First Brisket - When would you start?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by beedix, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. I'm planning to serve up my first brisket tomorrow.  I'd like to aim for 6PM to cut plus or minus 2 hours.  I picked up a 15.5lb prime whole packer from costco...looks pretty good I think (good thickness in the flat).  I was going to go ahead and trim it up tonight and get up an hour early to rub and let the brisket come to room temp a bit.  Then on to the fire at 275 with a butcher wrap towards the end.  Obviously, there is no guarantee and I've yet to learn my smoker, but when would you start? 

    For what it's worth, I've been able to do a dry run with my smoke vault and i've got my 275 needle valve position dialed in.  The water pan seems to go for many hours and the post oak wood chunks will probably get me three hours in before I have to add any.  I'm generally following the Aaron Franklin recommendations from his book in terms of guidelines for when to check\spritz\etc.  The smoke vault looses a lot of temp if I open the door often so that's another factor.

    So, given the unknowns, when would you fire it up?
  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I cook mine at a lower temp,but after trimming if you do and your cooking temp I'm guessing around 12-13 hours. don't forget if it gets done early ,which is better then late, you can rest it for around 5-10 min wrap in foil and towels and hold in your dry cooler. I even toss old pillows in mine for added insulation.
  3. smokinal

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

    Lately instead of resting in a cooler.

    I found that a 170 degree oven works just as well.

  4. Thanks for the tips.  I stuck it on the smoker at 5AM and so far so good (currently hit the stall).  With regards to rest, how long can you generally rest the brisket at 170?  

    Depending on what time it finishes up, I'm planning to adjust my rest:

    1) Super late, I'll lightly foil and rest inside until it comes down to 145

    2) About 2 hours till dinner, I'll rest in butcher paper in a cooler...nothing too extreme with blankets.

    3) Super early, I'm thinking Al's 170 in the oven in butcher may be a good idea.

    So far, I've learned a few lessons:

    - My trimming can be improved...need more experience and need to just watch more videos

    - I need to preheat earlier.  I started T-30 and needed to ramp the temp in the last few minutes to get it up.

    - I stuck the meat thermometer into (I think) the fat between the point and flat which resulted in continual temp rise.  Moved it to the thicker part of the flat for now.
  5. mabrandt

    mabrandt Fire Starter

    What a great idea. Do you leave it wrapped like you do in the cooler?
  6. porknpuha

    porknpuha Smoke Blower

    Wrap your brisket in foil then a towel (tight) then place in cooler for upto 2 hours

    Comes out great!
  7. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    Like Al, I use the oven - the oven is my best friend when finishing a cook since my timing is sometimes a bit off due to being a relative novice smoker - does not matter if it is beef or pork.  Keeps the temperature proper when finishing the meat.  I like to start early, or even the day before and reheat the meat if timing is sensitive for guest arrival.

    One thing that helps me is to always choose at least choice quality.  I have not been able to successfully achieve consistent results with select cuts. The quality of the meat helps mitigate my errors in cooking times and temperatures (within reason).
  8. smokinal

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

    Yes just take it out of the smoker wrapped & put it in the oven.

    If you didn't wrap it in the smoker then of course you need to wrap it before you put it in the oven, just like you would before putting it in a cooler.


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