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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled

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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Brisket Cook

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  • klflowers
    Club Member
    • Sep 2015
    • 3672
    • Tennessee

    Brisket Cook

    My mom wanted a brisket for Christmas, so I manned up and got a 18lb prime packer from Costco. Was down to ~14lbs after I trimmed it up - seemed like a lot of fat, or maybe I trimmed it up too much. Anyway, I dry brined it with kosher salt on Saturday for a Christmas Eve cook. I had a couple of new toys to play with - a Party Q and the new secret santa instant read, so I was stoked. Set up the 18.5 WSM Monday at around 5PM, installed the Party Q, used KBB and 4 apple wood chunks from fruita wood (2 chunks buried in the coals, 2 on top of a full ring of coals). Took out enough coals to fill the chimney starter and lit em up. Used the minion method as usual, and filled the water pan with boiling water. I used the Maverick XR-50 to monitor temps and used MHs BBR rub (https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...eef-rub-recipe), along with that awesome Texas BBQ Juice (https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...barbecue-juice).

    I set up the party Q for 225, and got it rolling around 6PM on Christmas Eve. Of course, it wasn't quite that smooth. House full of people asking questions and giving advice, I had started getting in the spirit with some spirits, and I didn't take into account that fitting that hunk of meat on the 18.5 would be a challenge. It really was too big for the wsm, but I squeezed it in. Got my probes in and let her run. The party Q worked as advertised after awhile. When I first put the meat on, the XR-50 grate TC was reading 225, but the party Q was reading 215. I finally realized I had the probe clip too close to the meat and when I figured out a place for it (on the base of the grate handle - the meat was so big there wasn't any real estate), the two came into synch. To hold the temps, I had the top vents about 1/4 closed after some fiddling. I let it run until around midnight, when it was into the stall at 154, added a few coals through the door, and went to bed.

    I got up at 6AM, 12 hours into the cook. The WSM was at 210 and the meat was at 175, so I fired up a full chimney and added it (I lift the wsm body off the bottom to do this). That is when I noticed that the party q deflector was pointed straight up instead of down to direct the air flow under the coals. When I installed it, I just tightened it finger tight instead of using a screwdriver. Plus, the batteries were about dead. I replaced the batteries, but with a load of hot coals, I couldn't tighten the deflector. I used a screwdriver to push it around so it wasn't pointing straight up, but that was the best I could do. I also added another quart or so of hot water to the pan. Spiked to 300, but settled down to 230 after about 30-45 min.

    At 8:30, the meat was still at 175. The wsm was still running at 230. I was starting to get a little anxious. At 10:30, the meat was at 177. Almost panic - we needed to get on the road to Atlanta. So I did the smart thing - I wrapped it with a double layer of foil and a little of the BBQ juice and stuck it in the oven at 225. The coals in the wsm were getting low anyway. We got the car loaded and when I pulled it and cambroed it at around noon, it was at 205 and the probe went in like it was butter. Got to Atlanta and ate at around 5. The brisket was still hot, and it was excellent. Best I have cooked. Great bark. No pics, cause there was a house full of people standing around waiting for me to cut and serve. The Texas Juice was a hit to. My only problem was that I didn't develop much of a smoke ring.

    A couple of lessons learned - check the brisket size first, and make sure the party q is set up right. And maybe try hot and fast - 18 hours is a long time.
  • 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 Air
      ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
      Thermoworks Hi temp IR
      BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
      Various other stuff

    Nice improvisation and recovery!


    • 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!!!!

        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

        2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
        BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
        Warming shelf
        MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
        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.)

        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

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

      Great adventure, an write up, Brother!

      Yer powers of deduction, an observation salvaged a Family Christmas Gatherin! That, in itself, is a Major Accomplishment!

      Many thanks fer sharin this, with us! I very much enjoyed!


      • Troutman
        Club Member
        • Aug 2017
        • 7809
        • 1521




          SOUS VIDE


        Sounds like you did just fine. You recovered just right when the cook threw a couple of curves at you. Believe me no brisket cook is ever quite the same so you have to be light on your feet. You mastered it, not letting it master you !!!

        I suggest cutting off the thin front end of the flat on your packer for grind or even pastrami. That way it fits your WSM. I can’t believe you got it on there to begin with !!!

        And next time, let’s have some pix my man !!!


        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 13547
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            Pizza insert
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            lots of probes.

          As long as it wound up tasty and juicy, ya done good. The mark of a Pitmaster is being able to overcome difficulties.


          • jgreen
            Charter Member
            • Oct 2014
            • 2742
            • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
            • Cookers:
              Broil King XL
              Broil King Smoke
              Weber Kettle 26
              Grilla Pellet smoker
              Capital 40 natural gas
              Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

              Maverick 733
              Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
              Thermo works DOT (or two)
              Fireboard (probably my favourite)
              Thermworks Smoke (or two)

              SnS (original, plus and XL)
              DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
              and, maybe some other toys as well

            Great recovery, and the meatbsounds like it was great.


            • holehogg
              Club Member
              • Nov 2017
              • 2594
              • Port Elizabeth, South Africa

              Great interpretation of your cook.
              Found myself in similar situation and on advice from good folks around here cranked the heat up to 300F to speed up cook and all turned out good.


              • Henrik
                Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
                • Jul 2014
                • 4498
                • Stockholm, Sweden

                Sounds like you did what you could, great on-the-fly adaptation and recovery! Experienced Pit Master!


                • mrteddyprincess
                  Club Member
                  • Sep 2018
                  • 396

                  Brisket is the hardest. You handled that perfectly! Congrats on a great cook!


                  • HawkerXP
                    Club Member
                    • Jul 2016
                    • 6331
                    • Virginia
                    • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
                      Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
                      Slo n Sear
                      Cold beer



                    • klflowers
                      Club Member
                      • Sep 2015
                      • 3672
                      • Tennessee

                      Thanks. This site has me doing things I never had the confidence to try. I got to get better with the pics though.


                      • kranknhank
                        Charter Member
                        • Sep 2014
                        • 67
                        • Queens new york city Lewes Delaware
                        • Hi I'm Hank and new to smoking but making good food on my PBC. I just picked up a weber 22 kettle now waiting for a SnS to put in it 4 burner gas,Thermoworks chef alarm,Thermopop, Merick 732.this site educates!

                        Great write up! Do you think you know why the bark wasnt up to your liking? Im looking at BBQGuru fans myself. Happy New Year!


                        • klflowers
                          klflowers commented
                          Editing a comment
                          kranknhank, the bark was great. I just didn't get that pink smoke ring in the meat. I think it was because I only used 4 relatively small chunks of wood. The party Q worked as advertised - except for the fact that I didn't tighten the deflector enough.



                      2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled

                      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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