I've been grilling with an LGE for about three years. My wife generally likes food grilled but not necessarily smoked, so I've never invested the time to figure out a brisket. With the Easter weekend coming up and some friends coming over, I decided to take the plunge.
I opted for the Travis Method. After consultation with the man himself (Travis via direct message), I decided to raise the 9.5# packer in a rib rack above the braising sauce and put it in the allegro about four hours in. I use my own rub: equal parts kosher salt, white sugar, montreal seasoning and chili powder with garlic and onion powder too and the not-so-secret ingredient of celery salt to hopefully assist the presence of a smoke ring.
Before I started, I vacuumed out the box and added fresh lump. I start it with a weed burner and this time added a few cubes. It started a bit too well and I was delayed about thirty minutes trying to the the temp down to 300. I added chunks of pecan and the plate setter at midnight.
I put it on fat side up with a chopped onion, a bottle of normal Allegro marinade and a precious bottle of Shiner Bock.
At 4:00 am, I checked on the temp (holding nicely at 290, so I opened the lower vent a tad). I removed the rib rack and flipped it fat side down to get the meet under the cap flavored through immersion in the braising liquid and to get some bark on the top. Since it was being braised I wasn't really concerned with it drying out. This is what it looked like pre-flip.
Then I went back to bed praying for two things: (1) that my kids realize the true significance of Easter and (2) that I estimated right on the temp and wouldn't wake up to brisket being volcanically roasted at 500 degrees or slowly cooled to jerky at 100 degrees.
When I woke up and went down, this was the answer:
Do other smokers maintain temperature this effortlessly? Surely not. I've cooked a lot on my Egg and even I was impressed that it effectively stayed the exact same temperature over eight hours.
Anyway, back to the cook. I have a Thermapen and I use it often when I cooks steaks, chicken and burgers. I soon realized that a brisket was another beast altogether; so many areas to test. Nonetheless, I concluded that it was generally 185. Then, I began fretting about how often to monitor it since the end was in sight. I got some advice from the forum and generally waited and tested and waited and tested until 10:15. When it finally reached about 205 internal all around, I pulled it.
Most of the braising liquid was gone...I was hoping for some to be left to assist with the sauce. It was mostly just rendered fat. I wrapped it in heavy duty foil and put it in a pre-heated cooler with towels below and above. It maintained 160 for three hours. I ultimately decied to put it in the fridge but when I pulled it out two hours later, it was still warm to the touch. Still, I re-heated it slightly while still wrapped in the foil. I pulled it out fifteen minutes before eating and let it rest for about ten.
This is what I found when i sliced it:
I was happy with it.
In fact, here's a close up:
I'm a brisket snob, so I can be very picky on some aspects: the bottom was a tad too carmelized and a slightly bit too salty and the flat was a little dry. Truthfully, everyone raved over it and I was proud of the end result. My Egg performed beautifully. There is just something elemental and satisfying about cooking a big slab of meat for your family and your friend's family. I will definitely be doing it again.
I think I will go with a low and slow next time without trimming as much off the top and not flipping it. I'll put rub all over and hope for the best. I'll say, however, that Travis' method is super efficient. I had an almost ten pound brisket cooked in ten hours, not too bad.