First full Packer Cut. Any tips, advice or input would be great.

Discussion in 'Beef' started by pocketaces, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. pocketaces

    pocketaces Smoke Blower

    I am picking up a 15+ pound packer cut brisket on Thursday night.  The current plan is to smoke it with my side fire box rig with lump and apple wood.

    I'd like to separate the point from the flat and make burnt ends with the point then continue to smoke the flat.

    I plan on starting the smoke sometime Friday night in order to cooler it around 3pm to eat around 6pm on Saturday.

    I've read about 5 pages on this site of peoples past smokes.  I feel like I don't know anything.

    How hot should I smoke this thing?

    How long will it take?

    What type of rub should I use?

    Do I put any liquid in the drip pans?

    Should I trim fat off of this thing?

    So, any tips, tricks, preferences, things not to forget, "watchouts" ANYTHING at all would be very much appreciated.

    I also did a lot of searching on the forum but if there is a thread of threads detailing everything that I need to know would be great too. 

    Thank you all and I promise Qview.  I just hope this thing turns out.

    Thank you all!
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've done lots of briskets at work but not at home yet....main reason is just to big for only the 2 of us. Knew Bear had a tutorial under his name & copied the link for you. Spelled out in detail. I know many here will smoke with the point on & remove it later on in game to make burnt ends....believe it's easier to remove that way. Here's Bears post   SmokinAl also did a mean brisket with burnt ends   Now, there are many more posts from great smokers out there but these 2 guys I trust and have imitated and the links were easy to pull up. Good luck, enjoy the ride
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Chefwillie, be sure to give yourself plenty of time,@1.5 hrs./lb.will equal22.5hrs. If you don't have a coushion period, you may be pushing the 3pm dinner date[​IMG]. You never know if you will have a stall,I've done Briskys that took a shorter time, but generally they try to dump on ya and take thier time[​IMG]. Don't worry about the moisture, if you left a bit of fat on it , it will be great!

    Matra time..."PATIENCE",my Man, you should do everything in slow-mo,little adjustments and little bits of fuel....Maintain heat of 225*f and you are good to go............

    Have fun and............
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Awwright, Pocket....advice you want, here ya go:

    Don't be afraid nor overwhelmed. A brisket is merely a piece of steer and if you have smoked other meats, you then have experience, right? Forget the "oooh, a brisket" fear-making crapola you get from so many places and just plan your smoke, allow for extra time (a couple hours) and relax.

    Now, to your questions...

    1)- Smoke it at 225-250F smoker temp. That's the word from the Official Gods. I learned that way and so should you. However, I have since experimented, discussed with other advanced smoking dudes, and experimented while taking notes. I now smoke my briskets at 300F and cut many hours from the smoke and have as good, if not better results with my full-packer briskets. Point of note: I always separate my point and flat prior to smoking. I don't know if that makes any difference, I just prefer it that way since I always use the point exclusively for burnt ends, and this technique makes it easier that way.

    I know this will bring howls of complaints and accusations of smoking-blasphemy, especially at this site, but I stand my ground. I will not argue with facts, nor success. The bottom line is you want your brisket at over 180F internal temperature, and the route you take to get there is up to you. I will never suffer through another 12 to 16 hour smoke at the measly 225F ever again.

    2)- It will take however long it will take for that particular brisket to reach 180-F internal. No two animals are alike, and no two briskets are either. When smoking a brisket it is a labor of love and desire, not speed nor hunger. There are no two "stalls" that are alike either. I've had 45 minute ones and 3 hour be prepared, and thus, always plan for extra time.

    3)- Whichever flavours you like, brother. I used to go with the heavily spiced rubs, then the homemade, perfectly tailored to my liking ones, then Magic Dust, and now I swear by the nekkid brisket. We all evolve, and no answer is better than the other except the one that says "whatever you like". My favorite is CBP and kosher salt only, ovr hickory. Nothing else needed to bring out and showcase that wonderful beefy brisket flavor.

    Just know that what your neighbour likes you may hate. It just is that way. Go with what you know, and experience is the best teacher.

    4)- I've never been a fan of drip pans and even less of "flavoured" ones. This is probably since I've always used an offset wood and charcoal smoker forever. If you want one, go for it. From what I have learned, they seem to be necessary for gas and electric smokers. I'll leave it at that.

    5)- If you buy a full packer brisket at the grocery store, it has already been trimmed enough to smoke as is. I prefer to trim further as some of the fat cap can still be kind of thick. It is your call. If you decide to trim, go ahead, just leave about 1/8 to 1/4 of fat on the'll need it in the smoker.

    As far as tips:

    Once I place my brisket into the smoker I do not lift the lid for the first 4 hours. Period. Nothing. I just feed wood and charcoal as necessary to maintain temp. At the 4 hr mark I check it, rotate it if needed and mop it. Every 45 minutes after that, I mop or spritz, depending what method I'm using. Same liquid, just different delivery and I personally prefer the spritz. I have several dedicated 1 pint spray bottles for this and they work just fine.

    Your spritz or mop should have some fat in it, be it oil or butter. For the liquid I prefer orange juice or coca cola, though coffee and other soft drinks work fine. Just be sure to pour them out loong before hand and let them go flat. Root beer is good too. Since the purpose of the spritz/mop is to maintain some surface moisture, the flavor is not so much important. I've used beer too, but have gotten better results by drinking it and using the soft drinks for the spritz instead!

    At around 140 F internal or so, you are going to hit the dreaded "stall". That is when the meat stops heating up and may actually lose internal temperature. It is perfectly natural, and no need for panic. Jacking up the smoker temps won't help. Just ride it out.

    After the stall, you will find that the internal meat temperature rises fairly quickly compared to "pre-stall" so it is all good. During the stall, just maintain smoker temps, keep your mopping / spritzing cycle and enjoy the ride! This is a perfect time to re-connect with the family and wife. :)

    Have some good potato salad, cole-slaw, Funyons, and other goodies set up and ready as a side for your brisket. Baked beans are almost always a necessity.

    Hope this has helped you a bit. Just enjoy the experience, and know you will only get better!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  5. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    My last 15lber took 23hrs....they are like women you can`t rush them...I can not stress enough to let it do its own thing.
  6. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Excellent advice from all of the above....all I can add is "good luck!"
  7. smokinal

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

    And don't forget the Q-view!
  8. pocketaces

    pocketaces Smoke Blower

    I just lit the cooker. The brisket ended up being 13 pounds.

  9. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i hope your cooler is full                    gotta lot of work tonight    get a full spray bottle of apple juice
  10. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    lots and lots of Q-view
  11. pocketaces

    pocketaces Smoke Blower

    4 hours in. Cooker got hot after I put the beef in. Since then we've leveled off.
  12. pocketaces

    pocketaces Smoke Blower

    9 hours in. Beef is at 157.
  13. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds good! Hope your stall didn't last long. What are you spritzing/mopping  with?
  14. pocketaces

    pocketaces Smoke Blower

    15 hours and I think we're coming out of the stall. The beef is at 175. I'm mopping with an apple juice mix I found.
  15. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like you are almost there! Apple juice is always a good mop, too. Once you break 180-185F internal it should be perfectly tender to slice. If you are going to "pull" it, you got to let it break 200F internal. Either way, don't forget to let it rest for a while before you do either...let the juices redistribute within the meat. Enjoy your feast, and don't forget the pics!  [​IMG]

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