My First Beef Brisket...

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by yooper1217, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    I'm new to this site and to smoking, so forgive me if this isn't where I'm supposed to post these questions.  This is the only place I could find a spot to post something.   :)

    I am smoking my first brisket(s) this weekend and I have a few questions that I hope I can get some help with.  The first time I did pork butts, they were too big and took much longer than I expected.  After getting smaller ones the second time around, they turned out great.

    What size of brisket should I be looking for if I hope it to be done in about 10 -12 hours?  I will be feeding about 12 people, some of which are children.  I have a smaller Webber, but it has two racks so I could do 2 smaller pieces if need be.

    What internal temp am I looking for, and is it recommended to wrap it in a towel and let it rest for about an hour before serving like I did for the pork butts?

    Any injections or anthing I should consider there or just the rub?

    What is the best kind of chips for brisket?

    Any other tips or advice would be appreciated!

  2. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to the forum bud.

    My first question would be whether you plan on smoking the full packer or just the flat? Not sure about you, but when I host a meal I always plan on having a little more then enough in case some want seconds. In this case I would recommend getting a full packer of 13 to 14 lb or two flats of about 7lb each.

    Average time is about 1 to 1.5 hours per lb (so about 16 hours for the full packer or 8.5 - 9 hours for your two flats. Keep in mind that this is estimated time and sometimes you can be way off.

    The good thing though is that a brisket will hold temp very nicely in a cooler full of blankets/towels for 4 hours easy. Regardless you should be planning for a two hour rest minimum.

    You are looking for an internal temp of around 195 to 198 or so....when you get past 192, start sliding a toothpick into the flat every now and then...once it slides in nice and should be good to go.

    Injecting a brisket is your choice, I injected my last one with straight beef broth and it turned out real nice...but I also smokes other without and they turned out great too. As far as rubs are concerned, I typically choose to keep it simple and rub with kosher salt and coarse black pepper.

    I smoke mine with a combination of Mesquite and Pecan.

    If you search 'brisket' in the top menu, you will find a huge amount of threads...take some time to read through it is worth it to figure out the successes and challenges that others have had.

    Here is a link to my first brisket smoke, turned out very nice in my opinion;

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  3. yooper1217 likes this.
  4. Welcome from San Diego.  I pull my briskets off about 200F or like was said, when a toothpick slides in with no resistance.   I always do full packers when I smoke and love the leftovers!!!   

    I'd say safely you are looking at 1.5 to 2 hours per maybe a 6 lb piece.  Doing two adds minimal time over just doing one. 

    yooper1217 likes this.
  5. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    I was thinking of doing a "full packer", but 13 - 14# seems like an aweful big piece of meat for 12 people.  Is there a difference between wrapping with foil or butchers paper?
  6. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    I prefer the full packer too so that I can make some awesome burnt ends with the point.

    So the thread I linked you to in my last post was a 13.5 lb packer and served it to;

    - My wife & I

    - 1 mother & 1 mother in-law

    - 4 teenagers (between 17 to 14)

    - 1 pre-teen

    - 1 toddler

    ...I had no leftovers and served it to! :(

    Hope this helps! :)
    yooper1217 likes this.
  7. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    Great...thanks for all the advice.  I'm looking forward to Saturday!!!
  8. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    Knifebld...can you give me a little more info on how you prepared your burnt ends?  Thanks.
  9. Here is the secret to leftovers  ----------  Before everyone devours the brisket, cut off a chunk, put in a zip lock bag and hide it in the freezer for one of those times you are craving brisket.  This comes from 40 years of experience. 

    Gary S
  10. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    More specifically Knifebld...did you use the entire point and did you just add some seasoning/sauce and put it back on the smoker in a disposable foil pan as it looks in the photo?

    Thanks again.
  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All sounds good......I was considering doing a brisket for Labor Day so peeked in the meat case at Wal-Mart, I figured the cheapest place in town, and was astounded to see only 2 was $40 and the other was $50....OUCH! So, rethinking the plan and will yank out a piece of beef from the flavor sealed freezer stash......Willie
  12. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Yup, I always use the entire point, add rub and sauce and toss back into the smoker for a few hours...I do have a 'cheat sheet' that I can send you if you PM me your email.
  13. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    Well...the brisket turned out great.  The only suprise was that it was done for lunch instead of dinner, but not necessarily a bad thing.  Over all I would give it a B+.  Thanks for all the help and advice. try some OYSTERS!
  14. That's exactly why you shouldn't go by the 1.5 hrs. per pound, Briskets are different, age of animal, type of animal, grass fed, feed lot, marbling etc.  I've smoked briskets in 8 hours and turned around and took 15 the next time or a similar size. I usually figure about 12 hours, if it is ready early, great, if it takes longer, it just takes longer.

    Gary S
  15. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yooper , you're in for a ride , as said don't 'count' on the 1.5hrs./lb. , use it as a guide , a thermometer is needed for temp. control , and watch till it gets to 200*F ,pull , wrap and rest an hour .

    Don't give up , these take time . I hope you don't become 'Jaded' due to the time , however it is no shame for a Brisket to be finished in the oven @225*F  after a good few hours in the smoke.

    What wood do you have available ,Mesquite is widely used in Texas , then Hickory is next choice (my favorite ) , and Apple is good. Any hardwood (Fruit or Nut tree) is good.

    More questions , just ask...

    As always . . .
  16. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Mike, glad it turned out good for you...where are those pics??
  17. yooper1217

    yooper1217 Newbie

    Sorry, no pics.  (I didn't have the smoke ring you had, that's for sure!)  BUT...the burnt ends were fantastic.  Thanks again!

    Just ordered pork butts for next weekend...I may have unleashed an animal here.
  18. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Too bad about the pics. Smoke ring doesn't make a difference on the taste so no big loss there.

    Glad the burnt ends worked out for you, they are very popular around my house too! LOL

    Make sure you snap some pics of those butts!

  19. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    Welcome to the Smoking forum. You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have. Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right. LOL. Don’t forget to post qviews.


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