First Time Smoking A Beef Brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by am44, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. am44

    am44 Newbie

    Hey Everyone,

    I recently decided to dive into slow and low smoking. I am planning my first smoke and I have decided to smoke a 12-14lb packer brisket. I have been doing quite a bit of reading on the smoking process and the different techniques involved including injecting brines, 2 zone indirect heat smoking, using the 'texas crutch,' and the typical timing involved with smoking a brisket.

    My main concern right now is the grill that I have at home which I plan to use.

    Here is an image of what kind of grill I have:

    Would this be fine to smoke with? Or would you suggest I pick up a new grill that is more geared towards smoking.

    Thanks in advance to anyone that reads this!

  2. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    I think it should work fine, give it a try.  For me practice has been more helpful than having the best type of smoker.
    am44 likes this.
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  4. smokinal

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

    Yep what Danny said, cook it with indirect heat.

    Although I would use wood chunks instead of chips.

    am44 likes this.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Indirect is the way to go. Keeping things simple is a good approach, especially since this your first brisket cook. Have you used the grill before? If not I'd recommend doing a few cooks to get a hang of controlling temps. Keep in mind that a full packer brisket cooked low and slow is going to take 10-18 hours. So knowing how that pit is going to hold temps is crucial. Post your cook up and let us know how it goes.

    Here's a great thread on keeping it simple that every first time brisket smoker should read:
    am44 likes this.
  6. am44

    am44 Newbie

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions and advice! I'll read the threads that you all provided during my lunch break today.

    I posted this while on my break at work so I basically pasted the closest image I could find to the grill I'd be using. When I returned home to take a look at the grill, I noticed that the grill was in pretty bad shape... It looks like it hasn't been cleaned in awhile and had a lot of old ash from past cooks still at the bottom. It also had what looks like old grease caked on the top of the grill. I cleaned it out the bottom half the best I could but the stuff that was caked on the top wouldn't budge. I read online that sometimes this grime will affect my smoking.

    I lit a full chimney of charcoal and left it in the grill covered overnight. Hopefully the heat will help me in cleaning the gunk out of the top.

    I'll take some pictures of it today when I get home for you all to see.

    Thanks again!

  7. whistech

    whistech Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    That stuff stuck on the top, inside of your grill is called seasoning.     If it were mine, I would just use it as is, you will be fine.     My only advice is to not build a big fire in your grill when cooking your brisket.     Shoot for about 250 degrees on the end where the brisket is and don't open the lid very often.     Just be prepared for a long smoke.     Depending on how big your brisket is, you are looking at a 12 to 16 hour smoke.     You can always smoke it about 6 to 7 hours, wrap in foil and finish it in a 250 to 275 degree oven.     The most important thing to remember is the toothpick test.    A brisket that is properly cooked will have little to no resistance when probed with a toothpick and the temperature will between 200 and 207 degrees.    The brisket will be done when it wants to be done, rushing it will always give you poor results.  one last thing, the have been many, many fine briskets cooked on a setup like you have.     Take your time and enjoy the cook.    
  8. Too much Gunk is not a good thing, Creosote buildup   That makes your meat taste funny   Several reasons for the build up    Green wood and Low or no air flow is the main cause.

    My first Briskets over 40 years ago were done on a grill similar to the one pictured.  Great advice for everyone above.  You get your Brisket perfected on this type unit. It will become easy on regular smokers

    am44 likes this.
  9. Hello Am44.  All good info above.  Here is my 2 cents:  Sounds to me like this is a used grill you have "acquired".  So here is the problem: as pointed out above; is the "gunk" in the lid seasoning or is it creosote build up??  One good.  One bad.  If you are not certain I would not risk a whole packer to find out.

    If it were me I would put my brisket smoke on hold and start from scratch with the grill.  Completely clean the grill, re-season it and start over.  Take it to a car wash or use a pressure washer.  If neither is possible buy a couple aluminium foil baking trays.  slice 3 lemons in each tray.  Build a hot fire in the grill and spread the coals from one end to the other.  Put the trays on the grill and fill the trays with water.  Hold as high temp as you can for as long as you can.  Should help loosen the "gunk".  When cool enough but still warm "ATTACK" that "gunk".  OR do both methods.  BIG cleaning job!  When clean re-season the grill.  Do a couple small smokes in it and then start looking to your packer.  Just my opinion.  Keep Smokin!


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