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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 06-07-2006, 08:53 PM   #1
Q_Egg
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Thumbs up Got a great brisket result but now confused ....

.... After my recent, low-and-slow brisket cook, I am reviewing the process to improve where I can next time. I am pretty pleased with the bark and tenderness results and the taste seems very good (given my lack of brisket experience). My post here has to do with the fuel preload information I had and the end-analysis ...... I burned almost no charcoal !!! .... in almost 14 hours ????

Why is there almost no more ash in the cooker bottom than there was when I prepped the cooker for the brisket! Two questions then arise. 1) Why was I advised to place so much lump in the cooker for the brisket cook? ..... was it to 'artificially' take up airspace in the cooker to implement the low-and-slow cook? 2) Could I achieve this level of brisket result over a 13+_hour cook (@ 250*F +) and load very little lump? I posted some pics of the result at the end of my "Deep Brisket Bandini" Thread. My only serious question at that point was ... why did I not get a better smoke ring?

I accept some of the unique characteristics of ceramic (kamado-type) cooker, but I need the benefit of experienced Brethren comment here, regardless of their type of cooker/smoker.
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Broilmaster D3 'natural' gasser
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Traeger Texas 075 spoiled me[/I][/FONT]
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Unread 06-07-2006, 09:09 PM   #2
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Unread 06-07-2006, 09:40 PM   #3
thirdeye
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Tom,

You are lucky you were so pleased with your first brisket cook, not many folks can say that.

You have to consider that the Egg is not only very predictable and well insulated, it is a miser on lump .... but regardless of the type of cooker you have, the bottom line on lump is this: Always load more than you need, catch the temp on the way up and understand fire control on your cooker. First off a big brisket or shoulder may require more time than you planned. In an offset it's no big deal to add more fuel. With your Egg, you want to build one good fire and load your product and let it do all of the work. It is a hassle to unload the grates, the drip pan and the hot platesetter to add more lump. Secondly, lump can burn unevenly or try to burn out in the center. That is why I reminded you about the wiggle several times. By keeping good circulation, you got better performance from your lump. Maybe you mentioned it but what kind of lump are you using? That makes a big difference in burn time and ash.

Regarding your smoke ring or lack of it, refresh us on some the things that will help ring formation. What kind of wood and how much did you use? Did the brisket go from the fridge to the cooker or did it set out for an hour? (I get my best ones using all wood coals, pecan wood and putting cold meat on the cooker, but I don't loose any sleep if I don't get a good one).
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Unread 06-07-2006, 10:20 PM   #4
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Tommy, Thirdeye makes an important point on smoke ring, don't sweat it if it doesn't happen.
The appearance (or lack of) smoke ring is a distant second to taste. Using more wood will give you more smoke ring, but if you used enough wood to get a taste you're pleased with, be happy with that and pink ring be dammed.

Smoke Ring is just a chemical reaction between myoglobin in the meat and nitrates in the wood smoke. It's a chemical accident, don't chase smoke ring if you're happy with the taste of your brisket.
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Unread 06-07-2006, 11:01 PM   #5
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Default These two Replies seem to be spot on ... both in terms ..

.... of the logic applied and some science to back it up. I much appreciate such precise comments to an otherwise foggy request for help. In partial response, I feel I did a very poor job introducing the wood, both in quantity and position in the lump. The lump was primarily BGE since I have no access to much other than other lumber-based lump (Cowboy, Royal Oak). I do have a periodic source of Mexican mesquite lump which varies tremendously in size in each 7lb bag.

Many thanks for these comments which give me a much better basis for planning the next brisket cook.
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GMG_Daniel Boone _ pellets only
Big Green Egg _ Large _ need high heat
Broilmaster D3 'natural' gasser
[I]CB Bandera .. hooked me
Traeger Texas 075 spoiled me[/I][/FONT]
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Unread 06-08-2006, 07:03 AM   #6
thirdeye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q_Egg
.... The lump was primarily BGE since I have no access to much other than other lumber-based lump (Cowboy, Royal Oak). I do have a periodic source of Mexican mesquite lump which varies tremendously in size in each 7lb bag...


I rarely use Cowboy, it burns faster and has way more ash than others.

BGE lump is made by Royal Oak. Years ago they claimed that more care was taken in sorting and bagging it at the plant but I can't tell the difference between the two except when it comes to price. WallyWorld stocks Royal oak in #10 bags (around $7) and "Do It Best" hardware chains either stock or will order (at no extra charge) Royal Oak in #20's (around $13). Safeway stores in Wyoming carry Lazarri mesquite lump, which I really like. It gives off a stronger wood flavor than RO, but it tends to be "sparky" when lighting new stuff. Re-lighting used lump is easier and is not as prone to sparking. They will order it in #20 bags and the cost is less than $10.
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Unread 06-08-2006, 07:30 AM   #7
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Tommy- You are killing me here
I have never, ever heard anyone concerned because they burned TOO LITTLE FUEL

My only experience with a BGE was watching DRBBQ cook on two of his. Impressive cookers and super fuel efficient. Quality product with little muss, fuss, or fuel consumption

Based on the input from the BGE experts, sounds like you just need to use the BGE or Royal Lump with a bit more small wood chucks and COOK AWAY!

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Unread 06-08-2006, 08:42 AM   #8
Q_Egg
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Default Of course you are right!! no real complaints about too ...

..... little charcoal to get the job done. It is the high ratio which caused my question .... given that it seems like only 10 to 20% of the lump was actually used. This would tempt me to load maybe 50% of that amount next time (but I do understand the advice to avoid having unexpected issues force a reload in this type of cooker).

I will grab all of the natural mesquite lump I can get on Friday when it comes in. Also, much more attention to the use of wood at the start of the brisket cook. This seems basic, but you Brethren have helped me focus on the key factors for next time.

Thanks and Regards,
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[FONT=Garamond]aka tommy_bandera
----------------------------------
GMG_Daniel Boone _ pellets only
Big Green Egg _ Large _ need high heat
Broilmaster D3 'natural' gasser
[I]CB Bandera .. hooked me
Traeger Texas 075 spoiled me[/I][/FONT]
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