Smoked Steelhead in Modified ECB Smoker

Well, my original plan was to smoke some salmon.  You can't really cold smoke anything in an ECB (or, if you can, you are a better man than I) but it sure seemed like I ought to be able to do a better job with salmon in the smoker than on the grill.  So, I headed to the grocery store.  Well, as it turned out, the local natural and organic grocery store didn't have any salmon.  Harumph.  However, they did have steelhead trout!  Huzzah!

This was my first attempt cooking steelhead and I'm definitely going back for more.  The advantage of steelhead over salmon is that it's much, much cheaper.  Or, at least it is here in Montana where you can just pull the lil' buggers out of the water if you know what you are doing (I don't).

The downside is that there are a lot more pin bones.  So, you can either spend some time with pliers and pull them all out beforehand or just warn folks when they are eating that there are going to be bones.  Other than that, though, it's all WIN with steelhead.

If I recall, I brined these fillets in a combination of salt water and dill.  Then I took them out of the brine and let them sit at room temperature for an hour or so.  Typically you do this so you get a little bit of a salty crust on the outside of the fish.  I then got my smoker maintaining around 200 degrees and smoked the trout until it hit 145F internal temperature.

I don't have any pictures of the bratwurst that I had on the top rack of the smoker, but they really helped out the trout.  Dripping fatty goodness and some of the really spicy rub that I put on the bratwurst.  Yum.  Anyway, check out the picture.

Smoked Steelhead Trout

Yumps!

If I can dig up the bratwurst pictures, I'll post them here at a later date.  Now, get out there and get smoking.... or, at least eating. 😉

Smoked Brisket (Round 2) – Modified ECB

This was my second attempt at brisket.  The first attempt, My First Brisket Attempt – Unmodified ECB Smoker, was decent enough but it was more like a roast than anything else.  I wanted the meat to be falling apart.  So, I gave it another go.

First though, I forgot to mention this, but somewhere before I did this brisket I did try to smoke a pork butt.  It didn't go so well.  I didn't realize how long it actually takes to smoke a big fatty piece of meat like a pork butt.  Basically, things go smoothly until your internal temperature hits somewhere around 160F.  Then as the fat starts to render, the temperature plateaus and you can sit at the 160F mark for hours.  This particular pork butt was started at 8am and it only broke out of the plateau around midnight.  But, at that point I was ready for bed and I didn't want to change the coals again.  So, we put it in the crockpot and the end result wasn't awesome.

What does that have to do with brisket, you might ask?  Well, you see, this was my first major setback with smoking meat and I was a little gunshy of doing big pieces of meat.  But, on a whim I headed into our local butcher to see if they had any brisket.  Not only did they have some, but I was amazed for two reasons:

  1. A complete brisket is a massive thing, I had only seen brisket "flats" in the past and this isn't really the whole deal
  2. Brisket is pretty freaking cheap.  I think mine as like $2.79/lb. and it was something like 20 pounds.

I got the brisket home and then realized that I was going to have a hard time fitting the whole thing in my little ECB smoker.  I mean, look at this beast.

Rubbed Brisket

The bottle of BBQ sauce in the background gives you a sense of scale.

As I said previously, often when you get Brisket at the grocery store or Costco or whathaveyou, you just get the "flat".  In the above picture.  The flat is the part of the brisket on the right hand side.  The "point" is the big hunk of meat on the left hand side.  So, how was I going to do this?  I did some reading and it seemed like I didn't want to cut the brisket before I smoked it.  Sure, it'll smoke faster, but I think you risk it drying out.  Although, I think one day I might separate the point from the flat and brine the flat for corned beef and smoke just the point.  I say that because the point is much fattier than the flat and I think it would fall apart really nicely in a smoker.

But, I didn't want to leave anything to chance and I didn't want to ruin a $45 piece of meat.  So, I just applied a dry rub the the whole brisket and then went to look at my smoker to see if I could figure out how I was going to do this.

I should mention that for this brisket I used all store-bought rubs and sauces.  In fact it was all Stubbs.  I was feeling a little lazy and overwhelmed and I also didn't want to make any mistakes with homemade sauces and whatnot.  I think that the next time I do a brisket, though, I'm making my own marinade and rub and sauce at least.

So, once I was outside with my McGuyver hat on, I figured out a way to get the whole brisket in my smoker.  Basically, my plan was to angle the second grill vertically into the bottom grill.  That is hard to explain with words but I'm hoping this picture gives you a better idea of what I'm trying to say.

Angled Grills in the ECB

Not fitting the brisket in the smoker was not an option.

In a previous post, I described the Minion Method that some folks use with water smokers.  Here are pictures of the process.  Basically, fill up the charcoal pan and leave a little room in the center.

Charcoal Pan in the ECB for Minion Method

You want as many coals as possible in there, with just room enough for the hot coals to come.

Now you can add your red hot coals to the top.  I get these going in a chimney starter and I use about 15-20 coals is all.  If you have a vent on the bottom of your charcoal pan, you want it wide open.

Hot coals in the middle

Woo hoo. It's like magic!

Now I was ready to place my meat on my tilted grill arrangement.  I think I made an error here, but it didn't hurt me too much.  When I do this again, I'm definitely going to have the "point" of the brisket be on the sloped part of the grill.  But, I didn't do that.  I think this will help for a few reasons:

  1. It's hotter up at the top and the point is the biggest section of the brisket.  It also has the most fat to render down.
  2. All of that melting fat is going to roll downhill and I think that will help to keep my brisket flat nice and moist during the smoke
  3. The brisket flat will be closer to water and this should keep it juicier and keep it from getting too hot and drying out during the smoke
  4. The weight of the point should keep the brisket compressing during the smoke.  I kept reading about people saying to push the brisket together as you smoke it.  You just don't want it to stretch out because then it will get dry.

But, as you can see in the picture, I had the point resting on the bottom grill.  Don't worry, it was still freaking amazing.

Brisket on the Angled ECB Grill

It's like The Flintstones, right?

Oh yeah, I should mention that I had the fat cap of the brisket facing down.  I just read to do it that way, although I'd like to try it both ways and see how much of a difference it makes.

Anyway, I think I got the smoker all buttoned up around 8pm on Saturday night.  From this point forward it was just making sure to keep the temp as close to 225F as possible.  Also I had bowl full of the Stubbs Marinade and I was brushing it on every few hours.  As you can imagine, what followed was the worst night of "sleep" I ever had.  It was all airport sleep.  You know, when you know you have to get up at 5am to catch a plane?  Ugh.  I also had to change coals in the middle of the night and, since my deck was covered with ice and snow, I nearly slipped and dumped hot coals all over myself.  Thankfully, I lived.

So, I wanted to get the brisket to 175F internal and then my plan was to pull the brisket and wrap it up in some heavy duty foil, then a thick towel and then close it up in a cooler in my kitchen.  I read that this is a good way to get it up to 185F without drying it out.  I never did take the temperature again after I unwrapped it (and hour later) but I was happy with the results.  Here, check out the pictures.

Smoked Brisket in an ECB

Brisket sandwich anyone?

I know what you are thinking.  "Hay, how come these pictures are so amazing?"  Yeah, my wife took these and she has an actual camera, instead of a phone and she knows what she's doing.  Don't worry, I'm going to see if she won't take all the pictures from now on.

More Brisket Pr0n Pictures

Best Smoked Meat Sunday Ever!

Last picture of the BBQ Brisket

I was ready to propose to the brisket at this point.

It's funny.  We actually took these pictures before anyone had even tasted the brisket.  I was terrified of any possible result of the tasting and here is why.  If the brisket was dry and tasted terrible then I just wasted 20 hours of my life.  If the brisket was amazing then I knew what it took to get it there again and it meant many sleepless nights in my future.  They need to invent a magical pill or potion that lets you sleep like a baby for exactly 4 hours.  Then I could check the brisket regularly but still be a somewhat functioning human the next day.  Oh well, if that's the price you gotta pay, I'll gladly pay it.

After everyone ate their full of brisket, this is how much we had left.

Smoked Brisket Leftovers

And there was much rejoicing!

 

Smoked Steak and Roast – Modified ECB Smoker

Ok.  I know what you are thinking.  Smoked steak?!  Why would you do that?  Well, hear me out.  You like the flavor of smoked meat, right?  Sure you do.  But, you want your steak to have grill makes and a nicely seared exterior, right?  Hay, can't you have both?

The answer is a triumphant YES!  Here's what you do.  When you put your steaks on the smoker, start up your grill and get it nice and hot.  Then when your steaks hit 110F, pull them out of the smoker and pop them onto the grill.  All you are doing here is just putting marks on the steaks, so don't leave them for more than a minute.  The end result is amazing awesomeness in your mouth.

On this particular day, we also smoked a Beef Roast.  I forget what the exact cut was, but we basically did the same thing we did for the steaks.  That is to say, we smoked the roast until it hit 110F internally and then popped it into an already hot oven (like 475F) and then roast it until you hit the desired temp.  I think I did these to 145F because that's where I like my red meat.  Here's some pictures of the finished results.

Smoked Steak

Delicious smokey taste plus grill marks!

Smoked Beef Roast (finished in the oven)

Inside it's smokey goodness, outside it's roasted texture.

Chicken and Steelhead Trout (?!) – Modified ECB Smoker

Some of my in-laws were visiting and we wanted to make something more on the healthy side.  And, by that I mean, I didn't want to stay up all night making a pork butt.  So, the original idea was smoked salmon and chicken.  I had never actually smoked fish before and I was eager to do so.  Also, I wanted to try and smoke a chicken at "normal" temp (225F) and then finish it on the grill to see if I could get the skin as crispy as I wanted it.

Well, the Good Food Store didn't have any salmon, if you can believe that.  However, what they did have was Steelhead Trout.  The good news with that is that Steelhead is a fraction of the cost of Salmon.  At least here in Montana it is.  The bad news is that it has quite a few more bones so you have to either a) remove all the pin bones with pliers or b) tell folks to chew carefully.  I did a little from column A and a little from column B.

I made a brine for my Steelhead and let it soak overnight.  I've since done some reading and I think really only 1-2 hours is necessary.  Then you should let it dry out for at least an hour.  This helps it to develop a sort of tougher outer layer.

Now, I would love to cold smoke some fish at 90F but that just isn't possible in an ECB.  (Although, if you've figured it out, please let me know.  I've tried to do cheese at low temps before and it ends up just tasting like black charcoal.)  So, I smoked at my normal temp of 225F and I pulled the fish when it was done.  I don't remember what internal temp that was, but I bet if you google "salmon temperature" (yeah, I know this is Steelhead) you will find out when you should pull it.

I pulled the chicken at 150F and then I moved it inside of the rib rack to my grill where I crisped up the skin.  Here's the photos.

Smoked Chicken (finished on the grill)

Finally got the skin nice and crispy!

Smoked Steelhead Trout

Pretty much like Salmon, only at half the cost.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey – Modified ECB Smoker

Thanksgiving is the best holiday in the world.  I will punch anyone who disagrees.  In our house, we are always hosting and we like it that way.  Sure, we love our friends and family and love to have them in our home but, more importantly, I want the lion's share of leftover turkey and I definitely drinking enough booze that I shouldn't be driving anywhere.

For this Thanksgiving we actually made two turkeys.  I smoked a smaller turkey (12lbs. I think?) and my wife cooked the 20 pounder in the oven.  I had thought I was going to need to start smoking the turkey in the middle of the night, but that wasn't necessary.  I think I started at 8am and the bird was definitely ready by 2pm.  Heck, I think we could have served it at noon.  But, nothing else was going to be ready so I ended up closing the smoker a little bit to let the temps drop down.

To prepare the turkey I rubbed it with sea salt about 24 hours before I was going to smoke it (don't ever use iodized salt for this) and then I patted the turkey dry.  I then put it in the fridge uncovered.  This helps the skin dry out and toughen up a bit.  About 8 hours before "go time" I rubbed the turkey with some spices and a little more salt.  I'm pretty sure I made my own rub, but I'm also pretty sure I just googled up "turkey rub" and went with one that looked good.

Once I had the bird in the smoker, I left the side door all the way open for a few hours.  This got the smoker nice and hot and I was averaging about 350F.  This really helped to crisp up the skin on the bird.  I pulled the bird at 170F and proudly brought it into the house use the rib rack as a carrier.  Then I covered it up with heavy duty foil for 30 minutes or so to let it get cool enough to carve.

I've heard of folks who will actually smoke the turkey hours before dinner time and then they wrap it really good with heavy duty foil, then wrap that in a towel and put the whole thing inside of a cooler inside.  Your bird should stay above 140F for at least an hour or two if you do this.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

Just watch out for the Bumpus Hounds.

Chicken Thighs – Modified ECB Smoker

Unless my memory is failing me (which, by the way, it totally is and I blame beer) then this is the first thing I smoked with my newly modified ECB.  I remember finishing up the modifications on my smoker  and then that night two things happened.  First, my sister-in-law went into labor at our house.  Second (and completely unrelated to the first) I developed a sickness that kept me throwing up for the next 3 days.  So, it wasn't until a week or so later that I actually go to use my newly modded ECB.

I must have been pressed for time, though, because it looks like I just made chicken thighs.  And, these little babies will be done in 2-3 hours tops.

Also, looking at the picture, it looks like I still hadn't solved the problem of chicken skin.  So, if I recall correctly, these were freaking delicious, but the skin was pretty much inedible.  Remember, if you want crispy skin you need smoker temps closer to 350F or you have to finish it in the grill or in the oven.

Anyway, here's the pic.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

Tasty little buggers

Pork Chops and Chicken – Unmodified ECB Smoker

Going back through old pictures and I'm remembering that I actually bought my digital grill thermometer before I modified the smoker.  Or, maybe it was partially modified?  Anyway, I definitely got some good results.  Once again, it was Smoked Meat Sunday at our house.  I actually went to the local Good Food Store (think Whole Foods) and got some natural and organic pork chops and a whole chicken.  I did a dry rub on both the bird and the chops and I topped the chops with apple slices.

The chicken I put on the bottom grill but I put it inside of one of these jobbies.

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I like this thing for a few reasons.  First off, you can flip it over and have your ribs standing up (so you can get more of 'em inside the grill and, therefore, inside your belly).  Second, it provides a little support for the chicken while you smoke it.  But, more importantly, if you want to transfer the chicken to your grill (to crisp up the skin) you can just grab the whole thing and set it on the grill.  That also keeps the chicken a little further away from the fire in your grill, so you are less likely to burn it.

Anyway, I put the pork chops on the top grill because I expected them to cook faster than the chicken and I wanted to easily be able to pull them off.  Another thing to consider is that the top of the ECB is definitely hotter than the grill right above the water pan.  Hotter and dryer.  So, keep that in mind when you are smoking stuff.

I pulled the pork chops at 170F and I now think that is too long for chops.  Maybe closer to 150F would be better.  Don't get me wrong, they were delicious, but I think they could have been juicier.  The chicken I pulled at 170F also.  Actually, it might have been 160F.  I'm fine with that, but I think other folks freak out, so 170 or 180F is safer.  It's a littler different in a smoker because it takes so long for poultry to get out of the "Danger Zone" of 40-140F.  So, it seems like folks lean towards letting poultry go a little bit longer just to be on the safe side.

Here's a picture of my thermometer in action.  200F grill temp is a little low, so something tells me that I was about to head outside and either shake out the ash or start a fresh batch of coals.  It looks like my chicken was close to being done, though, so I bet I opted for shaking out the ash so I didn't waste any charcoal.

Digital Thermometer

Time to shake the ash out of the charcoal pan.

Here's a picture of the finished pork chops.  I feel like the apples helped keep the chops moist and they definitely added a nice flavor.

Smoked Pork Chops

Apples count as vegetables, right?

Here is a picture of the chicken right before I pulled it out of the smoker.  You can get a good look at the rib rack in action here.

Smoked Chicken in the ECB

Jeez.. just posting this picture makes me hungry.

Chicken Semi-Disaster – Unmodified ECB Smoker

Well, a week after the first Smoked Meat Sunday, I decided that I wanted to try and smoke an entire chicken.  Unlike my earlier two smoked meat adventures, I had already let most of the day get away from me.  But, I was pretty sure that it would only take about 4 hours to smoke a chicken, so if I could get it going by noon I thought I would be aces.

We popped into the grocery store only to find that they didn't have any whole chickens.  Eh?!  So, Plan B was a few packages of chicken legs and thighs.  I guessed (correctly) that these would cook pretty fast.  However, I wanted to try and keep the temperature a little hotter because I wanted to try and get crispy skin on the chicken.  Let's take a little detour and talk about smoked chicken and chicken skin.

Detour: In a charcoal water smoker like the ECB it can be pretty hard to maintain high temps.  That's the whole purpose of the water pan is to keep your temperature closer to 250F.  That's a great place to be if you are smoking brisket or pork but chicken is a little different.  Don't get me wrong.  You can slow smoke a chicken at 225F and when you pull it (at around 170 or 180F internal temp) the meat is going to be amazing.  The skin, however, will be less so.  It basically turns into chewy rubber.  Now, if you don't eat chicken skin anyway, then you probably don't care.  Heck, you could just treat the skin like the "magical bag" that holds in all of the delicious smoky flavor.  But, if you want the skin to be crispier like rotisserie chicken then you really need temps closer to 350F inside your smoker.  You have a few options with an ECB Smoker.

  1. Don't put water in the water pan.  Instead, many people fill it with play sand and then cover it with foil.  The sand acts as a heat sink but the lack of steam allows the smoker to get a little hotter inside.  I've never actually done this, but I'm thinking I will try it soon.
  2. Smoke the chicken at 225 or 250F, using the water pan, but pull it closer to 150F internal temp and then finish it in the oven or on a grill just to crisp up the skin.  I've done this several times and with good results.
  3. Smoke the chicken with the water pan, but leave the door to the smoker open.  The increased airflow should let you get closer to 350F.  I did this once with a turkey (and I used those Kingsford coals that have mesquite chips inside the briquette) and I was able to keep temps closer to 350F.  The skin was almost as crispy as I wanted it.

All of that information would have been good to know when I was doing these thighs and legs.  All I knew was that I wanted to keep the temps up and all I had to work with was the wonky built-in thermostat in the ECB.  So, I had the door to the smoker propped open about half way for much of the smoke and I kept adding wood to try and keep it hot in there.  Sure, it was hot, but the downside was that I was making TONS of smoke.  The smoker was like a freaking smokestack.

Eventually the chicken got to about 170F and I decided to pull it.  I opened the lid of the smoker and was a little bummed to see how black the chicken was.  However, when I grabbed one of the legs with my tongs and pulled up, the bone came right out of the chicken.  The meat was so tender and juicy that we just treated the skin as a magical, burnt cooking bag that somehow gave us delicious chicken inside.  Here's a picture.

Chicken Semi-Disaster

It looks burnt, but the meat inside was amazing.

Beef Roast and Rack of Ribs – Unmodified ECB Smoker

So, flush with perceived victory from the brisket flat and bratwurst that I smoked on my birthday, I established a new tradition in our family.  And so began Smoked Meat Sunday!  And there was much rejoicing!

You see, both of my brothers (and their wives and children) all live in town.  In fact, my youngest brother lives about 3 blocks away.  So, it isn't unusual for us all to meet up on Sunday anyway (while we are playing hookey from church).  Why not add smoked meat to the mix, eh?  So, on Saturday I stopped by the grocery story and got a full rack of ribs and some sort of beef roast.  I'm not sure what cut of beef it was, it just said something like "Ideal for slow cooking" on the package.

From what I've learned so far on my journey to smoked meat enlightenment, you have at least two options with beef.  If the cut has a fair amount of fat on it (and, hopefully, marbled throughout) then you might try and smoke it until it starts to fall apart.  However, on leaner cuts you should probably just smoke it until it's medium.  Maybe 145F or so?

Actually, more recently, when I'm doing roasts, I will smoke until the meat hits 110F internal and then I'll pop it in the oven at 450F or 475F for 10 or 15 minutes just to get some nice color and texture on the outside.  That usually gets me somewhere around 145F internal but you get the benefit of the crispy and sexy-looking exterior.

For this first attempt, though, here's what I did.  Somewhere around 8-9am I loaded up the ECB with coals and topped it off with a full chimney-full of red hot coals.  I dropped the full water pan in place and set the roast on the bottom grill and the ribs on the top grill.  I don't believe I had a digital thermometer yet, so I probably just checked the roast every few hours and hoped that it hit somewhere close to 140F.  I'm not sure what I was thinking with the ribs.  I know now that they'll never get to the desired 180F (where the meat is falling off of the bone) in that time frame.  They were still good, it was just "toothsome".  Heh.

Again, in this case, I was working with an unmodified ECB, which isn't a good place to be in.  After about 4-5 hours, the ash builds up in the charcoal pan and the coals start to go out.  You can add more coals, but it's a total nightmare to add them a brick at a time through that tiny door.  Also, as I mentioned before, the built-in thermostat on the ECB isn't super helpful.  Do yourself a favor and get one of these.

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NOTE: If you do buy this particular unit, make sure to take care to keep the braided wire relatively dry.  I know, I know, that's almost impossible inside of a water smoker, but at least don't soak the probe and braided cable in water.  You WILL short it out.  Then, what will happen is your temps will randomly spike up by 100 degrees or more.  It's a nightmare.  You might want to buy yourself another probe right away, just to cover your bases.  I managed to mess mine up, but I was still within the warranty period and they sent me a new one.  But, because of this known defect, they are almost always back-ordered.  If you know of a better unit, please tell me because looking at Amazon reviews, I still think this is the best bang for the buck.

Anyway, the whole family ended up at the house around 5pm or so and I think I pulled the ribs and the roast at the same time but I ended up putting the ribs back in because they weren't really tender.  They never really got there, but they got close enough for us to make a mess of eating them.  The roast vanished pretty much instantly.

Oh yeah, if you do smoke a roast (a leaner roast that you can't take to 180 or 190F) then when you cut it, you want to cut it as thin as possible.  Otherwise it will probably be too tough.

I think that's it.  Here's pictures of the fruits of the first Smoked Meat Sunday.

Smoked Beef Roast - Unmodified ECB

Not falling apart, but cut thin and it was delicious.

Smoked Ribs - Unmodified ECB

Well, at least they looked pretty

My First Brisket Attempt – Unmodified ECB Smoker

I decided that I should probably post articles in the order that I cooked them.  That is proving to be difficult for me because a) I want to talk about the stuff I've been doing recently and b) I didn't document it all as well as I should have.

Ah well, at least I can try to tell you what might have gone wrong on these attempts.

This was actually the first thing I cooked in my smoker so I guess I should talk about what kind of smoker I have.  Officially, it's called a Brinkmann Smoke-N-Grill, and it looks like this:

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But, people who are into BBQ call it an ECB.  That stands for El Cheapo Brinkmann.  I know what you are thinking.  "El Cheapo Brinkmann, that makes it sound like this thing is a hunk of junk."  Well, it turns out that you get quite a bit more than your $45 worth.  You can often find these on sale (heck, even at Ace Hardware in my town) near the end of the season.

Anyway, to really make decent BBQ on an ECB, you need to do some modifications.  But, we will get to that later because, when I attempted my first brisket, I didn't know anything about mods.  So, I was having to deal with the following shortcomings of the ECB.

  1. It's insanely hard to manage your temperature because this baby has no vents
  2. It's insanely hard to manage your temperature because the thermostat sucks eggs
  3. If you need to smoke something for more than 4-5 hours, you are in trouble.  Adding charcoal through the tiny door is a mess

But, I didn't know what to expect so I started my brisket around 9am or so and crossed my fingers.

You know, we should probably talk about brisket at this point.  The briskets (yes, plural) that I was attempting to smoke were actually partial briskets.  We got them at Costco and they were just the flat.  On a complete brisket, there is a flat and a point  I've come to learn that you really want to do the whole thing together.

Anyway, people were coming over to the party around 6pm so I was hoping to be done by then.  NOTE: If you are wanting to smoke a complete brisket in an ECB, I would start smoking about 24 hours before you want to serve.  Yup.  A full freaking day.  About an hour before folks arrived I put some bratwurst on the top rack of my ECB and those turned out really great.  Smoked bratwurst sounded a little weird to me, but the end result is a nice snap on the casing and tons of juicy meat on the inside.  I think I smoked them until 180F internal temp.

The brisket, however, was nowhere near done.  To really do a brisket correctly (so that it's falling apart) you want it to hit 180F or 190F internal.  I was starting to realize that I was never going to be able to get to that temp with my ECB (mainly because I was going to have to start fresh with charcoal and getting to that charcoal bowl once you have the smoker loaded is a nightmare (that's actually addressed in one of the mods).

So, we smoked the briskets until they got to about 140-145F and then we just sliced them very thin, like you would a roast.  Think smoky tasting slices of beef about the size and thickness of bacon and you aren't far off.  We ate it all that night and, even though it didn't go exactly according to plan, it is still fondly remembered.  Sadly, no pictures were taken (at least, I don't think so).  So, you'll have to use your imagination.

Now, if you want to see some pictures of brisket done right (or, at least, better) then check out my follow-up post Smoked Brisket (Round 2) – Modified ECB.