Discussion in 'Beef' started by texas roy, May 21, 2016.

  1. texas roy

    texas roy Newbie

    Ok fellas

    The first time I smoked brisket and a pork butt the Gods were smiling on me because it was for my daughter's 1st birthday. I stayed up ALL night smoking a brisket and 2 pork butts and they came out absolutely perfect. I could honestly hear people asking who catered the party.

    Fast forward 8 years and two more kids. I've tried one or two here and there but every time it came out worse than a baseball glove. I never have the time to keep an eye the temp. Now I'm going to start to get back in the game. What I remember is 90 minutes per pound for brisket and pulled pork at roughly 225-250. So a smaller H.E.B brisket (Texas grocery store) would be about 6.5 hours for a 4.5lb brisket/pork butt? Wrap up in foil and place in small cooler topped off with towels.

    Any tips? My kids are getting pretty tired of chicken so I'm trying to get back into the brisket/pork butt game so I thought I'd ask some of the pro's.

    I'm using oak & mesquite with lump coal in an offset smoker and a Weber Smokey Mountain. NO lighter fluid, chimney starters with a little cooking oil on paper to start.
  2. Hey Texas Roy,

    Don't cook by time. Cook by temp. I am sure everyone on this and any other BBQ Forum will tell you the same thing. You probably lucked up the first time and cooked it long enough to achieve the proper internal temperature-known as IT. That is the temp of the meat. 

    Cooking without thermometers is like driving blindfolded. Both brisket and port butt need to be near or slightly over the 200* IT. Most folks will take their briskets to around 190* and start the "toothpick test" AKA probing the meat. I simply use my Thermopop pen. It has a nice thin prob and will read temps quick. They are much cheaper that the $100 Thermapen. Some folks use a toothpick. Essentially, when the IT of the flat in the brisket reaches around 190* probe it with a toothpick, bamboo skewer or something similar to see how easy it goes it. It should go in "like butta" (after a slight resistance from the bark depending on how thick your bark is). Personally, I find 201-203* IT in the flat to be money. It will be very tender and still slice. 

    For pork butts the traditional IT for pulled pork is 205*. I like mine at that temp. 

    Typical smoking temps for either of those meats are anywhere from 225* to 275*. Some will go even higher but proceed with caution until you get some smokes under your belt.

    Get yourself a good dual probe, leave-in thermometer, like a Maverick or similar. Go ahead a get something good that will allow you to monitor the temp remotely so you can do your honeydos around the house and have the therm monitor beep when your smoker gets too hot or cold and when you meat reaches desired IT. Use one probe to monitor you smoker and one to monitor the meat. They are to be left in the whole time.

    As for rubs and wrapping and other nuances and details of smoking butts and briskets, just use the search function on this site and you will get more information than you can bargain for. 
  3. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member


    Good advice tbrtt1!
  4. Who Dat! I'm from BR with half my family from NO. (sorry to jack the thread for that!)
  5. smokinal

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

    Sounds like they got you covered.

    Let us know how you make out.

  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Finding neighbors is no Jack, go for it.

    Texas Roy, it looks like tbrtt has you on thr right track. IT is the only way to be sure of your meat, except rot ribs. Some folks even use IT for ribs, but they're too thin for me to worry about.

    Good luck and keep on smoking, Joe. :grilling_smilie:
  7. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Except FOR ribs...
  8. Yeah, ribs are different. 

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