First brisket - is this normal?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by shag, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. shag

    shag Newbie

    Walking through Costco the other day, I grabbed a small brisket on a whim, as I'd heard they were good to smoke.  After reading a bit, I apparently have a flat - it's small, at 3.8lbs.  I put on a dry rub last night, and wrapped it up overnight.  Threw it on the smoker this morning at 8:45am.

    It's now almost 3:45pm (7 hours, for the math challenged), and it's only at 154 degrees.  I've had it on an Electric Brinkmann, between 230 - 240 the entire time.  Is this normal?  I know there's a lot of variance in smoking, but this seems extremely slow for a small cut of meat.

    Any suggestions or ideas?  Should I just wait it out, or foil it and throw it in the oven?
  2. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Is your temp guages(pit,food) correct? If so, then just wait it out  [​IMG]

    Sometimes the stall can be long, even reverse the internal temp in some cases.[​IMG]
  3. just wait it out. it hit a stall. this is where the meat conective tissue and fat are breaking down.
  4. shag

    shag Newbie

    As far as I'm aware, they're correct - I'm using a brand new Maverick thermometer...

    I expected the plateau to be at a higher temp - the extremely slow crawl at the lower temps surprised me.  I hope it picks up soon - it's already looking like a late dinner - so much for the 90 minutes/lb, lol...

    I'm planning on foiling at 160 - would it make sense to throw it in the oven at a slightly higher temp at that point?  If so, what temp?
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  5. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Shag, the dreaded stall can happen just about time. It's not unusual to have one hit when the meat is in the 150° IT range. It's not unusual to have a brisket to have a couple of stalls especially when you're doing a whole packer brisket.
  6. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     You could foil and place in the oven, But i wouldn't go any higher on the temp.
  7. shag

    shag Newbie

    The brisket is cooking away in the oven, up to 175 now.  With just a flat, should I pull it out at 190?  195?
  8. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry i'm late, I would pull at 195º and let rest as long as possible.

    If it's time for dinner slice and serve immediately, as it will dry out as soon as you slice it.
  9. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just did a flat that was 6.46 lbs.  Took about 7.5 hrs at 250 in my Lang to reach 198.  I coolered it and she rose on up to 212.  Was a good brisket.  Dutch is correct.  Stalls happen and it is just a matter of patience.  By the way , I cooler my briskets and pork roasts at least 45 minutes.  They will continue to climb in temp and distribute the moisture through the meat.  This is also in my opinion when optimum tenderness occures.  Just for curiosity sake I have carved some almost the moment they came out the the smoker and the results were hit and miss.
  10. smokey mo

    smokey mo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have a 15 lb packer going in at midnight tonight and don't really expect it to be ready until dinner.  If that give you an Idea.  The stall will wash out many a faint hearted smoker.

    Be patient, it will pay off. Cook to temp not time.  

    I hope dinner isn't too late tonight.  I know we have had late dinners before.

    Good luck.

    Don't forget the pictures. Because as you know from Roll Call (if you haven't stopped by you might want to so we can get to know you)  

  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I usually take mine to 205. How did it turn out?
  12. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  13. shag

    shag Newbie

    double post - ignore...
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  14. shag

    shag Newbie

    Thanks for the input.  I ended up taking the brisket to 200, which took just over 11 hours, for a 3.8lb flat - that seems like a crazy long time.  Because it took so long, I didn't have the luxury of letting it rest more than about 15 minutes.  I didn't make note of the grain prior to smoking it, so I tried to figure that out after the fact, and I *think* I got it right - not positive on that, though.

    The brisket was decent, not great.  I haven't had good brisket in many, many years, so I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but it was a little tougher than I had anticipated - perhaps I've been spoiled by pork, lol.  The smokey flavor was quite good, though, and I actually found that I liked it better after being reheated over the next couple days.  Go figure.

    Am I crazy to think that 11+ hours for 3.8lbs is extraordinarily long?  Not sure how to plan the timing for next time.  It also sounds like I need to take the internal temp to 205 next time, note the grain, and hopefully have time to give it a proper rest after the smoke...

    I'm not sure where to find packer briskets locally, but if I can, does the process differ much?  Do I keep the temp probe in the flat, or the other part?
  15. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The meat can make you crazy.  If you REALLY know the temps in your smoker and the Internal Temps of the meat, you just have to wait it out.  You can't just throw a piece of meat on the smoker and say it is going to be ready at a certain time.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  16. how long do you keep it in the cooler
  17. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For a small flat I would say minimum of 30-45 minutes, for a full packer I generally go 1-2 hrs. But I also usually allow an extra 4 hrs. in my guestimate of cook time, so that way I don't end up ordering pizza for dinner.
  18. smokey mo

    smokey mo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    oh how many times have i done that.....


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