4/16/2023 – Smoked a brisket and Connecuh Black Pepper Sausage for our Spring BBQ and Pot Luck lunch to celebrate Frank Knippenberg’s and Digger Creel’s birthdays. The brisket was smoked and then “finished” in the oven but after 10 hours was not fork-tender and a bit dry.
This smoke was done the same as the one last week with the Wagyu brisket Jeff and Maggie brought. That cook—not posted here—followed the advice here and is what was followed for this smoke. The Wagyu brisket was very good and more tender than the one today. It also costs 3X as much.
- 4/14/2023, mid-afternoon – Removed heavy surface fat from the Brisket. Salted to dry brine and also added fresh coarse ground black pepper. Put it on a baking sheet and double-wrapped it in plastic sheets. Put it in the outside refrigerator. (We did not dry brine the Wagyu brisket.)
- 4/16/2023, 3:30 AM – Removed from the refrigerator and let it sit wrapped on the island to begin warming up.
- 4:00 AM – Put the meat into the Recteq preheated to 225°. IT of one probe is 39° and the other is 41°.
- 8:00 AM – Probes read 139 and 142 with great color. Pulled, wrapped, and put into the oven set at 225° with the oven probe to stop at 200°. The oven’s probe initially showed the IT as 142° so that is a good correlation with the probes in the smoker.
- About noon the IT had only gotten up to 180° so increased the oven setting to 250°.
- At 1:00 PM the IT was only 185° so increased the oven setting to 275°.
- At 1:30 PM the IT was only ~187° so increased the oven setting to 300°.
- At 2:00 PM guests were arriving and we fork-tested it and it was just ok. IT with the handheld in the flat showed it was either side of 200°. Pulled it to rest on the stove. Carved the flat at about 2:30 and served.
- Good color with a nice smoke ring but is not fork tender.
Fired the smoker back up at 1 PM and put on the sausage. Pulled it at 2:30 PM when I remembered it was out there. The casing was a bit leathery as it should have been pulled at 2 pm.
- Digger and Carol Creel
- Peggy and Frank
- Cathy Downey
- Frank and Jan Carter
- Malita Ham
- Ann Gaston
What would have made it better?
The morning after I began reading Raye Minor’s advice here that I should have read before the smoke. The things I want to do differently next time are:
- Wet age the brisket in the original cryovac for 45-60 days as recommended by Raye Minor and also David Somerville here.
- Leave ¼-inch of the fat cap.
- Time & Temp per Ray – When the bottom brisket [in Ray’s Bradley] hits 168°F internal temperature with the probe inserted in the flat, I monitor the smoker temperature and try to keep it about 225°F which is 250°F to 260°F on my oven setting. I want a slow rise to 190°F or 195°F internal temp in the middle of the flat. At 185°F, test the bottom brisket for fork tender on the end of the flat and continue to test every five degrees. The 195°F internal is as hot as I have ever gotten. Fork tender to me means inserting a long two-tined fork into the end of the flat and twisting. If the meat easily breaks apart, it is fork tender. I repeat on the deckle end but I rely on the flat. With experience, you will be able to judge if a brisket is ready to come out of the smoker by the resistance felt when inserting a temperature probe.
- Start the smoke with 12-15 hours allowed plus 2-4 hours resting wrapped in the foil and a towel and placed in a cooler before serving.