Sunday morning started at 7am in a good way: I think the sun guessed already that I want fire up my smoker today.
❗ And no, that’s not the smoker in that picture! That’s ground fog in the morning (see “Inversion“).
Ready to continue my week-end project: DIY Smoked Beef Brisked!
The marinated brisket rested through the night in the fridge. Taking it out to aclimate, putting it into an aluminium pan:
There are arguments for either fat cap up or down, see “Smoke a Beef Brisket – Fat Side Up/Fat Side down“. I’m now part of the ‘Fat Side Up’ party, but open to convert :-).
While the beef is slowly getting up to room temperature, ready to start the engine:
My brisket is 1.6 kg, so about 4 pounds. According to my research, it takes 1.5h for each pound, so I’m counting for 6 hours (I will be wrong about that). But as every piece of meat is different, we will see (oh, yes!).
After 45 minutes, the engine is ready to start the smoking procedure:
Time to put the raw brisket into the smoking chamber. I was undecided if I should put it into the smoker with or without the aluminium pan. The pan would have the advantage to collect the moist, but would probably cook it too much from the downside. So finally, I put it in the chamber without the pan, with a meat temperature sensor in it:
With the sensor I can monitor the meat and outside temperature, and ‘tweet’ it with my BBQ monitoring robot (see “BBQ Smoker Monitoring Robot“):
With this I measure the temperature inside and outside of the beef:
I do not trust the analog temperature meter at the dome of the smoker box is off by about 60 degrees (!!):
The remote sensor allows me to check the temperature without opening the lid. The plan is to smoke the beef slowly at 225-230°F (107-110°C) for about 4-6 hours, until it reaches a core temperature of 180°F (82°C).
With opening/closing the fire box lid, I can control the heat. And from time to time adding new fire wood:
After 1.5h, applied the first mob (apple juice, brown sugar, garlic, onion, apple vinegar, ketchup):
Passing 50°C internal meat temperature (top smoker box temperature, bottom internal meat temperature) after 2h:
The burning wood keeps things going:
After 2.5h, another treating of the meat is due. Here the piece before….
and after application:
Again 4.5 hours later, it looks like this:
After 7 hours, brisket reached a core temperature of 76°C. There was no real or big stall in the temperature (see http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/the_stall.html). Another good article about BBQ stalling is here: http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/stallbbq.html. The temperature increased slowly after 72°C. As I had enough time, I did *not* use the Texas Crutch (at least I thought that I had enough time. I was wrong).
Things were going well, and after 9 hours, it looked like this:
And here the drama started: the meat steadily reached 81°C, and I so happy and getting hungry. But suddenly it started dropping down to 79°C!!!!
What’s going on???? I was really close to get in panic mode. I was bringing heat, and that piece of meat cools down? This did not make sense to me, and looks like the stall point for my piece of beef is much higher? Yes, I had *one* beer, but that should not cause that effect? I tried to keep calm and continued burning wood 🙂 …
… and drinking another beer. After one hour, the temperature was climbing slowly again. Uff!!! All because of the beer I guess ;-).
The other thing is: I was planning to smoke the brisket for about 6 hours, and now 10 hours passed, and the sun is going down. Beautiful scenery, but my brisket was not impressed:
I skipped lunch, so I was getting really, really hungry, but that brisket only slowly, slowly reaches my goal temperature. Getting closer and closer to the goal, I still had a lot of heat available:
Enough heat to grill one of the side dishes on top of the fire box: corn!
And then, it finally approached my goal temperature of 82°C:
At 7pm, after 10.5 hours, ready to take it out:
Time for the first cuts:
The lower part was a little dry, but the upper part with the fat cap was very moist, soft and tender. Only the rub was too spicy for everyone, so we took off the crust:
Cutter in action:
This has been my first ‘Brisket-Long-Job’ so far, and I’m happy with the result. A lot of work for a special Sunday evening dinner: I completely underestimated the time needed. Next time I shoot for a thicker fat cap, as the meat was a bit dry in the lower area. And for the rub, I want to use a less spicy version: I love spicy food, that was a bit too much even for me. Continuous improvements 🙂
Happy Brisketing 🙂