First Brisket smoke

Discussion in 'Beef' started by johnnyd, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. johnnyd

    johnnyd Newbie

    Hi all,

    I decided to try my first brisket smoke today (I know, no turkey?). I have pretty much followed the methods used by gary when he smokes his Texas brisket. I'm a displaced Texan so I thought this might fix my craving.

    Anyway, I bought a 16lb brisket and shaved off probably 3+ pounds fat. I couldn't tell quite how much fat was on the brisket through the packaging. After trimming, I rubbed with salt and pepper and threw on the smoker this morning at 9am @ 225* with hickory. I smoke with an offset charbroil that usually works pretty well for me. 

    After 5 hours of smoking, I checked the brisket and had a nice looking crust on it and the IT read 164*F. I went ahead and wrapped it in parchment paper and threw it back on the smoker.

    How do y'all go about checking the IT once the brisket is in the paper/foil? Just make multiple pierces in the paper? Also, how often should I be checking it? I figured I'd give it another 4 hrs of smoke time before I check for the first time. My plan was to get it to 195* or so then wrap it in some towels and let it wrest. 

    Here is my only picture so far, but I'll add more. I've only seen the brisket twice myself haha.

    Thanks for the help! 

  2. I'm in,   [​IMG]

  3. johnnyd

    johnnyd Newbie

    Thanks, Gary. How do you go about checking your IT and how often? just poke through the parchment paper?
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  4. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I can't speak for Gary, but for my brisket, once I foil I don't usually check the temp until I am ready to pull it off the smoker. I open up the foil and check in the point and flat then wrap it back up.

    I've done enough briskets that I have a pretty good idea of what temperature it will be after 10 or 12 hours. I Always check at the 4 hour mark to make sure I'm above 140, and then again a couple hours later when I wrap it. Then when I am ready to pull it off the smoker. I try to avoid excessive poking of the brisket.

    I use an instant read digital thermometer pen, rather than those fancy wireless units with the multiple probes.
  5. johnnyd

    johnnyd Newbie

    Thanks JC. I'm not sure exactly how long I will need to leave the brisket on the smoker since this is my first one. Do you suggest I just leave it on 4-5 hours after wrapping(9-10 hrs total) then unwrap it and check temp?
  6. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    For a 16 pounder with ~3lbs trimmed off, And at 225, I think you'll be in the 12-13 hour range to get up to 200 degrees.

    If you have one of those probe temp gauges then just try jabbing it in there through the paper. Or try wrapping it with the probe under the paper. Then try it the other way the next time you smoke it. And see which you prefer. Either way won't kill your brisket.

    Check out my thread in General Discussion. I just did two briskets, in the 12.5 lbs range yester and today. I was at 10.5 hours for each. Also don't be scared to bring the temps up a little more. I'm kind of diggin the end result of 250-275 degrees.
    johnnyd likes this.
  7. Sorry Johnny I took a nap

    I usually smoke at 225º and after about 5 - 6 hours I take pull it off and wrap in butcher paper than back on the smoker for another 5 or 6  now sometimes longer, I just started checking the IT for my post. I have smoked so many briskets in the last 40 + years I can tell by touch and feel. You can check the IT about midway just to see where it's at then after a few more hours, You don't need  to check it every few min. And don't get hung up on constantly checking the temp.
  8. johnnyd

    johnnyd Newbie

    Ok, so here are the final results from the day. I ended up taking the brisket off at a little over 12 hours. Internal temp read 197.4*F in the thickest part. I wrapped it with towels and let it sit for about an hour. 

    After unwrapping the brisket, I was happy with the crust. There was also a good bit of juice from the parchment paper left behind as well. Overall, I was very pleased with the flavor, especially taking into consideration it was my first brisket.

    The brisket wasnt quite as tender as I would have liked, so next time I am going to smoke for another hour or 2, assuming the brisket is a similar size. Also, I think I will use a little less salt in the rub. Other than that, I think everything was pretty successful!

  9. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Wow looks awesome! Wish I had some in my mouth right now! Great job, and thank you everyone for the tips on here, ill be doing the first Brisket in my ne MES 30" (done in other smokers before though) this weekend, so this was a very helpful post.
    chears500 likes this.
  10. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Good job. Nice bark, nice smoke ring, looks tasty. Great job for your first time. Your next one will be perfect. 

  11. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks tasty,keep up the good smokes!
  12. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd take a brisket over turkey any time. Especially one that looks as good as this one. Points!
  13. johnnyd

    johnnyd Newbie

    Been having brisket every meal of the day. One of my favorites has been brisket and eggs. Damn good stuff!

    chears500 likes this.
  14. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It makes great hash with some over easy or sunny side up eggs!
    chears500 likes this.
  15. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tasty looking Brisket! POINTS!!!!

    As far as tenderness, I have found the best method is to probe the meat in multiple places. I start doing this when the meat hits 185. I use a wooden skewer. When it slips in like going into warm butter I know I am done. I've had this happen around 185, and had it not happen until as high at 208. Every piece of meat is different and the finishing temps and times will vary. If when I do wrap I stick the therm probe through the paper and leave it in. As for probing for tenderness I unwrap and probe through the sides. I don't wrap often though so that's not an issue most of the time.

    For another great perspective on brisket give this a read:
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  16. For your first brisket smoke I think you hit a home run, I can't really remember back that far but I'm thinking my first didn't look nearly that good.

    It takes several times to get figure out the flavor profile you like and how the brisket cooks on your smoker, I promise after about 15 or 20 briskets you will have it down so well it will be second nature, 




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