While I think his reputation is well deserved, I am getting a little tired of the Aaron Franklin worshiping going on around here these days. Lots of great pit masters, lots of great methods...
Anyway, when I was there I got a few second with Aaron, not enough to cover everything. And, since I hadn't cooked my own brisket yet, not everything made sense at the time.... But, Kosher Salt / Coarse pepper only. He starts prepping around 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Smoke around 265* to 275*. "If you hear the meat, you're too hot." Wrap when the bark is where you want it. Oak only. That was all I was able to get out of him while there before he had to move on to other guests. I thought I heard him say that he was wrapping around 4:00 am.
Here is a reply I got after I emailed him to tell him how amazing his brisket was and thank him. The "chow thing" is the video on Chow.com:
Franklin Barbecue <firstname.lastname@example.org> Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 10:09 AM
Thanks for the kind words.
There really are no tricks, that chow thing is pretty accurate.....
I would also add that you should wrap with foil or paper when it looks like you want it to....and don't cook it too
hot(if you can hear the meat,its too hot)......
Holler if you have any questions.
It looked to me like he was keeping the briskets warm in a smoker running cooler. 200* might be a good guess. This was just before he moved to the new place. He was talking with another guest about wanting to build a big brick smoker after the move. I wish I could find a reason to go back.
With that, I'm going back to trying to duplicate his results rather than talking about them.