First time smoking brisket this weekend............

Discussion in 'Beef' started by steuben1, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. steuben1

    steuben1 Newbie

    Ok here is the situation I have.  I went out to buy a brisket and went to the only place in my town that had one.  I really wanted 1/2 of a brisket because I don't have that many people to feed.  The price per pound on the 1/2 was $6.59 per pound.  The price on a packer was $3.40 per pound!  Well as you guessed it, I came home with an entire brisket.

    Ok, here are all the questions. : )

    Would cutting the brisket in half and cooking both half's at the same time hurt anything?

    How about wood?  I'm hearing a lot about smoking brisket with Pecan.

    I happily bought Jeff's recipe for the rub and sauce.  Is that rub the only one I should use?

    By the way, it's flipping snowing in Indiana right now! UGH

    Thank you!
  2. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Yep, anytime you buy meat that has been specially processed, like a super trim or cut in half, you'll be paying more.  If you have too much meat leftover just bag it up with a little of the juice from your cook and freeze, reheat later when you need a quick meal.  Cutting it in half is just fine.  Just cook it until you can easily insert a toothpick into the flat section, like hot knife into butter.  This will usually occur somewhere between 190 and 210 degrees IT.  A brisket is simliar to a pork butt, big piece of meat, an open canvas for seasonings.  Jeffs' rub will work fine or you can go as simple as salt, pepper, onion and garlic.  Most importantly, have patience and start it well ahead of when you plan to eat.  Briskets like a good rest before slicing.

    As far as wood, Pecan, Hickory, Oak, Mesquite, any will do.  Happy smoking and good luck!
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
    demosthenes9 likes this.
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes , cutting the mat will lessen the time and not hurt a thing .

    Pecan is great and luscious on Brisket.

    No , try some different Rubs and compare . Jeff's is good , but variety... I use only Cracked Black Pepper and Kosher Salt on

    my Brisket ,  that's  because I like that flavor...

    The price is , unfortunately , rising and the Snow , tough it out . . . makes the  taste better[​IMG]

    Oh , and have fun . . . We'll be watching , [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  4. Be sure and post pictures

  5. steuben1

    steuben1 Newbie

    Got up early this morning to get the brisket goin. Used jeffs recipe and rub. I even injected it with his solution. He we go! Off and running. Oh, decided on pecan wood also.
  6. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looking great take your time it will!
  7. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like a good hunk o beef - enjoy!
  8. Nice, I'll be watching
  9. steuben1

    steuben1 Newbie

    Gettin close to 160. Slowed the heat as it was cooking faster than I wanted. Gonna pull it at 160 and place in aluminum pan and cover. Finish to 200.

  10. steuben1

    steuben1 Newbie

    EPIC FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well at this point I am not exactly sure what happened. Here is what I did yesterday with the brisket.

    1. seasoned with Jeff's rub and injected his solution into the brisket.
    2. smoked brisket with pecan until IT was 160 degrees
    3. pulled brisket off and put in tray with Jeff's solution in the bottom; covered with foil and back into the smoker.
    4. smoked until it reached 195 IT and pulled off smoker.
    5. placed in cooler and covered with towels for 1 hour.

    The meat was NOT tender at all. I sliced it against the grain thinly. Those thin strips could not even be cut with a fork. Really disappointed, but am seeking information on what I did wrong. I kept the temperature at 200 degrees and kept it there for the duration of the cook. I am going to try brisket again, but really need to find out what I did wrong.
  11. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    You cooked to an IT, not to a tenderness.  Once you reach 195 IT, this is when you should start checking for tenderness with a toothpick or some other probe (toothpick is best..round ones).  Every 4 to 5 degrees of IT after 195, open the foil, probe in several spots on the flat section, once the toothpick slides in easily, like a hot knife into butter, pull it from the heat, rest it for at least 1 hour, then slice and enjoy.  The connective tissues inside the meat had yet to break down, causing the meat to not reach proper tenderness.  Biggest misnomer on this whole message board, forum or threads, is that there is a certain temp to pull brisket off at, there is must pull it off at a certain tenderness, once you figure out what that feel is, brisket will become second nature to you.  Throw what you got leftover in a crock pot with some sauce and let it cook while at work today.  Makes some good chopped sammies.    
  12. Under cooked   

  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I concur. Always probe test large muscle meats for tenderness. Brisket can be done anywhere from 190 to 215. Yeah really. Ribs, Butts, Briskets all need the probe test. This is the main thing people screw up on when doing brisket. It is not an exact science. Also It would be better if you used one of those probes for the chamber temp. Factory ones are usually quite a bit off. By the way 200 is a little low, especially if you want to get an injected piece of meat done with the 4 hour rule in mind. Which you should if you inject.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  14. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep - forget the IT, cook till the meat probes with no resistance, like a hot knife going through butter. Pull it, rest it, slice it. The IT for this can be 19 - 210 or more - it all depends on the piece of meat.

    Don't give up.
  15. scooter260

    scooter260 Newbie

    Greetings! I am currently in the process of replicating Jeff's brisket recipe.  Per the original poster, he pulled his brisket from the smoker and put in foil at the 160 IT mark.  Everyone agree that is the right time to put in foil?  I am 5.5 hours in with a 5 lb brisket at 200 degrees.  Current IT is 156.

  16. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Looking good Scooter...foiling at 160 is pretty common as a guide, some smoke to color, some to IT, so just simply on time.  Cooking at that low of a pit temp of 200 might cause your finish IT to be a little lower than if you were coking at say 250.  I would recommend to start checking for probe tenderness at around 185, then every 5 degrees of increase after that.  

    If you want to scooter, start a thread detailing your brisket cook, this way we can answer questions specifically pertaining to your cook and not another.  

    Thanks and happy smoking! 
  17. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    160-165 if you want to wrap it. You don't have to wrap it, but wrapping speeds up the cook time and leaves you with some juice for au jus.

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