Originally Posted by JoeMal
This...pics and results are a must!
As requested, here are the pics and a recap. I'm curious about advice on the brisket. I thought it had a few flaws, but our guests devoured everything and I had several compliments on the brisket so I think it went better than expected.
What I wound up doing was starting the 6.5 lb pork butt at 7:30 PM Friday night, and I ran it at around the 250's until midnight or so to give it as much time exposed to smoke as possible before moving it to the oven and "cheating" a tad, though I hated to do it. I had prepped the night before and had the ECB locked and loaded minion-style with apple and cherry chunks mixed in with the Ozark Oak lump in my charcoal ring.
With the smaller packer weighing in at 9.75 lbs (I didn't do any trimming), I knew I had to give it plenty of time, so by 12:30, I had the brisket on, fat cap down. I also put the packer on the ECB grate while still in the packaging, just to get a feel for the spacing. I draped it over a can to make it fit and had it going in the 250's for the duration of the night. So relatively low and slow went the brisket until about 8:15 AM Saturday morning when I was at 243 degrees on the grate and 190 degrees in the flat.
From doing the necessary research beforehand, I went out to start to probe for the "butter" consistency. The point had it, but a part of the flat still had some resistance and it had nice color that was already rather dark, so I decided to wrap it in HD foil, then back into the ECB. When I opened the smoker up to probe the brisket, I used the opportunity to spray it down with some beef bouillon.
At 11 AM, I pulled the brisket when the probe slid in easy in multiple places. In retrospect, I might have waited a bit too long but I really didn't want to pull it early and have it be tough. So then, wrapped in foil, it went into the warmed, toweled cooler where the pork butt had been resting since 8:30.
At this point, the smoker was now free for the chickens (after I brined them for 5 hrs and let them dry until Saturday AM), so on they went to wrap up the cook. At one point, I was pulling the pork at 152 deg., I had the chickens on the smoker, and I had the brisket resting in the cooler playing musical meats.
I gave the brisket a long rest and carved it (against the grain, of course) around 3:30 PM Saturday. I liked the smoke ring, and I liked that I was able to cut some nice slices and that the slices were fork tender. It was a tiny bit dry and the bark was extremely dark, almost charred, despite the fact that I had it wrapped for the last few hours of cooking, fat side down, and with a rub with less sugar compared to what I use for butts. The meat color was also a tad on the pale side I thought but I think I'm a harsher critic than any of the folks who showed up.
In hindsight though, I'm glad I went with the packer over a flat, a choice I wrestled with extensively. For my next brisket, I think I might upgrade my meat injector (have a cheapo plastic one) so I can inject some moisture, and I might try and find some butcher paper for wrapping. Sam's had some but I sort of scoffed at buying 1,000 ft of the stuff and my butcher was nice enough to give me some for free, since I asked, but it had some sort of waxy coating on one side so I didn't use it.
It was a bit of learning experience separating the flat from the point and I've got the very tender, chunked up point in the fridge in the garage. The flat was devoured by out guests. We had nearly 40 people come by, between the start of the party and when the last guests left, and while we had some burgers and hot dogs at the ready, I never had to fire a single one, so that was awesome. Everyone went to town on the Q.
So there you have it. I think that covers most of the how the cook went. Thanks for the help. Suggestions on the brisky are appreciated. Hopefully this helps others take the brisket plunge for the first time.