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HltrSkltr



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Jul 25 2012    Post subject: Not sure what I'm doing wrong... Reply with quote

Hello again!

Like I said in my intro post, i just bought my first smoker:
http://masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-analogue.html

I'm thinking now that i should have just waited to buy a better, probably more expensive smoker. I'm having trouble even getting it to smoke, and stay smoking at lower temperatures (around 200-225), but that's a story for a different post.

The more important problem i'm having is getting my brisket even in the neighborhood of where i want it. i realize this process takes time and practice, but i'm at a point where i don't know what's going wrong. so ill describe my latest attempt--

I bought the meat at wal mart, so im not sure of the grade. this was before i found a good butcher shop near where i work. i basically cut it into two large sections, one was just the flat, the other the flat and point together. this time i cooked the section with the flat and point both.

The night before smoking, i trimmed (probably should have trimmed more) and injected both sections of the meat with beef broth, every inch or so. I also put together a good marinade recipe i found online, and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, i woke up early, applied the rub, let the meat sit for about 45 min while the smoker warmed up, and then i put the meat in. The smoker stayed around 200-215 degrees the whole time. i put a digital meat thermometer in a thick part of the flat and waited until it hit 150.

During this time, i mopped the meat every hour with a mop recipe i found in a smoking book.

once the meat hit 150, i was disappointed to see that it had not developed a black crust. the smoker also stopped smoking, and i couldnt get it started again without cranking the heat up and forcing the coils to stay on longer to ignite the chips. that doesnt seem like a good solution to me. could no smoke be the issue with not getting a crust?

Also...once the meat hit 150, i brought it inside, applied a bit more rub, and wrapped it in foil. I then put it back in the smoker, stuck the thermometer in and waited until it hit 200. at this point it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so i cranked the heat up a bit to try to speed it along.

Once the meat hit 200, i brought it inside and let it rest for about 40 min (again, we were getting hungry and it was late). i didnt wrap it in towels or stick it in a cooler, which has also been suggested to me. my wife threw away all my old towels, and my cooler is dirty... anyway!

after letting the meat rest, i separated the point and flat and began to slice it up (against the grain). i was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that there was no smoke ring, due to having no smoke. i was also disappointed to see that the meat was a bit dry as well. and some parts of the brisket reminded me more of pot roast than brisket.

so, i hope you guys can help me pinpoint what i'm doing wrong, or what i can do differently next time. mainly, why is my meat dry even after injecting and marinading all night. is it the cut? And why no crust? does not having smoke have anything to do with this?

thanks in advance, i look forward to trying again-
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1buckie
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PostPosted: Jul 25 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biggest problem I have with brisket is uneven temprature....
If it spikes way up & down I'm screwed, every time....
Last few times I did it, the wife had something to do where we had to go somewhere &
I couldn't really keep an eye on it, so things went a bit haywire & ended up too dry.....

That cut really likes EVEN temps !
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Mish
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will not get a smoke ring with a electric smoker.

Are using Chips chunks or pellets to smoke with? I found in mine it likes pellets the best to get smoke from a lower temp but also dont be afraid to run at 250 or so if thats what it wants for smoke.

Are you using the water pan? The moisture with cut down on the bark some aswell. Also how much sugar is in your rub that will help on bark to.

As far as dry dont let temp be your deciding factor when it gets to 190 start feeling it and see if the probe goes in like butter, yours may have been done sooner then 200.
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BluDawg
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cooking on a CES can be a real challenge. Brisket is hard enough even on a good pit with out allot of experience. I have never used electric or gas so All I can do is give you some guide lines.

You need to get the temp up in that smoker 250 bare minimum. if it has a water pan run it dry and foil it over for ease of cleanup.With the temps as low as your CES is running your warming that brisket to death causing it to dry out like a big block of Jerky.

The lack of a smoke ring has nothing to do with smokiness of the meat so don't sweat it in fact some injections will negate it's formation.

You need to simplify your methods K.I.S.S. forget all that injection marinate stuff for now, concentrate on getting a moist brisket with some bark. Once you get that perfected you can build on that with small changes to your basic method.

My basic method(the only way I do a Brisket):
Trim the hard fat and the fat cap in general to 1/4" or less. wet the surface with Worcestershire make a basic brisket rub 1 part each; K salt and med grind black pepper, and 1/4 part ea garlic powder and Mexican oregano ( if you cant get Mex use what you can find)
Put it on fat cap down for two hrs with the smoker running 220 to set your smoke ring after two hrs flip it fat cap up run up the pit temp to 250+ and cook it until it has been on 1 hr per Lb. don't worry about the temp of the Brisket. Do a poke test ( Use a Thermo probe and test the flat and the point your looking for the hot knife through butter feel, or as I like to call it The Hot monkey Love with a P0rn Queen feel Wink ) if there is any resistance let it go another hr and check it again.Repeat until both the point and the flat pass When it does pull it wrap it in foil and let it rest in an empty cooler 1-2 hrs.
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HltrSkltr



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mish wrote:
You will not get a smoke ring with a electric smoker.

Are using Chips chunks or pellets to smoke with? I found in mine it likes pellets the best to get smoke from a lower temp but also dont be afraid to run at 250 or so if thats what it wants for smoke.

Are you using the water pan? The moisture with cut down on the bark some aswell. Also how much sugar is in your rub that will help on bark to.

As far as dry dont let temp be your deciding factor when it gets to 190 start feeling it and see if the probe goes in like butter, yours may have been done sooner then 200.



Ive tried chips and pellets, neither smoke at the lower temperatures. ive even tried wrapping some pellets in foil and putting it directly on the heating element
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HltrSkltr



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

and how would you explain the lack of a crust forming? is it the lack of smoke? heat too low? mopping the meat causing it not to char?
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HltrSkltr



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

BluDawg wrote:
Cooking on a CES can be a real challenge. Brisket is hard enough even on a good pit with out allot of experience. I have never used electric or gas so All I can do is give you some guide lines.

You need to get the temp up in that smoker 250 bare minimum. if it has a water pan run it dry and foil it over for ease of cleanup.With the temps as low as your CES is running your warming that brisket to death causing it to dry out like a big block of Jerky.

The lack of a smoke ring has nothing to do with smokiness of the meat so don't sweat it in fact some injections will negate it's formation.

You need to simplify your methods K.I.S.S. forget all that injection marinate stuff for now, concentrate on getting a moist brisket with some bark. Once you get that perfected you can build on that with small changes to your basic method.

My basic method(the only way I do a Brisket):
Trim the hard fat and the fat cap in general to 1/4" or less. wet the surface with Worcestershire make a basic brisket rub 1 part each; K salt and med grind black pepper, and 1/4 part ea garlic powder and Mexican oregano ( if you cant get Mex use what you can find)
Put it on fat cap down for two hrs with the smoker running 220 to set your smoke ring after two hrs flip it fat cap up run up the pit temp to 250+ and cook it until it has been on 1 hr per Lb. don't worry about the temp of the Brisket. Do a poke test ( Use a Thermo probe and test the flat and the point your looking for the hot knife through butter feel, or as I like to call it The Hot monkey Love with a P0rn Queen feel Wink ) if there is any resistance let it go another hr and check it again.Repeat until both the point and the flat pass When it does pull it wrap it in foil and let it rest in an empty cooler 1-2 hrs.


250 degrees seems to contradict everything else ive ever read. most forums/people ive talked to have said around 200-225 the entire time, otherwise itll dry out by cooking it too hot. but the jerky comparison makes sense...
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Curtis
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to skip out on the mop. Just let the smoker go and hold its temp. I find that mops impart little or no flavor.
Good luck
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k.c.hawg
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Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 1752

PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Re: Not sure what I'm doing wrong... Reply with quote

HltrSkltr wrote:
Hello again!

Like I said in my intro post, i just bought my first smoker:
http://masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-analogue.html

I'm thinking now that i should have just waited to buy a better, probably more expensive smoker. I'm having trouble even getting it to smoke, and stay smoking at lower temperatures (around 200-225), but that's a story for a different post.

The more important problem i'm having is getting my brisket even in the neighborhood of where i want it. i realize this process takes time and practice, but i'm at a point where i don't know what's going wrong. so ill describe my latest attempt--

I bought the meat at wal mart, so im not sure of the grade. this was before i found a good butcher shop near where i work. i basically cut it into two large sections, one was just the flat, the other the flat and point together. this time i cooked the section with the flat and point both.

The night before smoking, i trimmed (probably should have trimmed more) and injected both sections of the meat with beef broth, every inch or so. I also put together a good marinade recipe i found online, and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, i woke up early, applied the rub, let the meat sit for about 45 min while the smoker warmed up, and then i put the meat in. The smoker stayed around 200-215 degrees the whole time. i put a digital meat thermometer in a thick part of the flat and waited until it hit 150.

During this time, i mopped the meat every hour with a mop recipe i found in a smoking book.

once the meat hit 150, i was disappointed to see that it had not developed a black crust. the smoker also stopped smoking, and i couldnt get it started again without cranking the heat up and forcing the coils to stay on longer to ignite the chips. that doesnt seem like a good solution to me. could no smoke be the issue with not getting a crust?

Also...once the meat hit 150, i brought it inside, applied a bit more rub, and wrapped it in foil. I then put it back in the smoker, stuck the thermometer in and waited until it hit 200. at this point it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so i cranked the heat up a bit to try to speed it along.

Once the meat hit 200, i brought it inside and let it rest for about 40 min (again, we were getting hungry and it was late). i didnt wrap it in towels or stick it in a cooler, which has also been suggested to me. my wife threw away all my old towels, and my cooler is dirty... anyway!

after letting the meat rest, i separated the point and flat and began to slice it up (against the grain). i was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that there was no smoke ring, due to having no smoke. i was also disappointed to see that the meat was a bit dry as well. and some parts of the brisket reminded me more of pot roast than brisket.

so, i hope you guys can help me pinpoint what i'm doing wrong, or what i can do differently next time. mainly, why is my meat dry even after injecting and marinading all night. is it the cut? And why no crust? does not having smoke have anything to do with this?

thanks in advance, i look forward to trying again-


Several things I will address. One of the things you point out on several ocassions is no crust/bark. You are doing a couple of things detrimental to developing bark.....mopping and wrapping. Bark can be created by carmalizing sugars out of a baste/mop but is created much more effectively by dry rubs high in sugar content. You can wrap after bark has deloped but it is not necessary. Steam and liquids are deterents to the process. As BluDawg says you will be well served by keeping it simple and learning a sweet spot on preparing and cooking brisket. When you inject, mop, foil and take into consideration all the ingredients in the injection, the rub, the mop, the foiling variables....it is too hard to determine what worked and what didn't. Once you turn out good K.I.S.S. brisket you can add 1 variable at a time and be able to ascertain what is working and what is not. I've been doing briskets for 25 plus years, cooking on smokers for 40 years and still have disappointments, especially with brisket. It is the hardest cut to perfect. But this makes it all worth the while. So keep on working you'll get there.






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Mish
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Joined: 03 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

HltrSkltr wrote:

250 degrees seems to contradict everything else ive ever read. most forums/people ive talked to have said around 200-225 the entire time, otherwise itll dry out by cooking it too hot. but the jerky comparison makes sense...


It wont dry out, main thing is catching it when its done and not going past that point. You can BBQ at many different temps and they all work fine. 250-275 is my preferred range and it varies by person to person.

1 thing I forgot before, have you checked the temp of the smoker with your own thermo? the one the smoker comes with is most likely off by a bit.
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HltrSkltr



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Re: Not sure what I'm doing wrong... Reply with quote

k.c.hawg wrote:
HltrSkltr wrote:
Hello again!

Like I said in my intro post, i just bought my first smoker:
http://masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-analogue.html

I'm thinking now that i should have just waited to buy a better, probably more expensive smoker. I'm having trouble even getting it to smoke, and stay smoking at lower temperatures (around 200-225), but that's a story for a different post.

The more important problem i'm having is getting my brisket even in the neighborhood of where i want it. i realize this process takes time and practice, but i'm at a point where i don't know what's going wrong. so ill describe my latest attempt--

I bought the meat at wal mart, so im not sure of the grade. this was before i found a good butcher shop near where i work. i basically cut it into two large sections, one was just the flat, the other the flat and point together. this time i cooked the section with the flat and point both.

The night before smoking, i trimmed (probably should have trimmed more) and injected both sections of the meat with beef broth, every inch or so. I also put together a good marinade recipe i found online, and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, i woke up early, applied the rub, let the meat sit for about 45 min while the smoker warmed up, and then i put the meat in. The smoker stayed around 200-215 degrees the whole time. i put a digital meat thermometer in a thick part of the flat and waited until it hit 150.

During this time, i mopped the meat every hour with a mop recipe i found in a smoking book.

once the meat hit 150, i was disappointed to see that it had not developed a black crust. the smoker also stopped smoking, and i couldnt get it started again without cranking the heat up and forcing the coils to stay on longer to ignite the chips. that doesnt seem like a good solution to me. could no smoke be the issue with not getting a crust?

Also...once the meat hit 150, i brought it inside, applied a bit more rub, and wrapped it in foil. I then put it back in the smoker, stuck the thermometer in and waited until it hit 200. at this point it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so i cranked the heat up a bit to try to speed it along.

Once the meat hit 200, i brought it inside and let it rest for about 40 min (again, we were getting hungry and it was late). i didnt wrap it in towels or stick it in a cooler, which has also been suggested to me. my wife threw away all my old towels, and my cooler is dirty... anyway!

after letting the meat rest, i separated the point and flat and began to slice it up (against the grain). i was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that there was no smoke ring, due to having no smoke. i was also disappointed to see that the meat was a bit dry as well. and some parts of the brisket reminded me more of pot roast than brisket.

so, i hope you guys can help me pinpoint what i'm doing wrong, or what i can do differently next time. mainly, why is my meat dry even after injecting and marinading all night. is it the cut? And why no crust? does not having smoke have anything to do with this?

thanks in advance, i look forward to trying again-


Several things I will address. One of the things you point out on several ocassions is no crust/bark. You are doing a couple of things detrimental to developing bark.....mopping and wrapping. Bark can be created by carmalizing sugars out of a baste/mop but is created much more effectively by dry rubs high in sugar content. You can wrap after bark has deloped but it is not necessary. Steam and liquids are deterents to the process. As BluDawg says you will be well served by keeping it simple and learning a sweet spot on preparing and cooking brisket. When you inject, mop, foil and take into consideration all the ingredients in the injection, the rub, the mop, the foiling variables....it is too hard to determine what worked and what didn't. Once you turn out good K.I.S.S. brisket you can add 1 variable at a time and be able to ascertain what is working and what is not. I've been doing briskets for 25 plus years, cooking on smokers for 40 years and still have disappointments, especially with brisket. It is the hardest cut to perfect. But this makes it all worth the while. So keep on working you'll get there.







Thanks for the great advice. I'm also wondering if i should move the meat closer to the heat source. each time i've had it sitting on the topmost rack, away from the heat. i'm wondering if moving it closer will help it develop bark, or if it would just cook it too fast and dry it out? Still using 200-225 degrees...
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k.c.hawg
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Joined: 17 May 2009
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Re: Not sure what I'm doing wrong... Reply with quote

HltrSkltr wrote:
k.c.hawg wrote:
HltrSkltr wrote:
Hello again!

Like I said in my intro post, i just bought my first smoker:
http://masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-analogue.html

I'm thinking now that i should have just waited to buy a better, probably more expensive smoker. I'm having trouble even getting it to smoke, and stay smoking at lower temperatures (around 200-225), but that's a story for a different post.

The more important problem i'm having is getting my brisket even in the neighborhood of where i want it. i realize this process takes time and practice, but i'm at a point where i don't know what's going wrong. so ill describe my latest attempt--

I bought the meat at wal mart, so im not sure of the grade. this was before i found a good butcher shop near where i work. i basically cut it into two large sections, one was just the flat, the other the flat and point together. this time i cooked the section with the flat and point both.

The night before smoking, i trimmed (probably should have trimmed more) and injected both sections of the meat with beef broth, every inch or so. I also put together a good marinade recipe i found online, and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, i woke up early, applied the rub, let the meat sit for about 45 min while the smoker warmed up, and then i put the meat in. The smoker stayed around 200-215 degrees the whole time. i put a digital meat thermometer in a thick part of the flat and waited until it hit 150.

During this time, i mopped the meat every hour with a mop recipe i found in a smoking book.

once the meat hit 150, i was disappointed to see that it had not developed a black crust. the smoker also stopped smoking, and i couldnt get it started again without cranking the heat up and forcing the coils to stay on longer to ignite the chips. that doesnt seem like a good solution to me. could no smoke be the issue with not getting a crust?

Also...once the meat hit 150, i brought it inside, applied a bit more rub, and wrapped it in foil. I then put it back in the smoker, stuck the thermometer in and waited until it hit 200. at this point it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so i cranked the heat up a bit to try to speed it along.

Once the meat hit 200, i brought it inside and let it rest for about 40 min (again, we were getting hungry and it was late). i didnt wrap it in towels or stick it in a cooler, which has also been suggested to me. my wife threw away all my old towels, and my cooler is dirty... anyway!

after letting the meat rest, i separated the point and flat and began to slice it up (against the grain). i was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that there was no smoke ring, due to having no smoke. i was also disappointed to see that the meat was a bit dry as well. and some parts of the brisket reminded me more of pot roast than brisket.

so, i hope you guys can help me pinpoint what i'm doing wrong, or what i can do differently next time. mainly, why is my meat dry even after injecting and marinading all night. is it the cut? And why no crust? does not having smoke have anything to do with this?

thanks in advance, i look forward to trying again-


Several things I will address. One of the things you point out on several ocassions is no crust/bark. You are doing a couple of things detrimental to developing bark.....mopping and wrapping. Bark can be created by carmalizing sugars out of a baste/mop but is created much more effectively by dry rubs high in sugar content. You can wrap after bark has deloped but it is not necessary. Steam and liquids are deterents to the process. As BluDawg says you will be well served by keeping it simple and learning a sweet spot on preparing and cooking brisket. When you inject, mop, foil and take into consideration all the ingredients in the injection, the rub, the mop, the foiling variables....it is too hard to determine what worked and what didn't. Once you turn out good K.I.S.S. brisket you can add 1 variable at a time and be able to ascertain what is working and what is not. I've been doing briskets for 25 plus years, cooking on smokers for 40 years and still have disappointments, especially with brisket. It is the hardest cut to perfect. But this makes it all worth the while. So keep on working you'll get there.







Thanks for the great advice. I'm also wondering if i should move the meat closer to the heat source. each time i've had it sitting on the topmost rack, away from the heat. i'm wondering if moving it closer will help it develop bark, or if it would just cook it too fast and dry it out? Still using 200-225 degrees...


Even in my offset when I'm running 225 I keep my brisket as far from the heat source as possible. In a vertical smoker I would definitely keep brisket as far away from the heat source as possible. Calibrate all your thermometers, get a thermometer for the grate you are cooking on. The esiest way to perfect a process is start simple, once you perfect that method you always have a baseline to go back to. I don't myself but many people start simple and from that day on take notes on any change to the process. If you reach a point to where the process has gotten over complicated and has a flaw you can look back over your notes and find out where it went wrong. I rely on my method....have a few drinks to reach my previous state of mind....then it all comes back to me! Very Happy

Also on the cut I will not do a grade below choice. I've had select cuts of meat that Houdini couldn't make tender.
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roxy
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mish wrote:
You will not get a smoke ring with a electric smoker.


Yes you will get a ring.. Just not like you will using a charcoal or wood burning pit..
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roxy
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use an electric Cookshack smoker at work every day.. Yes it is hard to get a real decent smoke ring but it is not impossible.. I believe the reason for the lack of ring is poor air flow or not enough air getting into the smoker..

Also, because of this lack of air flow it is hard to get the bark that you will get on a charcoal/wood burning pit.. Again, because of the lack of air flow these cookers will get very moist inside.

Higher temps.. around 275 degrees will help out a little but you are fighting against the very design of the cooker..
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BluDawg
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to keep the record strait my preferred temp is 275 - 325. I just figured that 250 was an obtainable goal for his CES.
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Mish
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Joined: 03 Apr 2011
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Location: Redding, CA

PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

roxy wrote:
I use an electric Cookshack smoker at work every day.. Yes it is hard to get a real decent smoke ring but it is not impossible.. I believe the reason for the lack of ring is poor air flow or not enough air getting into the smoker..

Also, because of this lack of air flow it is hard to get the bark that you will get on a charcoal/wood burning pit.. Again, because of the lack of air flow these cookers will get very moist inside.

Higher temps.. around 275 degrees will help out a little but you are fighting against the very design of the cooker..


With a cookshack I could see getting a smokering as they are higher quality cookers. I have never gotten a smokering with my masterbuilt electric and blame it on the pellets or chips never igniting they just smolder. You will still get plenty of smoke taste so dont over do it.
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cowboy4life
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

JM2C, if you are basting it you will have trouble forming a bark. you are washing away part of your rub when you run your mop over it and it will just stay wet and not crust up like you are looking for. this is the same reason i dont foil my briskets.

i had a similar issue when i first started, i stopped mopping and spritzing and it help my bark formation.

i dont know much about your style of smoker but does the temp run pretty consistent from top to bottom. might be worth checking into to make sure you are running the actual temp you are trying for at your cooking grate. i prefer to run my smoker between 225 and 250 for briskets and have never had a dry brisket.
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will find two schools of thought here on temps. The low and slow group which I am a believer in cooks brisket at 200-225 while the hot and fast group noted above cook at 275+. Neither group is wrong, just different apporaches. In my opinion, you need to let the bark set up before mopping or foiling. Jm2cw. Tom
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

texbbqpits wrote:
You will find two schools of thought here on temps. The low and slow group which I am a believer in cooks brisket at 200-225 while the hot and fast group noted above cook at 275+. Neither group is wrong, just different apporaches. In my opinion, you need to let the bark set up before mopping or foiling. Jm2cw. Tom


Well put Texbbqpits. Sometimes there is a need for both techniques. Cool
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daddywoofdawg
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PostPosted: Jul 26 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would go to wally world and pick up a oven therm (less than 5.00)and check your temps,odds are the therm on your smoker just blocks the hole;they can be off by 50f.
Mopping is why your not getting a crusty bark.it will never get crusty if it's wet all the time.
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