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Dbick

Greetings from Central California

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I just jumped in head first with my first ceramic cooker, A  Kamado Joe Classic.

 

My first cook will be a huge Brisket for my Mother in Laws birthday party here at our house this weekend. I plan on spending several hours here reading these forums to learn as much as I possibly can. Wish me Luck!

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Crazy first cook! 

At least season this grill and burn it in for a few hours to test it and get familiar! 

Good Luck! 

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Welcome to the forum! Bold first cook, good luck with your brisket. I would do a Boston butt as a first cook, to learn more about temp control with  your Classic.

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Yeah, brisket is a steep hill to climb for your first cook. In my personal experience, it took several brisket cooks to get a result I was happy with.  A truly elegant alternative with a much lower degree of  difficulty is a Prime Rib Roast. All you need to do for a wonderful PR is keep your grill at 350 for a couple hours (depending on size) until the IT is at 120 and  then pull it. I do a five bone PR every Christmas and also for special occasions like birthdays, engagements, etc.  I slather mine in yellow mustard and then add a nice steak rub, the combination makes for a nice thick crust. Good luck with your cook, what ever you choose. Ps. your outdoor kitchen is beautiful, what a nice space to cook in. 

 

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Good luck, Assuming you have done brisket before on some kind of smoker/grill your only true challenge will be temp control.  I highly recommend a dry run for control practice.

 

Do post back!

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Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. I was quite nervous but I think it was a success!

 

I did do a "dry run" the night before for a few hours just to get a feel for how the Joe reacted to the air adjustments, so I kind of had a small idea on what to do, but had a few surprises during the night of the actual cook.

 

I filled the coal basket full and started it at 11pm the night before the planned birthday celebration. I placed 4 or 5 large chunks of soaked apple wood around in the basket. I let the Joe slowly come to 225F and then waited until midnight to put the brisket on. I have a Thermoworks  Smoke Thermometer and for the grill temp I set the high alert to 250F and the low to 200F. I set the meat probe warning to 195F just so I had an idea when its getting close. I "camped out" on the sofa near the Joe all night and checked the temps when I could and also responded to the many alert "surprises". Several times throughout the night I was awakened to the high grill temp alarm and had to make adjustments to the air vents. I think what was happening is that the coal was burning at a very slow and even burn until it reached a "apple wood chunk". I think that's when the temps rose too high. The highest it got was 280F and I was able to get it to go back to below 250F without much problem. At 7 hours in the internal meat temp was 156F and I checked it for the first time. It looked great, very much a mahogany color and it looked like meat candy. I decided to wrap it in foil at this time. By this time I think all of the apple chunks had been burned up so I didn't have many temperature swings from this point on. I kept it burning around 220-230F. At 11 am, 11 hours into the cook the internal temperature was 195F, at Noon, 12 hours into the cook the internal temperature was 205F. I decided at this point to unwrap it to do the probe test. The probe went in like it was going into hot butter. We weren't eating until 4 so I was a bit nervous about taking it off this early but I knew it had to be done. I wrapped it tight with several layers of foil and put in in a ice chest and then filled the ice chest with towels. When I took it out at 330pm to slice it was still too hot to handle. It was very moist and very tender. After a night of babysitting the brisket everyone loved it and I considered it a success.

 

Next time I will take it out a hour earlier, or at least do the probe test earlier. If anything it was a bit overdone, not dry but it didn't hold together very well. Maybe I should have used smaller pieces of smoke wood so as to not get the high temperature swings?

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4 hours ago, Dbick said:

If anything it was a bit overdone, not dry but it didn't hold together very well.

 

As long as it wasn't dry this sounds like a great first cook on a new tool. From the sounds of things I'd guess it might have overcooked due to carryover heat in the cooler. I like to let my product get down to around 170F internal before holding to prevent that from happening, but it's not the worst thing in the world. Next time I'd try doing the same thing as much as possible but wait a bit before wrapping and holding. If you only change one thing at a time it's much easier to track your changes from cook to cook.

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