is almost information overload, so apologies in advance for re-asking the same questions everyone else has probably asked.

    Anyway, went to Costco this morning, and maybe it's just me, but I thought $3.79/LB for USDA Prime brisket seemed too good to pass up.  So now I have a 14.74 LB whole brisket.  I'm not too concerned about the rub, and will salt and pepper and maybe some other spices this afternoon and want to start smoking tomorrow.

    Should I cut in half?  It's pretty darn big.

    I know I leave the cap, but I should trim other fat where I can, correct?

    What temp?  Was thinking smoker at 225.

    If I split into two (2) 7 lb cuts, about how long on smoker?  I don't have a bunch of fancy probes or anything, just a simple meat thermometer.  I know at some point it will get to a temp and I will foil, then supposed to let let rest for while, correct?

    I'm also a little unclear on how often to add wood chips?  Seemed when I did a pork butt it burned down in 45 min (apple).

    I have apple and hickory.  Suggestions on which one?  Mix?  Neither and something else?

    Hoping someone can give some guidance that is simple.  Not looking to try anything fancy.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    First tell your Daughter thanks for her service. Now the bad part without some extra probes it is a crap shoot, with an MES. I can suggest trying to find out by using an oven thermometer, inside the CC to get an idea of what temp you have to set the MES.Before you cook the meat,I do hope you are not planning this for tonight,best guess 1 1/2 to 2 hrs per if you cut it in half you could start probing with tooth picks at about the 9 hr mark. Hope some of the more experienced guys can add to this.[​IMG]
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    You will have to cut it in half to get it into an MES 30.

    I would use the hickory chips and load them every time the smoke runs out (this keeps you from over loading) which should be around 45 minutes.
  4. Thursday.  Want to start tomorrow AM.
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You may want to check it today so you know what to use as a temp tomorrow.When you do you test let it run at the temp you set for 1 hr. then look at the oven therm.
  6. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Hickory far as rub, salt and pepper will work great, maybe a little brown sugar and small qtys of chili pwder, cumin and cayenne will hit that Texas flavor perfectly...either cut it in half down the middle or separate the point from the far as fat trimming, I take everything off except whats on the cap (the bottom side)...I would put smoke on it for at least 4 to 6 hours, until you get a nice, reddish, mahogany color to the top of the meats surface, then wrap and either turn up the heat on your MES or move it to a 300 degree reset the bark, once it has reached toothpick tender, just open it up and vent the excess steam and heat for about 15 minutes, then close it back up and let it rest for an hour or so. then slice and enjoy.  Nice find on the Prime by the know what they say, once you go Prime, you won't go back...

    Big thanks to your daughter for her service to our country!

    225 will work, 250 is even better.....
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  7. Thanks again everyone.

    I will try to check smoker temp tonight.  I was pretty generous with the chili powder and cayenne. . .:)  Sounds like smoke this higher than pork butt at 250 then?  I did the pork butt at 225, and although for many hours, it was still very fatty and had not rendered down much.  Will the higher temp help that?

    So, I now have two (2) briskets.  I am calling them Fat Man and Little Boy.  Fat Man is one half and probably around 8-9 lbs.  Little Boy guessing 6 lbs.  Very even thickness on both, but I now have 2 unmatched pieces of meat.  Fat Man is 5 inches thick, and Little Boy about 3.
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I strongly advise spending a few extra bucks and springing for a good dual probe therm. I would cook only 1/2 of the brisket and freeze the other half. Either one is large enough to feed a small family on its own. You've got to be able to monitor the ambient temp inside the smoker and the internal temp of the meat. I own the ET-733 and it works beautifully. I can monitor the two temps from anywhere inside my house or in the front yard if my smoker's in my backyard.

    I also advise at some point getting a pellet smoker like the AMNPS. I appreciate the advice of others here about when to load wood chips but with the AMNPS you fill it with wood pellets, light it, and you get solid and constant smoke for up to 11 hours. I used mine to smoke ribs a couple of days ago in my MES 30 Gen 1. I got 7 hours of smoke with unburnt pellets left over for next time. I never mess with wood chips because I hated the hassle of reloading every 20-30 minutes.
  10. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Raven, on the pork butts, they need to be cooked until they are probe tender or until the blade bone slides out easily.  With brisket, it should be probe tender before you pull it from the heat, anything prior to that and you will have some rubber band slices.  In Texas, that's a no no.  

    I agree with daRicksta, run to Wal-Mart or any other store of your choice and pick up a couple cheap digital therms with probes, one to check smoker temp at grate level and one for the IT of the meat, or just order a Maverick.  When you are starting out smoking, (or one with dual probes) knowing IT can be very important tool.  
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    You can agree with me on everything but shopping at Wal-Mart. I've been boycotting that chain for years. I bought my Maverick ET-733 from Todd Johnson right here:
  12. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

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