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First Brisket -- and a Question

avibugavibug Posts: 146
Finally tried a brisket on Sunday and it came out great, but my fire somehow died in the middle of the cook.  I had two, 2lb cuts.  Rubbed both with Dizzy Dust, added mustard to one.  Pan had one stout beer, some BBQ sauce and a chopped onion.  I was concerned about the meat being too tough, so I tried keeping the Egg at 225.  I think that was too low -- the temp dropped, first falling to around 185.  I opened the vents and got the heat back up, but then had trouble getting stable.  First it climbed to 300, so I narrowed the vents.  Had it around 225 again, but then the fire went out completely -- not sure how (had lower vent open a quarter inch, daisy wheel on top).  Anyway, finally got it stable around 260.  Brisket was great, but I was about 90 minutes off my anticipated schedule.  I get that brisket is done when its done, but the kids need to eat when they need to eat.  No harm -- I threw burgers and dogs on the gasser for them and they had the brisket the next night (to rave reviews).  

Any thoughts on why the fire died?  I am running an XL, had plenty of lump in the firebox. The airflow wasn't blocked up because I was able to start it again right away.  Again, lower vent was open at least a quarter inch, daisy wheel on top (but closed).  

Here are some pics of the cook: 


imageimageimageimage
__________________________
XL
New York Chicago

Comments

  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,657
    First of all, the brisket looks good, so I would say it is not a failed cook!   Every time you cook you learn something else, and you did well in spite of some difficulties here

    Closed daisy wheel is likely an issue - you really choked the airflow with a small fire.  I have an XL and can hold 225, but have the DW cracked a bit and the lower vent open probably 1/4".   You need both to be open for a low and slow. 

    Another suggestion, plan your cooks of brisket and butts to be done well ahead of meal time, and FTC (foil-towel-cooler) until ready to serve.  The meat will stay hot and juicy for hours, and you can enjoy the party right up till meal time.

    Lastly, consider the turbo method if time is tight.  You can go at 300 degrees and foil when you hit the stall, and cut the time way down.  Tastes the same to me.  Good bark and good smoke ring.

    Keep egging!


    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • Cookinbob is right. You need to keep an opening on top too. Good job sticking with it and it looks like it turned out well. I have heard of some people using a small fan to force air in if the fire goes out, but you really don't want to get in that situation. Here is my setup when I smoked some pork butts at 250. Keep in mind all I did to adjust temperature in this setup was turn the daisy wheel ever so slightly. It is just a trial and error. You will get there. imageimage
  • DfishelDfishel Posts: 104
    I have an XL as well, and you must have the DW cracked for a low and slow. I stabilize at 225F dome temp with the bottom vent open .5" and the DW at 1/16".
  • daffy1909daffy1909 Posts: 469
    jmcnutt5 said:

    Cookinbob is right. You need to keep an opening on top too. Good job sticking with it and it looks like it turned out well. I have heard of some people using a small fan to force air in if the fire goes out, but you really don't want to get in that situation. Here is my setup when I smoked some pork butts at 250. Keep in mind all I did to adjust temperature in this setup was turn the daisy wheel ever so slightly. It is just a trial and error. You will get there. imageimage

  • daffy1909daffy1909 Posts: 469
    Oops! Forgot to leave comment! That a nice clean daisy wheel! Is it new or do u have some secret to keep it clean???? =D>
  • It is fairly new. I accidentally dropped my original off the deck and had to get a new one. I have has this one for about 3 months. I do keep it in the egg when not cooking. However, if you look closely, you can see where it is starting to get gummed up and it gets difficult to open it when it isn't hot. I need to do a clean burn and get that to melt off.
  • HotchHotch Posts: 2,355
    +1 On the FTC, it can hold for hours in a pre warmed cooler.

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  • avibugavibug Posts: 146
    Thanks for all the feedback.  Lesson learned re the daisy wheel.  Next time I'll try to finish early and FTC.  
    __________________________
    XL
    New York Chicago
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