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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
Got rid of the matchlight.
Join Date: 08-17-13
Location: Tucson, AZ
Default L. Mueller-style smoker??? Mesquite and Brisket???

Hello All, first post by a newbie here

First off, I love the site and I'm finding a great deal of useful information. Second, I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see folks engaging in polite, considerate conversation for a change. Anyway, glad to be here.

Here are my questions: (1) I noticed that L. Mueller and others, such as Franklin, use smokers with large hinged doors, much like a box-style freezer. Does anyone have a diagram of this sort of smoker? It seems very old school, which I like. I'm in no position to buy/build one at the moment, but down the road...

(2) I live in Tucson, AZ, home to a TON of cheap mesquite. A cord of mesquite is literally half the price of pecan, the other semi-abundant wood in this area. Oak and fruit woods are hard to come by and pricey. Now, I know of the dangers of using mesquite: creosote flavor, bitterness, overheating, etc., but I'd like to follow the old mantra of "use what you got" and, as I understand it, many would argue that "true" Texas BBQ originally used only mesquite. Correct me if I'm wrong, please. I already use mesquite for grilling meats, esp. steak. But the question remains, can I smoke BRISKET with it? I know folks like to add it during the first few hours to impart a nice smokey flavor, but I'm hoping to use it as a primary wood.

(3) Is there any advantage to scoring the fat on brisket? Does this yield a more tender final result or increase the penetration of the rub?

Thanks for your responses, y'all
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
MilitantSquatter's Avatar
Join Date: 09-17-05
Location: Mooresville, NC

I can't really assist with you're first question...

In regards to mesquite, I suppose the best answer here would be for you to try it once on your own and see what you think... keep a clean burning fire...

In regards to scoring the fat cap on the brisket..... Definitely won't have any impact on increasing tenderness. And as far as penetrating rub.. that really won't cause penetration.. If anything you're slightly increasing surface amounts but I think would be sacrificing moisture retention and that just isn't worth it.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:59 PM   #3
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 07-17-13
Location: Burleson Tx

I cut all the Fat cap off-I think a Nice Bark retains moisture

Mesquite has always been too strong or bitter for me but I got a buddy that swears by it......

Keep exhaust full open for sure- if bitter add more/bigger exhaust ......foil earlier ( I don't foil at all usually) said above keep clean fire........I think key is to burn up a bunch and get a lot of nice red coals first before food ever goes on then just add a stick at a time..... - but I do charcoal with Hickory chunks in Burn Baskets so what do I know LOL....

What do you cook on now? UDS is the Best Bang for the Buck but they are not good stick burners.......

Last edited by SmittyJonz; 08-18-2013 at 10:16 PM..
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 03-22-04
Location: Allen, Texas
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If the smoke taste of mesquite is too strong, consider wrapping in foil or butcher paper for part of your cook. Maybe do a few small cooks and find what works for your taste

I'm a big fan of use what wood you have have readily available so have mostly used peach, then hickory and now mostly pecan.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:31 AM   #5
Take a breath!
Join Date: 02-22-08
Location: Phoenix, AZ

They cook on traditional offsets.

A cord of wood can last you a very long time depending how often you cook and what the temp is outside. Try mesquite and then look around for wood.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:29 AM   #6
Got rid of the matchlight.
Join Date: 08-17-13
Location: Tucson, AZ

Thanks for the great tips! I'm definitely feeling inspired to use mesquite and I've been reading some great reviews of the Pecan Lodge in DFW, which uses only mesquite in their smoker. Apparently, they do a Wagyu brisket from time to time, too.
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Franklin, Mesquite, mueller, scoring fat

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