My First DIY Smoked Beef Brisket: Day 2 – the Way and the Result

Sunday morning started at 7am in a good way: I think the sun guessed already that I want fire up my smoker today.

Morning Ready to Smoke

Morning Ready to Smoke

❗ 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:

Marinated Brisket out of the fridge

Marinated Brisket out of the fridge

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:

Smoker Fire Box

Smoker on Fire with Cherry Wood to Burn for the Brisket: all that wood was needed

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:

Engine Heated Up

Engine Heated Up

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:

Fresh Brisket in the Smoker

Fresh Brisket in the Smoker

With the sensor I can monitor the meat and outside temperature, and ‘tweet’ it with my BBQ monitoring robot (see “BBQ Smoker Monitoring Robot“):

Temperature Monitoring

Temperature Monitoring

With this I measure the temperature inside and outside of the beef:

Digital Temperature

Digital Temperature

I do not trust the analog temperature meter at the dome of the smoker box is off by about 60 degrees (!!):

Analog Temperature

Analog Temperature

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:

Fire Box

Fire Box

After 1.5h, applied the first mob (apple juice, brown sugar, garlic, onion, apple vinegar, ketchup):

Brisket after 1.5h

Brisket after 1.5h

Passing 50°C internal meat temperature (top smoker box temperature, bottom internal meat temperature) after 2h:

Passing 50°C Meat Temperature

Passing 50°C Meat Temperature

The burning wood keeps things going:

Keeping the machine going

Keeping the machine going

After 2.5h, another treating of the meat is due. Here the piece before….

After 2.5 hours

After 2.5 hours

and after application:

Mob Applied after 2.5 hours

Mob Applied after 2.5 hours

Again 4.5 hours later, it looks like this:

Brisket After 7 Hours

Brisket After 7 Hours

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:

Beef Brisket after 9 hours, at 79 Degrees Core Temperature

Beef Brisket after 9 hours, at 79 Degrees Core Temperature

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!!!!

Temperature dropping down

Temperature dropping down

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 🙂 …

Keep calm and burning wood

Keep calm and 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:

Evening and still smoking

Evening and still smoking

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:

Smoker Fire Box glowing

Smoker Fire Box glowing

Enough heat to grill one of the side dishes on top of the fire box: corn!

Grilled Corn

Grilled Corn

And then, it finally approached my goal temperature of 82°C:

Smoking Beef Brisket Temperature over Time

Smoking Beef Brisket Temperature over Time

At 7pm, after 10.5 hours, ready to take it out:

Brisket after 10.5h

Brisket after 10.5h

Time for the first cuts:

First Cuts

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:

Brisket Detail

Brisket Detail

Cutter in action:

Slicing the Brisket

Slicing the Brisket

Brisket plate:

Brisket Plate

Brisket Plate

Brisket sandwich:

Brisket Sandwich

Brisket Sandwich

Summary

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 🙂

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “My First DIY Smoked Beef Brisket: Day 2 – the Way and the Result

  1. Amazing job!

    When you write “engine is ready to start the smoking procedure”, I’m thinking “engine” is right. The smoker is very heavily built. Like the boiler on a locomotive.

    -Bill

    Like

  2. Pingback: 1000 Days of Blogging: Numbers and Tips for You | MCU on Eclipse

  3. Pingback: Smoking BBQ Baby Back Ribs – Swiss Style | MCU on Eclipse

  4. Pingback: Part 1: Barbecue Beef Brisket Texas Style – The Meat and the Salt | MCU on Eclipse

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s