Set it and forget it brisket?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by cornfedkiller, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. cornfedkiller

    cornfedkiller Newbie

    Sorry for ANOTHER brisket thread, but is there such a thing as setting it and forgetting it with brisket?

    All the recipes I'm finding online go something like "smoke it at this temp for X hours, then flip it over and smoke it for X more hours, spritz every hour, then wrap in foil and turn up to this temp for X hours, etc, etc.."

    I want to make a brisket on my GMG next weekend for Easter Dinner at our place. My problem is that the meal will start at noon, so I need to have it done and ready to go then.  

    I was hoping I could put it on the smoker the night before and just let it go until the following morning - is that possible, or a bad idea? 
  2. We do a "set it and forget it" brisket every Christmas eve for the next day.  It is pretty much our tradition now that we stay up late and put the brisket on the night before.  I don't flip my brisket at all while cooking usually just set it fat side down and let it go.  You can spritz if you want to, sometimes we do and other times we don't.  Same thing with wrapping.  Everyone has their preference but I didn't wrap my last brisket until it came off the smoker (for resting before the meal) and everyone still loved it.

    To me the biggest concern would be keeping steady smoker temp through the night.  That is usually the only intervention required on mine.  The only other thing I would say is to make sure you leave yourself plenty of time and don't pull it off early.  I'm a big fan of the probe tender test for brisket.  Whenever we try to rush it seems to come out worse but when the probe (toothpick/skewer) says it is done we've always had good eats.  I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts.  Good luck with whatever you choose.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  3. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Never apologize for another Brisket thread. There are plenty of us on here that love to talk brisket.

    Anyways, the last packer i cooked was set and forget. now i will put a couple disclaimers on that, i have never used a gmg or the like. So it may be a bit different for that. i put my brisket for 250 degrees and cooked it for 6 hours and it was done. now again this is was with my Lang so it cooks a lot faster than most smokers. I recommend using a maverick wireless thermometer. put a probe in the smoker and one in the meat and then you can smoke and keep an eye on things without having to get out of bed. 

    Your smoke will prob be about 10-14 hours and brisket is fine without the wrap.  Your bark will be a bit crunchier but it still good eats. i go between 195-203 depending on tenderness so when you get around 193 or so see if a toothpick will slide in easily and if it does pull it if it doesn't give it 30 minutes and repeat until desired tenderness.

    I recommend for wood go something like hickory or oak or the like goes good with beef.

    There maybe some tips someone else will want to add who has a gmg too. 

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  4. smokinal

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

    You didn't say what smoker you have.

    If your smoker will hold a consistent temp, & hold plenty of fuel. Then set & forget is easy.

    I have a WSM with a BBQ Guru. It will run for 22 hours without refueling, holding 225 all the way thru.

  5. cornfedkiller

    cornfedkiller Newbie

    Thanks for the replies fellas- Few more questions/comments..

    It's a good sized brisket (haven't weighed it yet), so it sounds like I should be alright to put it on fairly low (215ish??) and not have to worry about it being done too soon.  When I wake up in the morning, depending on what the internal temp is, I can always turn the temp up a little then. 

    The GMG unit I have is the wifi version, so it will connect to my phone and tell me the smoker temp and the meat temp as well, so that should work pretty good to keep an eye on it from my bedroom.  The grill will also hold a steady temp all night, so thats not a concern at all. 

    And fat side DOWN?  I have always read fat side up?? 

    And then when the toothpick tells me its done, pull it off, wrap it in foil, and put it in a cooler with some towels? For how long?  How do I reheat it then for serving it? 
  6. cornfedkiller

    cornfedkiller Newbie

    Hey Al-

    I am running a Green Mountain Daniel Boone with a thermal blanket.  I should be able to get a solid 12-15 hours at 225 before I need to refill, so it shouldn't be a problem. 
  7. smokinal

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

  8. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Looks like Al, got ya going good. 

     one thing i forgot to mention you may know you need to slice across the grain of the meat. what you may not realize is that a good smoked brisket is usually hard to tell which way the grain is going when it comes off the smoker. so a trick i have use to to slice off a very small piece across the grain as part of the trimming process. just take off a smidge that you can see when done that is the way you want to slice it so when it done you already have a guide for slicing for your guests. Hope this helps!

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  9. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There is also the technique of slightly inserting a toothpick on the top to show the direction that the grain is running.
  10. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    never tried that. thanks!

    phatbac (Aaron)
  11. cornfedkiller

    cornfedkiller Newbie

    I know Al mentioned he does this, but does everyone smoke their brisket in a pan so the juices stay with it?

    What if I don't have a pan that big? 
  12. smokinal

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

    No everyone doesn't do this.

    I learned this from a real old member on here a few years ago (bbally).

    I've been doing it ever since then with very good results.

    You can get large disposable aluminum pans at Walmart for a couple of dollars large enough to fit the brisket.

  13. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    If you go to sams club you can get foil pans for about $6.50 30 count.

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)

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