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Let's talk about this smoking stuff (Brisket fail)

ok guys......yesterday, me and a friend did a monster cook of several items.  he brought his offset stick burner and i had my XL egg.  he loves eggs as well and even owns a L himself.

we cooked 3 racks of spare ribs, 2 butts and an 8 pound brisket flat on his stick burner.

we cooked 1 rack of ribs, a 13 pound full brisket and 8 chicken thighs on my egg.  the chicken was not cooked on the egg until the brisket was pretty much done and off the egg.

some of the stuff we did yesterday was really good, but I personally feel the briskets were not good.  However, the folks that ate it seemed to think they were good......or at least the flat that was done on his stick burner.

the brisket i cooked on the egg had the following issues and I would love to hear your thoughts on this;

1)  it had NO, i mean ZERO smoke ring on it.....almost like it had been cooked in my kitchen over.....however, the egg was several large Pecan chunks mixed with some Cherry chunks in it....ration was probably 75% Pecan to 25% Cherry and there was plenty of it.

2)  BUT.....even though there was no smoke ring at all there was a nasty smokey taste to it......when I lit my lump I allowed it to burn for nearly 40 minutes before i put the meat on and the smoke had gone from the nasty white to much prettier infamous "blue smoke"......I will say that shortly after putting the meat on that the smoke turned more white again and I was worried that more lump was lighting but the temp never spiked or did anything, it stayed right at my target temp.  so I am at a total loss.

3)  we were worried that it would take forever to cook the briskets so I set the egg to cook between 275 and occasionally it hoovered up to around 300 but it never crept above that at all.

4)  the big brisket on the egg was done in 8.5 hours.....i just couldn't believe how quickly it had cooked....in fact, i went to check it just wondering how well it well it was doing and the dang temps ranged from 201-212 depending on where I probed it.  we then had to place in a cooler with a towel for a roughly 3 hours before slicing it.

5)  when we did slice it, it was a disaster.......crumbled all over the place......it was just terrible the way it looked....and we were attempting to slice against the grain.  Plus, it tasted more like a pot roast than anything else.....which was devastating.....a pot roast with a nasty smoke taste to it with no smoke ring.

6)  just as a question.....when you guys get ready to slice a brisket do you leave the remaining fat cap on it or what do you do with it?


any thought, suggestions or ideas any of you have from reading this would be greatly appreciated!
gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!

Comments

  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 2,309

    Maybe you didn't trim it enough?  By the time a brisket is cooked through, there shouldn't be a significant fat cap.  That extra fat could also explain some of the nasty smoke taste.

    ARe you sure your thermometer is calibrated?  It sounds like it cooked too hot and fast, so maybe the 300 you were reading was closer to 350 or 400?


    NOLA
  • grege345grege345 Posts: 3,515
    I agree with @buzd504‌ about thermo. Seems way fast. Definitely overcooked. What brand lump did you use? As for the fat cap I trim before and that's it. The rest stays. I eat it swmbo does not. Smoke rings are overrated and hard to get on the egg for whatever reason. One more thing, what grade of meat was the brisket?
    LBGE& SBGE———————————————•———————– Pennsylvania / poconos

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,960
    Yeah, could have just been a bad cut
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    the lump was Rockwood......the first time I had ever used it.

    i will double check the thermometer, however, i have never had any issues with timing/recipes on other cooks....in fact, it usually has taken me longer than expected....lol

    the cut of meat was a USDA "Choice" which was the best I could acquire at the time of purchase.
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • pescadorzihpescadorzih Posts: 845
    I think your thermo is off as well. I did a 7.5# flat the other week an that took all but 8 hrs to cook at 275.

    I left 1/4 fat cap on it and cooked it with the fat cap down indirect and the fat had practically all rendered off  by the time it was done.

    Did you have a drip pan below the brisket? Maybe the nasty smoke was from the fat burning?

    SE PA
    XL, Mini max
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,392
    edited June 2014
    What was your setup ie PS legs up, drip pan, etc? How many #packer? Did you trim it? Rockwood lump and pecan & cherry wood should've been fine so long as you let the entire egg including PS etc get to temp (how did you lite it etc and keep in mind on a L&S not "all" the lump and or wood is gonna be lit at the same time). Let the creosote clear and roll with it (which sounds like you did this). You don't get a smoke ring strictly from smoke. Use the forums search engine and you'll find all the info you want and then some. When you probe for doneness I recommend the thickest part of the flat because probing the point you'll get higher readings due to fat content. For sure check dome thermometer for calibration and what are you checking your brisky temp with and have you checked its calibration? +1 could've just been a poor cut. Sorry if I repeated any of the previous comments as I didn't read all of them.
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    What was your setup ie PS legs up, drip pan, etc? How many #packer? Did you trim it? Rockwood lump and pecan & cherry wood should've been fine so long as you let the entire egg including PS etc get to temp (how did you lite it etc and keep in mind on a L&S not "all" the lump and or wood is gonna be lit at the same time). Let the creosote clear and roll with it (which sounds like you did this). You don't get a smoke ring strictly from smoke. Use the forums search engine and you'll find all the info you want and then some. When you probe for doneness I recommend the thickest part of the flat because probing the point you'll get higher readings due to fat content. For sure check dome thermometer for calibration and what are you checking your brisky temp with and have you checked its calibration? +1 could've just been a poor cut. Sorry if I repeated any of the previous comments as I didn't read all of them.
    PS was legs up.

    drip pan was in place sitting on rolled up foil balls to prevent it from sitting directly on PS

    Brisket was a 13 pounder

    I purchased it untrimmed and when i trimmed I was cautious to make sure i left enough fat on there…i was shooting to leave 1/4 inch but i probably left more to make sure i didn't overdo it.

    i lit the fire dead center and on top…..as soon as it was lit i put the PS in place immediately.  after about 40 minutes i placed the meat on.

    when i probed i tried to probe in about 6-8 spots and the temps ranged from 201-212.



    I'm honestly feeling like the meat may have not been as top notch as i hoped….at least that's what i want to believe….lol
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,392
    edited June 2014
    Yep probably just a bad cut. It happens. :-) But, it doesn't make it any easier to swallow I know. At least your guests seemed to have enjoyed it. Just remember we are usually more critical of our own cooking. FWIW
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    edited June 2014
    @msloan‌
    If you used a elevated drip pan as you stated I can say with some certainty that your bad smoke flavor did not come from burning fat but from the wood, lump or a combination of both. Usually a bad cut of meat will have a off taste but not a bad smokey taste. A bad smokey taste more often that not comes from bad smoke or excess smoke. Plain and simple. I'm going to share a few thoughts on some of the things you brought up above. As to the smoke ring. One would be hard pressed to equal the smoke ring that can be obtained on a offset or vertical cabinet with the egg. Why? They truly burn wood as their heat source. The egg does not. This is the reason most folks cooking on cabinets and offsets wrap their meat. To prevent over smoking. Contrary to popular belief wrapping is used more for the prevention of over smoking than it is as a cooking aid. You can get a good ring on the egg but it's much harder to achieve than it is on a wood fired pit. Reading your statements I can also concur that your brisket was over cooked but again this is not the reason for the bad smoke taste. Over cook one in your oven and see does it have a bad smoke taste. It will not unless you burn it beyond recognition intentionally. I know the smoke ring is pretty and prestigious but I would like to say don't concern yourself with it until you are real comfortable and consistent at turning out good brisket. I will take a great tasting brisket with no smoke ring over a bad tasting brisket with a great smoke ring every day of the week. After all my rambling I feel your bad smoke taste came from either a dirty fire due to lack of oxygen or from a large pile of smoldering wood. Smoldering wood will produce white bitter smoke. Hot clean burning wood will produce a clear to
    light hue of blue. This is why a wood fired unit can impart more smoke to the large primals than the egg. Remember all this is just my opinions. Some of the masters may disagree with what I have expressed here. That being said take their advice if they offer it as I'm probably wrong on all of this. I hope this helps if only a little my friend and good luck in the future.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    @‌msloan
    Just a note. Here in a couple of hours I'm going to light one of my wood fired pits for a over night cook. I will post pics of the smoke coming off of the clean burning wood as a reference for you as to what smoke should look like. I find that I can not replicate this kind of quantity or quality of smoke on my egg. This is not a knock against the egg. It's just two different types of cookers designed for different purposes. Again good luck in the future my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    @SGH….thanks a ton for your input…..i really believe you may have the nail on the head with some of your comments….

    the amount of lump i placed in the egg was probably the largest amount i have ever done because i was anticipating a much longer cook…..i think the fire may have been starving for oxygen even though i had the temp i was looking for…..i also believe that some of the wood chunks i had in there may not have been getting the right kind of heat to burn properly as you mentioned……the more i think about this the more i think those things could have been contributing factors for sure.

    I'm looking forward to your pics of tonights cook!
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,040
    SGH said:

    @‌msloan
    Just a note. Here in a couple of hours I'm going to light one of my wood fired pits for a over night cook. I will post pics of the smoke coming off of the clean burning wood as a reference for you as to what smoke should look like. I find that I can not replicate this kind of quantity or quality of smoke on my egg. This is not a knock against the egg. It's just two different types of cookers designed for different purposes. Again good luck in the future my friend.

    I'd love to see you post a cook from your egg. You have a 1,000 posts and have posted 3 cooks thus far. Why no love for your egg (you own one right lol)?
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    Yep probably just a bad cut. It happens. :-) But, it doesn't make it any easier to swallow I know. At least your guests seemed to have enjoyed it. Just remember we are usually more critical of our own cooking. FWIW
    yeh i agree……i mean they are the bulk of it up and really seemed complimentary of it…..but i think it was just a glorified pot roast…..lol  i wanted to give them competition sliced brisket instead!!!!

    it sucks but gives me motivation for future cooks!
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    @msloan‌
    When I first got my egg I had the same issue that you spoke off. Strong bitter smoke taste. With practice I finally learned to load the wood and lump correctly to avoid this issue. Also fire management is crucial as well. A oxygen deprived fire will always produce bad and unwanted smoke. Transitioning from wood fired units to the egg was a real challenge at first. Not its operation but getting it to burn clean was my main problem. I was so use to loading up with wood and cooking it took me time to understand that it just would not work on the egg. I wish you luck and success in the future my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    SGH said:
    @msloan‌ When I first got my egg I had the same issue that you spoke off. Strong bitter smoke taste. With practice I finally learned to load the wood and lump correctly to avoid this issue. 
    so do you have any tips for the loading technique that you feel works best?
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    Yes I do. I will load my egg and take pics of how I do my lump and wood placement. That will make it much easier than trying to explain it alone.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    here are a few pics from the cook yesterday…..at least the parts that took place on the egg.  i don't have any finished product pics of the brisket…i was tired and disappointed so i didn't bother.

    we actually practiced at placing the chicken in a box because we are thinking about doing a competition later in June just for the experience of going and doing it….so we said, what the heck let's see if we can get something looking decent.


    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    @cazzy‌
    I'm actually cooking on my egg tonight as well. Will post pics when complete. Again congratulations to you and your wife on the good turn of fortune. I wish y'all luck and success my friend . Enjoy the new home.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    SGH said:
    Yes I do. I will load my egg and take pics of how I do my lump and wood placement. That will make it much easier than trying to explain it alone.
    that would be awesome……I'm looking forward to it.
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    @cazzy‌
    Here you go brother. This is what we call 180 Second Ribeyes. That's 90 seconds per side. When the egg comes down in temp going to load up with chicken wings and country style ribs at my wife's request. Will post them as well when complete. Hope you approve my friend.
    @msloan‌
    As soon as I'm done with the wings I will reload the egg and take pics for you. The picks of the proper smoke coming off the stick burner will be around midnight as I'm trying to time a 18 hour cook to finish around 6:00pm tomorrow so I don't want to start bringing the big unit up until about 10:00pm. But I will certainly post them for you.imageimageimageimageimage

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,040
    Well hot damn. :P
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    @cazzy‌
    I'm going to take that as a compliment my friend. ;)

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • anzyegganzyegg Posts: 1,104
    I'm getting hungry just looking at these steaks. Awesome!
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    @anzyegg‌
    Thank you for the kind words my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    @cazzy‌
    Here are the wings about 5 minutes before they get ruined with sauce. The sauce is at my wife's request so what can I do but oblige her wishes.image

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 363
    @SGH…….wow that all looks delicious, especially those ribeyes!!!!
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
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