Wife said she wanted a brisket for V-Day

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bigred77, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. So I made her a brisket

    along with beer butt chicken, a couple of fat steaks smoked, and decided to experiment with smoking potatoes and some tomatoes, onion and jalapenos for salsa

    Planned timing was to be steak, chicken, potatoes and salsa ready for lunch, brisket to be ready for dinner 

    Brisket after about 5 or 6 hours with potatoes just put on under it so they catch drippings

    Chicken after a couple of hours, steaks and veggies just put on

    Steaks about to come off, tried my TTU brand my father gave me (note: had just wrapped the brisket in butcher paper)

    Steak came out awesome, sliced thin, makes an awesome lunch

    Salsa was awesome, really surprised me how much smoke flavor came through in the finished salsa

    Chicken was ready for lunch, but we didnt touch it, in fact it is whole and wrapped up in the fridge now, will break into it today

    Potatoes..... ohh the potatoes, first try at them, definite learning experience  (started out rubbed in oil and sea salt, no holes, no microwave)

    when lunch time came, they were all still hard as a rock, so I just said 'ohh well' will have them later

    well another hour or more and they are still hard,  so I decide to wrap them in foil

    get em all wrapped up and back in for another hour and a half or so, finally they are starting to feel soft to the touch and the brisket was cruising past 180 so it was ready to throw in the cooler, so I decided to pull the potatoes too and toss them in the cooler to hold until slicing time

    well they turned out to be a little under done still, and the skin was too moist and didnt hold the salt flavor well, I really want a dry almost crisp skin

    not sure if it was the foil or the cooler that caused the moisture and washing off of the salt (salt was still there when I wrapped them)

    So I think next time I try potatoes I will poke a bunch of holes in them with a fork before the oil rubbing, and probably not use foil at all, and find a different way to hold them till serving time

    Brisket turned out awesome, wife thinks its the best one I have ever done
  2. It all looks TASTY! I don't see what temp you were running your smoker but I am thinking the tators should have been done a lot sooner. I would not poke them full of holes. For the brisket if you will do the toothpick test it will be perfect every time. Most briskets go over 180° to be toothpick tender.

    Happy smoken.

  3. I was running the smoker between 225-250

    I've never done the toothpick test on a brisket, can you describe how that works?

    I was a feel by finger to check brisket guy for years, but the past couple years have converted to using a dial thermometer to keep an eye on the stall and usually pull fairly quickly after the stall ends as the temp seems to rise pretty fast after that 
  4. big red that a mighty taste looking meal there, i bet your valentine really enjoyed that...

  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The meat looks great, now lets solve your potato problem because smoke baked potatoes are AWESOME!

    If you think smoking meat involves a bunch of technique, potatoes are not far behind.  My wife grew up with a grandpa who was a potato farmer.  She LOVES potatoes beyond anything I can describe so I've cooked, roasted, smoked, fried, boiled, and baked them every way imaginable. 

    Full sized baking potatoes, the big ones, take at least an hour in the oven at 425F.  I've had some go 90 minutes at that temp.  So smoke baking a potato takes some time.  If you were running 250F in your smoker while smoking the meat, you are looking at around 4 hours for the big ones to get done, possibly a little longer.  For the medium ones you are still around the 3 hour mark, maybe even a little more  If you were running 225F, even longer.

    Now the question is to poke or not to poke, wrap in foil or leave exposed.  A wrapped potato or a potato that has not been poked is really a steamed potato because the water in the potato cannot escape.  Steam inside the potato is essential because it is what cooks the potato flesh.  If all the steam stays in the potato it gives a denser final product, more chewy, and that's assuming it doesn't burst, which happens on occasion but not often.

    There are quite a few varieties of potatoes and they all cook differently.  I get mixed results from the bagged bulk potatoes so I don't use them for baking.  I use them for shredding, frying, boiling, and cutting up when smoking or roasting mixed veggies.  When I'm going to smoke bake a potato I get the individual big ones. 

    If you want a fluffy, smoke baked potato, you punch 4 holes in it about one inch deep.  I do two on one side then two on the other.  Steam escaping from the potato is necessary to help get it fluffy but too much steam escaping can leave you with a dry, powdery potato.  That's why you only poke it four times, say with a paring knife about 1" deep. 

    To get the skin you want definitely do not wrap the potato in foil.  Like you we like a thick, almost crispy skin.  We like to eat the innards then slather the inside of the skin with butter, fold it up and eat it.  Mmmmm.  You won't find that on a diet anywhere.

    I like to throw potatoes in the smoker when I have meat resting.  I let the chamber temp climb to the 350 range and they are usually done in 2-3 hours.  If I'm doing chicken with a 325F chamber temp, I put them in with the chicken, take the chicken out when it is done, then check the potatoes.  They almost always need a little more time.

    You'll nail those smoke baked potatoes the next time you throw them on the smoker. 

  6. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Ray
    That was some really useful info on potatos. Thanks
  7. kolky

    kolky Newbie

    One other thing I have found with potatoes it that if you put a nail in them they finish much faster.  The nail heats up and cooks the potato from the inside out.  Weber sells sets of potato nails or you could just pick some up from the hardware store.
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I haven't tried the nail but I have this grill thingie where you impale up to 4 potatoes on the prongs and the base supposedly transfers the heat into the potato so it will cook faster.  It works slightly on a grill but didn't seem to make much difference in the smoker. 
    You're very welcome Gary.  Happy to help.
  9. For the toothpick test I start probing at about 185°. most of the time it is between 190° and 195° that it probes like butter. If it doesn't probe like butter keep going. I have had a few go over 200° but not many. Remember it is done when it is done and to remain patient.

    Happy smoken.

  10. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    Great post, thanks!
  11. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    Do you rub potato with oil and salt?
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, I do because it gives the kosher salt something to stick to.
  13. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic


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