Brisket Dilema

Discussion in 'Beef' started by gretscher, May 5, 2008.

  1. I have done some research on this subject, I even did a search of these forums with no actual answer so with the risk of being redundant I'm going to pose a question to you.

    I am new here as a poster altho I am a long time lurker. I find this forum very helpful and has assisted me in making the best out of my smoker but now I have to ask a question.

    I might smoke a brisket. I found one at Smart & Final that is about 14 lbs and if I go by 1.5 hours per pound I am talking about 21 hours on the smoker, charcoal smoker that is. I can not possibly feed my smoker charcoal every hour or so for 21 hours. I need to sleep sometime and it can get very fatiguing doing so. I would like to smoke it part of the way then finish it another way.

    Here are my options -

    1> Smoke it for about 8 hours then put it in the oven at 225 F for 13 hours remaining wrapped in heavy duty foil.

    2> Smoke it for about 8 hours in the smoker, it's one with a fire box then add a heating plate in the fire box after taking out the remains of the charcoal and the wood and plug that in and leave it for another 8 hours. Adjusting the temp of the heating plate to make sure my temp reads 225 in the smoker. I never ever put a heating plate in the firebox but I wonder if that would work.

    Some say that putting in the oven after x amount of hours is cheating but I can't stay up 21 hours to do this, I'll get tired and sloppy and make mistakes. If I had a Big Green Egg or some kinda Komado I'd probably be able to keep it in there all 21 hours because they retrain heat well because they are very insulated. You know right before bed make sure it's maintained heat wise then go to bed and it should last 'till I wake up but my Charbroiler won't retain that heat for that many hours. I probably have to put in new charcoal every 1.5 hours so what do I do? Oven for the remainder or heating plate would that work?


  2. buzzard

    buzzard Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    you are right when you say some say that is cheating.

    they also say using anything less then wood burner is cheating and you see there are a lot of electric and propane burners here.

    i say who cares. there is nothing really wrong with wraping it in foil and placing it in the oven. your supposed to wrap it in foil after it reaches 160* anyway. at this point no smoke is going to hit it anyway so what difference would it make on where the heat source came from?

    i say if it is easier on you then do it.
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum be sure to post a howdy in the roll call section and tell us about you and your smoker. To answer your question I would recomend smoking it to a temp of 170* or as close as possibe then double foil it and put it in the oven at 250* till it reaches 190* if slicing or 200* if pulling.

    There I fixed it WD I couldn't think of it lol
  4. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    jerry..............its roll call..............

    [​IMG] meaning no disrespect...................

    the minion method will extend your charcoal time out could do the smokie okie searing method..........that mite give you abit of a head start........

    then smoke to internals of 170.........then foil, and then do the oven what jerry mentioned.........when i do a 10 lber, thats a all nite smoke as soon as it hits 170.........i wrap in the oven.......then totter off to bed...........THEN its the wifes responsibility..............hehehe.......i stayed up till 4-5 in the morning......her turn.............LOLOLOL..........soon as the internals hit 200.....pull from the oven....wrap in towels and blankets and put in a will stay hot for hours.......even 4-5 hours.........or sooner if you need to sereve it gives you a buffer........but imho, it needs wrapped in the kooler for a hour or two...............
  5. low&slow

    low&slow Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Howdy gretscher, nothing wrong with cheating a little on a long brisket smoke. Heres what I like to do with giant packer briskets if I need to get some sleep too.
    As soon as Im home from work (about 4:30pm) Ill fire up the smoker and smoke the brisket until 11 or 12 at night. Then I put it in a huge aluminum pan and cover with foil. Stab a remote thermo in it and set the alarm to go off at 195 degrees and place it in a 220 degree preheated oven. When the alarm sounds just turn the oven off and let it rest for awhile still in the oven. Good luck to you. Glad you decided to join us.
  6. Thanks for all the welcomes everyone. I'll go to the roll call later, didn't know about it until just now.

    buzzard, yeah I think I'll do that with the oven. I don't want to stay up 21 hours to load charcoal and wood when no smoke hits it in the foil anyway. Looks like the oven will allow me to sleep!

    Pineywoods, I did a brisket last week, a five pounder so I didn't have to stay up 21 hours or have to finish it in the oven. I made sure the internal temp was 185 F but when cut into it it was not as tender as I would have hoped. The flavor was good and it was not "tough" but it was not like brisket I had in restaurants that was very tender. Do you think the 5 point diff between 190 and 185 made a difference? I don't want it pull it like pulled pork or the like, I just want it really tender like brisket sandwiches I used to get at Coles, the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles and they claim to invented the beef dip, altho across town Phillipes claims that.
  7. Walking Dude,

    I know of the minion method but have not used it. If I put unlit coals under lit coals won't those unlit coals catch fire fairly quick and if the temp of my smoking chamber is already 225 F won't it cause the temp to rise faster before it drops below say 200 and be way higher than wanted? I mean if it hit like 200 and they caught on fire then great maybe it will go back to 225 but won't they lite faster and make it way higher than the 225 I like to cook it at? I try to stay betwen 215 and 225.

    low & slow I have to get myself one of those remote thermos. I don't have one but need too. Sounds like it's very helpful for you in situations like this.
  8. Walking, I have a question about this ice chest method. So you are saying that after it's cook to the right internal temp I should put it in towels in the cool? The purpose of that is to do what? To keep it warm until serving time?

    I read some post where some people wrap it and put it in a cooler that is filled with ice. I would think that would freeze the thing almost, I don't understand the purpose of freezing it in ice. Maybe I misunderstood about that. I figure you are not saying put it in ice, just a cooler, but some people say put it in ice.


  9. seboke

    seboke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've never heard of putting it on ice, but agree with toweling and putting it in a cooler for a few hours , after reaching temp and still wrapped in foil. It will hold temp for a long time if ya use thick towels and a decent cooler. Its basically the "rest" period and it allows more time for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  10. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    howdy gret,foiling your brisket with some of your drippings and letting it go in the oven to 180-185-your letting the fat render down whish is helping your meat become tender-wrapping it in towels and in the cooler for a couple hrs. is also helping it to be more tender-for it's still cooking without your 225 heat.and as far as Ice in the cooler i'm not sure where you read that but it's not for finishing up your brisket-It must be to stop the cooking procces. on the left side of the screen click on Jeffs method of doing brisket-good luck buddy.
  11. So let me get this straight. I calculated the time to cook the brisket about 20 hours. I just want to put it on the smoker to get the smoke in and do the rest in the oven because the general consensus here seems that finishing in the oven is just fine.

    So how long should I smoke it for before putting it in the oven if the total time is 20 hours of cooking? Should I do about 6 hours smoking then put 14 in the oven wrapped in heavy duty foil? Then after that you are saying put it in the cooler for a few hours? I want it very tender almost falling apart but not really to the point where you have to pull it like pulled pork. I would think that maybe 6 hours on the smoker would be enough smoke to allow it to taste smoked then the rest can be in the oven to finish cooking low and slow.

    The flavor was good when I made mine just not as tender as I wanted. I think I seasoned it well and injected it with good stuff.


  12. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    If you can hold 250 to 260 in your smoker, the time will be more like an hour a lb. and the results will be just as good as running 225.

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