Brisket this Christmas Eve

Discussion in 'Beef' started by padrehomer, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. padrehomer

    padrehomer Newbie

    Hey, I have a Brinkmann electric, just the basic red one and I've been using it for about a year now and I've been happy with the results so far. I have even done brisket a couple of times with pretty good results, but this week I am planning on doing another one (about 11 lb, cut in two) and I really want to try and make it as best as possible.

    My method before was a dry rub in the fridge for 24 hrs on the brisket. In the smoker a liquid and herb mixture in the water pan. For the wood I use either hickory or mesquite chips, soaked in water and placed in an iron box with no lid and placed directly on top of the heating element. I'd like to use the chunks, but I had a hard time actually getting them to smoke before unless I placed them right on the heating element, but then they would burn too quickly. I end up having to add more wood chips every hour or so though to keep the smoke going.

    Anyway, after about 8 hours the temp in the meat was up to about 180. Like I said I was pretty happy with the results but I really wanted to hear from other people too see what they have done to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker with good results. I'm basically looking for tenderness, juiciness and flavor.
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey PadreHomer, I think I will be able to help you on this one considering my first good part of a year learning to smoke was on an electric gourmet.

    First you don't want to place the iron box on top of your element, that will cause damage to the element itself.

    I figure you are using lava rocks in the bottom and if placing the iron box on top of the element your element is on top of the rocks, if not position your element on top of the lava rocks sitting evenly, for using chunks place a chunk in between where the front parts of the element curv, in the center-be sure the wood does not touch the element and as long as it is in between it will smolder perfectly fine and not burst into flames, just keep an eye on it because chunck have a tendency to fall over onto the element.
    As for the final temp, if you can't get it to where you want then you can always finish it in the oven.
    Hope this helps, any more questions feel free to ask.
    Good luck!
  3. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    I'm by no means a brisket expert, but most of knowing how to smoke a great brisket goes into knowing how to buy one. Look for a fat cap that is about 1/4" - 1/2" thick. Also look at the marbling of the meat. The greater the marbling, the better the flavor and tenderness.

    You can also try marinating and injecting, which I have seen a lot of with briskets in competitions I have seen. Simply use a non-reactive container like glass or a large zip lock bag and pour the marinade over. Flip meat every couple of hours. Some will also inject a portion of the marinade just under the fat cap.

    When you are ready to fire up your smoker, take the meat out of the marinade and rub it down good with your favorite rub while waiting for the smoker to come to temp.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Please follow up and let us know how the next one turns out.
  4. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't smoke on an electric but from what I have read, it sounds like you are on the right track. If you want tender, juicy brisket, try wrapping it in foil when it hits 165° to 170° with a little splash of apple juice or beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Smoke it to 195° or until the probe from your thermo slides in like butter. Leave it wrapped in foil and place it in a cooler with a couple of thick towels or pillows to take up the extra space for an hour to rest and allow the juices to redistribute.

    Good luck. [​IMG]

  5. oakey

    oakey Newbie

    X2 [​IMG]
  6. padrehomer

    padrehomer Newbie

    Thanks for the suggestions! I started my marinating this morning and I'll be up at around 6 tomorrow trying it out. If I can I am going to try and hit the store for some wood chunks instead of chips and place at the front of the heating element, in between.

    I also will try wrapping it in foil when it gets up that high, I have read that other places as well.

    I've also read that you're only really supposed to do the smoke early on and then cut it off for the rest of the cooking process. When I've done it before I've kept the smoke pretty constant throughout. Should I only smoke at the beginning?
  7. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    I always smoke my briskets to an internal temp of at least 195. An internal temp of 180 probably won't be the most tender and savory brisket. getting an 11 pounder to and internal of 195 may take some time, even cut in half. be prepared for 11-15 hours.

    I have a 14 pounder smokin away as we speak for christmas eve dinner tomorrow. I am going to pull it off the smoker around between 10am - 1pm tomorrow and foil put in a cooler with a couple pillows and drive it from Joplin, Mo to Tulsa, OK for dinner with the family...

    Good luck with your brisket!!
  8. padrehomer

    padrehomer Newbie

    I went and got some lava rock to place around the heating element to raise the fire box above so it doesn't touch. I also bought hickory chunks and put them upright in the firebox. I am warming it up right now and will be putting in the meat soon.
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would do just what everyone here has said to. Just smoke it the way you want to but I would also let it go to about 195-205 and then pull it and into the cooler for atleast an hour with many things in there to. Then enjoy and don't forget the Qview.
  10. So that's why my element went up like a 4th of July celebration. Had to finish the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven.
  11. padrehomer

    padrehomer Newbie

    So with the iron fire box raised off of the element a few millimeters and using dry hickory chunks, finally getting a lot of smoke about 3 hours in.
  12. padrehomer

    padrehomer Newbie

    7 hours in and I just checked the briskets. The thermometer slid right in and they're at 185-190. Wrapped them in foil and switched the top with the bottom, put more water in the pan. Going to let them go for another hour, will take pics when I pull them.

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