Questions on Smoking a Brisket?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by shea1973, May 23, 2011.

  1. I have some friends coming over for the weekened, so I have decided to smoke a Brisket that I have had in the Freezer.  I have had it in the Freezer since last October, but it came in a Air Tight sealed, so I think it should be fine.  It is 8.31lbs from Sams. 

    Last time I smoked something, which was several months ago, it ended up with a foul taste to it.  So not sure if I over smoked it or my smoker needed to be clean.  So I am going to clean it out this week.  If I remember right you want Blue haze, if it is white smoke then it is being over smoked?

    I was having trouble trying to find something on how to smoke a brisket, so I figure I make a post for some suggestions. 

    I have plenty of hickory logs, tons of them, so I have decided to use those.  Would it be best to use a combination of Hickory Logs and Hickory wood chunks you can by from like True Value or Mendards, or just use the striaight logs since I have so much of them?  Also my understanding is that hickory has a heavy flavor, so trying to use like Apple, Cherry or Maple chips would not work because it will over power those flavors? 

    About how long would I need to smoke my 8.31lb Brisket for?  I am thinking about 8 hours but not sure?

    Thank You

  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I hope I caught you before you cleaned out your smoker. You really just need to scrap the grates off. Now you want to keep the smoker with some of the residue for that the seasoning we are talking about. First off it would be good to know what kind of smoker that you have. I'm gonna guess you are having a problem with too much smoke. When you put in the logs or chips you must be getting that thick white bellowing smoke?? That's not good you want a slight amount of smoke coming from your smoker. Now if you are a gasser or charcoal you will get some thick smoke right at the beginning and it should calm down after a few minutes and then you should just barely be able to see it. That's what you want. If you do a search for the thin blue smoke there should be some pictures of what you want. Too much smoke will give you that bitter taste. Now too much of a heavy smoke Mesquite, hickory, and some other woods will give you a bitter taste also if you use too much of it. So I would recommend a fruit wood of you can get your hands on some. So good luck and let us know what happens.
  3. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mark has given you some great advice,

    You can expect a minimum of 1hr per lb,Even 1½  per lb.
    Good luck and remember we love the Q-veiw!
  4. Here is a link to a post I made a while back with a pic of my smoker.

    I live in Vandalia Illinios and it is kinda hard to get a hold of fruit wood.  The Walmart and hardware stores sells mesquite chunks and hickory chunks.  I can get fruit, but it will only be in chips.  I haven't cleaned the smoker out yet. 
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good looking smoker. I always figure 2 hours per pound, smoking at 225. That would include a couple of hours of rest time in a cooler wrapped in towels. If it gets done early just leave it in the cooler longer.
  6. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Shea first the meat. if it was defrosted and frozen again i will not take a risk .

    if not defrost it in the frig slow .

    don't put any spices on it before it is fully defrosted .wane it is fully defrosted look at the color and smell .

    if it not 100% sure or you have doubts don't us it .

    you can find all the info at this link  

  7. Thanks for all your help and suggestions.  I am going to smoke it on this Saturday.  I bought 3 bags of hickory chunks, I have a lot of hickory wood at my house.  So I figured I would use Hickory chunks with 1 or 2 Hickory logs. 

    One more final question.  I was looking at this web site and found a Marinade and rub for the brisket, which looks very good.  Do I let the brisket soak in the Marinade for a couple days, then put on the rub.  Or should I put on the rub and let it soak in the marinade?

    Here is a link were I found it at on this website, so you all know which one I am talking about.

    I am also going to smoke my potatoes and corn!  So hopefully all will turn out well this weekend as long as I don't over smoke it!  If I remember right Blue haze good, White smoke bad![​IMG]

  8. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Not familiar with your smoker, but here is what I found out several years ago when I started smoking.  If you have dampner on your exhaust flue--- leave it open all the time you are smoking if at all possible.  Try to control your fire with just the intake vents. It seemed like when I was using my dampner to control the heat that is when I was getting a bitter taste.  FWIW I hope this helps.  

    The previous advice is very sound, IMHO.

    I have never brined my briskets, I just try to rub 12-24 hrs in advance.
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  9. figjam

    figjam Meat Mopper

    Shea, you say you have a bunch of hickory yourself.  Gonna ask the obvious question ... is it good and seasoned?

    Also, when you did your first smoke were you using wood exclusively, or were you using wood and charcoal?
  10. figjam

    figjam Meat Mopper

    And as has been mentioned already ... only clean your grate, not the whole smoker.
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Marinate it first, then put the rub on. You could marinate it for 24-36 hours. Then put a rub on & wrap in saran wrap overnight in the fridge.
  12. Quote:
    Not sure how to tell if it is seasoned.  But I bought it over a year ago.  Also someone had asked if it was my first time smoking when the food ended up with a bad and bitter taste.  No it was about my 6th or 7th time smoking.  All had gone good before with excellent results, expect for the last time I smoked.  I have used the same hickory wood for all of the smoking I have done.

    I just started the fire.  I know kinda late in the day, but when it gets done it gets done!  I put some hickory chunks in there and 1 hickory log.

    Just a couple of questions real quick.  If I start seeing white smoke, what is the best way to get it back to Blue haze again?  Also about what is a desired eternal temp for a Brisket?  I will keep you all up dated through out the day on how it is going! 

  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    The wood looks to be seasoned enough...I noticed some fracturing/cracks on the cut ends, so it should be plenty dry. You may want to try smaller splits for a smaller, hotter fire, although with using a good amount of chunks, it should burn pretty hot once you've got the vent and intakes set correctly for the amount of heat needed.

  14. It turned out pretty good with a lot of flavor to it.  Turned out a little on the dry side, but over all pretty good.  At about 160 degrees I wrapped it up in alumon foil, put some apple juice in with it.  Was getting diffirent temps at diffirent points in the brisket, so took it off at about 186.  Forgot to take some pics of it, didn't get done till about 1:00am in the morning.  So ate it the next day!

    Thanks for all your help and tips.  I will be doing a pulled pork in june, will be my 2nd attepmt at smoking that!  My frist time I did a pulled pork last summer, it turned out excellent!  


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