Skip to main content

Smoked my first brisket on my SmokinTex (008 equiv) and got a nice thick crispy bark AND a smoke ring.

It was a 10.5lb Walmart choice untrimmed. I used a simple salt/pepper/paprika/garlic/onion/MSG rub applied right before I put it on the smoker. I trimmed the fat to 1/4" and saved the trimmed fat to place on top of the brisket for cooking.

I used 8 oz of hickory with 5 Kingston charcoal pieces.

I started it out at 250 for about an hour at 4pm then lowered it to 200 for the night. Didn't open the door once during the cook and took it off at 10:50am. I let it rest for 1.5 hours then cut into it.

Nice pink smoke ring and the entire brisket was covered in a very crispy bark.

I don't know exactly what I did, but I can assure you this is how I will cook all of my briskets going forward.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Good job, Joe. sounds great!

Are we sure your ST 1500 is the equivalent to the CS 008? Is it insulated the same? Is the steel of the same quality? Does it have the same heating element and thermostat? Is it made in the U.S.A.? etc.-etc.

I only ask because while this forum welcomes users of all brands and types smokers, cookers, grills, etc., I don't think or believe the aim is to promote the others' as being equal. I, for 1, have not seen the 2 smokers compared side by side.

Thanks! Cool

I don't think Joe's intention was to "promote the other's as being equal" as your post seems to zero in on.

Joe gave some specific information relating to a cook of a brisket which seems to have turned out very nicely. I've tried the briquet routine, with only a couple briquets and have not achieved a real nice smoke ring. After reading this post, I learned maybe I'll try a few more. You get the idea.

I think all in this forum welcome posts from all users of "similar" type units.

My .02,

Yes, as C'Nooga said it was just a brief note related to the type of smoker. I would say the SmokinTex 1300 is similar enough to the 008 to warrant a direct comparison of cooking technique.

I am new here but have seen alot of posts questioning bark/smoke ring compared to traditional smokers and wanted to let those lurkers who are thinking of purchasing a Cookshack or similar that it indeed can be pulled off.

I was more interested in the bark than I was the ring because I love the crispy bits.
Originally posted by Joe J:
I used 8 oz of hickory with 5 Kingston charcoal pieces.

Congrats on your success.

The cookers will cook exactly the same, as in fact the ST is a knockoff of the CS, both use electric heating elements. There isn't enough wood burning to provide the ring by itself.

The key was the charcoal. We've posted many times in here that charcoal will enhance the smoke ring, so looks like you picked that up. Basically it burns different and provides nitrates/nitrites different than a chip of wood.
Well, I do like it REALLY smokey. I've been smoking for years on about 5 different smokers (New Braunfels offset, Weber Smokey Mountain, Great Smokey Mountain, Alton Brown's flower pot smoker from Good Eats, etc.) and the 8oz I used was just about perfect for me. I also left all of the fat on the brisket so only one side really had any smoke contact.

I don't think there is that much difference. The SmokinTex book says to use the same 2-4 oz per 10lb of meat not to exceed 8oz.
I'd easily put it right up there with the best. I usually try and foil/cooler mine for at least a couple of hours. This levels the playing field a bit. I'm a big fan of bark, so I was sceptical while I waited on the first one to come out.

This is EASILY the best smoker for my type of smoking. As someone said in a previous thread, I had my fun mastering the art of tending a fire for years. I have that sense of accomplishment knowing I can mind a pit for 20 hours if needed. Another bonus is that my wife has really bought into this method. She's always been a fan of BBQ but hated the mess I made with old pits. Always fiddling, spilling the water pan, lots of ash to dispose, big ugly pit on the patio, overly smokey smell from tending the fire, etc. My BBQ budget is slowly increasing each month.

To me the results of using a wood fired pit just aren't worth the effort when comparing the products. I don't eat the skin on chicken so I'm not worried about crispy, which is just about the only thing I can see that this little dream machine can't do.

The only other thing I do miss is basting a bit during the process. I am afraid of opening that door because I've been producing good results with leaving it closed the whole time. I used to baste with a bit of apple juice periodically throughout the cook. The moisture of the CS environment greatly reduces the need for this but my last few cooks could have slighltly benefited from a good baste.

Also, I was a fan of "peeking" in general. I just couldn't wait 20 hours to see how my meal was doing. Maybe I could just find a way to install a wireless webcam.

Two of my friends are already shopping for their CS and I'm already looking to get the larger one.
Last edited by Former Member
Okay, I have a question. I've had my 008 for less than a year and continue learning from this forum.

JoeJ suggests that he loaded the wood and charcoal at the beginning and never opened the smoker. Is it possible that the 250 degree initial setting was just enough to kindle the wood and charcoal and that the combination of fuel could have cooked at a significantly higher temp (for a portion of time) than the 200 degree temp he set for the night? I've done a few oven recipes that called for high initial temps (e.g., 450+) and then an extended period at 200 degrees or so. I assumed that the intent there was to get that outer char or sear and then assure a minimun temp is maintained.

The thermostat on the smoker simply regulates when electricity is supplied to the coil -- it certainly won't regulate the temp in the box when wood and/or charcoal are burning. Assuming there is enough oxygen for flame or smolder the temp could greatly exceed that set on a thermostat.

Could this be the source of both the smole ring and the bark?
That's an interesting point-if Joe monitored the temp of his smoker, he'd know for sure. I get a really good bark on butts (but no smoke ring) when I use my 50, and I have a guru that keeps it at 225 the whole time (no larger temp swings that others notice). I wonder if 250 is high enough to light the wood/charcoal.
I figure why not if all it takes is a few lumps of coal in there to have a nice smoke ring.

I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to get the ring, but I wouldn't call putting about $.03 worth of charcoal in going out of my way. I know it's asthetics but you might as well give everyone what they expect if you can. It's easier to throw the charcoal in than explain to them why the smoke ring isn't there.

I used regular Kingsford briquets. I've got some lump laying around that I might try next time.
Now my mind is even more boggled, Joe J. Humor me if you will. Why does everyone there expect a smoke ring, and why would an explanation be in order if if they don't get one? Is this a regional or cultural phenomenom? What part of the country are you located? If it happens, it happens, but it makes no difference to anyone here. It is your smoker and your meat. Maybe they would rather go on down the road and pay for a meal. You might also have more cold beer left in the fridge.
I'll speak for that one, you can NOT change perceptions and to the public in general and MOST Q'ers in fact, SR is the gold standard for defining Q.

The public has "learned" over that years, that to be good Q, there has to be a smoke ring. Just watch any cooking show or any juding event and the public talks about it.

I've helped more than a few restaurant people and caters that use electric smokers. They always tell me, people notice and comments when there is not one. The people stop coming because they didn't see a SR -- forget trying to tell them, they don't want an explaination.

You can't educate the public, that good Q isn't defined by a SR, that's just the way the public is.

You have to provide them what they expect if you plan to survive at selling the stuff.
The public may have a smoke ring fixation, but the tide is changing in the competition world.

As most of you forum folks know, I'm sure, the KCBS doesn't recognize the smoke ring as a factor in its' judging criteria. The reason is that the ring is seen as chemistry not culinary skill.
Well,what Hook says about KCBS "officially "not scoring for smokering is correct.

MIM teaches that you can score for smokering,if you really think there is an effect.

In other words,they won't take a position.

But like Smokin'says,perception can be important,if the one perceiving it is struck by it.

In the judging tent,people still eat first with their eyes and subjectively allow it to sway them-right, or wrong.

Some placements can be changed by as little as 0.0001 on a 180 score.

The top cooks go for every fragment.

That being said,I never even think about it ,when serving it to guests in my home.
Originally posted by Hook:
The public may have a smoke ring fixation, but the tide is changing in the competition world.

As most of you forum folks know, I'm sure, the KCBS doesn't recognize the smoke ring as a factor in its' judging criteria. The reason is that the ring is seen as chemistry not culinary skill.

I about fell out of my chair the other night while watching Alton Brown's new eating across America show. He went to a BBQ joint and bought a whole butt. He cut it open and pointed to the smoke ring saying "Ah, you see that pink smoke ring. That's how you tell authentic BBQ, it's the meat reacting to the smoke"

At least he had one part of it right. I was shocked that he of all people said that. He usually goes overboard on his analysis of the simpliest of foods. I would like to think he was just oversimplifying for that quick intro rather than going into a big analysis like he would on Good Eats.
Originally posted by Joe J:
Originally posted by GLH:
Good discussion, everyone. I have learned alot.

It's still killing me though that I don't know where Joe J lives!

Hey GLH, I responded to you a few posts up. I'm in Dallas.

Gotcha Joe! Same dilemma here with the drought.

Dallas is good. Lot's of Harrises there, also lots of good BBQ.
Originally posted by Hook:
The public may have a smoke ring fixation, but the tide is changing in the competition world.

Funny thing, everyone knows the law and you still speed don't you?

Same at contests. Yes the CD plays that you shouldn't score on SR, but ask a judge separately and many will confess (oh I didn't hear that part) or (I know, but that one didn't have a SR and didn't "look" good).

Tom is right, people eat with their eyes.

If the public demands it, and you're selling to them you have two choices:

1) don't put a SR in and watch them stop coming OR

2) add some charcoal and make some $$$$

You can be right or rich, but not both, in the restaurant world.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.