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Old 05-25-2009, 07:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: 12-24-03
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Default High Heat Brisket - First attempt with pron of course.

Been wanting to try a full packer brisket for a long time (they are hard to find in my neck of the woods), but never have liked the idea of losing my beauty sleep over a brisket. Now that more and more folks are doing high heat briskets, I figured it was time I gave it a try. Got all of my info from two sources. Kickass's site has a page on high heat briskets:
and a thread on the virtual bullet site that was supplied to me by jason that has tons of good info:

After reading through everything, I came up with this game plan:
Smoke at 325 to 340 degrees until internal temp of 160.
Foil, and smoke at 350 to 360 until internal temp of 180.
Remove foil to firm up the bark and smoke until tender.

So lets get started!

The meat: 11 1/2 lb brisket (select) from walmart superstore. They didn't have choice, so I'm stuck with select.

The rub: "No Sugar Rub" from thirdeye's site. Didn't want to use sugar at these high temps. http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogs...8/03/rubs.html

WSM fuel: Full ring of RO lump, with 4 chunks of hickory and 2 chunks of apple. Going heavy on the wood since the time on smoke will be limited. Couldn't get a pic cause it started drizzling and had to rush to get everything loaded.

My fuel: Terrapin Rye Squared Imperial Pale Ale. Brewed right up the road from me in Athens Georgia, home of the Georgia Bulldogs and REM.

12:30pm. Locked and loaded. Have two NASA heat shields (heavy duty foil) at each end since I had to squeeze the packer in and wanted to protect the ends from direct heat. Water pan is empty, but foiled on both sides, then added an extra layer of foil on top that had a gap between it and the layer underneath. This was a tip from the virtual bullet thread that said it keeps the drippings from burning. Did it help? Dunno.

1:30pm. Smoker temp is 330, brisket temp is 117. No peeky so no pic.I thought I might have to do a door prop mod to maintain high temps, but not only was that not necessary, I've actually had to clamp down on the vents.

2:00pm. Smoker temp is 332, brisket temp is 133. Temps not nearly as stable as with a heat sink (I normally use sand), plus the weather keeps changing from clouds, drizzle, to full sun.

2:30pm. Smoker temp is 330, brisket temp is 150. Temps still wander more than normal, but it's pretty easy to keep it in line.

2:50pm. Internal temp is 159, so pulling to foil. Total smoke time is 2 hours 20 min at his point.

3:05pm. Foiled and loaded.

3:30pm. Smoker temp is 360, brisket temp is 165.

4:00pm. Smoker temp is 356, brisket temp is reading 193. I decided to pull from the foil, but shouldn't have. I knew this temp was artifically high due to the steam, but it had been almost an hour in foil and I wanted time to firm up the bark. True temp was around 180, so I could have kept on foil at least another 20 to 30 min. Still had over 2 cups of juice even with the short foil time. Next time I will foil for an hour and 15 minutes no matter what the temps read. Panic mod.

4:15. The dipping sauce. Poured the drippings into a measuring cup, then used a turkey baster to pull 1/4 cup of the drippings from the bottom (to avoid the fat). Added this to my Frankstein sauce, which has a little bit of everything: 2 cups plus 2 TBSP ketchup, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 TBSP yellow mustard, 1 TBSP onion powder, 1 TBSP garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 TBSP chili powder, 1 TBSP paprika, 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 TBSP honey.

4:30. Smoker temp is kind of stuck at 340, so using high-tech NASA certified door prop mod. Only needed for about 3 min.

5:20. Pulled from smoker. Brisket temp around 195, depending on where I measure. The flat tapers really thin, I should have bought a more consistently sized flat, but too late now. Temps and tenderness really vary depending on where I test on the flat.

Brisket definitely got more moist and tender the further I moved towards the point. I think if my flat had a more consistent thickness, more of the flat would have come out this way.

The Verdict: I'd give it a B-, maybe a C+. Two things I would do different - Foil for hour and 15 minutes no matter what the temps read, and buy packer with a thicker and more consistently sized flat. It really got narrow at the end, so that portion overcooked and dried out. Flavor was good, and I think I have the high heat technique down, just need to perfect the meat. At least my packer cherry is now popped, and considering I lit the chimney after noon and was eating by six, not too shabby.
Overall it was great fun, and can't wait to try another one!

Bonus shots: Oakleaf Hydrangeas in bloom in the backyard. Must be May.

That's all!
“If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

For links to all my BBQ Brethren recipe posts, click

Last edited by Saiko; 05-25-2009 at 10:40 PM..
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