Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by micky, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. micky

    micky Newbie

    How are ya? Micky here from Beantown B/K/A Boston MA. Just signed up to the forum for some advice, guidance and general soaking up of seasoned smoker knowledge. I bought a ECB (charcoal) Smoker N Grill about 2 months ago. I have finished modifing it after doing lots of research online. I'm ready to fire it up and get to smokin'! Today is Tuesday, I'm lookin' to smoke a pork butt on Saturday. How many hours/mins per pound? I have some lump hardwood charcoal and a bag of Wood chunks for Smoking. Can't remember if they're cherry or apple wood but anyway.. Fat side up, right? Should I inject my first time around or just rub 'er down with a dry rub? How do I know when I've hit the "Stall" and how do I pass it? Does it just mean longer smoking time? I don't wanna foil it 'cause the wife and I love bark! What's the internal temp for pulling, 205 right? Thanks for all the advice/help, anything is super appreciated. Sorry for the long winded post. Lah-Tah, (no 'R' used here)
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Micky Welcome to SMF check out the Pork forum 1.5 to 2 hrs per pound. 205 is great for pulling. Be sure to have a good meat probe post some pic when you do it
  3. micky

    micky Newbie

    Thanks. I appreciate it. Can a meat probe purchased at any old grocery store work? Is there a special one that is superior? Or a specific brand with a solid reputation?
  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Maverick are pretty reliable I have the ET-71, purchased up in Ma. Omaha Steak I have another that is cheap but its been working for years
  5. micky

    micky Newbie

    Thanks buddy. I believe there's a Omaha store in Burlington. I'll have to swing over there and check it out.
  6. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Omaha Steaks in Mansfield Ma. Don't know if this is closer
  7. [​IMG]   Good afternoon and welcome to the forum from a cloudy, warm and windy day in East Texas. Lots of great people with                 tons of  information on just about  everything 

  8. Here is some more information on thickness vs weight  I posted it earlier this year


    How Long to Cook Brisket


    Misconception of the 1 to 1.5 hours per pound rule

    This is not just my opinion, but facts gathered from various sources. One has Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University, Texas A &MAgrilife Research & Animal Science,  Texas A & M Rosenthal Meats Center and Teach Meat Science, Department of Animal Science, and TAMU BBQ group.   

    Also, my observations of forty years of smoking.

    I am not trying to step on anyone’s toe’s or create a problem, just trying to help first time smokers in their  journey to smoking a great brisket

    In general  thickness  is a better predictor than  weight.

    Imagine you had one 20” long, 10” wide,  3” thick brisket. Weighs 20 lbs, and takes 30 hours to cook. But now imagine you cut in half, and separated it by an eighth of an inch. Would it take 30 hours to cook, or 15 hrs now that each half weighs 10 lbs? In fact, the cooking time only depends on the brisket thickness, not its weight. A 30” long or a 10”  long brisket that is the same thickness takes the same amount of time to cook.

    Similarly, a 6” diameter pork but that is 12” long cooks in the same time a 6” diameter 18” long butt.

    So if you typically cook a 12lb brisket in 12 hours, and you bought an 18 pounder but really it is just longer and about as thick after trimming, the cooking time might only jump from 12 to 13 hours.....

    Another example, Say you are grilling steaks, you have two pieces of meat, both weigh one pound but one is an inch thick and the other is two inches thick, you are cooking both to medium rare, they both weigh a pound, but which one will get to medium rare the quickest.

    That is why so many people new to smoking have their briskest turn out dry, tough, over or under cooked, because they are going strictly by time. After you have cooked several briskets and are familiar with your smoker it is a lot easier to judge when your brisket is done. A thermometer is a valuable tool. Check your brisket at different intervals and when you think it is getting close.

    Also Smoking temperature is one of the key factors, people smoke anywhere from 200° to 300° so how can your cooking time be based on weight, simply put it can’t.  The one hour per pound rule is a good starting point, but don’t base your entire cook on weight alone.

    So to summarize, when picking a brisket take note of the size differences a 16 pound brisket is going to be bigger all around, a little thicker, wider and longer than a 12 pounder, so take that into consideration when choosing and smoking a brisket. I wouldn’t automatically add 6 more hours for the 18 pounder, but look at how much thicker it actually is and use your good judgment.

    I know smoking a brisket for the first time seems complicated for some, but keep it simple watch your temp and keep an eye on your brisket and you will be fine. I guess it’s easy for me to say since I’ve been smoking for over 40 years.

    There is so much information available at your finger tips, that wasn’t there when I started. I had a lot of trial and errors; ask a lot of questions at different BBQ joints and friends who smoked. I also kept a notebook which I would refer to until I got comfortable enough not to need it any more. When I switched to a reverse flow (which I use now) it took a few smokes to get to know my new smoker and figure out the adjustments. I have smoked so much on it I know when to check it to add wood or more charcoal, how much to start with and how quickly it comes up to temp.

    No two briskets are exactly the same, let’s say for example you estimate 1 to 1.5 hours per pound.  A 12 pound brisket can be done in 12 hours during one smoke and the same size brisket takes 18 hours the next time. Why?  There are many factors that contribute to the difference; type and breed, diet, age of the animal, amount of exercise, feed, etc.  All these determine the density of the muscle and the amount of fat marbling.  Type of equipment, experience level, temperature, and weather all play a part in how long it will take.

    Good briskets take time, but the time varies so how do you know when it’s done ?

    There are several methods you can use. One way especially for the beginner is use a thermometer. (Most briskets that are dry and tough were not cooked long enough)

    Most briskets will be done around 190° to 205°. Now if you buy” Choice grade” it can be tender and juicy around 180° to 185°.

    Beef needs to rest after it is cooked so the juices can redistribute before cutting. A brisket should rest at least 30 minutes and up to 2 to 4 hours in a warm ice chest.

    Using the 1 to 1.5 hour rule and your brisket is around 12 pounds, a cooking time of between 12 and 18 hours depending on the above mentioned factors. A lot of cooks use the toothpick test, when the toothpick slides in like butter with no resistance its ready. Another method mostly by experienced cooks and have a lot of briskets under their belts, is looks and feel, a good bark and kind of soft and pliable. 

    I am hoping this helps and not confuses anyone, Smoking a brisket is not rocket science but you need to pay attention to the basics and you will have great brisket.
  9. micky

    micky Newbie

    Wow. All the info and warm regards are truly appreciated. Thank you. Hopefully it doesn't rain here Saturday or I'll have to wait another week to get my first smoke in.
  10. Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
    About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
    and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
    We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
    Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
    because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
    Happy smoken.
  11. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    Welcome, from southern Ohio, to the best forum on the internet if you are looking to learn how to BBQ/smoke/brine/cure/inject. Well you get the picture if you can do it to to something you put on a plate to eat then someone here has probably done it. Use the search bar at the top of the page and you will be led to the answer to most every question you can think of. If you don't find the answer there then just post it and someone will chime in with there opinion on the subject.
    Any meat probe you buy should be tested prior to use. The "boil test", Get a pan of water up to a rolling boil on the stove and stick the tip of the probe in there. Should read close to 212 deg. Will vary depending on altitude but should be within a deg. or two in Boston. You can also check the low end in an ice water bath. I check my probes often.
    Always remember the only dumb question is the one you don't ask!!!
    Keep Smokin!!!
  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Gary That is a great article, I rely on my meat probes.

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