Maggie’s  Need Help w/ Electric Smoker

SBRSarge

Sergeant of the Hide
Minuteman
Jul 9, 2019
322
434
To all you culinary masters of smoked animal flesh.

I got my first electric smoker for Christmas. I have been just putting the meat on the top rack, inserting the temperature probe and smoking away.

I have three smallish beef briskets, so will do one on each rack.

The question: in which rack’s brisket should I place the temperature probe?

Will the top cook faster since heats rises? Will the bottom cook faster because it is closer to the heat element?

Too much thinking, need another beer....
 

diverdon

Constitutionalist, by choice
Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,296
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    Middle rack if it were me. In a smoker you should be long enuf at a bacterial killing temp that it should be good.

    However if you think there may be a large difference between top and bottom put an oven thermometer on top and bottom then compare.
     

    SBRSarge

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Minuteman
    Jul 9, 2019
    322
    434
    Thanks for the input. I’ll be smoking them tomorrow and will post results!
     

    DarnYankeeUSMC

    McCarthy Was Right
    Minuteman
  • Mar 18, 2012
    4,718
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    In your head
    Leave them alone. There's very little temp dif between the shelves. You're overthinking it. Just put them in there, set your temp, set your time, add some wood chips and drink some beer for 12 to 18 hours.
    Hadn’t thought of that, but it makes perfect sense, thanks!
    It ain't rocket building. It's just a brisket.
     

    amcardon

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Minuteman
    Jan 30, 2018
    158
    106
    OKC
    Temp probe is just for reference. 3 identical size briskets might be done at different times, temp is reference, go by probe tenderness. Instant read thermometer should slide in without resistance...
     

    SBRSarge

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Minuteman
    Jul 9, 2019
    322
    434
    Briskets are in, waiting for noon for the beer so I don’t get ‘the look’ from the wife, will check occasionally with instant read probe. Should be done tonight, which gives me time to concoct some killer mac-n-cheese to go with it.

    I might even head to the range with my 6ARC and kill some time

    Thanks everyone. I’ll let you know how it comes out.
     

    supercorndogs

    Ham Fisted Gorilla
    Minuteman
    Feb 17, 2014
    7,603
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    Leave them alone. There's very little temp dif between the shelves. You're overthinking it. Just put them in there, set your temp, set your time, add some wood chips and drink some beer for 12 to 18 hours.

    It ain't rocket building. It's just a brisket.

    This is my opinion. The biggest difference in cook times is going to be from the differences in each piece of meat. There will be very little variation in temp from one place to another in the smoker.
     

    Jigstick

    3lbs of Swinging Sirloin
    Minuteman
  • Jul 21, 2017
    1,386
    1,228
    PA
    When I do brisket I do 60-80lbs at a time. Every piece of meat will progress individually. Unless you have multiple probes it can be a bit challenging. I currently use a FireBoard Which has 7 probes.

    If you dont have enough probes then buy yourself a LavaTools instant read thermometer. Probably one of the best tools you can own for cooking meat. And just spot check each brisket every couple hours. If one is cooking too fast just move it to the cooler location in the pit. And vice versa.

    whole packer briskets suck honestly. It’s an art to get the point and flat done at the same time. I’ve moved away from them and just smoke flats now.

    B4520018-866A-4A9A-840B-5C61A24C3820.jpeg

    8AEC9AF1-B843-4D16-99FF-C17D1AA72BC1.jpeg

    625D7E38-3B6C-411F-B613-6A1147141ABC.jpeg
     
    Last edited:

    SBRSarge

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Minuteman
    Jul 9, 2019
    322
    434
    Damn jigstick,

    If mine come out looking half as tasty as yours I’ll consider it a win!
     

    Jigstick

    3lbs of Swinging Sirloin
    Minuteman
  • Jul 21, 2017
    1,386
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    Brisket flats are easy. 225-250*. Fat side down. When it hits 160 wrap it in butcher paper or tin foil and throw it back on until it’s “probe tender”. Surely you’re familiar with “probe tenderness” 🤣
     
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    Sean the Nailer

    Sergeant
    Minuteman
  • May 20, 2006
    5,493
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    In my smoker (very large, upright) it holds 10 trays. It is a 'cold smoker'. This past summer, I did a specific and stand-alone batch of 30 lbs of jalapeno's. They were all split in half, with stems removed. I did those for about 34 hours, iirc. I don't have the 'circulating fan' in my system yet, so every 2 hours I would shift all the trays 'up' one level, and the top gets recycled down at the bottom.

    IIRC, the trays are all 18" x 28" and perforated.
    1Our Smoker 19-12-7 (1).JPG
     
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    fdkay

    Gunny Sergeant
    Minuteman
  • Nov 27, 2009
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    I have become a believer of smoking for about 4 hours, then wrapping the meat and continue cooking low and slow for another 4 to 5 hours.
    Some folks wrap in butcher paper, others in aluminum foil. You can actually wrap in plastic wrap if you want, as the melting point is around 800 degrees.
    I usually use heavy duty foil.
     

    hlee

    Sergeant
    Minuteman
  • Jul 14, 2012
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    About the worst thing you can do with an electric smoker is baby the meat. Stick it with a reliable meat probe, put the meat in the thing, and close the door. Now, here’s the hard part. Don’t open the fucking door. When the meat probe reads the right temp, THEN open the door. If you don’t have a reliable meat probe, buy one- they’re super cheap. Your instant read thermometer might be giving you a temp, but you’re letting the heat and smoke out of your smoker, and you’ll have a variable smoker temp to contend with. Leave the damned door closed.
     

    DarnYankeeUSMC

    McCarthy Was Right
    Minuteman
  • Mar 18, 2012
    4,718
    10,528
    In your head
    About the worst thing you can do with an electric smoker is baby the meat. Stick it with a reliable meat probe, put the meat in the thing, and close the door. Now, here’s the hard part. Don’t open the fucking door. When the meat probe reads the right temp, THEN open the door. If you don’t have a reliable meat probe, buy one- they’re super cheap. Your instant read thermometer might be giving you a temp, but you’re letting the heat and smoke out of your smoker, and you’ll have a variable smoker temp to contend with. Leave the damned door closed.
    ^^^^^^^^This^^^^^^
    That's why I said to close the door and drink for 12 to 18 hours.
     

    NighthawkCG

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 16, 2017
    261
    75
    Looking isn't cooking. Open as little as possible.

    I have 4 rack Bradley - I start at the top to catch a lot of the smoke, but I generally have to finish on the bottom rack - closest to the element. Otherwise, my heat just doesn't get penetrating enough. I learned this the hard way getting meats past the first stall and then having an hours long stall in the upper 190s.

    Once wrapped, don't be afraid to finish in the oven if needed. It won't take any more smoke anyway.

    Hope it came out good for you! Its addicting. Recommend you log everything and really get it dialed in.
     

    SBRSarge

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Minuteman
    Jul 9, 2019
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    Now, how the hell did I double post the picture? Must be the bourbon kicking in quickly!
     

    Jigstick

    3lbs of Swinging Sirloin
    Minuteman
  • Jul 21, 2017
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    If it shreds like that when you’re cutting it you probably over cooked it slightly. It should slice easy. And hang off your finger. Mine rarely go above 202-204. Solid work though. It gets easier each time
     
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    SBRSarge

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Minuteman
    Jul 9, 2019
    322
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    If it shreds like that when you’re cutting it you probably over cooked it slightly. It should slice easy. And hang off your finger. Mine rarely go above 202-204. Solid work though. It gets easier each time

    A little bit on the ends got a bit dry, si you are right about a bit over cooked.

    On a plus side, the wife likes it when it shreds like pulled pork, and the Labrador retriever is enjoying the over cooked parts and hoping for more. A win all around!

    8955769C-3A75-46BA-B427-A36473E724CD.jpeg
     
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    hlee

    Sergeant
    Minuteman
  • Jul 14, 2012
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    It’s not over cooked. You have just perfected the art of St Louis style “burnt ends...” 😒
     
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    Jigstick

    3lbs of Swinging Sirloin
    Minuteman
  • Jul 21, 2017
    1,386
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    PA
    Dude don’t give the overcooked stuff to the Dog. That’s the shit you want to save and use in your chili. Anything that comes off dry on mine I save in a bag and vacuum seal it. When it’s time to make chili it all goes in. Delicious
     
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    SBRSarge

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Minuteman
    Jul 9, 2019
    322
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    Dude don’t give the overcooked stuff to the Dog. That’s the shit you want to save and use in your chili. Anything that comes off dry on mine I save in a bag and vacuum seal it. When it’s time to make chili it all goes in. Delicious
    Hadn’t thought about that either.

    But still, I know my place in the house. I rank somewhere well south of her dog, so...
     
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