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First smoked brisket... half failure (ooops!).

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MrEcted1 well done
well done

Posts: 423
Location: Wheat Ridge, Colorado
I recently decided to try my first smoked brisket.

I went by Steven's recipe in HTG and everything started off great. I was keeping the temp nice and low and applying lots of hickory goodness. I decided to make it a health-nut nightmare and I put lots of hickory smoked bacon on top of the brisket to get even more juices flowing. The brisket was looking mighty good after about 6 hours... I couldn't stop eating the bacon so I applied more.

Well it was serving time for about 6 others so I decided to take the brisket off. Uh oh... the brisket was totally stuck to the aluminum pan. I guess I assumed that since I was cooking indirect that I wouldn't really need to flip the brisket. Boy was I wrong... the brisket was very burnt on the bottom. I was very dissapointed. I was able to sneak the brisket in the house undetected and I quickly cut it up just right so the burnt bottom wasn't much of a problem and people didn't seem to notice (I used sharp diagonal cuts to avoid most of the burnt side). People still raved about how good it was, but I just knew that it could have been much... much better. It seemed slightly tougher then I hoped, but it was still pretty good with my Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce that everyone seems to love... but with all that time spent cooking (right around 8 hours total) I was pretty dissapointed with the outcome (or should I say... aftermath)

Since then I have learned that it's much better to, well... flip it after a few hours and also it comes out really good if you wrap it in aluminum foil if it starts to dry out a little.

Most of my grilling experiences turn out quite good (thanks to Steven Raichlen for my semi-recent discovery for my love of BBQ... your books are great man!) But this one wasn't quite what I hoped. Oh well, you can't win em all I suppose.

Thanks for reading! I am happy to have found such a great site!

Post Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:00 am
Leatherneck well done
well done

Posts: 898
Location: Florida
That's interesting MrEcted1. How far away from the fire was your pan? I've done plenty of them in the pan and have never had one stick.
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Post Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:06 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5365
Location: Damascus, Maryland
What temps were you running?
Did you sauce the meat before or during cooking?
Was there any sugar in your rub?

-YB
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
New Braunfels Hondo offset
Bar-B-Chef offset
Weber Jumbo Joe
Weber Q-220

Post Sun Sep 18, 2005 11:17 pm
MrEcted1 well done
well done

Posts: 423
Location: Wheat Ridge, Colorado
I am aware that sugar will cause burnage, so I didn't apply the sauce until it was nearly done.

I used the basic BBQ rub that is in How To Grill, There is brown sugar in that rub, but I believe he recommends using it for the brisket recipe... perhaps I used too much brown sugar... or perhaps I applied too much rub.

I cooked it away from the fire, kept the vents only slightly open. I applied roughly 12 coals to each side of the brisket once the previous coals started burning too low. Could the bacon grease have gotten out of hand and burned it perhaps (ie: grease sneaking up under the brisket)?


By the way, i'm using a 22 1/2 inch Weber One Touch Silver. I made sure the coals were far away from the roasting pan, well on the outside. It took roughly 8 hours (I believe) before the fattest end of the brisket hit 190 degrees.

Any advice on cooking brisket will help greatly!

Thanks much,

Post Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:44 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5365
Location: Damascus, Maryland
On my kettle I usually will do a modified indirect for larger cuts
like brisket, turkey breasts, BCC, etc.
I light about a half a chimneyand place it all on one side of the grill.
The Weber charcoal rails are a great help with this.
Then a foil pan half filled with hot water goes on the other side.
Replace the cooking grate and place your brisket in another
foil pan over the water pan. This gives you the option of rotating the meat away from the fire from time to time if one side starts to take off on you.
Place the lid so that the vent is on the opposite side from the charcoal. I leave the lid ventopen all the way pretty much of the time and ust the bottomvents to control the temps.

Don't know if any of this helps or not (may be stuff you've already tried).

-YB
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
New Braunfels Hondo offset
Bar-B-Chef offset
Weber Jumbo Joe
Weber Q-220

Post Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:49 pm
mrgrumpy well done
well done

Posts: 1846
Location: North Carolina

We learn by our experiences.... A bad day cooking is still better than a good day at work :lol:

Just remember not to do it next time....

Bill

Post Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:35 am
MarkInStLou medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 92
Location: St. Louis, MO.
MrEcted1--thanks for your post. I think I'll learn a lesson and try a brisket on my WKettle this weekend. How big was that fella you smoked (lbs.)?

Post Sat May 19, 2007 10:38 pm
BOBBY"Q" ER medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Londonderry, NH
I'm no expert, but i think that kind of grill has too much direct heat for a brisket.
I've done briskets on my chargrill, that has a side firebox, and had no problems with anything sticking. Not even the Boston butt i smoked for 12 hours stuck to it. I'd say try and keep the temp down around 250 and maybe that will solve the sticks. 8)
If your lookin' you aint cookin' !
CHARGRILLER with SFB
WEBER SMOKEY MOUNTAIN (WSM)
Weber CG

Post Sun May 20, 2007 1:21 am
TX Sandman well done
well done

Posts: 1977
Location: DFW, Texas
Welcome aboard, BOBBY"Q" ER!

Rob - TX Sandman
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Post Tue May 22, 2007 9:02 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board BOBBY"Q" ER! :D

MrEcted1 could you tell if it was the meat that was burnt or the sugar? I cooked a brisket in an aluminium pan once and layed a bed of sliced onions in it first to place the brisket on. Not only did the onions impart a wonderful flavor to the beef but they also burnt a bit on the bottom but the brisket did not.

http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/view ... p?p=102969

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Post Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:52 am
MrEcted1 well done
well done

Posts: 423
Location: Wheat Ridge, Colorado
whoa, an almost 2 year old thread is still getting recent posts eh?

Well, as an update I want to say that I haven't burnt a brisket since then. I was still new to indirect grilling back then and I have a hunch that my temps were just way too high. Every now and then I get a brisket that isn't super moist. I'm not sure if it's the cut of the meat or if i'm not cooking it low enough. I use a WSM now for smoking and I usually smoke low and slow (225-250). Oh well, you win some - you lose some I suppose, just gotta keep tryin'
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Post Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:48 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I'm not a flipper. :wink:

Since I want to preserve the bark on the top of the brisket I don't flip it.

If for some reason your rig cooks unevenly then you may need to rotate or even flip to promote even cooking.

The onion idea was from Chitown BBQ and a very good one too! 8)
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