Brisket – lessons learned

So I cooked my first brisket today and overall I think it went really well.  Meat was tender and had a good smoke ring.  There was a good smoke flavor but it was not overpowering.  

A few things I learned:

  1. Don’t get a big brisket – the one I got was 17lbs.  I was really worried about that size.   I feel like I over cooked it a bit.  The flat was a little dry and the bottom was tough.  
  2. Have a sharp knife – I wish I had a good, really sharp knife.  That would have allowed me to trim more fat off of the top of the brisket.  And to add to point 1, the fat.  Not sure if a lot of fat is a characteristics of bigger briskets but I felt there was a lot.
  3. The Stall – the stall got me around 174 degrees.  I didn’t think I would ever see it go up.
  4. Schedule – since I am new, I should have documented the setup better.  What I need, when I need it.  I guess I just got caught up in the process.
  5. Fire – the fire was not as bad as I thought.  I thought that I was able to keep a fairly consistent temp.  I did have some thermometer weirdness.  I bought a Tel-tru thermometer and got it installed right before my cook.  I wanted to see the difference between the two.  It was night and day.  The Tel-tru was almost 50 degrees higher than the one that came with the smoker.  It was consistent the entire cook.
  6. Slicing – this also goes back to a knife.  A good knife would make slicing so much easier.  Also, need to study the technique of how to slice a cooked brisket.

I really enjoyed cooking this today and also glad I got to share it with some folks.  I look forward to perfecting this and smoking a lot of other itemson my smoker.  Below are a few pics.  

A first shot at brisket

So I plan on cooking my first brisket this weekend.  I am really excited and nervous.  Since I started watching Aaron Franklin’s show on GPTV and then getting to eat at Franklin BBQ, I have really wanted to try my hand at smoking briskets.  The food I had at his place was unreal.  Below are a few pictures from that trip.

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So, I will get my brisket this afternoon and I will start somewhere around 3 or 4 Saturday morning.  I will give a round up after it is done.  Wish me luck!