Please review my game plan for first brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by andookc, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. andookc

    andookc Newbie

    So I've decided to try a brisket for my first time since I bought a PS PK 50 PP Electric Smoker.

    http://www.psseasoning.com/index.cfm/act/product.view/product_id/2947

    I picked up a 5lb brisket from the grocery store. Its a flat with with about a 1/4" fat cap on one half that tapers to 1/16-1/8" fat cap on the other side. The meat is very lean. I wasnt in need of a large amount of brisket so I went with a non-packer's brisket. Ive been reading alot and trying not to ask too many questions that have been asked a bunch already. In addition I want to do two racks of 3lb spare ribs. I wanted to have all the meat done and rested by 1:00 on Saturday afternoon.

    Heres my steps (please critique):

    1. Slather plain yellow mustard onto brisket

    2. Liberally apply brisket rub

    3. Cover in saran wrap

    4. Fridge for 24 hours

    5. 5:00 am take brisket out to bring to room temp and pre-heat smoker to 225 F.

    6. Soak apple wood chips for an hour

    7. 6:00 am place brisket in smoker along with soaked apple wood chips.

    8. Open or Close dampers??????

    9. Place water in drip pan???????

    10. At 7:00 am place ribs in smoker, along with more smoke?????

    11. Let brisket temp rise to 165 F

    12. Wrap brisket in foil???? with or without liquid in foil?????

    13. At about 180F take brisket out of foil then bring temp up to 185-190F to firm up meat.

    14. Meanwhile, take spare ribs out at 168 F

    15. Take brisket out at 185-190Fs

    16. Wrap in aluminum foil

    17. Wrap brisket in towels

    18. Place in cooler for 1 hour to rest

    Here are my questions...

    1. My brisket flat is about 1.5-2 inches. Would a desire for bark leave me with very little tender meat in the center?

    2. Would you have water in the drip pan the whole time, none of the time, part of the time?

    3. Would you put wood chips in several times or just alot at the beginning? What about when the ribs go in so they get smoke considering that they go in later than the brisket b/c they will take less time?

    4. To foil or not to foil?

    5. Are my times okay, do ribs go in sooner or maybe later?

    6. Do you put the brisket directly on the rack or do you place it in a foil pan?

    7. Do I put the ribs over the brisket so that the drippings fall on the brisket or vice versa?

    8. Do the thinner areas of fat cap need supplementary fat like bacon over it, or should the fat dripping from a two racks of ribs provide it with extra moisture?

    My electric smoker loses heat very easy if the door opens so I try not to open it unless I have to. I am having trouble optimizing my game plan so that I can do multiple steps at once when I open the smoker door (i.e. apply bbq sauce to ribs while also foiling the brisket)

    Thanks in advance...

    - Vick
     
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    My brisket flat is about 1.5-2 inches. Would a desire for bark leave me with very little tender meat in the center? No it will however change the way that you should smoke it thou. If you want some bark you don't want to foil it thou.

    2. Would you have water in the drip pan the whole time, none of the time, part of the time? Yes

    3. Would you put wood chips in several times or just alot at the beginning? I would use the chips during the whole smoking time.

    What about when the ribs go in so they get smoke considering that they go in later than the brisket b/c they will take less time? I would use the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 for the ribs. We smoke ribs by time not by temp here. If you have spares you would use the 3-2-1 method and 2-2-1 for some baby back ribs.

    4. To foil or not to foil? This one I answered earlier. If you want bark no foil. Tenderness is best achieved with the foil I believe myself. I would take the brisket to about 165° and foil it. Then take it to 195° for slicing and 205° for pulling. 

    5. Are my times okay, do ribs go in sooner or maybe later? 3-2-1 or 2-2-1

    6. Do you put the brisket directly on the rack or do you place it in a foil pan? Now thats a personally thing I put mine on the grate and leave it there. Some like to take it too 165° and then put it into a foil pan for the drippings.

    7. Do I put the ribs over the brisket so that the drippings fall on the brisket or vice versa? It does really matter which is on top. When you smoke poultry is the time in which you will want to chicken/turkey on the bottom. Other then that I wouldn't worry to much about placement or your meats.

    8. Do the thinner areas of fat cap need supplementary fat like bacon over it, or should the fat dripping from a two racks of ribs provide it with extra moisture? No there's enough fat on the brisket. I wouldn't trim any of the fat off. After all to me fat is flavor and I don't trim my briskets hardly at all I do cut off the hard part of the fat cap thou.

    I hope that this helps you with your brisket smoke and I'm sure it will come out just wonderful. One other thing is make sure you have some good batties in your cameria bacause we folks like the Qview.
     
  3. andookc

    andookc Newbie

    Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it...one quick qustion for clarification

    "2. Would you have water in the drip pan the whole time, none of the time, part of the time? Yes"
     

    Is "yes" the answer to having water in the drip pan the whole time, none of the time or part of the time?

    Thanks,

    Vick
     
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For brisket you want a full water pan when you start, this will help keep your meat from drying out. I like to put a drip catch foil pan under the brisket to catch the brisket drippings - I use a big enough pan for the brisket to fit into. Then when the brisket is ready for foil I put the brisket in the foil pan with the drippings and dump a bee in with it - 1/2 a beer should be good for yours. Foil the pan tightly and cook as planned. The drippings mixed with the beer will make you some liquid gold that is awesome ajus!
     
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    A few things for you to think about.

     You don't need to soak chips.

    If you can't see TBS or smell smoke add more chips.

    You exhast damper should stay fully open.

     Yes ,water or other liquid in pan the full time.( boiling liquid will help to keep heat up)

    1 hr out of the fridge after 24 hrs in will not bring temps of brisket up much.

    IMHO, Brisket in a pan produces a jucier slab o meat But reduces the formation of bark.

     To me bark is nice and it looks real good in pics . But i like brisket in the pan.

     And THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!

     It will be ready when it gets ready, The theory of 1.75 hrs per lb is just that a theory.

     Some briskeys may cook in 1 hr per lb some may take 2 hrs/ lb.

     if /when you hit the stall ,Do not up the temp to try to force the meat thru the stall just wait it out.

     Remember to take some notes so that you will remember exactly what you did and when so that you can tweak your next smoke if needed.

     And show us some pics  .
     
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup... what Eman said.

    My last 13 lb. full packer finished in 10 hrs., but the one before that took 14 hrs. - shocked the heck out of me when it finished that fast.... lol.
     
  7. andookc

    andookc Newbie

    Thanks guys,

    Ill have to get pics up later of the results. The brisket came out terribly although the guests were saying that it was fine but really it was dry. I did the foil method. I put it in foil at 165F, then let it cook in foil with 1/2 cup of beef broth until it reached 195F. Now I do readily admit that I turned the heat up after the ribs came out from 225F on the electric smoker to 245F. I probably shouldnt have done that but everyone was waiting...

    After the brisket was done foiling at 195F, it seemed really moist and like it was gonna be really juicy.

    Perhaps my next move was the touch of death....

    I took the brisket and placed in on a hot grill to kind of crunch up the outside. I think I ended up releasing all those juices.

    All in all, Ill have to try this again with a packer's brisket and then use everyone's advice here.

    The ribs which I've now done a total of three times is getting much better and the experience is starting to make some headway,

    Theres still lots to learn and patience to be had.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

     let me say that  brisket is probably one of the hardest meats to get right on the first couple a tries.

    I took the brisket and placed in on a hot grill to kind of crunch up the outside. I think I ended up releasing all those juices.

     Yes you probably did.

     Next to low and slow ,The resting period is the most importatn part of smoking any large cut of meat . You have to give it time for the juices to redistribute into the meat.

     You can not make  bark buy searing after the smoke..

       let's see what we all learned from this smoke.

     1st allow more time for the smoke, (hungry guest over your shoulder make you try to rush things). allthough 245 is not to high a temp.

     everything else looks good till you pulled and didn't rest . the ice chest method everyone talks about is not just to keep the meat hot. it does improve the quality of the smoked meat.

      As for the grill , You went from low and slow to high heat which just evaporated any juices that were on the surface and probably at least an inch or so below the surface.

        Your next one will be better
     
  9. stl-rich

    stl-rich Fire Starter

    I've heard that brisket flat is hard to cook.  I don't believe it!!

    I use an old WSM with a big water pan with a clay flower pot saucer in it - foil over the whole mess.

    I fill the charcoal ring with natural brix and a chunk of oak - put about a 10 brix in the chimney w/a chunk of oak and light them - dump them on the brix in the ring, all vents open, Cook the trimmed, mustard slather, rubbed FLAT to about 160F, place in a a pan w/ liquid seal w/ foil, cook until tender.  Pour off the juice (to seperate the fat), wrap the foiled pan with an old towel put in a cooled and let rest for AT LEAST 60 minutes.

    Slice ACROSS the grain, pour on some defatted juice and ENJOY
     
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Or you could smoke to 160 and put it in the oven. The same thing you are doing in a foil  sealed  pan.
     
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah... the key to brisket is don't rush it! If you are planning on eating at 3:00 in the afternoon then plan on finishing the brisket at 12:00 noon. Give you an example we are having guests over for 14 lb. brisket today at 5:00 PM, so I lit my smoker at midnight, had it up to temp and put the brisket on by 1:00 AM. I was figureing on 12-14 hrs. on the cook time with my smoker running at 200° the entire time. I pulled the brisket off at 1:30 this afternoon, flat is in the cooler wrapped in foil and towels resting and the point got cut up and put back on as burnt ends.

    Basic rule of thumb is figure out how many hours you think you will need, then at 2 more hours of *oh crap big stall* time to that for good measure. Cook it low and slow 200-225 is what I consider ideal chamber temps, and give it a minimum of 1 hr. to rest, 2+ hours would be much better.

    AndoOKC - putting the sear on it wasn't necisarilly a horrible thing, the part that killed you was not giving it the 1 hr. rest period. Resting a large piece of meat is essential, when you first pull it off it looks super juice and moist, but all the moisture is in the outer 1/3 of the meat. The rest period lets the juices redistribute throughout the entire piece of meat. Chalk this one up to experience, and don't be afraid to try again, just allow for more time. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page