Author Topic: Worth it to smoke a beef brisket with anything other than Hickory/Mesquite?  (Read 4315 times)

Offline mcegoon

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It seems like there is some kind of "run" on the hickory and mesquite at the local Gander Mountain (only store in area that carries Bradley biscuits). I have Maple, Apple, Cherry, and Alder but I know those woods are kind of weak compared to the mesquite. I'm doing the mustard rub with some seasonings. In the fridge for about 12 hours now. Thanks for any advice as I was thinking about starting this thing tonight or tomorrow morning. ;D

Offline SKSmoker

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Cherry is a nice flavour on beef.
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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I would go with maple. I know you don't have it, but oak goes good with brisket, and the last time I used pecan that came out good also.

There is something about cherry that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but also cooked cherries make me nauseous, so there must be some chemical that I am reacting to.


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Offline Bad Flynch

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Apple is just fine. I have found that when cooking brisket, the spice rub makes more difference than the wood used for smoking.
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Offline 3rensho

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Generally use apple on brisket, hickory on bacon.  Haven't got around to mesquite yet but I love a steak grilled over mesquite.

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Offline mcegoon

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Well, I'm busy smoking and cooking this flat 7lb beef brisket with apple as I type this  ;D The IT has reached near 150 already and it's only been about 4 hrs. I've got two therms inside. One probe hanging near the meat, the other in the meat. The Bradley seems pretty consistent on the temp, but I do notice that it always registers a temp about 30deg higher than what I'm reading from my therm inside. I've been changing the water, and doing the apple juice.

So, not sure when it'll hit 190 - but from ALL the reading I gather I should take this thing out, wrap in foil, a dry towel, and put in a cooler for awhile? About the pre-warm - I've only got two coolers here and they are both the thermo-electric kind. I think they go warm as well so maybe I can use one of them to get it nice and warm first? I stick with thermo-electric for camping to avoid all the ice. Thanks again for any more advice!


Offline iceman

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mcegoon; Those type of coolers work great. Just switch it to heat for a spell to kick the inside temp up and then turn it off and do the FTC. I've been pulling mine at 185 and it seems to keep going on it's own to 190 and to the semi falling apart stage. Man that stuff is good!

Offline mcegoon

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mcegoon; Those type of coolers work great. Just switch it to heat for a spell to kick the inside temp up and then turn it off and do the FTC. I've been pulling mine at 185 and it seems to keep going on it's own to 190 and to the semi falling apart stage. Man that stuff is good!

Anyone know if it's OK to shoot box temp up to 240 or so? I know it's the first time and I am trying to get it done by tonight sometime, but I noticed the IT was stuck at 150 for almost 1/2 hour with the box temp reading around 220 on my therm and 230 on the Bradley. So, I pulled it up 10 deg and now the meat is slowly moved up. Is there a certain level you absolutely don't want to go over on briskets to prevent burning? I know the Bradley CAN burn up sausage at 280, so I don't want to do that again. Thanks!

CHANGED: Make that 225-230. That's where I just put it.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 12:56:52 pm by mcegoon »

Offline Tiny Tim

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I don't think you could actually burn it while keeping a watch on it....severely dry it out, maybe, but burn, no.  Anything up to 275 should be a relatively safe range to cook it at just to speed it along...patience does do wonders though.  You're now suffering through the "plateau" stage where the fat is rendering out, turning to liquid, and thus cooling the meat, so your temp is going to stall for a while.  The slower you can run through the plateau, the more tender the meat will be.  (I think that's how this all goes...somebody will correct me if I'm wrong).

Offline iceman

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I don't think you could actually burn it while keeping a watch on it....severely dry it out, maybe, but burn, no.  Anything up to 275 should be a relatively safe range to cook it at just to speed it along...patience does do wonders though.  You're now suffering through the "plateau" stage where the fat is rendering out, turning to liquid, and thus cooling the meat, so your temp is going to stall for a while.  The slower you can run through the plateau, the more tender the meat will be.  (I think that's how this all goes...somebody will correct me if I'm wrong).
Geez Tiny your sounding like a chef or something. :D ;)
That's about it in a nut shell. :)

Offline Wildcat

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Re: Worth it to smoke a beef brisket with anything other than Hickory/Mesquite?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 03:23:31 pm »
Patience is a virtue with this stuff.
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Offline Tiny Tim

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Re: Worth it to smoke a beef brisket with anything other than Hickory/Mesquite?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 03:25:26 pm »
I don't think you could actually burn it while keeping a watch on it....severely dry it out, maybe, but burn, no.  Anything up to 275 should be a relatively safe range to cook it at just to speed it along...patience does do wonders though.  You're now suffering through the "plateau" stage where the fat is rendering out, turning to liquid, and thus cooling the meat, so your temp is going to stall for a while.  The slower you can run through the plateau, the more tender the meat will be.  (I think that's how this all goes...somebody will correct me if I'm wrong).
Geez Tiny your sounding like a chef or something. :D ;)
That's about it in a nut shell. :)

Thanks Ice...was hoping I was thinking correctly. :D

Offline SKSmoker

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Re: Worth it to smoke a beef brisket with anything other than Hickory/Mesquite?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2007, 09:23:24 pm »
I cook everything at 250F and notice no difference in moistness of meat or tenderness. I even do pork butts at 275F. don't be afraid to turn it up.
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