Smooking Noob

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by robert spaziani, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. My wife gifted me the 40 inch with window before Thanksgiving as a Pre-Christmas Gift.  Since then, I have experimented with different meats and woods.  Most were successful.  I was disappointed on the 6 pound brisket flat that I tried on New Years weekend. It came out dry and tough.   
  2. [​IMG]Robert......

    Been there, done that...but even the fails are all part of the learning curve.

    Whenever I`m about to try doing a new-to-me meat smoke, I spend a few hours seeing how others have done it.

    What prep did they do..what temps did they smoke at..rub..wood..and often most important, what meat temp did they use as a pull it out goal.

    Whether it ends with the family looking at you as a true god of the smoker as they eat up a success, or you use the end result as a door stop with rub.

    It`s all good and another step on the path.

    Get another brisket and try it again.

    When everything finally clicks, comes together it will be well worth the struggle.

    Good Luck
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  5. Thanks, Ill check it out appreciate the help.
  6. My Ego Kind of got in the way as I am a chef and expect good results right away, obviously that is not the case.  I checked these forums, the weber forums, to get the ideas on how it should be done.  I used a good homemade rub the night before, smoked on 235 degrees with pecan wood until it came to 165 degrees, (here is where my mistake may have been) I used a vinegar based carolina bbq mop similar to one used on ribs wrapped it in foil and smoked until 190 degrees, then put it in my oven (not on) to rest for an hour.  When slicing the meat was dry and tough.  flavor was good.  but a flavorful old boot. good thing I made a good flavorful coca cola bbq sauce to go with it. 

    Thanks for the tips as I will try again.  Tonight, smoked wings to go with home made pizza.

    Glad I subscribed to these forums, 
  7. lamar

    lamar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    A major problem new smokers have is trusting the built-in thermometers and dial settings. I suggest you test the built-ins with against a calibrated thermo.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.

  8. Thanks, I love to learn new things smoking seems fun and it seems that alot of experience and knowledge is here.  Time to learn and do!

    The biggest thing for me to learn is patience.  Long low and slow is the name of the game here.  

    Thanks for having me.  I am looking forward to using my fam as guinea pigs.
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did you trim off any fat on the brisket? If so, how much? On a brisket there's both hard fat which won't render and there's the soft fat that will. I trim as much hard fat as I can while leaving the other intact, or perhaps slightly trimmed. I then smoke it with the fat side up. I never have a problem with dried out meat. I use a basic Kansas City-style rub--which I make from a recipe--which is smoky and sweet, and I prefer oak wood pellets for brisket. I just think the oak flavor marries well with the flavor of the meat. I use a good quality BBQ sauce if I choose not to make one myself. A 6-7 lb. brisket takes about 11 hours in my MES 30 to smoke at a temp or between 235-250° (accounting for temp swings) and I've been cooking mine to an IT of 200°. I foil without any foil juice to get it past the stall. This year the foiling will be kept to a minimum because the bark was too soft the last time I smoked a brisket. I brush on the sauce when the IT is close to 200° just to finish it off. I brush it on again before I set it in a picnic cooler to rest for a 1-2 hours. I first foil the brisket before placing it inside the cooler and then I place a few folded towels on top of it for added heat insulation.
  10. Thanks Ill try that.  I did not trim much fat off it at all and only cooked it about 6.5 hours. Ill try oak next time as well.  
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not sure why your brisket might have been dry if there was still a lot of soft fat on it. I think it was undercooked, though. Oak is just what I like for this meat. It's good you're willing to experiment with wood smoke flavors. It's all personal preference anyway.
  12. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Short version is that dry and tough means that the brisket was undercooked.  Dry and stringy or falling apart would be over cooked.  You need to cook it long enough for the connective tissue between the muscle fibers to break down and begin to render.   Instead of going by a specific temp, use the probe test to tell you when the brisket is ready.   Stick a probe into the thickest part of the brisket flat and when it goes in and out with almost no resistance (like a knife through room temp butter), the brisket is ready.
  13. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think an undercooked brisket can still be moist. One of my brothers-in-law undercooked his. It was moist since it was cooked in an electric smoker and some of the fat had rendered. It was tough because it was undercooked. What got me was his claim that it was fully cooked.

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