First time Brisket

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fredder, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. fredder

    fredder Newbie

    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the enthusiastic welcome. Ok let's get right down to business. I read a 2013 post from this forum a member put up about smoking his first brisket. Someone named Eric helped out with a lot of great advice and tips. The guy posting had pics of the brisket. Eric referred to it as a great "packer". Is this what I ask for when I go to the butcher or do I just ask for the flat with the point.
    He had a 9lb'er. I'm not sure if I want to go that big for my first.
    I can't wait to get started on this. I'm going to get it Sat morning. Not sure how I'm going to prep it. I'll probably do just s&p and some of my homemade rub. I'd appreciate any advice y'all can provide. I want to post some pics of past projects, I'm still trying to figure out how
  2. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper

    The combined point and flat, together make up what any butcher should recognize as a "packer," or a "full packer," which is the same thing. My first one, done over the last New Years holiday, was a 17lb packer: it turned out so well that folks  actually thought I knew what I was doing. As it turns out, I did, having read the very long "brisket" thread found in the beef section. As a result of the reading there were no surprises or hand-wringing in the wee hours of the night: everything occurred just as the postings indicated it would.

      I did use the pink butcher paper to wrap, and the seasoning was just kosher salt and very coarsely ground black pepper, which produced a nice bark. After it turned out so well, my wife wanted to know why we "only" did a 17 pounder!

     Good luck with the cook!
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  3. I agree with Roger, I did an eleven pounder a couple weeks ago thinking it would be too big. By the time I decided to make some chili with the leftovers, it was all gone. I'll go bigger next time, and there will be a next time!
  4. Fredder,

    Don't be afraid of the size. Something around 10 pounds will yeild about 6 pounds worth of meat when it's all said and done. You probably won't be able to find too many briskets under 12 or 13 pounds anyway. As mentioned leftover brisket has many many uses.

    Most people agree that cooking a whole packer produces a better end product. Do use the search function and do some research on briskets. There's more info here then you'll know what to do with. Also, if you plan to cook it Saturday and eat it Saturday then buy it on Friday. Start early, rinse it, pat it dry it and season it early Saturday morning or even late Friday night.

    But to give you the naked, lean, digest version of advice, you really only have 3 decisions to make:

    1-select, choice or prime
    2-fat cap up or down
    3- to wrap or not to wrap

    1- I recommend prime. It will have more fat and therefore will be more forgiving for your first cook. It will also taste a little better quite frankly.

    2- Flip a coin. If your smoker produces a lot of heat from the bottom probably best to do fat cat down. If your smoker has even heat with relatively equal amount of heat coming from the top and the bottom then it won't matter.

    3-The arguments to wrap or not to wrap are long and exhaustive and passionate. Being your first go-round I recommend you wrap. It will help you get through the stall without panicking, as many first timers do, and gives you a better chance at a moist end product.

    Other than that, season it, cook it at a temperature of about 250° until the internal temperature of the flat reaches around 200° and rest for at least an hour. Really. That's it.

    If you wrap it do it after it Gets a nice mahogany color, around 4 hours in.

    Yes you can cook it hotter than 250. Or colder than 250. And you can cook the internal temperature of the flat to Less than 200 or more than 200. But frankly I wouldn't deviate much from that for your first brisky. Don't overthink it. Know what your smoker temp is and know what your meat IT temp is and you will do fine.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
    mike5051 likes this.
  5. smokinal

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

  6. fredder

    fredder Newbie

    Thanks Roger, kawboy, tbrtt. With all these great tips. I don't know how I can go wrong. I'm going to put it on late sat. night. My WSM seems to provide pretty even heat so I think I'll go with fat cap up. I'm going to put water in the water pan and I'm also going to put a pan on bottom rack to catch juices. Should I put anything in that pan or leave it? Yes SmokinAl I am going to do burnt ends. I know some people out there say you should have a little more experiance before you try burnt ends, but I've watched several videos and it doesn't look all that difficult. I'll take pics and when I figure out how to post them I'll putthem up.
  7. Burnt ends are great and no experience needed IMHO. Nothing needed in drip pan. Good luck!
  8. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    Gotta have the burnt ends!! Don't worry you will do fine!!
  9. paul6

    paul6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Doing maybe my 50th Brisket this weekend , Fathers day and all the wife has to work and the kids have moved away so what better way to celebrate !!!
  10. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    great tips from everyone so far but i would actually recommend fat cap down. the WSM heats from the bottom and especially a new one, it gets really hot really easily. water in the pan is fine. i usually don't but after a short while there be much water left in your pan so it won't matter. If you want to go prime brisket that would be great if you wanna shell out the dough or if find it reasonably priced but i think you can make as good eats going choice if you cant find prime at a decent price point. I mean you can have a much more forgiving piece with wagyu but who wants to spend $200 on a brisket. ( for that kind of money i would get a tenderloin or Prime Rib and save the other 100).

    Good luck on your first brisket and enjoy the smoke it will take a while.

    almost forgot.. don't forget to take pics and show them so we can see how they came out!

    Hope this helps,

    phatbac (Aaron)
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  11. fredder

    fredder Newbie

    Thanks Aaron, I appreciate the feedback. My WSM is the 18.5 model. I've had for about 3 years now and I think its pretty well seasoned. I've done a bunch of pork butts, ribs, hot dogs, oh yeah and several batches of moinks, which I can never make enough of. I've heard it both ways with regards to the fat cap. I'll prob flip a coin when it comes to how I'm going proceed.
    This forum is great. It's amazing how much feedback I'm getting here. Thanks again.

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