First Brisket Smoke

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by grumpy23, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. grumpy23

    grumpy23 Newbie

    Ok pressure is on. Bought a Smoke Hollow Electric last year, smoked some ribs and chicken. Got that down OK.

    Now my challenge. Never smoked a brisket before - did one in oven a couple of times, nice and tender, tasted great. Opened my mouth and said I would smoke one for younger daughters birthday on the 20th. Here is the plan. About 12 people, buying brisket at Cotsco. Would like to do flats, maybe 2 about 6-7 lbs each. My theory is to do 2 smaller , more uniform sizes the 1st time so meat cooks basically  uniformly the same. Plan to smoke as most suggest at 225 - 250 degrees for about 2 hours per pound Using hickory. So that will be 12 - 14 hours. Questions I have is how long to keep adding wood chips? I've been told no more than about 5 hours or the meat will turn bitter. Is that correct? The folks eating some are picky and may not enjoy a real smokey piece of meat, so I think I will error  on the side of caution to be safe. Would you suggest different wood? Dinner will be at about 5pm on Saturday. Plan to use Jeff's rub the day before and have in the smoker by midnight there about on Friday. If all goes right they should be done about 1pm Saturday. Will wrap in towels and hold in cooler until time to serve. I would like to slice rather than pull so I have heard do not overcook so the meat will not crumble when slicing. I'm thinking about 185 - 190. I have a dual temp thermometer so I think I'll be able to control heat and time that way, but most likely the old toothpick in the meat like butter will be the best. After taking out of the smoker and wrapping in towels will the temp go up and continue to cook, therefor causing the meat to be overdone?

    I know I have asked a lot of questions, but I always worry about doing something for the first time. I have learned it always gets easier the more times you do it, whatever that may be.

    Thanks for your Help
  2. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Brisket needs to rest, and I recommend a minimum of 2 hours, more is fine as long as the IT remains above the danger zone of 140°. Just keep an eye on it. More than likely it won't be a problem for 4 hours. Yes they will continue to cook a bit, maybe 5° or so. You could consider pulling from smoker and let sit for 5 minutes to compensate before wrapping, toweling and cooler rest.  The probe method is still the best.  Briskets are done when they want to be. Each one is different. Pull when the probe tells you there is no resistance.  Five hours of smoke will probably give you a milder flavor so that should work fine.  If still concerned you could try pecan or oak vs hickory.

    Personally, I would be doing a full packer vs two flats but that's just me. 😃
  3. smokinal

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

  4. There is tons of info on this site for brisket. Use the search function and spend an hour or so. I will be worth your time. 

    Like schlotz said, the resting is an important step and it also gives you lots of lee-way. In other words, start early so you have plenty of time and finish early. You can wrap in towels and leave in a cooler for several hours. I also agree that when you pull it, if you wrapped for cooking then open and let steam for 5 mins or so. Then wrap in foil, wrap in towels and into cooler. 

    Also, I recommend taking the temp to ~200*. You can still slice just make sure it has rested and cooled. About 20-30 minutes before you are going to slice it, check the IT. Aaron Franklin recommends slicing a brisket at 140*-145*. I take mine to an IT of 203* and it slices fine, though it is very tender. So maybe in the 198-200* range and you should be good.  
  5. betaboy

    betaboy Meat Mopper

    Sounds like you are going in the right direction! I'm not a lot of help as I haven't done one 'yet' either. But just thinking about it with my rusty/needy stick burner makes me a bit nervous too! Good luck and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

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