first time smoking a brisket

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by jamesedw1, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. jamesedw1

    jamesedw1 Fire Starter

    So I have a 5lb brisket. I'm debating on how long to cook it. Every time I end up smoking something it never turns out like I want it. Just cause I don't smoke it long enough so fellas. How long to smoke it?
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Probe tender. It will take longer then you think.
  3. jamesedw1

    jamesedw1 Fire Starter

    I'm thinking 10 hours
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    More info? What cooker? What temp? What size is the meat?
  5. It takes on average 1 and 1/2 hours per lb cooking at 225'. More heat = less time. But never cook by time, cook by internal meat temp and a brisket should be cooked to 205' internal and will be tender. I cooked a 19 pounder today for our Gator Gathering and it turned out great.
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So 205 IT is the majic number?????????

    Not always.
  7. Absolutely, if you want it tender
  8. He already stated the meat size and the brand of smoker doesn't matter as long as it will hold a steady temp.
  9. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Really? Ok
  10. [​IMG]   Well played Adam.

    Hello James.  You got advice from 2 people.  Have a look at both profiles and number of posts.  I know which advice I'd follow.

    I usually say pull at 190-195 and rest wrapped for at least 2 hours but the probe test is always better than IT for brisket.  EACH brisket has a mind of it's own.  Each is done when it's done.  Also depends on personal tastes.  How do you like YOUR brisket?  COMPLETELY fall apart tender so you can't even slice it or you don't mind a SLIGHT chew to the meat and you get nice slices?

    The type smoker CAN also make a difference.  I don't have experience with all types but is my understanding from reading that some tend to dry out meats more than others.  SO maybe a water pan might be of use in your particular smoker.

    You said you have a 5lb. "brisket".  Sounds to me like you have a flat ( I could be wrong ).  If you take the small flat to an IT of 205 I think you'll regret that.  A flat doesn't have the marbling for that.  Folks sometimes don't distinguish.  They just say "brisket".  Is it point and flat or just the flat.  Two different animals so to speak.  The point and flat usually has more fat so can/should be treated differently.  Marbling/ the fat content of any meat makes a difference to cooking times and IT.  It can sometimes be a very fine line.  A notoriously tough chunk of meat needs low, slow long cooking but if your chunk is REALLY lean, you can end up with a dried out mess.  Just my opinions.  Keep Smokin!

  11. Hey guys,

    Just trying to offer an inexperienced smoker a good starting place for a brisket. Always cook mine to 205 and have never had one falling apart, unable to slice it, or dried out. Experience does matter for avoiding those pitfalls.

    Also number of posts only means you like to hear yourself(so to speak) and has nothing to do with experience. Might want to look at the content of those posts and it will tell you a lot about the person.

    Again just trying to help a newbie, not trying to argue, like others sometimes do.
  12. James, sorry that your post, looking for info, was hijacked by disagreement. I think you get it, that there are many opinions. At this point all you can do is use the info for your benefit, try a little variation and you will come up with your method, and what works for you.

    Happy Smoking
  13. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Howdy Rubbin,  don't know what your experiences are, or what smokers you have used.    What happens sometimes is that people offer advice that works for them, but said advice might not translate to others smokers or situations for whatever reason.  For example, if a person always smokes packer briskets in an offset stick burner, the process might be a bit different than smoking a partial brisket flat in a MES (Masterbuilt Electric Smoker).   One reason for this is that we are often creatures of habit.  You might always get briskets that are of a certain size/weight/thickness.   You might search around and always get briskets that have a certain "feel" to them.    You might always buy Choice instead of select or prime grades.   You might always have consistent temps in your smoker instead of spikes and valleys with temp swings of 30 degrees.   Your chamber temps might be dead on accurate to what your gauges read or you might actually be smoking at a consistent, yet higher/lower temp than you think.

    WRT smoking to 205, I've had briskets that were still tough at 205 and I've had other briskets that were falling apart at 200.  No big mystery to it though.  Getting brisket tender is a result of meat being at temperature over time.   It's actually possible to get a brisket to be tender at 185 degrees, it just takes a much longer time to do it.    If you want to go with a Sous Vide process, you could get brisket tender at 150 degrees, though it will take upwards of 48 hours to do it.

    All that said, there is one "truism" that works almost all the time regardless of the variables, which is that you should cook a brisket until it is probe tender and passes the poke/probe test.   This is where you take a probe and stick it in at different spots of the thickest part of the flat.  When the probe goes and out with no resistance, the brisket is ready.   That might be at 195, or 200, or 205 or even higher.    
  14. The size does not much matter give yourself 6-10 hrs. keep smoker around 250. internal temp should reach 205 degrees ,put in a foil pan and cover with foil after 185 degrees ,I like to add a cup of apple juice or Vegetable broth to finish the last 2 hours or so.

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