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OKJ Bandera Smoker


mstewart39
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I've never cooked a flat, only ever full packers.  

I could fit about a 12+ lb brisket in the bandera diagonally.  I was trying the "hot and fast" brisket, but it certainly wasn't my best.  I need to practice.  

I've found even with my kamado that brisket is my downfall.  (I cooked a pretty bad one this weekend!)  I struggle with knowing when to pull it off.  

 

And yes, the Big Joe is sort of cheating.  Yesterday I did a 9 pound (after trimming) brisket on the Big Joe and once it settled in around 260, I never had to touch anything ever again.  (Although I wish I would have pulled it off about a half hour before I did...)

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Hmmmm, interesting. Before I cooked i brisket, I heard from multiple individuals and sites how hard they were. Much like all other bbq, I think it's a fairly straightfoward cook. Are you using feel, probe test, temp what? And, why aren't you happy with your final result?

 

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11 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

Hmmmm, interesting. Before I cooked i brisket, I heard from multiple individuals and sites how hard they were. Much like all other bbq, I think it's a fairly straightfoward cook. Are you using feel, probe test, temp what? And, why aren't you happy with your final result?

 

 

I use a temp probe to get me close, and then try to make sure it's probe tender.  That's what I'm not good at.  

But this weekend my temp probe inside was reading right around the 195 range, but I must have been somehow reading wrong.  Because I went out to check for probe tenderness and I was reading 208, 212, depending on where I was.  The brisket was dry.  It tasted wonderful.  We made nachos with it last night for dinner and they were great.  But it needed sauce the first night.  

 

I feel that I need to try next time with no probes at all.  I'll just go by look and feel.  I was spraying to add a little flavor, and this thing looked BEAUTIFUL about an hour or so before I took it off.  I wish I would have started with the probe test at that point.  Because by the time I took it off, it was pretty much a shriveled mess.  I let it rest for about 3 hours wrapped in foil, and when I opened it up the foil was still completely dry.  THAT'S a bad sign...

 

I'm working on it.  I usually know what I do wrong.  I just need practice.  

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Well, it sounds like you have a plan. One of the big things for me using the probe test along with my checking the temp of the brisket. And I basically ignore the temp to the extent that the probe test is the gospel for me. I've had brisket done and tender @ 192° and other I had to take close to 210° before they were tender.

 

The other was learning the difference between resting and holding a brisket. I'm probably not telling you anything new but, I hold them in butcher paper and wrapped in towels inside a cooler. I let them rest by placing the brisket on a cutting board for about 45 minutes (at least 30) because the brisket is still piping hot at that point. If steam is rising when you cut it, imo, it is still too hot.

 

Btw, it's still quite a feat, imo cooking that thing in a Bandera. The inside of my smoker chamber was so 'disgusting' I didn't want anything touching the walls. :-D

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