Rookie from Austin, TX with a question
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Rookie from Austin, TX with a question
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Thread: Rookie from Austin, TX with a question

  1. #1

    Rookie from Austin, TX with a question

    A month ago I purchased an el cheapo cross flow stick burner just to see if I enjoyed smoking. I cooked brisket twice and ribs twice. The grill was a real struggle to maintain temps but out of that I got one brisket that was a disappointment and one that I'd consider a success. It had a real nice bark and smoke ring. The fat in the point was really well rendered producing a tender juicy point and a flat that while it didn't pull apart perfectly was tasty.

    So now I went and bought a pellet smoker and as a test smoked two whole chickens. They were good except I think my temps were too low as the skin was rubbery.

    I'm ready to try my hand at a brisket. I pretty much subscribe to the approach of cooking with post oak and salt/pepper at 250f until I hit the stall and the bark looks real good then wrap using pink paper and cook to 205f until a probe goes through like butter.

    My question is do I need to adjust this for pellet smoker?

  2. #2
    If you like post oak, them definitely use 100% oak pellets. If the air is dry as either a water pan, or a couple cans of hot water. Otherwise set your desired temp and leave it alone (don't keep opening the lid to check until you either wrap, or you're close to being done).
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    What Cliff said!
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  4. #4
    Thanks. I didn't know if I needed to approach anything different for the bark when using a pellet grill. I started to wonder if I shouldn't wrap at all or smoke at a lower temp initially to get more smoke.

    I currently have a bag of B&B pecan cherry and oak to go through. That's all I saw at Buccee's when I picked up the smoker. The last brisket I did was actually hickory and that seemed good also.

  5. #5
    There is no right or wrong answer as whether to wrap or not. It's purely a personal preference. Personally I love wrapping brisket, ribs, pork shoulders, etc. to catch foil juices.

    One trick I like to use to get a little more smoke penetration is... Don't worry about preheating your pellet grill, because it's not necessary since it'll go to your desired temp automatically for you. Instead put your cold meat on a cold grill and allow both to come up to temp more slowly. The longer it takes for the outside of the meat to reach 140, the longer it can absorb smoke.

    The biggest difference in the smoke quality will be the smoke from your pellet grill will automatically be like that cleaner tasting, thin grayish-blue smoke that you have to work at on a stick burner. The kind that flavors the food without overpowering it.

    BTW - Welcome to the forum!
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the welcome.

    In my first two cooks I had plenty of "bad" smoke but none of it tasted "bad" to me. Reading the manual of my smoker I get the sense that I might want to run it for an hour at 150f to get the most smoke then turn it up to 250f.

    I had read and practiced wrapping in pink paper when I entered the stall and the bark looked good. For me that was about 4-5 hours. I was just reading from a Franklin masterclass page that he doesn't wrap until about 8 hours in which seems like it's way into the stall at that point.

    To me it seems the wrap is about speeding the cook up while trying to get a good bark. If the pellet is weaker on the smoke and the runtime is mostly automated it occurred to me that maybe I don't need to wrap. Or maybe I do... I guess I'll find out tonight.

  7. #7
    I did my first smoke last night. Here's my mental notes of the cook:

    12 lb Costco Prime. Trimmed 4lbs off it. Got the flat to lay down nicely. Rubbed it up with some salt and pepper.
    7:30 warm up smoker
    8:00 smoke 1 hour at 185f
    9:00 set smoker to 250f / 203f, top off hopper and go to bed. ( B&B Competition Blend Pecan, Cherry & Oak )
    1:00 am woke up to check hopper. It had barely gone down any. I woke up because I had a low pellet alarm 4 hours into my first two cooks. Brisket temp said 170f so I turned it down to 225 to slow it down a bit. I did not choose to crutch it this time.
    5:30 am woke up and brisket was at 201f
    6:00 am brisket at 203f. Probe it in several places and it's butter. I have to carefully scrape it off the grate as it's stuck a bit. It's really tender and wiggly.
    6:30 after letting it cool a little I wrapped it in pink paper and a big towel and placed it in a cooler to take to work.

    All in all I'm very optimistic that this is my best cook yet. We'll see how my coworkers judge it. They are stick burner and green egg fanatics.

    I tried to upload pics (from my computer or from a URL) but couldn't get it to work. Here's a link to my FB post:

    Chris Painter - Got done a bit early but I’m pretty sure... | Faceboo

  8. #8
    Sounds like it went really well. Keep us updated!

  9. #9
    I got a lot of compliments on the bark, flavor, smoke ring and the point. The flat could have been a little moister and a better pull. I'm just a back yard cook so I'm actually happy with how it turned out.


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