This is my third brisket smoke. I ended up turning it into one of the best meals of my life, but it was less than stellar out of the smoker. Here it is rubbed and ready to smoke at 225F: Close up of probe(first time using one) placement: After 8 hours it was about 130F according to probe. 14 hours it was 156F according to the stay in probe. I tested with my new thermapen and found it to be 172F: Here was the probe placement: It was 176F in the point end: At this point, I wrapped in foil. I only left it in the smoker for another hour after that. This was hour 15 mind you. 165F according to stay in probe. About same temps with thermapen, but was toothpick tender. So, I pulled it. I wrapped in a towel and put it in a cooler. Then I had to go to sleep. 15 hours in a smoker will really shrink your veggies! When I woke up, it was time to taste! The brisket was still pretty warm when I took it out of the cooler. Here is a pic of the sliced flat: It was pretty dry and according to family, overcooked. However, the part of the flat closer to the center was really tender and juicy. The point was good too! Oh, I also made some strawberry guajillo sauce for it! I halved a pound of strawberries and roasted them in the oven with half of a vidalia onion & a bit of salt & pepper: After: While that was going, I was rehydrating 3 dried guajillo peppers that I had toasted a bit in a pan. I threw all of that in a blender with some locally made strawberry jam(no HFCS, just strawberries, sugar, & pectin), some fresh lime juice, some balsamic vinegar, and some of the guajillo water. It was pretty good, but not quite as good as I hoped it would turn out. I only ate some as is and used the rest for chili con carne. I removed the stem and seeds of 3 dried ancho peppers and toasted. Then I took those added 2 poblano, and 1 anaheim, and blended with beef stock. Bad brisket! Now you go for a swim! I also added 1 sauteed vidalia onion and some minced garlic. Since the meat was already cooked, I only let it stew for 2 hours on low to let the flavors meld. I thought it was way soupy for my taste, so I went to the market to pick up some ground meat to throw in there. I ended up with 1.5lbs of course ground chili beef and 1/2lb of chorizo. So, then I sauteed more onion(in some of that magic beef lard that I forgot about the first time around): Then added the meat(oops, I should have done so in two batches. Oh well!) I added the contents of the frying pan into the slow cooker: Then I added some smoked guajillo powder, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. I let it simmer a little while longer to try to reduce the liquid a bit. That's my brisket chili con carne! No tomato & no beans. For my throwdown entry, I was envisioning a deconstructed chili. I was going to have separate meat, chilis, onion, and chili sauces recombined on the plate. Alas, that was not meant to be. It was some mighty fine chili at this point. It was much lower on the heat scale than I usually prefer, but I thought it would have more of a mass appeal. So, back to the throwdown... The first thing I made for it was "Cowboy Candy." I followed this recipe, but first I cold smoked the jalapenos in apple pellets. I didn't think to take any pictures. This stuff is awesome. I highly recommend making some. This makes for a good gift as well. Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2010/05/23/candied-jalapenos/ It was the first time I tried canning. I had used Ball jars before, but never tried the hot water bath. The second thing I did was make pickled red onion. I used the recipe from my new favorite cookbook, Dirt Candy. It's available here: http://shop.dirtcandynyc.com/products/cookbook Then I made some pasta(another first for me)! First I cold smoked red pepper and poblano: Then I roasted it(again, no pics.) I gathered my ingredients. Unbleached flour & semolina flour, olive oil, salt, Italian herbs, roasted red pepper, and eggs. I blended the red pepper, added 2 eggs and olive oil, mixed a bit more in the blender, then added the mixture to the flour mixture. Then I sprinkled on some herbs and salt. I hand mixed the mixture into dough. This wasn't as easy and it sounds. It was very dry, so I added more water, but ended up adding too much water, then I added more flour. You get the idea. After that, it looked like this and rested for 30 minutes: The machine was not working well at all! So, I got frustrated and went old school with the roller. After using the roller, it finally started to work well in the machine. Ta-da! Fettucini and spaghetti! Last, but not least... Before I made the pasta, I was thinking of an interesting way to utilize the code word for the throwdown. I don't know how, but inspiration struck and I came up with the "cold smoke branding" of cheese. The link to that adventure is here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140888/cold-smoke-branding So, there you have it! I used all of that stuff and shredded some cold smoked cheddar I had in the fridge. Oh, BTW, to get that perfectly formed sour cream dollop, I used an ice cream scoop. Then I plated it. Oh, I actually made this plate as well back in kindergarden. I thought it might bring me luck, but alas, I only received 2 votes aside from mine. It was pretty discouraging to wait for almost a week to go by without any votes at all. I suppose I need to step my game up for the next throwdown. All in all, it was fun at times and very frustrating at other times to create this dish, but the real winner was me(because I was the lucky SOB to eat it.) It was so good that I had to stand up from the table do one of these numbers: Thanks for watching!