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Unread 02-24-2010, 09:45 PM   #1
OakmanNZ
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Default Smoking in a propane cabinet smoker

Hey all.

I have a Gascraft propane cabinet smoker (best purchase ever) which I use to smoke my chicken, ribs and make my own home maple cured bacon(don't get me started on how good that is!)

My question is this.

I want to do a brisket. All of the people on here seem to use kettle BBQ's such a Weber etc which seem to give it a great crust.

My smoker does not allow for you to place the meat over direct heat as it simply has 5 shelves and a drip/liquid tray underneath then the gas flame with wood chip box.

How important is the crust.? I have never ever made a brisket as it is not big here in New Zealand but you guys/gals have my mouth watering at all of the photos uploaded.

Would throwing it on the barbie for a few minutes help prior to putting it in the smoker?

I appreciate your help/advice.

Last edited by OakmanNZ; 02-24-2010 at 10:23 PM.. Reason: grammer
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Unread 02-24-2010, 09:53 PM   #2
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Although I like a nice bark (crust) on brisket, it is not necessary. You can cook a brisket with just salt and pepper and get a nice piece of meat out of it. The bark is not created with direct heat, it is the result of the rub caramelizing onto the surface of the meat as a result of the heat. If you can get the smoker heat over 200, you can create bark. Personally, I think a temperature of 225F to 300F is the range a brisket really starts to work well.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 09:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Although I like a nice bark (crust) on brisket, it is not necessary. You can cook a brisket with just salt and pepper and get a nice piece of meat out of it. The bark is not created with direct heat, it is the result of the rub caramelizing onto the surface of the meat as a result of the heat. If you can get the smoker heat over 200, you can create bark. Personally, I think a temperature of 225F to 300F is the range a brisket really starts to work well.
Great. My smoker sits nicely at 250-300f and I would use a rub.
Do the fruitier woods or the stronger hickory/mesquite make a getter brisket?
I understand it probably depends on the woods you like but there seems to be so much debate on here about woods used.

We have natives here in New Zealand called Manuka (tea tree) and Pohutukawa. Both are similar to Hickory but have a smokier taste.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 10:00 PM   #4
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Your smoker should be able to produce a nice bark.

As for the wood... I'm partial to a mix of apple and cherry. I did just pick up a tiny (I got ripped off bad) bag of sugar maple, so I'll be trying that out with my next cook.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 10:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D0ughB0y View Post
Your smoker should be able to produce a nice bark.

As for the wood... I'm partial to a mix of apple and cherry. I did just pick up a tiny (I got ripped off bad) bag of sugar maple, so I'll be trying that out with my next cook.
Great, I like apple but have never tried cherry. I might order myself a bag then and give it a go. You make apple the dominant wood in the mix?
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Unread 02-24-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Great, I like apple but have never tried cherry. I might order myself a bag then and give it a go. You make apple the dominant wood in the mix?
Yes. I usually use very little smoke wood. Maybe 2 small cherry chunks (about the size of golf balls) and 3-4 apple chunks (same size).
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Unread 02-24-2010, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakmanNZ View Post
Do the fruitier woods or the stronger hickory/mesquite make a getter brisket?
I understand it probably depends on the woods you like but there seems to be so much debate on here about woods used.

We have natives here in New Zealand called Manuka (tea tree) and Pohutukawa. Both are similar to Hickory but have a smokier taste.
The wood selection depends on who you are, and what part of the country you live in. I know people that use hick only, and others that mix oak & hick. As far as bark, you'll proably see alot of people wrapping the briskets in tin foil, so there goes the bark. Mesquite is popular in Texas. In my 1st cabinet gasser, I could only use chips, I usually had pecan, hick, and mesquite, and oak
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Unread 02-24-2010, 10:36 PM   #8
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As for eating, how long will this meat last? It looks to be a big bit 'o' meat. Good in sandwiches etc? I am smoking some maple bacon tomorrow so will post pics on here.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 10:47 PM   #9
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I use all sorts of wood, my go to mix is hickory and apple, I sometimes get a bit of bitter finish with cherry, which I didn't know until recently. I also like oak rather a lot, but, in small amounts. Generally I only smoke for the first couple of hours.

As for how long a brisket lasts, hmmm, no way for me to answer that, if it comes out well, I can slam a pound right off the bat. But, reasonably, 1/2lb a day per person is a tad piggish. A family of four could reasonably go through 2 lbs a day.

Did you get a full brisket or just a flat? Is it somewhere around 7lbs (3kgs?) or more like 12 lbs. (6kgs?)
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Unread 02-25-2010, 01:27 AM   #10
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I would stay away from mesquite for smoking for long periods of time..... mesquite is okay for grilling though.....
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Unread 02-25-2010, 03:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I use all sorts of wood, my go to mix is hickory and apple, I sometimes get a bit of bitter finish with cherry, which I didn't know until recently. I also like oak rather a lot, but, in small amounts. Generally I only smoke for the first couple of hours.

As for how long a brisket lasts, hmmm, no way for me to answer that, if it comes out well, I can slam a pound right off the bat. But, reasonably, 1/2lb a day per person is a tad piggish. A family of four could reasonably go through 2 lbs a day.

Did you get a full brisket or just a flat? Is it somewhere around 7lbs (3kgs?) or more like 12 lbs. (6kgs?)
My piece is about 4 kgs.

Thanks for the comment about only smoking for the first few hours.When I asked how long it lasts for I meant how perishable is the meat? I know I eat a smoked chicken in about 4 days and would not trust it much after that. Is it just like any other red meat?
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Unread 02-25-2010, 08:07 AM   #12
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Kia Ora Oakman.

Good to see NZ representing

You'll get good advice on the bark from others more experienced than me. The one thing I would say is that grass fed NZ beef tends to be much leaner than grain fed US beef and as a result can be tougher and dry out quickly. Watch how closely you trim the brisket as leaving a good fat cap will help

Flying over Auckland next week on the way to ChCh, I'll look for the thin blue smoke..


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Unread 02-25-2010, 08:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakmanNZ View Post
Great. My smoker sits nicely at 250-300f and I would use a rub.
Do the fruitier woods or the stronger hickory/mesquite make a getter brisket?
I understand it probably depends on the woods you like but there seems to be so much debate on here about woods used.

We have natives here in New Zealand called Manuka (tea tree) and Pohutukawa. Both are similar to Hickory but have a smokier taste.


Both Manuka and Pohutukawa are more similar to Mesquite than Hickory. Most people find mesquite lacks the subtlety needed for good Q, but others like it's strong flavour. Part of the fun is trying it all out.

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Unread 02-25-2010, 09:54 AM   #14
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Let us know how it turns out! As everyone else pointed out, your smoker does not need to do direct heat for bark formation. Most smokers people use to make brisket are indirect heat. Keep us posted.
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Unread 02-25-2010, 01:52 PM   #15
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I used only fruit wood for smoking my briskets in a verticle propane unit. Mesq and Hick is way to strong for a long smoke. I would consider apple, peach, pear or a wild cherry. I prefer my brisket has no bark. I do like bark on butts however.

If you want some bark on that brisket, i recommend trimming as much fat off the top as possible so the rub sticks to it. You may even want to slather it with mustard to help bind the rub better.
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