I've owned an SM025 for a few years now, with some very good successes (apple-smoked kingfish for fish dip), but my briskets have been mediocre at best, and all but inedible at worst. I have been trying to improve by reading a lot, and trial-and-error, but I think my family is growing weary of being guinea pigs ! Any advice welcome !
What I do now:
Usually a choice whole packer cut from Sam's, 15lb
Lightly trimmed of only really excess fat
225deg, roughly 12 hr smoke, hickory or black cherry
Usually start at 6-7am so ready for dinner
Rub applied night before (heavy on brown sugar, light on salt)(recently tried one heavy on pepper...did not turn out well)
Stuff I used to do, but stopped:
Injection (made a hell of a mess and seepage seemed to wipe out whatever minimal bark I was getting)
Wrapping/Texas Crutch (seemed to negate getting any bark)
Smoke flavor - strong, easy to overdo it !
Sam's Club choice briskets usually good
Anything I stick under the brisket (pork butts, etc.) is awesome from the drippings, even if the brisket sucks
What's not working:
Minimal to no bark. I like my barks think and flavor packed. All three good BBQ restaurant chains in Jacksonville (MoJos, 4Rivers, Bonos on good days) serve with a thick flavorful bark I've grown to love. Stumped how to do it.
Flats often dry. Oddly, the flats seems to cook faster than the rest, reaching 195+ even as the rest of the meat reaches 185.
Just...not...THERE. Don't know how to describe it, but mine just lack the flavor or punch that I get when I eat out. Mine often taste like smoke-flavored roast beef.
Thoughts and suggestions welcome ! Is it harder to get bark in an electric ? Should I cook the flat separately ?