hate to take all the fun out of here.. but..
Aaron Franklins briskets are cooked NO DIFFERENTLY than most of us..
his target temperature zones are wide, and he doesnt pay that much attention to them.. 250-270-- even 300+ degree spikes.. he doesnt care. He just cooks.... just like us, and his rubs are simple rubs. What he does that most of us dont... is he KNOWS briskets.
How do I know this?.. I got the lessons..i cooked with him for 2 days in NYC last week at Meatopia. Back in June, I got a call from a friend who needed someone to help his 'friend' who was coming here to cook and needed hands and equipment.. so I agreed and told him to pass on my number, and the next day i got a call from Aaron Franklin.
i went down to the venue with a double barrel lang 84.. we were given a load of oak and a little cherry.. Aaron had a box with his knives, some terrycloth rags and a roll of butcher paper. He mixed his rub right there.. very simple as he traveled light. We had to prep and cook 50 briskets for service 4PM Saturday. We started 8Pm Friday night.
he trimmed like we do...
he rubbed like we do...
he put the briskets in the pit just like we do..
and he loosly maintained temps... not too concerned about where.. 250-275...290...300... 260.... whatever..the only time he got concerned was when grease caught fire on the deflector plate and started toasting some of the briskets on the bottom shelf. Otherwise.. hes cooks anywhere within the range..
whats different?..... he looks at a brisket, listens to it.. picks it up, feels it, puts it down moves it to different spots...makes determinations..based on what he sees and feels... not once... not a single one... of the 50 briskets ever saw a thermaopen or a probe.. (he had a lime green one that sat in his knife case..never took it out..) he would glance at the pit temp and control airflow by cracking the door to the pit and never touched a damper.. he said his pits in austin dont have dampers on the doors, just the exhaust.. and he controls air with the doors and he controls smoke with how he builds his fires.. he wraps in butcher paper like everyone sees in the videos and he returns to the pit.. and its done when he picks it up, feels it with a squeeze and says.. this ones done, this one needs another 30 minutes, this one needs some higher heat(and moves it closer to the firebox)... he goes by feel.. that is IT.. no magic.... experience... many of us can pick up a rack of ribs, and know if its done by look and feel.. judging the firmness of the meat and the bend to the rack.. and thats how he is with briskets.. he feels it and just knows..
On saturday, after cookign 50 briskets, on a cooker he has never used before, and with nothing in the way of supplies except his knives and a cutting board... he was the one with the line that never ended..Even during a storm, folks never left the line.. and on top of it all..he walks away with the title of Meatopia Grand Champion, leading out over 49 other professional cooks, including APL and and an Iron Chef..
How'd he do it??.. he knows briskets.. period... there is nothing special.. no secrets, no magic ingredient.. chit, he won using completely different wood than he normally uses... he goes by feel, and consistency.. he cooks 1400 lbs a day.. think about it..... thats 90+ briskets A DAY! I dont do that in 2 years. We can analyze this until we are blue in the face..
Franklins briskets are the result of experience..thats it... its not temps, hold times, not the rubs and he does not sauce(he serves sauce on the side to dip).
its simply his experience... so if you want to duplicate his product.. start cookin.