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wg5
10-13-2011, 08:03 PM
I am a rookie at this smoking stuff and hope to get some help from all of you.

I am cooking a 9 lb. brisket and it has been it the 1400 smoker at 200 deg F for 12 hours and the temp of the meat is only 165 deg F. A thermometer inserted into the top hole has registered about 160 deg most of the time when I checked it, although once it was at 200 deg. Is this normal?

I am at 6800 ft elevation, if that matters.

Thanks for your help.

SmokinColo
10-14-2011, 10:17 AM
I'm pretty much a rookie too but I've done a few briskets now and I will say this....You need to let it smoke for a good 14-15 hours at that 200 temp. After you remove it, immediately wrap it up real good in saran wrap and aluminum foil, wrap all that up in a towel and put it in a cooler for another hour. It will maintain a good internal temp in there and will continue to tenderize. I'm at about 5,000 ft elevation.

wg5
10-14-2011, 01:17 PM
Your experience mirrors mine. It got to 195 deg after 15 hours and I turned the temp up to 225 at 13 hours. I was following the directions in the video at the Smokin Tex web site and thought it should have been done at 10 or 11 hours (one hour/pound plus two).

Thanks

applejack
10-15-2011, 05:57 AM
Hello wg5,

I thought your cook time / temperature problem was interesting - especially since your location is at a fairly high altitude. How does elevation affect cooking times? My own cooking experience cooking anything above 1200 feet elevation is limited to cooking over a campfire at 8500 feet on a Colorado mountains camping trip in the mid 1950's. In other words, my experience is almost non-existent. Plus that, time does color one's memories. I do know that trying to cook by boiling at higher elevations takes MUCH longer. The elevation in my area is about 650 feet above sea level.

After reading the information below, I am convinced that it will take quite a bit longer to at the altitude where you live. I copied the following from a USDA web site and thought it interesting.

Why must cooking time be increased?
As altitude increases and atmospheric pressure decreases, the boiling point of water decreases. To compensate for the lower boiling point of water, the cooking time must be increased. Turning up the heat will not help cook food faster. No matter how high the cooking temperature, water cannot exceed its own boiling point — unless if using a pressure cooker. Even if the heat is turned up, the water will simply boil away faster and whatever you are cooking will dry out faster.

[Top of Page]

How do high altitudes affect the cooking of meat and poultry?
Meat and poultry products are composed of muscle, connective tissue, fat, and bone. The muscle is approximately 75% water (although different cuts of meat may have more or less water) and 20% protein, with the remaining 5% representing a combination of fat, carbohydrates and minerals. The leaner the meat, the higher the water content (less fat means more protein, thus more water).

With such high water content, meat and poultry are susceptible to drying out while being cooked if special precautions are not taken. Cooking meat and poultry at high altitudes may require adjustments in both time and moisture. This is especially true for meat cooked by simmering or braising. Depending on the density and size of the pieces, meats and poultry cooked by moist heat may take up to one-fourth more cooking time when cooked at 5,000 feet. Use the sea-level time and temperature guidelines when oven-roasting meat and poultry, as oven temperatures are not affected by altitude changes.

Question please? You state that you had a temperature probe inside your smoker that indicated a temp of 160 - 165 - 200. This sounds like you reading the ambient temperature of the inside of the oven? If you don't mind a suggestion, I find the use of a dual probe Maverick digital thermometer to be valuable. I would be lost without mine.

Best wishes and happy cooking.

applejack

wg5
10-15-2011, 02:32 PM
I used a digital thermometer for the meat and a lab glass thermometer in the top hole for the interior temperature. I think my confusion comes from the video on the Smokin Tex web site where the time is underestimated. Other sources indicate that the time is 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound. Which would put me at 14 to 18 hours which is what I ended up with.

I also expected better temperature control but it seems that that is not necessary.

The good thing is that the brisket turned out great.

Thanks for the help.

DavidD
06-18-2012, 04:51 PM
I am at 6500 feet. This weekend I smoked an ~11lb brisket at 225 (knob setting) for 19hours (I think the smoker was only at 215, need to get a dual probe setup), internal temp of brisket only reached 159. Had to finish it off in the oven at 300 for about 60 minutes to reach 190. Not sure how long it would have taken, I may try to experiment and see, but the brisket turned out spectacular. Let it rest for about 45mins prior to carving. Brisket had no fat on it, it started at 12.25lbs before trimming. I flavor injected with low-sodium beef broth right before it hit the smoker after a good 24 hour wet rub soaking.

Here is the wet rub I used;

3 TBSP dark brown sugar, packed
2 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP cayenne pepper
1 TBSP table salt
1 TBSP onion powder
1 TBSP freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP ground cumin
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
4 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP Tabasco sauce

Wheelz
07-03-2012, 05:30 PM
I will preface my comments by first stating that I haven't a clue how altitude effects the ability of the ST to reach a desired temp. That being said, I have smoked a bunch of briskets! First, I have never smoked a brisket "by the hours" some recipe book may instruct. Folks, cook brisket, butts & poultry by the internal temp of the meat. You'll save yourself a lot of headache & turmoil. Also know that no two cuts of meat will cook the same rate/pace, even if taken from the same critter. You may come close, but never the same.

That being said, get yourself a small notebook and take notes of each smoke. This will give you a baseline for future outings. Once you have a few smokes under your belt you'll have a better understanding of what to expect out of each of the cuts. Always plan to go long and be happy when the plan comes together sooner than expected. You can always use the ST as a holding oven.

Good luck...

djousma
07-03-2012, 07:09 PM
I will preface my comments by first stating that I haven't a clue how altitude effects the ability of the ST to reach a desired temp. That being said, I have smoked a bunch of briskets! First, I have never smoked a brisket "by the hours" some recipe book may instruct. Folks, cook brisket, butts & poultry by the internal temp of the meat. You'll save yourself a lot of headache & turmoil. Also know that no two cuts of meat will cook the same rate/pace, even if taken from the same critter. You may come close, but never the same.

That being said, get yourself a small notebook and take notes of each smoke. This will give you a baseline for future outings. Once you have a few smokes under your belt you'll have a better understanding of what to expect out of each of the cuts. Always plan to go long and be happy when the plan comes together sooner than expected. You can always use the ST as a holding oven.

Good luck...

Wheelz, I think almost everyone gets that we have to cook by temp. I think DavidD was just stating that it was already 19 hours, and that seemed an excessive amount of time. That was my initial experience too. I don't know how long DavidD has had his smoker, but it is my belief that the most current crop of ST smokers have thermostats when averaging the temp swings, are no where near the dial setting. I have read quite a few posts by new users that seem to indicate this. I chose to "fix" this problem by making my own modifications, not to get rid of the temp swings, but to smoke at the temp I set it at. I love my ST, the the construction is A-1, top notch. I have no problem with a analog thermostat, but I think ST supplier has a problem.

Wheelz
07-04-2012, 09:50 AM
djousma - Just making a statement, not criticizing anyone, not my style.

Have a great day! ;)

DavidD
07-25-2012, 02:06 PM
Sorry for the delay in postings.

This was my first attempt at brisket in the Smoking-Tex. After 19 hours I was just freaking a little bit :) So i pulled it, verified the temp and finished it in the oven. I was really worried my probe was not functioning, it was 3pm so it went in the oven to have a 5:30ish dinner. Probably could have let it sit longer but we were to hungry and it smelled fantastic!

Don't really care how long it takes, just trying to plan when to start so I can eat at a normal time. Hopefully I will have similar smoking times when I try again in the next couple of weekends. I will start smoking earlier, worst case if it finishes early, it will just have longer to rest.

Just wanted to relay my experience smoking at high altitude, as it does seem to effect smoking time.