View Full Version : Just bought a smoker.... Little help here...
05-21-2011, 04:23 PM
I see so many threads that inspire me to be a better cook. Today, at a garage sale, I picked up a vertical barrel smoker for $5. I can grill up a storm, but have never tried my hand at smoking...
I'd like to smoke a brisket for next weekend, but again, have never smoked or attempted a brisket. I know there is somewhat of a zen art to the marinade and wood chip combo, etc...
So, meat smoking officionados, help me out! How do YOU smoke a brisket? Ideal temps? Ideal wood? Ideal marinades?
(ps- this smoker has a temp gauge on it, if that is useful)
And no busting chops... I'm mid-20's... We all gotta start somewhere. ;)
Thanks guys. This is one of my favorite things about TGP.
05-21-2011, 04:35 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of smoked meats! I have a simple Brinkman smoker, but it is modded for BBQ perfection.
The key is consistent heat. Vents and the temp gauge will get you there. I drilled holes in my charcoal pan to allow for more consistent temp control. The ashes fall to the bottom of the smoker (which I shovel out before the next smoking)
A charcoal furnace is good for prepping your charcoal before adding it to your pan.
For brisket, no marinade required. You can rub down the brisket with brown sugar, pepper, and kosher salt the night before (12 hours in fridge). In this picture, I have ribs and pork loin. A little different, but not too much.
For wood, I like hickory. You can get whole hickory chunks or chips. Soak the wood the night before as well (or if you take hickory from the family farm in Missouri, throw it on top!) After your temp is consistent (225 to 230 F), add some chips/wood on top of the charcoal. The first three hours are the critical time for smoke absorption. After three hours, you are wasting wood.
You want to get the internal temp of the brisket to 185 degrees for tenderness. This will take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, depending on the size of the brisket. Let you meat rest, then slice!
05-21-2011, 04:56 PM
You'll do well with the brislet recipe above. It's almost impossible to screw up meat with a good smoker. I love mine and get tons of compliments and I'm anything but an expert chef/griller.
Heres a tip.....Google ABT (Atomic Buffalo Turds). These things are the bomb and are always an absolute hit. Pretty easy to prepare too.
05-21-2011, 05:10 PM
My take is to not do a brisket first. Brisket is probably the hardest thing to smoke, in terms of time and attention. A better suggestion is some St. Louis cut ribs. They will be done in 5 or 6 hours, they soak up the smoke flavor readily, and they are really forgiving.
05-21-2011, 07:23 PM
Brisket is tricky. You have to cook it without it drying out on you. I wrap them in foil when they get to around 165f., and finish them that way. Better off with pork shoulder your first time, it's hard to screw up.
05-21-2011, 09:01 PM
Good for you Cody :aok
We don't have a 'smoker' but I use my Weber kettle grill to smoke and slow cook ribs and chicken. 'Did a brisket last summer ~ Pokey's right, mine came out a tad dry on my first attempt.
It's a good time to catch up on work around the yard while the magic happens over the coals. Once you figure out how to set the vents to maintain the temperature you want you're golden. But make sure you have some cold ones handy.
05-22-2011, 07:11 AM
You will do fine and brisket is my fave BBQ. Funny since I aint Texan. Just remember low and slow wins the race. Fire running at about 225 is perfect. Soak your smoke wood to keep them smoldering and not burning. Use your water pan and put some vinegar in it to keep a moist heat and help break down the meat proteins.
Some temps to remember:
95- smoke is no longer taken up in the meat so make the most of low temp
160- about the time the stall occurs and you will think it might be done. Leave it alone
170-180 the collagen will rapidly break down When you see the temp spike in the meat you are done and time to wrap and rest the meat
05-22-2011, 07:57 AM
I would trade it for a Klon.:knitting
05-22-2011, 09:33 AM
Salt and pepper is a good start as sugar could go black if your temps aren't right. Turbinado sugar is ok. Don't pull it until 185 or it will be tough. If the product is not perfect just sauce it up. It's about what you like, not folks from a certain region. Smoke with most of the fat left on (fat cap to the top so it drips down), but I cut it off before eating.
Boston butt is easy (190 degrees) falls apart and the shoulder bone pulls out clean.
Wood chips should be soaked 1 hour in water, fist-sized wood chunks.....no.
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