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mulit briskets

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Post Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:35 pm
chuck in houston

I am planing to smoke 3 briskets on a new braunfelds smoker. my question is if I start in the evening at what temperature should the smoker be so it stays hot through the night. Do you built a larger fire during the night and check it once or twice or do you maintain 250 throughout the night? thank for the help in advance.

Post Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:45 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Howdy Chuck,

I've never smoked brisket overnight. The reason being you don’t “set it and forget it” with brisket. Normally with a longer smoking session like brisket I will tend to it every hour during which I baste, mop, or spray the brisket to keep it moist and add flavor. I will also check fuel, water and hardwood to see that supplies are enough to last through the next hour.

If you wish to try an overnight smoke with little maintenance through the night, you might look into the “Minion Method” for firing your smoker. If while using this method, your smoker gets too much oxygen, you could have 400-500 degree temperatures after bedtime. The first time I used this method the temps started to climb and I had to completely close off all three vents on my smoker for two hours unit they started to drop back within target range (225-250). The total burn lasted for five hours (I was cooking chicken and only needed 4 hours). Depending on the smoker and the amount of fuel used, you can have longer times, they say up to 16 hours. I would strongly recommend practicing during the day with long burns like this prior to leaving unattended at night.

The best way to get constant temperatures is by regularly monitoring them.

Starting a fire; be it a smoker, stove, fireplace, or even a candle at home and leaving it unattended while sleeping is extremely dangerous and not recommended. Be very sure that your smoker is safe from being knocked over by winds, animals, etc. which can start secondary fires. We don't want to see any of our board guests on the news unless it's for award winning BBQ! :wink:

Hope this helps.

P.S. Consider signing up and becoming a member so you can let us know how it goes.

Post Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:36 pm
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

Well Bob, that all depends on your smoker. I always do briskets and pork butts over night in my Kamado. The temp drops by maybe 10-20 degrees over the course of the night. Sometimes, it doesn't move at all. I've gone 20 hours on one load of charcoal without opening the dome. Just give it a little more or less air to adjust the temp.

I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:43 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Yeah my Weber bullet is pretty predictable too. If you aren't used to your smoker yet and don't know what to expect from it overnight, I wouldn't cook in it overnight. Get used to how it behaves before you try going the unattended route. In any case, Bob certainly makes good points in relation to leaving a fire by itself. One of the accepted things about our hobby is that you'll be getting up EARLY in the morning sometimes to cook dinner.

Post Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:13 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3209
Location: Atlanta-GA
I have to agree with Bob ad Airfoil also. You don’t want to leave the smoker unattended, and you don’t want leave the meat unattended either. Briskets have to be mopped and basted through out the cooking time. I would just invite few friends, fire up the smoker, start a campfire, get you few drinks, and smoke food all night. I would also smoke some additional food that won’t take too long to cook; this will supply you with snacks through out the night.

Post Wed Feb 25, 2004 12:54 am
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC

The new braunfelds smoker is very similar to the Brinkman that I have, and temperature control seems to be very tricky requiring lots of tinkering. Maybe its my novice techinque, but I don't think either smoker wouldl last all night at a constant temperature. How about a good early morning start and some quality time tending it.

Post Wed Feb 25, 2004 12:59 am
chagan well done
well done

Posts: 1350
Location: Central NJ by way of NY
I would be worried about ruining the meat if the temp got out of control, but I would be more worried to leave a grill unattended for that length of time just for safety reasons. That's just me, I wouldn't be able to sleep that well knowing there was a fire in my back yard that I had no idea how it was behaving.
I know that the Kamado is expensive but if you can go 20 hours with just a 10-20 degree fluctuation in temp on one load of charcoal, it just might pay for itself in charcoal savings alone. Hmmmmm....

No, it ain't burnt- it's barbecue

Post Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:28 am
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

Well, I also don't have a worry about leaving a fire unattended in a Kamado. 1 1/2 inch thick ceramic that is sealed up tight (except for the intake and vent). The thing weighs 400 pounds, there's not much of a chance of it tipping over or the fire getting outside of it.

When I do over night cooks, I have my wireless thermometer in the bedroom with the alarm set to let me know if it goes over 250. I've only ever had it jump once during the night and I'm not sure why but the alarm went off and I closed off some of the air to drop it back down. Otherwise, it usually drops a few degrees over night but not by much.

I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Wed Feb 25, 2004 3:34 am
Rick rare

Posts: 47
Location: Oregon
Scott- I haven't used my Kamado since I got the pit smoker 'cause it doesn't hold enough meat. But, I have to admit, I sure like the taste of the food that comes out of it.

Chuck--my question is why would you not want to tend to the smoker. It seems to me that part of the fun is the process. I enjoy stoken the fire, gettin' all smokey, etc. I know it's nice to eat the goods too.


Post Fri Feb 27, 2004 12:24 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
The lapsed boyscout in me says never leave a fire unattended (charcoal, wood, or gas). This goes back to the conversation we had back at Christmas time about turkey fryers too.

SAFETY FIRST!! Food second.

And a new sneaky simple tip for turkey fryers that I just learned. Bring the oil up to temp. TURN THE BURNER OFF. Then lower the bird into the pot. Then relight the burner. Greatly reduces the risk of oil fires. From the book of why didn't I think of that sooner!

I'm not going to chime on on the rest of this topic, you guys said it all already.

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