Fair enough Malcolm – I do (kind of) agree with …

Comment on How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket by Dave.

Fair enough Malcolm – I do (kind of) agree with your point of packer cut briskets. Ironically, the only place close to Auburn Maine (where I live) where I can find these on a semi-regular basis is Wal-Mart. Even BJ’s wholesale doesn’t carry the packer cut. I think Sam’s Club does, but there isn’t one nearby.

I will disagree on soaking the wood. It is generally accepted that meat doesn’t accept any more smoke once it reaches a temp of 145 degrees or so. Thus, it’s not necessary to attempt to prolong the burn of the wood by soaking it. In fact, the moisture is more likely to cause some ‘funk’ in the flavor by concentrating on the surface of the meat, and not inside it.

If you’re cooking over 212 degrees – the apple cider IS steaming the meat. But it kind of depends upon your smoker.

I have an electric Cookshack smoker… an excellent rig in my opinion. Little basting is involved.

Sorry if I wrote my review a bit offensively. I guess I’m stubborn in my BBQ views! I am going to make your sauce sometime.

Dave Also Commented

How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket
You’re wrong on SO many levels I don’t know where to begin. A packer cut IS the way to go. It keeps everything moist, and allows one to make ‘burnt ends’ after.

Filling up the drip tray with apple cider? Sounds like you are actually steaming the brisket, not slow-smoking it.

It is not recommended to soak wood chunks. The best smoke is the one you can’t see. Soaking the chunks only increases creosote and ash flecks on your brisket.

If you have to sauce your brisket, you’ve done something wrong.

On a visual appearance scale, I’d give your brisket a 2.


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.