My Slightly Late Smoke Day Contribution



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As of an hour and a half ago, my Smoke Day 2013 has officially started.

Bought a 12.8 pound packer before going on vacation. Stuck it in the freezer as soon as I got it home, and had my folks run over and stick it in the fridge to start thawing shortly before the wife and I came back. Today I trimmed about 2.2 pounds of fat off, so it's weighing in at 10.6 pounds. Coated it with the rub found here and currently it's on my WSM with apple wood.

Shooting for things to get done between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, so I can pack it up in a cooler and bring it along to our annual family Memorial Day get-together.

Here's the brisket maybe 20 minutes after it went on.

And here it is about 10 minutes later, after I realized I had placed it on the cooking grate fat down, rather than the fat up that I intended to do.
And I made it through the night! Slept quite well, actually. The alarms on the Maverick awoke me once, at 4:00 a.m., to let me know the pit temp dropped below my programmed 'low' mark (200 degrees), but that was quickly fixed.

It's closing in on 7:30 a.m. so the brisket has been on for about 11 hours. This puts me right at the one hour per pound mark, so I'm starting to keep a close eye on things. Meat probe is telling me a reading of 183. I went out and checked temps/probed and am getting readings around that range. The flat isn't tender enough yet, but I can tell it's getting there (more tender than it was when I checked it at 4:00 while getting the pit temp back up). The point seems pretty dang tender right now, but my area of focus is the flat. I think I'll probably check on it every 20 minutes or so.

We'll be headed out to our get-together at 11:00 a.m., with the meal planned for 1:00 p.m., so I think I'm on target. Will have a cooler ready to store everything for our drive, and everybody will dig in once we arrive!

Couple of pics from my 7:00 a.m. check...


Didn't get a chance to post an update prior to packing up and leaving for the get-together, so here's an all-encompassing one.

Photos of the brisket shortly before I took it off the WSM:




I pulled this off after 13.5 hours of cooking. I then let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes in an attempt to stop the cooking process, before wrapping it up in two layers of foil and sticking it in a towel-lined cooler, for transport. It remained in the cooler for about three hours, at which point I took it out to serve-- sliced the flat and shredded the point.

For this being my first attempt at a brisket I'm pretty happy. It was pretty tender, fairly moist, and quite flavorful. I did feel like in general it was a little over-cooked, particularly one end of the flat. Sort of wondering if my packing in foil/towels/cooler was a little too good, causing the meat to keep cooking during those three hours before we ate.

Here's a shot as I started to slice it. It's probably the worst "completed" photo I could share, as this is the part of the flat that I feel was rather over-cooked, but I didn't think to take another photo later on when I got to the best-looking portion of the flat.

The brisket fed 21 people today and everybody seemed to like it quite a bit. I did, too, despite me seeing some room for improvement.
Hi Matt...
Congratulations on your first brisket ! :wsm:
It sure looks great on the wsm.
Very nice color !

(something tells me your assessment is spot on)