Need advice on 10 briskets simultaneously :help:

Discussion in 'Beef' started by shakyleg, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. shakyleg

    shakyleg Fire Starter

    Hey Guys n Gals,

    I am the go to backyard BBQ for just about everyone I know. My Q has only gotten better since finding this forum. I have a wedding that a cousin asked me to cook 5 briskets for as well as my own engagment party at the same time which I am doing 4-5 briskets myself. I have never cooked more than 2 briskets at the same time and it allows me to pay close attention to everything I do.

    Obviously I am a little nervous because 200 people total will be eating this as the main meat and its a LOT of pressure. If I screw it up I have a lot of people eating crap. Now I have never had a really bad brisket but obviously some come out better than others.

    I need advice on mass producing these big slabs of meat. I have my large offset custom so I can do all the briskets without a problem. Any advice on injecting is welcomed. I need this to be a success or its my ass!!! Lol. Pour the knowledge on me please. :help:
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm a little confused.  Are you not overly satisfied with the way your briskets currently come out ?  And want advice on how to make them even better ?   Or are you kind of getting overwhelmed at the though of doing 10 briskets ?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  3. shakyleg

    shakyleg Fire Starter

    Yes. Overwhelmed. I like being able to pay close attention to what I'm doing and its easy when you're doing 1-2 briskets. I have never attempted more than that. Just looking for advice and experiences others have has with cooking this much meat. I'm sure their are differences and I don't know what to expect.
  4. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    May not be the reply you are looking for, but since you only cook 1 to 2 briskets at a time you have no idea what problems you'll run into cooking 10.  My primary concern would be cook time greatly increased, don't want a lot of guests sitting there with empty plates.  IF I had to do this, I would want to practice it once with as many briskets as I could afford to do at once, ideally 10, but at least 5 and see how everything comes out.  Or cook several at a time, have all 10 cooked, wrap in foil and then heat up shortly before the event.  Good luck, you are braver than I am, curious to hear back how it comes out.   
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  5. shakyleg

    shakyleg Fire Starter

    Just FYI this wasn't planned. I was asked to do A BRISKET. Then days before I was informed he needed 6. Had I have known I probaly would have said its too much to risk and I cannot do it. I really don't want to screw this all up. ​
  6. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Couple of questions for you.

    First, how do you cook your briskets ?  Do you cook by time/formula ?   Or do you cook by look/feel ?

    Second, do you have much experience cooking briskets with the smoker that will do 10 at once ?

    Third, on this smoker, have you cooked on all parts of it ?   I.e. if the grate is 2 ft x 6 ft, have you cooked on every part of the grate ?  Or just a certain area.

    Here's why I'm asking these questions.      Going from 2 to 10 briskets, things will of course be different.  Times will change, the work load will increase, and other variables will change as well.     IF you cook by formula/time, it will be more difficult.   However, if you cook by look/feel, while things will be different, the changes will be pretty easy to handle.

    WRT the "second" and "third", if you have experience cooking briskets on this smoker, AND, you have smoked on all parts of this smoker, that makes things easier as well.

    Perhaps a personal example might help.   I have a nice sized vertical smoker that can cook 10 butts at a time.  I usually only do 2 or 4.  When doing those, I usually use the top two racks.     I then ramped up to 10 butts for a party.   My cook times changed a bit due to more thermal mass in the smoker.  Also, my "hotspots" moved, also due to the increase in thermal mass.  Those 6 extra butts acted as a heat baffle.   When only cooking on the top 2 racks, the lower rack was pretty hot due to it being immediately above the heat.  The top rack was also pretty hot as that's where the heat collects. 

    When I had butts on all 5 racks, the 2nd from the top wasn't a hotspot any longer.  The butts there took longer to cook.  I also had issues with heat going up the left and right sides of the smoker making those areas hotter,  while the center was a bit cooler.

    Thing is, none of those changes were a problem as they were all easy to deal with.   WRT the center being cooler than the sides, I turned/spun all 10 butts during the smoke.    The temp difference between the shelves wasn't a problem either as I just pulled the butts when they were ready.   While 10 butts went in at the same time, 4 of them came out first, followed later by another 2, then finally the last 4 came off when they were done.

    Again, it was more work overall to be sure, but nothing earth shattering or all that difficult.  While my overall cook time did increase, it's not like the time doubled or anything like that.  Think I might have added an extra hour or so with opening the door multiple times and having it open while I rotated or removed butts.

    As for being sure that the briskets are done on time, there's a number of ways to ensure that.   First, Briskets can be held for hours if wrapped in foil or butcher paper and placed in a cooler.    Alternatively, you could cook the briskets the day before and reheat them using any of a number of techniques.

    This last part might come into play if you decide that doing 10 briskets at once is too daunting task.   You could always just do 5 briskets 2 days before, another 5 briskets the day before, and then reheat all 10 of them the day of.

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  7. shakyleg

    shakyleg Fire Starter

    Hey Demosthenes ,

    I have cooked on the large smoker a number of times. I know the hotspots quite well but I do expect things will change based on a few things. 1- the temperatures are quite a bit colder than when I normally use the big smoker, 2 - the mass of meats being cooked. I cook generally using both set techniques/times and adjust by the look and feel. Mainly I have to adjust on my briskets and butts as no 2 ever cook the Same.

    I am thinking I am going to do 5 and 5. The first 5 are needed by Friday night and the others late Saturday. It's going to add a lot of time to my process but its a safer bet for me. I don't expect to have any problems but wanted some peoples experiences and expertise on the situation.

    I appreciate the reply. Wish me luck!!! I am still open for suggestions so keep them coming.
  8. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Shaky, from the sound of it, you'll do just fine whether you split the cook up or do them all at once.   I have a feeling that after everything is said and done, you'll look back and shake your head wondering "Man, what was I worried about? "

    Good luck with the cook(s.)   BTW, remember that Briskets can rest wrapped in a cooler for upwards of 6 hours
  9. Post some Q view
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I completely agree. Its just that weak in the knees feeling of being overwhelmed AND it being important. You obviously know what to do, and do it well, so now just know you can. There will be a problem or two, there always is, you'll just deal with it and laugh about it later. How much later? I think that depends upon how well you handle it.....J/K

    Relax and enjoy the smoke.

    And remember a bit of Q-View wouldn't hurt to take your mind off it too.

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