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pushing my luck with a "hot and fast" brisket


fotoflux
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I have been searching for the rich smoke flavor that I used to get with my cheap offset smoker that I used to own. The Kamado is just so efficient that I can end a 5 hour smoke with smoking wood chunks still intact. I'd have to reload my old smoker with new wood after a few hours. One theory out there that Smoking Dad BBQ swears by is the "double indirect" method in his Kamado Joe. Basically he pumps up the temp to 300 and adds 2 heat deflectors with an air gap between the meat and the fire.

 

Using this video as a guide, I tried to get my Primo XL set up as a double indirect smoker. 



I'd definitely say that at the end of the day, it was a success. However, I didn't get the smoke flavor, or the smoke ring I was hoping for. 

 

What worked:

  • Hands down, the most moist brisket I have ever made
  • No hard bark at the bottom (double indirect worked)
  • texture was spot on, cut super easily, and it didn't fall apart when I picked up a thin slice
  • you can fit an entire brisket on the extension racks in the Primo XL!
  • No "bad" smoke at all during entire cook.

What didn't work:

  • No smoke ring
  • Not much smoke flavor
  • bark on the bottom "washed away" in foil boat.
  • I didn't trim enough of the fat cap (rookie mistake)
  • Injecting tallow is messy and I got it all over the floor
  • having 2 deflector plates set up makes it nearly impossible to access your charcoal basket to add more smoking wood.

 

If I were to try it again, I'd not bury my wood chunks towards the bottom of the charcoal basket (as recommended in the video). I never really smelled the smoke coming off the grill and I used a large 3x3x2" chunk of hickory. So either it wasn't burning when I put the cold meat on the grill or it burned off when I was pre-heating. Either way, I lost control of when the grill was smoking it. I'd say my brisket was restaurant quality (with their own smoker), but not competition quality. I'd be happy to eat what I made in a restaurant. 

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The bark falling off may be due to putting the brisket in the boat too early. I don't use a boat, but I wrap mine in parchment paper. I do so when the meat hits 165, and my bark stays intact. @John Setzler recommended a higher temp, like 175 or so, to ensure the bark is set before wrapping/boating.

Looks good though!

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That looks outstanding! With the foil boat, it’s hard to keep the bark intact on the bottom. Other than that, it sounds like you nailed it! In regards to smoke flavor, most of that occurs right at the beginning of the cook, as the smoke adheres to moisture on the meat. Once bark starts to form, there’s not much smoke flavor added. Because of that, I like to get my dome up to temp and then add wood chunks into the hottest part of the coals. I wait until the wood is lit well and burning with a visible flame before putting heat deflectors/SloRoller in place. Then the meat goes on. That way you get clean smoke adhering to the fresh meat. I know many recommend to put wood chunks at the bottom of the lump, but that’s never worked well for me.

 

Great cook!

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One more thing - if you want to learn more about the smoke ring, check this out. Great info from a phenomenal site:

 

https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/more-cooking-science/mythbusting-smoke-ring-no-smoke-necessary/

 

Personally, I think the smoke ring is overrated. I’ve had great brisket that had no discernible smoke ring and awful brisket that had a beautiful smoke ring.

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2 hours ago, jark87 said:

That looks outstanding! With the foil boat, it’s hard to keep the bark intact on the bottom. Other than that, it sounds like you nailed it! In regards to smoke flavor, most of that occurs right at the beginning of the cook, as the smoke adheres to moisture on the meat. Once bark starts to form, there’s not much smoke flavor added. Because of that, I like to get my dome up to temp and then add wood chunks into the hottest part of the coals. I wait until the wood is lit well and burning with a visible flame before putting heat deflectors/SloRoller in place. Then the meat goes on. That way you get clean smoke adhering to the fresh meat. I know many recommend to put wood chunks at the bottom of the lump, but that’s never worked well for me.

 

Great cook!

I did put my deflectors on immediately after lighting the coals. I was trying to rush heat soaking them. But next time I will probably hold off and get the grill closer to temperature first and then add smoking wood and the deflectors.

 

the boat was supposed to help the meat get past the stall quicker. I might try without the boat next time. 

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