How much would you NOT recommend this idea?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by tmac5454, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. I am a BBQ lover as I'm sure many of you are (why else would we all belong to the same support group?). I think some would consider me a fiend. I once had a 4 day business trip that took me from Texas to Alabama, that's 12 meals, each of my meals contained some great southern BBQ. I ate it cold for breakfast, had a single choice platter for lunch, and the triple choice for dinner polished off with a slice of Icebox pie when I could get it. The one constant across all of my meals was Brisket. I love me some good,smoked brisket.

    Which led me to where I am today: I'm on the horizon of getting my smoker all setup and ready to chase that sweet, sweet taste of smoked meat.

    I plan to smoke some ribs as my first go and maybe a butt. But I want Brisket and I want it now.

    I may forgo smoking the pork and try to round the bases and smoke a brisket first.

    Would I be making a mistake?
  2. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    I say try it!! If you study up on this site and don't get panicked if one thing seems to go differently than you think it should go you'll be good. Go big or go home!!
  3. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I say go for it! Biggest issue try to keep temp stable and be patient!! I have only cooked one and it took about 16hrs only opened the smoker twice once for water and the other charcoal. Do you have a good thermometer best bet is a dual probe unit one for the smoker one for the meat. What type of smoker do you have/going to get it may help others to know and make suggestions to help you. Good luck and post your qview!
  4. I have been reading up quite a bit and cool and calm is sorta my thing... So just maybe I give it a go. The butchers is only a block away, not like I couldn't have them keep one on standby :)
  5. Like Brooksy said, spend some time reading about others successes then relax and have a good time. Careful though it is an addiction. Also don't forget to take pictures and share with the rest of us. :welcome1:
  6. Good luck and lay in twice the fuel you think you need, just in case you need to let it plateau.
  7. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    If you do give it a go make sure you take plenty of pics!! Everyone here loves pics! And not just pics of the meat take them off your set up what you're drinking and even the guard dog on duty watching the cook if you have one 😊
  8. I think that's the thing that scares me most. Hopefully my wife learns to love what the smoker outputs, otherwise she's going to need to learn to cook!
    I'll be using an unmodified, Analog MES 30 inch. I take it I'm going to have to watch the small chip tray - any idea how long a good brisket is actively smoked for or at least how long it takes for the smoke to absorb into a brisket?
    Now pictures, I can do (as long as I remember to keep my phone with me). Although, my setup won't be anything in comparison to some - just an Analog MES that will be unmodified for at least the first couple of smokes.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  9. If this is a new smoker and you are new I would start out with something easy. A couple of reasons. If it doesn't turn out the way you like you don't have a lot of time or money invested. The MOST important thing is getting to know your smoker, see how it holds temps, and problems,Trying different types of wood for flavor etc. Then then you put on a brisket for a long smoke you wont have any surprises.

    Here are a couple of post I did earlier

  10. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you have never done either before then both will present their own challenges. I think it really depend on how comfortable you are regulating the temperature inside your smoker over time. The ribs will take less time to cook and be more forgiving than the brisket.

    I must confess that I smoked my first brisket long before I smoked my first ribs. The first one was a lot of hard work, lots of fiddling with the temperature (I was not used to the New Braunfels at that time) but it turned out OK - not brilliant but certainly edible. I then took some time out to smoke a couple of pork joints and get used to the smoker before trying my second brisket. The second one was a walk in the park compared with the first. It still wasn't great, as the rub I used was way too hot, but I have not looked back since.

    Go for it. If you are trying the brisket first then a plain salt and pepper seasoning my be best for the first attempt.

    Keep us posted and don't forget the Qview [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  11. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    My first brisket and first smoke on a new smoker was nearly not edible, but that was well before internet and I didn't have this forum to guide me. It was several years before my second attempt. For me it was just a bad choice for first smoke on an unfamiliar smoker. I would say go for it but with the price of beef I would say no. Start with something cheaper like chicken or ribs.
  12. Getting To Know Your Smoker is the most important thing you can do. It's not the meat choice it's knowing your smoker. Take the time to figure out it's characteristics, if it has any problems that need to be addressed, accuracy of temp gauge, Holding temp, weather conditions, timing. The first time I smoked on the RF I have now it was a whole new experience, adjusting, watching, fuel usage etc. Now that I have smoked so much on it, It has become almost second nature, hardly pay any attention to it, except to add fuel and check the meat when it's time.

    Doing a couple things before the big day will help get you familiar and turn out some things to nibble on.

  13. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    May I make a very credible suggestion [​IMG]  Do  as some have mentioned ... learn your smoker and the problems it may pose  before you do any long smokes .[​IMG]

    This insures you will not be Jaded and give-up or at worst not Smoke anymore . 

    Doing some Chicken a few times will give you a feel of how your Smoker works . ( this is similar to driving a Car , first you learn some basics , then practice , and

    finally drive ....) . These small steps will help you gain confidence and also , start a "Smoking Journal"(Logbook) and include all the info. you can think of [​IMG]  ,this

    will also help .

    Have fun and  . . .
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A good progression is chicken (a few times), pork butt (at least once), then either ribs or brisket. The chicken cooks let your learn how your smoker does on getting up to temp and holds temps, as well as when to add wood. Pork butt lets you know how to do a long smoke 10+ hrs. If those go well then your in a much better place to attempt brisket without messing it up.

    ..... now if you do mess up the brisket and end up with tasty shoe leather, you can cut part of it up for use in chili, stew, etc. and even slice some and cook it slowly with some beef broth till tender again. So generally most mistakes are at least edible.
  15. A brisket is just a cut of meat. If you can smoke anything you can smoke a brisket. Just control the temp and remember it is done when it is done.

    Happy smoken.

  16. Thanks for the input everyone - I'm not entirely sure how I will proceed, I don't even have the smoker in my possession yet, but will certainly take in everything that was suggested.

    It's quite exciting to be embarking on this road - the possibilities are endless!
  17. [​IMG]
  18. Also take into consideration the time of year this is. It will be getting colder and the wind will be a blowing so if your smokers is not in a garage or shed you should think of some sort of wind block to keep temps from fluctuating. Good luck and enjoy.
  19. Noted. Thanks!
  20. If it were me and it was at one time, I would do a butt first. I thought long and hard about doing a brisket for my first cook but I finally decided to go with a butt, for pulled pork, for my first cook. A butt will give you the long cook, to get to know you smoker and learning to control the temps, without being nearly as critical. The butt is also not very expensive, compared to a brisket, if you mess up and is much more forgiving for a first cook. I was very glad I did the butt first, it came out OK but I had a very hard time controlling the temps down at 225° with my Akorn. I doubt that a brisket would have turned out very well. When I finally did my first brisket it turned out great and I was really glad I hadn't started with it.

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