Brisket on IRONWOOD 650

Jeff Coates

New member
Jun 1, 2019
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San Diego
Has anyone done any testing to see if the IRONWOOD 650 produces more heat above or below?

The reason I am asking is I am reading Aaron Franklin’s book, FRANKLIN BARBECUE and he references cooking brisket fat-side up or fat-side down (pg. 154).

He said the only reason he cooks fat-side up is because his smokers produce more heat on the top than the bottom.

He said if his smokers produced more heat on the bottom, he’d cook fat-side down.

Hmmm … I am figuring because the fire pot is under the brisket, even with the diffuser, that lower side would be hotter.

On a longer cook {{{BRISKET}}} that might be a decision of consequence.


I think you’re somewhat correct about the heat, and while I’m unfamiliar with Aaron’s smokers it’s important to remember that the Traeger’s and pellet grill/smokers in general are fan convection. That’s one way they “try” to maintain a consistent temperature and rapid recovery. The bigger issue with Traeger's and fan convection is drying out of the meat.

IMHO, Three things will help prevent that.

1. Temperature - The proper low/slow temperature.

2. Bark - Good bark formation to help seal in moisture.

3. Basting or Self-Basting - How to baste and what to baste with is more divisive than the U.S. Congress (LOL)! Self-Basting is just as it states. The meats own juices or those injected into it and fats keep it moist. If the fat is on top then gravity will do the work.

P.S. Aaron Franklin is awesome and he’s offering a MASTER CLASS on FB which I’m seriously considering.

Note: These are just my humble opinions and observations. There is no guarantee anything I say is anything but my opinion. Which I have a lot of! Individual user results may vary and I’m not responsible. Just ask my wife. LOL!!
Welcome to the forum @Jeff Coates & @Smokin’ SMary

I live in Austin and have had Franklins BBQ a handful of times. It's amazing! We would actually pay someone to stand in line and bring it to our office every now in then for a lunch party. I've been thinking hard about buying his master class videos as well (

I'm still fairly new to BBQ and each time I've cooked a brisket I've used a different method. With that being said, I'm not satisfied with the results and will keep trying! However, last time was by far my best and I went with the fat side down method due to the bottom being the hottest part of the grill. I also had a small bowl of water inside to keep the moisture up during the cook.