First Full Brisket

Discussion in 'Grilling Beef' started by bbqchris52, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    Hey guys I've smoked 4 brisket flats recently and have gotten better every time. The 4th time I got the tenderness perfect and I was finally able to get my hands on a full brisket weighing in at 15 pounds. I'm a little nervous about the time considering a 4 pound flat took almost 13 hours on my smoker at 250 degrees. I am planning on starting it at 8 at night so it will be ready around 5:30 the next day including at least a 2 hour rest. Please let me know if y'all have some pointers to help me on time or if my times sound about right, thanks!
     
  2. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As I posted previously . I did a 15 lb packer at 250 and it was done in 8 hours. Each piece of meat is different
    . Normally. 1-1/2 hours per pound. Buy the same quality all the time. Eliminate variables..
     
  3. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    Do you wrap in foil or butcher paper?
     
  4. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ahh.. Great question. I use brown butcher paper.
    I feel the bark remains nice and firm...
     
  5. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    I also prefer butcher paper, however, my last one came out a little dry when using paper rather than foil which kept it moist, do you think I should pull it off a little before 200 degrees to retain more moisture?
     
  6. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you put it in a cooler and wrap it in. Towel for a few hours before cutting it? This is an important step
     
  7. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    I put it in a cooler with a towel partially overtop of it for just under two hours
     
  8. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Every hunk of meat plays by its own rules. Don't get discouraged . Try again..
     
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I bought butcher paper specifically to use with brisket since foiling it has resulted in soft bark. I've also smoked about four brisket flats with one of them turning out exceptionally well. I have a Masterbuilt 30" digital electric smoker so I'm limited in the size of flats I can fit on one rack. I usually smoke 5 pounder at around 240° over oak wood pellets (I just like the flavor of oak best with a beef brisket) for about 11 hours. I foiled when it hit the stall at anywhere from 160-170°. I take the foil (next time it will be butcher paper) off when the IT is about 5-10 degrees shy of my finish IT. My wife likes some BBQ sauce on smoked brisket so I brush that on after I unwrap it. Never had a problem with turning out a dry brisket. The last couple of times I've re-wrapped the flat in foil and then stuck it in a cooler with a towel or two piled on top and left it there for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on when dinner time was.

    I recently got great deals on two whole packer briskets. One of them needs to be cut in half so it can fit on 2 separate racks. For the 2nd one my wife used the flat half for a slow cooker recipe, leaving me the half with the point. I've never smoked a point before--let alone a whole packer--so I'm looking forward to trying my hand at burnt ends.
     
  10. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I have had briskest done anywhere from 195 - 210. I always use butcher paper.
    If it was dry maybe it wasn't done.
    As Lemans mentioned stick with it. The more you do the better you get.
     
  11. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

     
  12. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    So you wrap yours in foil to retain moisture and then take that foil off at the very end to harden the bark?
     
  13. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't wrap for moisture retention, only to shorten or beat the stall, that's it. Aaron Franklin has a video where he and a buddy tried smoking a brisket flat 3 ways: unwrapped, wrapped in foil, wrapped in paper. The naked brisket was very good but a little drier than the either of the wrapped ones. The winning brisket was the one wrapped in paper. Aaron said is primary reason for wrapping a brisket flat is to protect the bark when the brisket's being tossed around inside the offset barrel smoker since his place cooks up a lot of flats. Now, going back to the stall, once the IT starts rising again there's really no reason to keep a brisket wrapped since if it started out with sufficient fat and if the smoker temp is at 250° or less the meat's not going to dry out in an electric smoker like mine. I didn't re-watch the part of the video where Aaron talks about when he takes the brisket out of the paper. He might keep it in the paper till the very end. I'll post about it when I get the chance.

    I've been using the Texas Crutch (foil) and haven't been getting that hard, crusty bark. That's my goal for next time out.
     
  14. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    I cook on a barrel smoker and wrapped in butcher paper but it still comes out a little dry. Maybe I should take it off before 200 degrees
     
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think Franklin pulls his brisket at 195° IT. Some pitmasters have said they pull at 190°. The last brisket flat I smoked I pulled at about 198°and not all the fat had been rendered so I'm sticking with pulling at a minimum of 200°.

    How much of the soft fat do you trim from your flat? And do you smoke it fat side up or down? My experience has been that if you leave enough fat to be rendered on the brisket it always comes out moist. But then if you don't trim off enough fat it can result in a soft bark, again from my experience.
     
  16. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I don't really think that you can duplicate everything Franklin does in his smokes.
    1. 50 - 75 briskets in a huge smoker is going to cook different than just cooking 1 packer in your smoker. I would think all that meat would add more moisture than just smoking 1 brisket.
    If Franklin pulls his briskets at 195 he also rests them for quite a few hours. Not just for an hour.
    Most briskets I have smoked I have pulled slightly over 200 degrees, and I had one I pulled at 210. Flats I have pulled around 195.
    I think using Franklins method is a good guideline but you wouldn't be following it exactly, and to the T because every smoker cooks different.
     
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  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's a great comment, @hardcookin. I like to pull a brisket flat at around 202F°.  Agreed that Franklin's cooking in a situation far different from mine, just with the type of smoker alone. I've begun to also let my brisket rest at least 1 hour in a cooler. I didn't read the part where he lets his rest for hours but I also find that confusing. He's typically selling 1800 lbs. of brisket in a 4-hour day. I have to imagine he's smoking them the day before, from the afternoon into the evening where they rest anywhere from a few hours to all night. He must take the first-cooked batch out to sell when he opens up the next morning.
     
  18. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    So do y'all think if my flat is coming out a little dry I should pull it off a few degrees shy of 200?
     
  19. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I would check it to see if it is probe tender in the thickest part of the flat. I'm guessing your last one wasn't quite done if it was dry.


    I read the book and have watched some videos. I think they start smoking Brisket around 10:00 pm. When brisket is done they start their other meat for the day. The brisket is then resting till they open.
     
  20. bbqchris52

    bbqchris52 Newbie

    That doesn't really make sense to me, how can something be dry if it is undercooked?
     

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