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Smoked Brisket on Weber Kettle

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Trappy12, May 22, 2013.

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  1. Trappy12

    Trappy12 Active Member

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    I'm sure some a few of you guys have dabbled quite a bit in the barbecuing department, so I need some help. Memorial Day weather is going to be cool up here, so I figured I'd smoke a brisket. I'm just borrowing your standard Weber kettle charcoal grill, and need a few things clarified/any tips.

    I know to cook the meat indirectly, keep the temperature around 230 in the grill, and the brisket at 155. But to do that, how many coals should I be using? Lump charcoal or briquets? How much wood (I'm thinking pecan)? Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    -Trappy
     
  2. 548

    548 Guest

    I have smoked many briskets. My favorite is hickory. Always used an electric smoker set at 220 for about six hours. So can't help with the kettle grill. Good luck.
     
  3. whiz-bang

    whiz-bang Active Member

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    I have smoked many briskets. I use two types of smokers. My favorite is a "stick burner" using Cherry and Apple wood. Or I use a Stumps gravity fed using lump charcoal. I like using whole packer briskets. With a whole packer you have the point still on the brisket. The point is the best part of the brisket. That's were your burnt ends come from.

    However never cook your brisket by time. That is a huge mistake cook by internal temp. Internal temp for a brisket would be in the 195 to 200 degree range. Get a good meat thermometer and cooker temp varies I like 225 to 250 although a friend of mine cooks at 350 with the same results.

    Go to a web site called the smoke ring all your questions will be answered there.
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If you have no experience at all with smoking meat, you might want to consider a pork shoulder. Or at least smoke it lightly then finish the pork shoulder in the oven, as a backup should something go sideways with the brisket. There are plenty of pork shoulder recipes on the Internet. Pork shoulder, both bone in and boneless, have a high far content and are very forgiving, making them ideal for beginners.
     
  5. Michael.B

    Michael.B Member

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    You've taken on quite a task!
    You didn't say if you are cooking a whole packer (best choice), a flat (second best) or a point (don't).
    If your kettle has a dome thermometer, good. Test it for accuracy in boiling water. If it doesn't have a thermometer, get one and drop the probe down through one of the dome vent holes.

    The meat:
    . Buy choice grade or better.
    . A whole "packer trim" brisket, which includes the flat and the point (smaller, fattier section), cooks up better than a smaller cut.
    . Some people believe that choosing a more limber brisket at the meat market will render a more tender brisket after it is cooked.
    . Some people believe that a brisket covered in white, hard fat (as opposed to yellow fat) indicates that the animal was fattened on grain and will render a superior final product.
    . You can trim the fat cap over the flat to about 1/3 inch thick.
    . Apply your rub, wrap in cellophane, and refrigerate at least 12 hours before you plan to cook. You should put as much rub on the meat a you can make stick there. Don’t worry, you can’t get too much on it.

    A good rub:
    . 3/4 cup Paprika
    . 1/4 cup ground black pepper
    . 1/4 cup salt
    . 1/4 cup sugar
    . 2 tablespoons chili powder
    . 2 tablespoons garlic powder
    . 2 tablespoons onion powder
    . 2 tablespoons cayenne

    Mop:
    . 12 oz. Beer
    . 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
    . 1/2 cup Water
    . 1/4 cup Oil
    . 1/2 Chopped Medium Onion
    . 2 cloves Minced Garlic
    . 1 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
    . 1 tablespoons Rub

    The fire:
    . Center the largest disposable rectangular aluminum pan that will fit onto the fire grate. Your coals are going to go on each side of this pan and the meat will sit over the pan.
    . Keep a couple inches of water in the pan. The water will work as a regulated heat sink to help you keep the cooking temperature stable.
    . Light a chimney of coals and pour 1/2 the coals on each side of the water pan. You are going to have to replenish these coals, a few at a time about every half hour, throughout the cook.
    . Keep the dome vent fully open and regulate the temp by how much you open the bottom vents. You want the dome thermometer reading about 250* - 275*.

    The Smoke:
    Do not put the meat on until the fire is established, as evidenced by the smoke thinning to a light blue color. White smoke is bad. Light blue smoke is good. Smell the smoke. If it has an acrid smell, your meat will have a nasty bitter taste.

    The cook:
    . Insert the probe from a remote reading thermometer into the flat, from the side. Inserting from the side will ensure you have the probe centered in the section of meat.
    . Internal temp will rise fairly quickly to about 165* and then stop. Do not take the roast off the fire! It is not done cooking and will be very tough. It will stay between 160* and 170* while the collagens and connective tissues break down. You may even see the internal temp drop a few degrees.
    . Start checking for tenderness at about 185* - 190*F, measured in the center of the flat from the side of the brisket. Don’t try to measure temp in the point; the extra fat there often causes incorrect readings. Test by sticking a meat fork in the flat and twisting. When done, the fork will slide in very easily. This is usually about 195*, but can be anywhere between 185* and 205*.

    After the cook:
    . Prepare a cooler by placing a heavy bath towel in the bottom. Just before you take the meat out of the cooker, pour two quarts of boiling water on the towel. (Just enough to get it wet.)
    . Remove the meat from the cooker and cut off the point. You should be able to cut the point off by sliding the handle of a wooden spoon through the fat separating the two sections.
    . Double wrap the flat in heavy duty aluminum foil, and place it in the cooler.

    * 1 hour or more rest time in a warm cooler prior to slicing is just as important as any other part of the preparation. Do not skip or skimp on it!

    Burnt Ends:
    . Remove the surface fat from the point and discard.
    . Cut the meat into 3/4 inch cubes and put them into a disposable pan.
    . Put a light coat of rub on them with a little of your favorite BBQ sauce, and then put them back in the cooker for an hour or so.

    Serving:
    . After resting, remove the flat from the cooler, unwrap, remove the surface fat, and slice about pencil thick across the grain.
    . Take the burnt ends out of the cooker, they should be done too.

    Smoking wood:
    ! Don't over do it! It is easy to
    . Pecan is great. Also cherry, apple, and a little oak.
    . DO NOT soak the wood!

    Notes:
    . Plan on the cook taking about an hour and a half per pound of roast.
    . If it is done early, you can keep it warm in the cooler for several hours.
    . If it is taking too long, AFTER the plateau (the temp is rising steadily again) you can double wrap the brisket in heavy duty aluminum foil and raise the cooking temp to 350*. At this point you could finish it in your oven. Wrapped in foil, it won’t make any difference.

    Final note:
    If you're lookin', you ain't cookin'.
    Don't open the lid any more than you must. When you open the lid you dump all the heat and have to wait for it to build back up again before your cook resumes.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Mike, You sound like a pit master, yummmm. How often do you mop?
     
  7. MGeslock

    MGeslock TS Member

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    Here is a link to a how to with photos. http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=51133&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=brisket+weber

    mgeslock_2008_030379.jpg



    The title is for Pork butts but someone chimes in and talks about a brisket.
    Use the "Minion" method found here http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=36757&highlight=

    mgeslock_2008_030382.jpg
     
  8. JIM SIMS

    JIM SIMS Member

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    I'll second what Brian in Oregon said,I"ve had a WEBER for 30 years

    and I love it,but not for low temp cooking,too hard to control heat.

    Ck this site out for more info http://www.barbecuen.com/

    Brisket needs to be cooked low and slow.

    GOOD EATING ENJOY

    JIM
     
  9. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    The amount of briskets and pork butts I've smoked would be well into the thousands. Mike outlines a great plan. I agree with his choice of wood except the oak part. The best smoked brisket I've ever eaten that was not cooked in a rotesserie smoker is done by a good friend in Coffeyville, KS. He uses any smoker or grill with pecan and charcoal (as described above) 'till the meat reaches 180 degrees internal. Then wraps it in foil and into the oven at 350 until internal reaches 200 degrees. Good luck Trappy!

    milt

    PS : remember, pork butt shredded is not "pulled pork"! Pork butt pulls at 205 internal with no resistance and should be wet with moisture. If you serve your brisked cooked to 155, it will be way to tough to eat...take Wiz-Bang's advice. Real BBQ cooks LIVE by their internal temp guage. Brisket to 200, pork butt and loin to 205, pork ribs to 190, chicken to 170, bison (I've cooked tons) to 170. It's the temp that breaks down the binders that hold meat together to make it tough. Reach the right temp and it will fall apart.

    Picture below taken at a Easton Corbin, Chris Cagle, Jason Savory concert to aid ACS. Cooked 100 Butts, several whole briskets and a ton of bologna. All in this smoker. Easton came to the smoker during a break and asked to take some with him for him and his crew. Said it was the best he'd ever had.
    mette56_2008_0807186.jpg
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Milt has the rig for this job!

    But barring that really what you are trying to do is cook with steam and smoke. The steam (water) can come from the meat and combustion reaction or you can have another source like a pan of hot water next to the coals. The smoke is key and comes from your fuel. Some charcoal isn't bad but it's hard to beat hardwood. I use oak stays from used pallets for the main fuel and burn a bunch down to coals before starting then put chunks of wet hickory on that for cooking. For the hickory I have used everything from broken tool handles to the chunks you can buy in the grocery store.

    Now here is the trick - you have to keep that steamy smoky atmosphere around the meat always, don't be pulling the lid. The steam does the cooking but more importantly if the atmosphere is saturated in steam then moisture can't evaporate from the meat. So you don't want a whole lot of draft going through your cooker - just enough to keep the fuel lit. Let the Weber draw from the bottom and keep the top vent shut.

    For a rub, I like the Moore County rub from the Jack Daniel's cook book. Its a lot like what Michael B. posted. I don't use a sop because you have to expose the meat to do that.

    Have fun and enjoy - also according to the the JD cook book, you must imbibe in a few high octane beverages while practicing this voodo known as bbq.
     
  11. drgondog

    drgondog Member

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    Whiz Bang and Michael B and others that talked about internal temp range 195-200 are IMO correct. Most Texas BBQ'ers can tell by touch when it is near ready but I always use a meat thermometer in multiple places.

    In a smoker I put the large end closer and tail away to try to equalize the 'doneness'. I also rub and refrigerate the night before and bring to room temp in early morning.

    If I have a 6-8 pound brisket I like 200-210, for larger I like 250-260.
     
  12. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Trappy is back,where have you been hiding? Trappy a solid question about smoking meat and as stated above temp control in a Webber is tough to say the least. snall amounts of charcaol and add a few at a time as they burn down. Even then temp won't be accurate.
     
  13. Trappy12

    Trappy12 Active Member

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    Been busy working! Started a great internship in Chicago a few weeks ago and that's taking all my time.

    Small amounts of charcoal being what exactly? And I'd like to use lump charcoal but I keep hearing it burns too hot and fast? To add coals do I just drop them between the grate or take it off?

    -Trappy
     
  14. trappermike

    trappermike Well-Known Member

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    The top grate on a weber has handles and an open space below them. Drop briquets in there.
    What time should we arrive?
     
  15. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    Trappy,

    Mixture of charcoal and hardwood has everything to do with heat...and smoke. The charcoal is lit when you start, the hardwood isn't. In fact, soak your wood chips in water to keep it from burning up too fast and to produce more smoke. Best to get a "charcoal chimney" (at WalMart or some hardware stores) so you can produce more lit charcoal as needed. Use long tongs to insert lit charcoal into the Weber.

    Your goals are :

    right temp--225 to 275

    smoke--produced by hardwood--if chips, soak them in water.

    Meat far as possible away from fire and thicker end should be toward fire end.

    Get the internal temp where it will need to be...about 200 for whole brisket.

    If you're running late or internal temp just won't seem to reach 200, wrap it in foil and finish in oven at 350 till it reaches 200...but NO more. Put a pan under it as it will leak juices into oven. You can temp through the foil.

    Take some pics and report back...us smokers want to see how you did.

    Good Luck!

    milt
     
  16. Trappy12

    Trappy12 Active Member

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    I want to have this on as long as possible, hopefully 8-10 hours, so does that mean I want to keep the termperature lower?

    -Trappy
     
  17. drgondog

    drgondog Member

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    Trappy - one answer doesn't fit all cuts and weights of meat.. the general rule of thumb is 1 1/2 hours per pound but the big mothers often take more to get to 195+ for some reason.
     
  18. blizzard

    blizzard Active Member

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    Get a Weber Smokey Mountain. Brisket is very difficult to get right.
     
  19. no5shooter

    no5shooter Member

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    Trappy, lots of good advice here. See if you can average it out and find some sort of consensus, I think you will. And yes, if for some reason you want/need to smoke that brisket for 8+ hours, lower temps in the kettle will help you do it. Pay attention to the bit about the water (or apple juice) in the pan to maintain moisture in the smoke. Smoking meat isn't hard, you just need to be patient and deliberate. Good luck.
     
  20. Michael.B

    Michael.B Member

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    mik --
    I don’t bother making the mop. I’ve been cooking in a Big Green Egg, which is extremely fuel efficient, since 1987. I pour a couple cans of beer in the drip pan, put the meat on, and close the top. I don’t open the top again until the meat temp is reading 190*. At that point I always get a cloud of steam.

    Some people do mop and I included the recipe because Trappy is going to be opening the kettle every 45 minutes or so anyway to replenish charcoal and water.

    MGeslock --
    The "Minion" method works great with a Webber Smokey Mountain or something similar. I never tried it in a kettle type grill for an extended cook. The cook would be a LOT easier in a WSM.

    Trappy --
    It has been a long time since I tried your kind of cook on a kettle. The link MGeslock gave looks doable if you are cooking a small brisket, and The Smoke Ring is a fantastic resource for anything related to cooking meat. You should go to the link and ask about temp, stability, cook time, etc.

    Milt --
    LOVE the rig!

    I agree with your opinion about oak, but a lot of people like it so I included it in the list. I use apple and cherry.

    Trappy --
    If you do use oak, do so !sparingly!

    Fire: Again, go to MGeslock’s reference and ask questions there. I’ve used that method in a kettle, but never tried to stretch it beyond a few hours.

    This is what I did for long cooks in a kettle:
    I would start with one full chimney split between the two sides. You are going to have to add (guessing here) 3 or 4 briquets to each side about every 45 minutes. Watch the coal pile and adjust what you are adding as needed to keep the piles stable. Keep in mind that every time you remove the top, the cooker is going to take time to recover.

    Briquets: Do Not use MatchLite or anything similar!!! .. Do spend a little extra and get one of the “all natural hardwood” selections. I’d avoid the ones with oak, hickory or misquite already added. (Especially misquite! It can get very overpowering.)

    Webber food grates have holes at the handle locations. Arrange the grate and burn piles so you can drop new briquets through those holes. If you are getting a lot of ash buildup, use a short rod to knock the ash down through the fire grate.

    Blizzard’s suggestion to get a Webber Smokey Mountain is a good one. It would simplify the cook. If you can borrow a WSM, go with that and use MGeslock’s suggested Minion Method for fire and temp control. You should also play with it the day before to get the feel for how to make it work right. If you can’t get the WSM, don’t worry; this cook can be done with a kettle. You are going to have to stay on top of it though, much like the guys with the backyard offset cookers.
     
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