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Conquering My Personal BBQ Everest: Perfect Brisket On Weber 22" Kettle

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  • pmorse36
    Former Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 107
    • Atlanta, GA

    Conquering My Personal BBQ Everest: Perfect Brisket On Weber 22" Kettle

    Hey guys,

    I'm new to The Pit and thought this would be a good story to kick off with some lessons learned with a lot of help from this website. I know a lot of us on here and grinding away with our Weber 22" kettles and hopefully my experience can help you avoid some mistakes I've learned the hard way! As noted in the title, perfect Texas-style brisket has always been incredibly intimidating and something I thought was unapproachable with my limited equipment. Last year, I jumped in and went for it. To stick with the Mt. Everest theme, this first attempt left me lying under an avalanche left for dead! It wasn't pretty. The meat was dry, bitter and tough. No bueno!

    After some self reflection and a lot of learning, I think I made a few catastrophic errors:
    1) I bought the wrong meat: I picked up a low grade "Hunk o' Flat" that was on sale at the grocery store
    2) I didn't critically monitor my heat: I hadn't invested in a good digital thermometer and thought I could cook by feel. Big mistake.
    3) I didn't inject the meat
    4) I killed it with smoke: Texas brisket, Texas wood right? Mesquite wood must be awesome for brisket! Incorrect. I am sure in proper proportions mesquite would have been fine, but I kept hitting it with smoke through out the cook and it left a nasty, strong bitter taste to the meat that was unpalatable.

    Needless to say, after this failed attempt I was dejected and felt convinced my intuition was correct. Brisket on my grill just wasn't in the cards. Flash forward a year and my skills and confidence have come a long way. I added a digital thermometer to my tool kit and have had some very successful long cooks on ribs, tri tips, pork butts, etc. where I was able to manage my temps, albeit with a lot of baby sitting. After reading Meathead's article "Brisket Texas Style, The Ultimate Technique and Recipe", I started to think maybe I could take another run at this behemoth....screw it, I decided to give it another shot!

    First things first, I went to my local butcher shop and selected the highest grade brisket they offered. Knowing that cooking space is somewhat limited and I wasn't feeding 20 people, I asked the butcher to trim it down to a ~9lbs piece that was a combination of the point and flat with fat cap intact. Once home, I trimmed off the fat cap down to 1/4 thick and reserved the fat for later use (rendered drippings for use in pinto beans and the mop sauce, and crispy chunks for dog treats). After that, I liberally salted with coarse sea salt and set it in the fridge on a rack for an overnight dry brine.
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    Fully committed, I set the alarm for 2 am and added my dry rub to and injected the brisket with ~1.5 cups of beef broth. I set up my fire for traditional indirect heat but with one manipulation. I recently purchased the rotisserie attachment from Weber and it comes with a metal ring that sits on top of your standard grill. I thought this may be an opportunity to give myself a little extra space from the fire to the meat and help with controlling low temps, so I busted out my extra grate and set them on top of some bricks sitting on the original grate. This raised the meat approximately 6" higher than your standard set up and the water pan was situated directly below.
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    Once the fire stabilized at 235, I added some chunks of local South Georgia Water Oak we cut at my father in laws house to get close to the traditional Post Oak used in Texas brisket. With probes in place, I decided to monitor just the grill for the first few hours knowing the meat wouldn't rise fast if my fire was under control. By the grace of god and with a LOT of messing with the dampers, adding coals, I was able to maintain a steady temp in the 225-235 range. One other new trick I used was to borrow the battery powered fan we bought to clip to our newborn's stroller as an aid to stoke the fires and wood chunks as I added them each time I basted the meat, every ~45 minutes or so to keep any dips or spikes in the cooking temp.

    After 5 hours, the brisket hit 148 and I decided to wrap. After some debate, I decided to give the Aaron Franklin method a try, which was to wrap the meat in untreated butcher paper. The theory is that the butcher paper keeps the integrity of your bark better than the traditional Texas Crutch method of wrapping in foil.

    Time to wrap
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ID:	522609Once in the wrap, I put one probe in the meat and the other stayed on the grate to monitor cooking temp. Ultimately, I found that the butcher paper didn't help me much with pushing through the stall. We hit 170ish and stayed there....for a LONG time. I decided to add an external foil wrap around the butcher paper and that helped push on through to my target temp of 203. Once we hit 203, I kept the probe in the meat and moved it into the faux cambro (towel lined plastic cooler) for 2 hours to further tenderize the meat. Once out of the cooler, I unwrapped the meat and let it cool to 140 degrees before slicing.

    I used Meathead's tutorial and sliced in the "Sorkin Method". The moment of truth had arrived.....
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ID:	522612 Success!!!! Each piece from the center cut was absolutely moist and delicious. The integrity of the bark held up better than expected and the brine/injecting method helped keep the meat nice and juicy. I finally overcame my arch nemesis with a lot of educating myself, patience and attention to detail. I was incredibly pleased with the results and thankful for all the information on this site to guide my path. Anything within reason is achievable on the kettle if you're willing to dedicate the time and attention to maintain low n' slow temps. A good thermometer and some redneck ingenuity will go a long way towards your success. Next challenge will be beef ribs this weekend!
  • Huskee
    Administrator
    • May 2014
    • 15581
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Smokers / Grills
      • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
      • PBC
      • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
      • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
      • Masterbuilt Gravity 560
      • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (light blue)
      • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
      • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
      • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

      Thermometers
      • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
      • (7) Maverick ET-732s
      • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
      • (1) Smoke X4 by ThermoWorks
      • Thermapen MkII, orange
      • ThermoPop, yellow
      • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
      • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
      • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
      • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

      Accessories
      • Instant Pot 6qt
      • Anova Bluetooth SV
      • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
      • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
      • BBQ Dragon
      • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
      • Weber grill topper
      • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
      • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
      • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

      Beverages
      • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
      • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
      • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
      • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
      • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
      • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    #2
    Congrats! Keep up the good work.

    Comment

    • ComfortablyNumb
      Club Member
      • May 2017
      • 3500
      • Northeast Washington
      • KBQ C-60
        PK360
        Thermoworks Smoke
        Thermoworks Thermopop
        Thermoworks Dot

      #3
      Conquering Everest without leaving the backyard, now that is something even I could aspire to! Congratulations on the first of many.

      Comment

      • gabulldog
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 150
        • Atlanta, GA

        #4
        I shared a very similar story a year ago here (search for "central Texas brisket on the PBC") also with great results! It's a great feeling when you nail your first brisket! Looks awesome!

        Comment

        • EdF
          EdF
          Club Member
          • Jul 2016
          • 3229
          • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
          • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
            Karubeque C-60
            Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
            TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
            Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
            Thermapen
            Thermapen Air
            ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
            Thermoworks Hi temp IR
            BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
            Various other stuff

          #5
          Persistence too! Congrats!

          Comment

          • Livermoron
            Charter Member
            • Aug 2014
            • 435
            • 22" Weber one touch w/roti and SnS
              PBC
              Volcano3
              Lodge Sportsman

            #6
            Nicely done!

            Comment

            • RonB
              Club Member
              • Apr 2016
              • 13550
              • Near Richmond VA
              • Weber Performer Deluxe
                SNS
                Pizza insert
                Rotisserie
                Smokenator 1000
                Cookshack Smokette Elite
                2 Thermapens
                Chefalarm
                Dot
                lots of probes.
                CyberQ

              #7
              Congrats!

              Comment

              • customtrim
                Former Member
                • Dec 2016
                • 1119
                • stow ohio

                #8
                Great job now your next big accomplishment should be a elephant brisket or elephant ribs ๐Ÿ˜

                Comment

                • pmorse36
                  Former Member
                  • Jun 2018
                  • 107
                  • Atlanta, GA

                  #9
                  Haha thanks guys! Going after beef ribs this weekend. Also, after reading overwhelmingly positive reviews on here, I broke down and bought the Slow n' Sear 2.0 to hopefully alleviate some of the baby sitting I experienced with this cook. Look forward to sharing more soon!

                  Comment

                  • FireMan
                    Charter Member
                    • Jul 2015
                    • 8262
                    • Bottom of Winnebago

                    #10
                    The SnS will be a game changer. The work you did was mighty fine! The 2nd & 3rd pic startled me, wow! Now, there is nothin that you canโ€™t do.

                    Comment

                    • scottranda
                      Charter Member
                      • May 2015
                      • 1859
                      • Charlotte, NC

                      #11
                      Awesome!! Looks great!! I use a balloon animal pump to stoke the fire. A battery fan also works! I have had 2 BBQ Dragon fans which broke. Back to balloon pump!

                      Comment


                      • customtrim
                        customtrim commented
                        Editing a comment
                        $2.00 hair dryer from goodwill thru the bottom vent is what I use

                      • EdF
                        EdF commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I like that customtrim !
                    • Spinaker
                      Moderator
                      • Nov 2014
                      • 10987
                      • Land of Tonka
                      • John "J R"
                        Instagram: JRBowlsby
                        Smokin' Hound Que
                        Minnesota/ United States of America

                        ********************************************
                        Assistants
                        Dexter (Beagle mix)
                        Kinnick (American Foxhound)
                        ************************

                        Grills/Smokers/Fryers
                        Big Green Egg (Large) X3
                        Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

                        Karubeque C-60
                        Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
                        Lodge L410 Hibachi
                        Pit Barrel Cooker
                        Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
                        R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

                        Weber Spirit Gasser
                        ******************.
                        Thermometers
                        FireBoard (Base Package)
                        Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
                        Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)
                        **************

                        Accessories
                        Big Green Egg Plate Setter
                        Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
                        Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

                        Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
                        Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

                        Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
                        Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
                        Eggspander Kit X2
                        Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

                        Finex Cat Iron Line
                        FireBoard Drive
                        Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
                        Grill Grates
                        Joule Water Circulator
                        KBQ Fire Grate

                        Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
                        Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
                        Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
                        Large Vortex
                        Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
                        Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
                        Smithey No. 12
                        Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
                        Stargazer No.10, 12
                        Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
                        Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
                        ********************************
                        Fuel
                        FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
                        Kingsford Blue and White
                        Rockwood Lump Charcoal
                        Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60
                        **************************

                        Cutlery
                        Buck 119 Special
                        Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

                        Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
                        Global
                        Shun
                        Wusthof
                        *******
                        Next Major Purchase
                        Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

                      #12
                      Very Nice!

                      Comment

                      • Mr. Bones
                        Charter Member
                        • Sep 2016
                        • 10035
                        • Kansas Territory
                        • Grills / Smokers
                          *********************************************

                          Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
                          Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
                          Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
                          Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
                          Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
                          Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
                          Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
                          Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
                          Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
                          Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
                          Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

                          Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
                          Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
                          Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

                          Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
                          Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
                          Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
                          Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
                          Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
                          Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
                          (Lime Green)
                          Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
                          Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



                          Thermometers:
                          *********************************************
                          Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
                          Maverick ET-732, (Black)
                          Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
                          ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
                          Blue ThermaPen Mk4
                          Orange Thermapen Mk4
                          Pink Thermapen Mk4
                          ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
                          ThermoWorks Smoke
                          ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
                          4 Pro Series cable extensions
                          Smoke Gateway

                          Accessories:
                          *********************************************
                          2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
                          BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
                          Warming shelf
                          MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scaleโ€‹
                          Backyard Grill marinade injector
                          Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
                          Bear Paws
                          Meat Rakes
                          BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)



                          Cookware:
                          Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
                          G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
                          '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
                          60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
                          50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
                          Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
                          Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

                          Cutlery, etc.:
                          Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
                          Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
                          Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
                          Multiple steels, from all over the planet
                          Crock sticks
                          Diamond stones, various
                          Lansky Sharpening System

                          Tableware
                          Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
                          Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
                          Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

                        #13
                        Great job, yer gonna jus love havin a Slow n Sear!

                        Comment

                        • PaulstheRibList
                          Founding Member
                          • Jul 2014
                          • 1585
                          • Lake Charles, LA
                          • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
                            1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
                            2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
                            3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
                            4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
                            5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
                            6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
                            7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
                            8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
                            9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
                            10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
                            11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
                            12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
                            12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

                            Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

                            I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
                            I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

                          #14
                          Super fun!! Keep 'em cooking

                          Comment

                          • jecucolo
                            Club Member
                            • Nov 2015
                            • 1274
                            • Schertz Texas
                            • Pit Barrel Cooker






                            #15
                            Great cook! Smoke on...

                            Comment

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                            We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for tentatively March 18-21, 2022. Click here for more info: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/announcements/misc/1014106-meat-up-in-memphis-2021-canceled
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                            FireBoard Drive 2 is an updated version of a well-received product that sets the standard for performance and functionality in the wireless food thermometer/thermostatic controller class.

                            Click here for our review of this unique device


                            The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

                            NK-22-Ck Grill
                            Napoleon's NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

                            Click here for more about what makes this grill special


                            Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

                            Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill
                            Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

                            Click here to read our detailed review and to order