I've been researching several boards trying to get ready for my 1st brisket.
The goal: avoid a shoe leather type substance.
The cooker: a chargriller smokin pro w/ sfb.
mods: exhaust lowered to grate level, charcoal basket from expanded steel, and a heat diffuser.
The brisket: an 11lb packer from Walmart. There's a usda label, but no choice or prime marker.
The rub: Just using a restaurant brand from Angelo's on Dallas, rubbed in with olive oil so the spices bloom.
The method: Going to try high heat. I don't have 18 hours to nurse this thing and the Chargriller eats wood like crazy. Going to attempt to keep the temp around 300-325. I've done a flat and a few roasts and they are done in a flash so I know this will get to 160 fast. It went on the smoker at 8am, hoping to have this thing done for dinner.
I started with a full basket of sam's choice briquettes minion method and the temps went to 275 and held. Threw in some oak to get the temps into 300-325 range. The brisket hit 165 in just under 3 hours. My next step was to put it in a foil pan and cover it, cook it to 185, then take off the cover and cook to 200 to firm up the bark. I put a rack in the pan to keep the brisket elevated. I did not want a pulled pork type mush. Covered it and it jumped took about an 2 hours to get to 185 ( I thought that was pretty fast, almost too fast).
I took off the foil to finish it and the brisket temps dropped back down to 170. I thought that was odd, but figured the longer it stayed at 170 the more the collegan would breakdown (ie the more tender it would be). It hangs at 170 for another hour. I was not worried because I knew if I foiled it I could get the temps up again.
I kept throwing oak on the fire, along with a few hunks of apple. As long as the brisket was in the right temp range, i didn;t worry too much about keeping the fire at exact temps, I was getting ranges from 275-325.
I foiled it (flipping it to fat side up so it would baste in it's own juice) took it to 190, which took about another hour.
I took off the foil and flipped it back over to fat side down. Got the temps to the higher end and pulled it at 200, again, about another hour.
When it hit 200 I covered it back up and put it in a cooler, sans rack, and let it rest for 2 hours. I had set a 6pm finish time so the rest time was fine. I could have gone longer or maybe a bit shorter.
Pulled it out at 6pm, and breathed a sigh of relief. Very moist and tender, good smoke ring, and the family loved it!
When I started the brisket I threw on a fattie also, nothin special, just portobella mushrooms and a bacon wrap.5152355717_65089475e1_s.jpg
The fattie was done in 90 minutes, and kicked butt.
Here's a link to larger pics.
Moral of the story, the brisket temp was more important that the smoker temp. When I added fuel I always saw a spike. I was able to keep the range between 275-350, but tried no to worry about it.
Thanks for all your informative posts, could not have done it without the brothren.