Beef Brisket - I need to specifics to try my first one

Discussion in 'Beef' started by wklkjn, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    I've gotten pretty good now at smoking Pork Shoulder and BB Ribs thanks to the instructions I've received here.

    I'm going to try a brisket this weekend and would appreciate the technical specs. :)

    I'm going to smoke it at 225. Yes?

    What's the internal meat temp I wait for before I wrap it?
    Can I wrap it in aluminum foil like the pork shoulder, or do I need to buy butcher paper?
    I assume I use a water pan.
    What temp is it done? 205,like the pork shoulder?

    We love our BB Ribs and Pulled Pork to be very tender. I'd like the brisket to be fall off the bone tender too (I know there's no bone).

    What would be the smallest size recommended? 7 or 8 pounds?

    Get this. Our local meat market wants $10/pound for brisket. I'll be looking somewhere else.

    Thanks! I'll be sure to post the results.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes smoke it at 225.
    Personally I don't wrap my brisket, but if you wrap it, do it at 165-170 degrees.
    Yes you can use foil, I prefer foil because you can add a little liquid.
    I use a water pan filled with water.
    If you like it very tender, around 200 or so should be done. When it gets to 190-195, check it in several places with a toothpick.
    Keep checking it until it's probe tender (toothpick goes in with little to no resistance, like room temp butter.
    Are you going to get a full packer brisket or just the flat.
    If you get a packer then around 12-13 lbs. is a good size.
    For a flat 7-8 lbs. is good. If you get a small flat they can dry out very easily.
    Personally I smoke my flats in a pan with juice, so they don't dry out.

    Hope this helps!

  3. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    Thanks Al.
    Just so I understand, if I'm smoking just a 'flat', I should put it in an aluminum pan with maybe a quart of beef broth in the pan?

    Also, do I smoke it fat side up or fat side down?
    Finally, once I wrap it in aluminum foil, I'm thinking I don't need to keep it in the pan of juice.

    I'm thinking there's going to be some great juice at the end of the smoke if I do it that way. :)
  4. thedigitale

    thedigitale Fire Starter

    I usually do packer briskets, but I tend to smoke at about 250. I'll inject the brisket to keep some moisture in, then after a couple of hours, I'll spray it down (I vary what I use, but a 4:1 apple juice:apple cider vinegar works well), and continue to do so every hour or so until it's done or I wrap. I'll wrap if I hit a long stall or am under time constraints, or if I'm cooking a smaller piece of meat, otherwise I don't usually bother. Unfortunately, brisket doesn't finish at a specific temperature. It's done when it's done. I usually pull mine between 190 and 205 when the thermometer probe pushes into the meat with very little resistance.

    There are a lot of ways to cook a brisket, and you'll develop your own style over a few cooks. It's not the easiest meat to get right, but it's one of the most satisfying when you do. Whatever method you choose, keep your temps consistent and enjoy.

    One more tip on brisket... Go join KCBS. It's $35 / year for the membership, and gets you a free day pass to restaurant depot whenever you need one. I just bought a full packer (14lbs) for around $40. It wasn't a cut I'd use in a competition, but it was a damn tasty practice brisket. You'll save the $35 on your first trip.

    Ok... One last tip... Toss a rack of ribs above your brisket a few hours into the cook... The drippings help keep the meat moist if you don't wrap. Disregard if you do wrap, otherwise you'll just have messy tin foil.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you smoke it with broth in a pan, foil the pan and leave the brisket in it at 165.... at that point, if you can control the temp of your smoker without water in the pan, you don't need it...
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes beef broth is good, I also use french onion soup sometimes.
    Smoke it fat side down & just leave it in the pan with the juice and put a foil cover on the pan.
    When using this method you really don't need to foil at all. I don't foil mine unless I'm running out of time & need to get it done quicker.
    You will get a nice bark on the top & sides without drying it out.
    Also I will take a turkey baster & baste the brisket every hour after about the 4th hour of cooking with the pan juices.
    And yes you will have some amazing pan juices.

  7. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    Ok, 6am, I prepped the brisket.  Wow did it have a lot of fat on it.  On one end, it had a very hard 'chunk' of fat - maybe 8 " long - I cut it off, as well as trimming some fat off the overall top of the brisket too.

    It ended up being over 9 pounds from the butcher, in cryovac, so after trimming I'd bet it's around 7+ pounds.

    I cut it in half, and I put one half in an aluminum pan with about 8 ouncnes of broth in the pan (open for now), and the other half is on the grate.

    Both are seasoned with McCormicks.

    Temp is 225, pecan wood, water pan, and vents wide open.  :)

    I keep an eye on oven and meat temperatures, when the meat hits 165, I'm going to wrap both of them.  I suspect that I over did it with the fat trimming, which will probably make it drier, but hopefully I didn't ruin it.

    More to come.
  8. I'm looking forward to your results, as I'm interest in learning to do a brisket also.
    What smoker are you using? I have a Char Griller with the side fire box.
  9. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    Well, it's 2:00.  It's been on at 225 for 8 hours and it's just now at 152 degrees.

    I don't quite understand that.

    I've double checked the internal meat temp with 2 thermometers.

    I think I'll wrap it now, and get it moving.
  10. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    4:00 Update.

    The remote meat thermometer is 200, confirmed by the 'knock-off' thermopen.

    I'm going to leave it wrapped in foil, in the smoker, and just turn the heat off.

    I'm thinking I'll leave it in an hour, then we'll cut it and eat.

    I can tell you this, I used the toothpick test, teh toothpick goes through the foil and into the meat anywhere and it feels like there's nothing there.

    That must mean tender tender tender.

    I'll take picks when I unwrap.

    Seing as though it really took off quickly after I wrapped it, I'm wondering if that's the secret to all the smoking things I've done; ribs, pork shoulder and now brisket.

    From now on, I'm going to hit the smoke for the first 4 to 6 hours with pork shoulder or brisket, then wrap it in foil.

    Once it's got a nice, bark on it from smoking, what's the sense keeping it unwrapped for hours on end if it can be completed quicker by wrapping in foil?

    More to follow...
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well how was it?

  12. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    Sorry for the delay.

    Well, the brisket came out great!  It was juicy, nice bark, and nice smoke ring.

    After the Saturday debacle of tough ribs, my wife loved the brisket - so did I.

    So, at 4:00 I turned off the smoker, left the brisket in and kept the door closed.

    I took it out at 5:30, it was still plenty hot.

    I carved it up, we both had a 'sample' during carving of course!

    It was delicious.

    I could cut the thick slices with a fork.

    One thing I don't understand.

    I read about the stall but in my case, it seemed to stall for quite a while around 150.  I thought that was too low to stall.

    At about 155 I made the command decision to wrap it in foil tightly, double wrap, and it was at 200 degrees in 2 hours.

    Leftovers are planned for tomorrow.

    I invented this and I'm betting it's going to be fantastic.

    I'm going to take the slices leftover, cut them into sliver pieces, and mix with mushroom, onions, and green peppers.

    Then, some beef broth and a littl rue to thicken the sauce slightly, 

    And mix into egg noodles.

    Sounds good doesn't it?

    Here's some photos of the brisket.

    12 hours, but well worth it.

    Note, this is half of the 9 pound brisket.

    I cut it in half to smoke it and the other half is still in the foil in the fridge in a zip lock bag till tomorrow.

  13. Looks mighty good to me. I'd like a couple slices, please!
  14. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    To some new people like me that want the details, here's exactly what I did.

    9 pound brisket.

    Cut probably at least a pound of fat off before smoking.

    Set smoker 'Master Built' to 225.

    Rubbed both pieces with mustard, then spinkled McCormick on both sides.

    I love that mustard trick, by the way.

    Into the smoker at 6am.

    I used Hickory this time as I've read.  Usually with pork or chicken, I use apple or pecan.  The Hickory was a nice touch.

    At 2:00 - 8 hours in, I started getting worried.  I couldn't believe the meat temp was going up so slow.  I was afraid we wouldn't have dinner.  It was only at 150 degrees.

    I made a command decision to wrap both pieces in foil.

    I wrapped them dry without any apple juice, and I wrapped them tightly with two layers.

    At 4:00, to my surprise, they were at 200 degrees and I decided they were done.

    Toothpick test showed that no resistance at all.  Felt like pushing into warm butter.

    I turned off the smoker, left both pieces wrapped, in the smoker with door shut till 5:30.

    Took them to the kitchen, unwrapped, and sliced one open.

    So, I guess if you're planning on smoking a brisket, you really do need to plan on an all day event.

    Hope this helps.
  15. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It looks fantastic!

    Nice job!

  16. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    Nice job.....the brisket looks delicious!!

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