Smoked Brisket on the Fly

Ever wonder if you could decide to smoke a brisket at the very last minute and have it turn out? Yeah, me neither, because I just assumed it couldn’t be done. I found out yesterday I proved myself wrong.

Frozen, very small 3lb brisket. No marinating, no sitting overnight letting the rub soak in. No trimming of fat (forgot). Recipe for disaster.


  1. Defrost quickly in warm water in the sink (still sealed, of course). Took about an hour.
  2. While it is defrosting, prep the smoker (in this case, a Weber bullet) and soak the wood chips (I started with apple, finished with hickory).
  3. Apply layer of yellow mustard, then a liberal coating of Wood Chick’s dry rub (we have a bag of it always at the ready).
  4. Smoke to 165 (with the temperature varying wildly between 185 and 250 because I was distracted). Took about five hours to get there.
  5. Wrap in double-layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, just to shorten the stall.
  6. Back in the smoker until 195. Took about 90 minutes, partly because I was even more distracted and let the temperature approach 300.

Results:  My best brisket effort yet. Great flavor, extremely tender. Sliced across the grain and no BBQ sauce was used or required.

I cannot, however, recommend this approach all the time. I benefited certainly from a small brisket. Anything larger than that and I’d’ve been eating at midnight or the next morning.


vSphere 6 Architecture Design Tips

Good starting point as you consider your move to vSphere 6:  Top 5 Tips When Considering vCenter Architecture Design in vSphere 6.0.

For example

Choosing which type of deployment to use is critical. Once you’ve started building the environment, the model will be difficult to change and configuration limits could impact the scalability of your environment.

This is super-important and is one of the first decisions to be made when upgrading. Don’t just click…click…Next without fully understanding the ramifications of your choice here. More details are in the link.

Training Day One: The Platform Services Controller

The Number One Takeaway from today’s training:  when in doubt, install the Platform Services Controller (PSC) for vSphere 6 externally, rather than embedded.

Once you want to connect two different vCenter’s you’ll want to go external anyway. And moving from embedded to external is very, very painful, requiring reinstallations, reconfigurations, re-permissioning, etc…

Number Two Takeaway:  once you go external, provide HA with supported load balancers.

Much, much more at the PSC FAQ page.

And external deployment models.

vSphere 6 Documentation Rollup

This entry will be updated as the need arises. New items in bold.

Last update:  5/3/2015, 8:47PM ET

vSphere 6 is now GA.

As we near the release of the next major version of VMware vSphere, version-specific documentation will be published. When I become aware of it, I will update this blog entry with links to the documentation.