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Old 12-10-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
Found some matches.
Join Date: 08-25-13
Location: Houston, TX
Default First cook on stick-burner and thoughts from a novice

I was planning to update a previous thread but I had a lot more to talk/ask about so I decided it would be more relevant to begin another. In my previous thread, I stated that I would be cooking on a stick-burner for the first time, which I did this past Sunday. My other BBQ cooks have been done on a 22'' WSM and a medium BGE.

The meat of choice was an 11lb brisket from Cost Co. It was a USDA Prime whole packer. It was a hot and fast brisket based on Bludawg's recipe. Salt, pepper, 4 hours at 300...fat cap down...point towards firebox, wrap in butcher paper...fat cap up, 1-2 more hours until probes like butter. Rest for 2 hours in paper.

Here is my pop's smoker. Pretty solid hunk of steel. It wasn't air tight but it did a fine job.

Here are pictures of the finish product.

The first cut of the flat, below the point was money. Sooo good. The furthest end of the flat was pretty tough. If I could, I would have left it on for another hour (probably pulled after 5 hours) but I was being rushed and had to bring it to another location. As everyone had advised me...START EARLY!

The point, was even better. I don't have pictures of it because I saved it for dinner the next night but I just sliced it up and enjoyed the extra fatty goodness.



(Bottom line, I was thrilled with the results. My first ever brisket was pretty bad. But I would like to share my thoughts to get better and help others)

I haven't been doing real BBQ for very long...smoking and fire building are concepts I don't have 100% grasp of. Especially the parts about building a clean fire, thin blue smoke, etc.

My process in starting this fire was laying some lump charcoal in the bottom of the fire box, 3 large pieces. Then I lit a full chimney of Kingsford and poured it on top of the lump. Finally I threw in 3 large pieces of pecan wood and let the smoker come up to temp. It took a while, but when it did, everything in the fire box had charred over and was black.

From then, temperature maintenance was a process of adding another piece of wood every 30 or so minutes. After a couple of hours, one piece wasn't enough so I'd add two or three to get a little over the target temperature of 300 and bring it back down around there.

The biggest thing is I don't know if what I'm doing is 100% correct. From my research you want the TBS which I got before putting on the meat. But once the temp starts to trend down, I add wood, and I'll get a burst of chalky smoke. That should be fine I assume?

Comparing this cook to the cooks on the WSM, I always feel like I have trouble achieving the TBS that people advocate. It seemed much easier on the offset. Maintaining the temperature on the WSM is no problem though. Cooking on the stick-burner is definitely not a "set it and forget it" affair. That being said, I do see the appeal of tending to a fire...I just can't put a finger on it.

Moving forward, I would like to try to cook more on my dad's smoker. I'm planning to do two briskets this NYE so hopefully that goes well. I can only imagine based on the set up, that the one closest to the firebox will cook much more quickly.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. And please add to the discussion, so we can all benefit
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