Advice appreciated on my first Brisket - Dusty Moose Smoker

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Advice appreciated on my first Brisket - Dusty Moose Smoker

Post by Kevwing » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:26 am

Thought i'd just tell my experience since i am new to smoking.

Any advice would be really appreciated.

Meat: Brisket 4-5lb
Smoker: Dusty Moose
Temperature: 200-250F
Fuel: Standard Heatbeads and Cherry wood
Cooking time: 14 hours

So overall, good value for money. Considering Charmate brand for the same product is going at $250 and the WSM is ridiculously expensive compared to the USA. I understand the basics of smoking at this stage

So i was making a 4-5lb brisket flat, just to test and try get the knicks and knacks out of the smoker to try understand it. i thought i had enough time since most people say 7 hours is enough for a brisket of the size.

I did the minion method and used about 4kg of charcoal with pieces of cherry wood

It took a while for the smoker to really kick up to the right temperature 200-250F ( excuse myself as all the tutorials etc i'm using say in Fahrenheit and cant be bothered converting it) . Think about half hour before it got up to that temperature at 5:30pm

Threw in my brisket and babysat it for a while until i could get the temperature somewhat consistent.
Then babysat it for about another 1.5 hours,I guess im struggling a little bit with controlling the smoker since it only really had the 1 damper at the bottom and 1 top vent.
After watching a video, someone suggested that when you are just shy of the desired temperature you knock back the air intake and let it do the rest. i.e ease into the desired temperature.

However, i had to leave for about 3 hours and left the thermometer with my brother in law. He told me he did nothing and it reached a consistent temperature between 220-240F for 3 hours.

This is when the stall happened and this was so long.. i kept babysitting this thing because my coals were starting to struggle. In retrospect, i should have removed the top piece of the smoker and topped up the charcoal or something of the other.

This stall lasted already 2 hours and i decided to texas crutch it since i wanted to eat this with my GF. The temperature went up smoothly around 12:30 i reached 200F. I whipped it out and i really didn't like the bark on it however, the brisket was soft in some areas and tough in others. After reading a few tutorials, some people suggested that i can throw it back in to create a bark and i thought it wasn't a bad idea since the missus left home already. What a mistake this was.

However, all that happened after that was cooling of the brisket and now i was back down to 160F steady.

At this point i was so tired, i chucked in more coal and slept for a few hours and the thermometer went off. Went back downstairs topped the coal and slept another 3 hours and noticed the temperature dropping rapid again. I was too tired at this point and threw it in the oven(170F) to reach 200F internal again. Slept 2 hours after the thermometer went off, wrapped it with quarter cup of apple juice and threw it in the esky. (at this point the brisket felt a bit tough, so i had to add some juice) Woke up at 11am, opened up my foil and saw that all the juice was gone and this brisket was dry on the thinnest parts and only just acceptably moist in the middle.

So what did i think i learnt from this, i need to do another test run to control the smoking.
Should have just pulled it out after the texas crutch.
Should have kept spritzing it every hour or so( if i had the time) if i wanted that bark
Also read up, don't rely so heavily on the thermometer and don't be afraid to lift the lid to check it.

At the moment, i'm thinking about putting a gasket and silicone for the thermometer, edges of the lid and the side door.
Possibly introduce another Vent damper on the bottom to help control the heat better.
Also, whats people's advice on the thermometer wire/cable. it leaves a small gab and smoke escapes from it, hence why i'm thinking about putting a gasket and leave a small bit for the wires.

Was looking for tips to control the smoker better or improve on it or any advice to improve my smoking skills.
Or what would you have done?

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Re: Advice appreciated on my first Brisket - Dusty Moose Smoker

Post by Davo » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:37 pm

Hi Kevwing

Sorry I didn't see your post earlier to reply.

I'm not in anyway a brisket expert, only having done a couple myself so I've also been studying ways to make it better for me, sounds like you just dried yours out....but never mind, I hoped that you could at least saved some of it.

One of the main secrets of low n slow for cuts like Brisket is that it has so much connective tissue that are between all the muscle inside and that's what you need to break down, and in time it turns into a collegen substance that gives it that wet melt in your mouth feel, you also break down the fibres in the meat.

Picture meat fibres and all the proteins being like millions of little balls of steel have to break down that steel wool so it's pliable. It's the same with most meats although those meat cuts that don't have much marbled fat inside such as rump, don't do well as a low n slow as theres no fat to break down.

A Brisket is a massive slab of meat that is in between the front legs of cattle and is the one that carries a lot of weight when a cow is sitting down's usually on the brisket part of the body that takes a lot of weight on the front end, that's why it's tough. The early American Pilgrims learnt that the only way you can make this meat edible is to cook it all day till it becomes tender...hence low n slow...

One of the best videos I've seen on cooking brisket so many ways is be the grand Champion himself Harry Soo, this guy is incredible and he helps so many others by showing them how to tackle a certain meat so as to do well either in your back yard or at from a bit of Magic from Harry Soo


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Re: Advice appreciated on my first Brisket - Dusty Moose Smoker

Post by cs_rlewis » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:52 pm

I've done several briskets and I've found better results cooking at 250f, tends to bypass the stall a little better.
I tend to look for more fat in the middle when buying, if it's too lean it will come out dry no matter what you do.
I've never spritz my brisket so can't comment on that.

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