The event went really well this weekend. I finished up the smoker on Friday and even though I didn't have the thermometers, I did have an igrill with a couple temp probes that did the job. The other thing I was missing was butcher paper. My wife picked up something that she said was the same thing, but I think Butcher paper is closer to parchment than the packing paper that she bought.
Smoked the fatty the night before:
Then stashed it in the fridge until Sunday morning.
Cooked up the 2 briskets using the recipe above (Thank you!). Had an issue during the wrapping process. I used adjustable shelves inside and the clips were too small/too flimsy. A few fell off when I tried to put everything back together. I found some bigger clips in the basement, and that did the trick...or at least will next time.
I noticed from time to time I would get a temp spike, I would back off the air and then lose too much. I am not thinking those spikes are when the mesquite starts to burn?
I overshot the temp on this one a bit thinking it was going to take longer than it actually did after the initial check at 5 hours.
The flavor was excellent, but a bit dry. The second brisket which seemed to have a higher fat content came out moister, but a bit less flavorful. For a first cook, I consider it a success to come out with 2 - 12 pound brisket that had everyone paying high compliments to...even if they did say 'it goes great with the Rudy's BBQ sauce'...ouch :)
After the giant sleepover (it was my sons 7th birthday party and he wanted to go camping, so we set up the backyard as a 'camp ground' for about 40 people) I threw the fatty in the oven, crisped up the bacon, and served. Grown men were crying when they could not have thirds :)
A 5 hour smoke and still this left in the firebox?
I am sold on the UDS. My only other question...
Do you scoop out the fat on the bottom of the smoker, or call that seasoning?
Thank you guys again for your help! I truly appreciate it.