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 Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker

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Sundancer7

Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 8:31 AM (permalink)
A few weeks ago I bought an electric smoker to replace my charcoal smoker. There really wasn't anything wrong with the old one exceptic it was labor intensive having to keep pace with the charcoal and its usuage and temperature. I bought an electric one where you just set it and forget it.

I put a pork butt on with the coaching of the Mayor and Bushie. It was complete in about 6 hours and was really good.

This week end I am getting ready to try the brisket and I hope it works out as well.

I am a little confused to put it fat up or down. Seems the general consensus is to do the fat up. All I am going to do to prep the brisket is use a dry rub and let it go for 45 minutes per pound.

Will let all know how it turns out. I am gonna smoke it down on the dock and watch the Tennessee Football game on ESPN 2. My daughter is taking my tickets and my boat to the game. We will have to BBQ after they return, along with Tennessee sweet cole slaw, BBQ potato salad, peach pie, Tennessee baked beans, sour dough bread made fresh from the bread maker and of course some Tennessee libation.

I expect a very humid hot East Tennessee day.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
 
#1
    mayor al

    • Total Posts: 15058
    • Joined: 8/20/2002
    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
    • Roadfood Insider
    RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 8:58 AM (permalink)
    Paul,
    How big is the Brisket??? I vote for Fat side up . It lets the fat melt off ,and it lubricates the meat on it's way "down"
    The timing is as critical as it is for Pork. Be generous in your interpretation of 45 minutes per pound and be sure to let the meat rest for close to an hour after removing from the smoker before carving.
    With my off-set BBQ cooker i always put the thick end of the brisket pointed towards the "fire end" of the cooker. I am not sure if there is a warmer side in your smoker....but if there is then placement becomes more important.
    Have Fun. Based on your past performance, this should be a Masterpiece!!
     
    #2
      Oneiron339

      • Total Posts: 2075
      • Joined: 2/13/2002
      • Location: Marietta, GA
      RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 9:03 AM (permalink)
      Paul, I wish you luck w/ the brisket and the SEC East Runner-Up-to-the-DAWGS-Vols. I don't know how you can do the brisket for 45 min. per pound. My best came in at about 2 hrs. per pound. But, yes, smoke it fat side up. I always slather it w/ yellow mustard, then apply the rub. You can't taste the mustard, but it holds the rub better. ANd while you're enjoying the brisket and cold beer, don't forget the towels for the humid day and to wipe away the tears after the game.
       
      #3
        Sundancer7

        RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 9:17 AM (permalink)
        Oneiron and Al:

        The reason I selected 45 minutes per pound is that is what the instructions that came with the electric job indicated. I did that with the pork butt. I let it stay the required time and it came out just a tad dry.

        I like it moist and tender and done. It seems there is not a lot of folks that has worked with the electric job. It gets pretty hot fast.

        Paul E. Smith
        Knoxville, TN
         
        #4
          Bushie

          • Total Posts: 2902
          • Joined: 4/21/2001
          • Location: Round Rock, TX
          RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 10:00 AM (permalink)
          Looking forward to your brisket report, Sundance!

          BTW, did you have any good brisket on your recent drive through Texas
           
          #5
            Sundancer7

            RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 10:14 AM (permalink)
            Bushie: the drive through Texas turned out to be more than I bargained for. I got in Austin late on Tuesday evening and stayed at the Courtyard just north of the city. Since Outback was close by and open, I went over there and had their Halibut. The next day I drove down to San Antonio and then drove immediately to Abilene. Stopped in Fredericksburg which was an incredibly neat town for a great German lunch. Drove on to Abilene and then to Arlington where I ate a Papdeaux's. It was OK.

            Believe it or not, the BBQ place in the DFW airport is super. I had the brisket and it was not what I expected. The guy sliced it as he needed it, cut off the fat and it was super tender, moist and tasty. I had cole slaw with it and a few onion rings. It was in terminal E which is the Delta terminal. It has been there for a long time. I had never tried it because I have never had a good experience with airport food. This was different.

            I had to cancel my original route due to a change in business plans.

            I am sure you have been to Fredericksburg. I was impressed.

            Paul E. Smith
             
            #6
              Bushie

              • Total Posts: 2902
              • Joined: 4/21/2001
              • Location: Round Rock, TX
              RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 10:23 AM (permalink)
              Wow. Your plans DID change! That's a lot of driving in such a short time.

              Fredericksburg is a neat town for food and antique shopping. Glad you got to stop there.
               
              #7
                mayor al

                • Total Posts: 15058
                • Joined: 8/20/2002
                • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                • Roadfood Insider
                RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 11:38 AM (permalink)
                P & B
                I am a fan of Admiral Nimitz, so we have included Fredericksburg on a couple of our Texas tours. I really enjoy the walking tour of his home.
                 
                #8
                  Stogie

                  • Total Posts: 128
                  • Joined: 3/12/2003
                  • Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
                  RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 12:19 PM (permalink)
                  Hey Paul!

                  I cooked on an electric unit for 15 years! That is where I learned to do Q. VERY convenient and it allows you to concentrate on the meat and not hassle with fire control. Once you know how the meat should look and tatse, THEN you can start playing with fire control.

                  Now, you said 6 hours for your pork butt? How big was it? In over 25 years of experience, I have never, ever seen a butt finish in under 2hrs/lb. However, that is to get it to the pullable stage..upwards of 190º and more likely a tad over 200º. If you like the stuff sliced, then you can pull it at around 170º.....a much shorter cooking time. However, I have found the sliced pork I have eaten still has MUCH fat inside. The reason....that fat has not had a chance to render. The rendering takes place ABOVE the 170º mark.

                  I would throw the instruction book away as I have read all of them and they all are pretty much worthless. Even the WSM manual is worthless. One drawback you may have with your electric unit, is in the variable temp control....does it have any? The ONLY company that makes one is CharBroil...MECCO has one but it comes in 3 modes only and is not very effective. You will find that if your electric model has NO temp control, your cooker temps will be all over the place and almost impossible to duplicate a succesful cook. It may have been running very hot and finished your pork butt much too quickly. In other cases, if you load it up, it will run too cool and take forever to cook. The same is true for exposure to the ambient weather...wind will affect these things greatly! If it is hot...the cooker burns too hot and if it is cold, then things will take forever to cook. A variable temp control allows you to adjust to these ambient conditions.

                  Anyway, on the brisket, start fat side down and half way thru the cook flip it. This will do 2 things...prevent the bottom from overexposure and crisping too much and it also allows the beef to simmer in it's own juices at the end.

                  Have fun and best of luck!

                  Stogie
                   
                  #9
                    Sundancer7

                    RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 1:34 PM (permalink)
                    Stogie: I cannot argue with your experience, but I do wonder why my pork butt was a little on the dry side after six hours? I did have a nice crust on it.

                    I had no way to know the temp although the smoker was built to vent some heat. What can you expect for $70

                    Thanks for the help. I just wondered because of the electrical unit being so hot, maybe that was the reason they advised 45 minutes per pound?

                    Paul E. Smith
                    Knoxville, TN
                     
                    #10
                      Mayhaw Man

                      • Total Posts: 589
                      • Joined: 7/5/2003
                      • Location: Abita Springs, LA
                      RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 1:59 PM (permalink)
                      Sundancer,
                      I use an electric smoker for some stuff (particularly doing a bunch of chickens at one time) and have learned two things.

                      1) If your unit does not have one, go get a heating element with a variable control. They are not expensive and will more than pay for themselves in the meat you don't mess up. Most of those smokers all have interchangable elements.

                      2) Get a good oven thermometer. A stick in dial type is fine, but if you can get one, those digital ones with the readouts remotely attached to a wire (and you really look like you know what you are doing when you use one

                      3) Get an oven temp therm to keep all of this under control. A cheap one that just sits or hangs on the grill screen works great (although your smoker may already have one)

                      Temperature control, my friend. That is the key to happiness in elctric smoking.
                       
                      #11
                        Tom-Fl

                        • Total Posts: 74
                        • Joined: 8/19/2003
                        • Location: Satellite Beach,Fl, FL
                        RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Fri, 08/29/03 4:26 PM (permalink)
                        Stogie,where ya been?

                        You didn't make your pilgramage down to Somerset and the houseboat again did you?

                        I didn't catch whether he was cooking a full packer cut or a flat with a little fat layer.

                        If that is a flat,and your heat is erratic-you might want to think about foiling it aound 160º.

                        Like Stogie says,if you are pulling it at 45 mins/lb you probably need to be foiling to rush the cook.

                        Of course ,you can always slice it corn beef thin against the grain.

                        Tom
                         
                        #12
                          Sundancer7

                          RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Sat, 08/30/03 4:17 PM (permalink)
                          I recoginize that my low quality electric junk yard smoker ain't worth a whole lot, but one hour ago, I pulled this baby off the smoker. I let it smoke for four hours fat up and four hours fat down. I did a rub with some of Bushies stuff and I just sliced it across the grain and it fell apart. I had to have a bite and it was great. I sneaked a couple more slices before I offered it to my labor day crowd.

                          I am not an expert like Bushie, Stogie and the Mayor and the best I can hope for is a miracle and it must have occurred. My brisket was great.

                          Paul E. Smith
                          Knoxville, TN
                           
                          #13
                            Julia I

                            RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Sun, 08/31/03 11:33 AM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by Sundancer7

                            We will have to BBQ after they return, along with Tennessee sweet cole slaw, BBQ potato salad, peach pie, Tennessee baked beans, sour dough bread made fresh from the bread maker and of course some Tennessee libation.
                            Paul E. Smith
                            Knoxville, TN


                            OK, I have to ask. What is BBQ potato salad? Is it made from BBQ'd potatoes? Does it get heated on the grill? Does it have BBQ spices? Or is it just potato salad that you just like to eat with BBQ?
                             
                            #14
                              Sundancer7

                              RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Sun, 08/31/03 11:45 AM (permalink)
                              BBQ potato salad is a little bit my own concoction and here is what I do. I split the potatoes and then I slice indentions where the sauce and other ingredients and permeate the potato and coat the potatoes in BBQ sauce along with onions, and hot sauce and I let them get pretty done, but not soft.

                              I remove the product from the grill where it has absorbed the flavor of the meat and the ingredients and I let it cool and then I proceed with my own version of potato salad.

                              Adds a different zing to your ordinary potato salad. My guest always enjoys and there is never any left.

                              Paul E. Smith
                              Knoxville, TN
                               
                              #15
                                Mayhaw Man

                                • Total Posts: 589
                                • Joined: 7/5/2003
                                • Location: Abita Springs, LA
                                RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Sun, 08/31/03 2:06 PM (permalink)
                                OK, I know I already posted a note about my temp. fetish when smoking meat and that I should be grown up enough to leave it alone at that..........but I can't control my keyboard. I just recieved an ET-73 Redi Check and I have to tell you that my caveman days are over. If this thing holds up I will be a happy guy (if it doesn't hold up I will throw it into the drawer with all of the other remotes, cell phones, and electronic devices I am saving for some kind of bizarre art project, and accept I jumped too early and paid too much. A baad habit of mine). All of you BBQ nerds (you know who you are) should go look at this thing. It keeps two temps, has high and low alarms and works a long way from the grill (at my house it goes from my bedroom to the grill, an important distance during the all important mid afternoon BBQ nap).


                                http://www.maverickhousewares.com/thermometers/remote_therm.htm
                                 
                                #16
                                  Bushie

                                  • Total Posts: 2902
                                  • Joined: 4/21/2001
                                  • Location: Round Rock, TX
                                  RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Sun, 08/31/03 11:13 PM (permalink)
                                  Sundance, I'm certainly not an "expert", but I loved hearing that your brisket came out good.

                                  Just like you, I have learned MUCH from Stogie and Mr. Mayor. Thank you VERY much for your kind words, but I really shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as the REAL experts.

                                  Congrats on the Vols win over Fresno!!
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Stogie

                                    • Total Posts: 128
                                    • Joined: 3/12/2003
                                    • Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
                                    RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/2/03 9:16 AM (permalink)
                                    Hey Paul!

                                    Glad the brisket came out OK. The time sounded about right..45mins/lb. for an electric unit that has no variable control. Though most of mine take 1 1/2hrs/lb. I cook at a pretty low temp...225º.

                                    I just cooked on my in-laws electric this weekend. VERY Hard to control the temp! I couldn't keep it below 250º, so everything got done early. I can see where a brisket could cook much quicker in one of these unregulated electric units.

                                    My advice, Paul....go with your times and forget about trying to keep the heat low..I found first-hand how hard it is! LOL

                                    Keep up the good work!

                                    Stogie
                                     
                                    #18
                                      EdSails

                                      • Total Posts: 3548
                                      • Joined: 5/9/2003
                                      • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
                                      RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Mon, 09/8/03 7:37 PM (permalink)
                                      This weekend we smoked several fillets of salmon in a Brinkmann electric smoker. While the salmon turned out delcious, I can appreciate the calls for temp regulation and visible thermometers. The Brinkmann has neither. It did yield moist, delicious salmon though. I'm now ready to attempt brisket!
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Bushie

                                        • Total Posts: 2902
                                        • Joined: 4/21/2001
                                        • Location: Round Rock, TX
                                        RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/9/03 8:35 AM (permalink)
                                        quote:
                                        Originally posted by EdSails

                                        This weekend we smoked several fillets of salmon in a Brinkmann electric smoker. While the salmon turned out delcious, I can appreciate the calls for temp regulation and visible thermometers. The Brinkmann has neither. It did yield moist, delicious salmon though. I'm now ready to attempt brisket!

                                        Ed, on the fillets, did you do anything special like marinade, baste, etc.? Also, I assume they had the skin on, or not? Just wanting to know your "methods".
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Rusty246

                                          • Total Posts: 2413
                                          • Joined: 7/15/2003
                                          • Location: Newberry, FL
                                          RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/9/03 10:42 AM (permalink)
                                          Sundancer:

                                          Just want to welcome your friends and family to "The Swamp" on the 20th. The Gators have gained some respect from my husband(Vols Fan), after our game against Miami, even though we didn't bring home the win, we played well. What does this have to do with food? Between my husband and I, one of us will be "eating crow".
                                           
                                          #21
                                            EdSails

                                            • Total Posts: 3548
                                            • Joined: 5/9/2003
                                            • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
                                            RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/9/03 12:33 PM (permalink)
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by Bushie

                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by EdSails

                                            This weekend we smoked several fillets of salmon in a Brinkmann electric smoker. While the salmon turned out delcious, I can appreciate the calls for temp regulation and visible thermometers. The Brinkmann has neither. It did yield moist, delicious salmon though. I'm now ready to attempt brisket!

                                            Ed, on the fillets, did you do anything special like marinade, baste, etc.? Also, I assume they had the skin on, or not? Just wanting to know your "methods".


                                            Nada! It was a freshly caught salmon from the Sacramento River. Soaked the chips and put a water pan in. Smoked it for 3 hours (they were thick pieces). I know-----usually I do put seasonings on, but this fish seemed like it didn't need anything. Pieces were on the bottom rack, skin side down. Sure enough, it was so juicy and flavorful that sauce was unneccesary.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Bushie

                                              • Total Posts: 2902
                                              • Joined: 4/21/2001
                                              • Location: Round Rock, TX
                                              RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/9/03 1:29 PM (permalink)
                                              quote:
                                              Originally posted by EdSails

                                              Nada! It was a freshly caught salmon from the Sacramento River. Soaked the chips and put a water pan in. Smoked it for 3 hours (they were thick pieces). I know-----usually I do put seasonings on, but this fish seemed like it didn't need anything. Pieces were on the bottom rack, skin side down. Sure enough, it was so juicy and flavorful that sauce was unneccesary.

                                              Thanks. I grill salmon fillets, but I've never done them in the water-smoker. Sounds wonderful. I'll do that next time, but it won't be as good as that fresh-caught one, I'll bet!

                                              Oh, also, let us know how your brisket turns out when you do one.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Sundancer7

                                                RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/9/03 4:08 PM (permalink)
                                                quote:
                                                Originally posted by Rusty246

                                                Sundancer:

                                                Just want to welcome your friends and family to "The Swamp" on the 20th. The Gators have gained some respect from my husband(Vols Fan), after our game against Miami, even though we didn't bring home the win, we played well. What does this have to do with food? Between my husband and I, one of us will be "eating crow".


                                                I do not know which is better, eating crow, busting oranges or eating gator. Unfortunately the Vols have not had a lot of success with the gators. It was good to beat Steve in his last year at the Swamp. My daughter has tickets and it is not such a bad drive from Knoxville to Gainesville. We drive down to the Drags each March.

                                                Paul E. Smith
                                                Knoxville, TN
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Oneiron339

                                                  • Total Posts: 2075
                                                  • Joined: 2/13/2002
                                                  • Location: Marietta, GA
                                                  RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/9/03 4:23 PM (permalink)
                                                  Rusty and Paul, don't forget the "Hot Dawgs!
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Rusty246

                                                    • Total Posts: 2413
                                                    • Joined: 7/15/2003
                                                    • Location: Newberry, FL
                                                    RE: Labor Day Brisket on the Electric Smoker Tue, 09/9/03 4:52 PM (permalink)
                                                    Did ya have to bring THEM up??? Just kidding, at least you didn't say "Seminoles"!
                                                    Gator Nationals huh? Been there a time or two. Been to Knoxville a time or two also. O.k. sorry to bring sports into the food forum....yikes!
                                                     
                                                    #26
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