Smoked brisket - 1st attempt

Discussion in 'Beef' started by dododido, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Hi all,

    So my Nan bought a small (2.5 lb) brisket cut by mistake the other day, thinking that it would be OK for our Sunday roast dinner (we're in the UK), but I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't have turned out very nice so we went out for dinner and I've decided to try smoking the cut today instead. I have never smoked meat before and I rarely even grill outside (due to the great British weather), though after seeing a few videos by Meathead and some of the threads on SMF, I figured I'd give it a try... Then I realised that a 2.5 lb cut is ridiculously small and hard to do right but I'll just have to work with what I've got.

    I'm using our cheap Weber kettle-like grill with a 2-zone setup, with Hickory wood chunks and apple juice in a pan beneath the meat, as in the pictures below. The rub is Mike Mill's Magic Dust and the cut was marinated overnight in the fridge. Smoking between 230-260 F.

    Will post more updates as I go.

    Fingers crossed!

  2. 2.5 hours in

  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking good!
  4. smokinal

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

    Looks good so far!

    It's getting some nice color!

  5. Thanks! It's coming along nicely. Sat at around 180F IT, wrapped it in some foil and will leave it for another hour before sticking it in the cooler. Really hoping that this hasn't all dried out :/

    It smells SO GOOD!

    Can't wait to get a bigger one!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  6. smokinal

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

    Hope you put some of that pan juice in the foil with it.

  7. I put a little mop sauce and a drop of water in the foil with the cut as I don't have a grill with flappy sides for access at the moment. Adding more fuel was tricky enough! Will have to get one of those before the next attempt.

    It actually turned out pretty good considering it was such a small cut. A little on the dry side though I'll put that down to the size and cut/quality of the meat this time. Little bit of extra mop sauce sorted that out.

    I've found a new hobby! I'll definitely get a larger chunk of meat next time.

  8. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like a successful first brisket!

    Points for your first!
  9. smokinal

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

    Awesome my friend!

    It looks real good from here!

  10. Thanks, it went down well though can't wait to do better next time!

  11. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Aaron, looks good for your first attempt!

    You could always try things like injecting with Beef Stock, to help keep moist.

    How did you measure the Weber temperature?

    What temperature did you take the IT (Internal Temperature) of the Brisket too?

    These are all important things to take into consideration when cooking Low & Slow.
  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Aaron and welcome to the forum

    That is an interesting Kettle BBQ you have there. Is the centre partition one you have created using foil or did it come with the BBQ? Just because it is "cheap" does not mean that it cannot do just as good a job as the more expensive Kettles...

    There was also nothing wrong with the size of that piece of brisket. From the photos it looks like it has a good thickness of meat and, unless you are cooking foe a crowd, there is no point in cooking a whole one just for the sake of it. Having said that though they do freeze well.

    What are the bottom and top vents of the kettle like? They are hard to see from the photos

    How were you measuring the smoking chamber temperature? Does the kettle have a lid thermometer or were you using one at cooking grate level?

    Was the meat actually dry or was it just firm to cut? From reading your text you seem to have had it in the smoker for about 5 1/2 hours before putting it in the cooler. When you say the "cooler" was this an insulated box that you were using to keep it warm - as opposed to the refrigerator? How long did it stand in the foil in the cooler before you cut it?

    A long cooking time is key for brisket as it takes time for the tough fibres to render down. 5 1/2 hours is a little too quick for this to occur - especially if it did not then have several hours of resting in the foil afterwards.

    With the amount of briquettes you have in your photo, burned using the minion or snake method, you should have been able to get a good 6/7 + hours cooking without refilling. What type of briquettes were they? Investing in good quality briquettes rather than supermarket brands is always worth the investment. 

    In your other post you were asking for advice on other smokers that we would recommend. What kind of things and how much do you see yourself smoking? 

    57cm Weber Classic or One Touch Kettles are good all rounders and if you are looking for larger quantities then a Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) or a ProQ Frontier bullet smoker. I would avoid going for any of the low end offset smokers as they will be hard work and most are actually more style than substance.

    Great post - Thanks - It certainly deserves a point [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  13. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    ddd, nice looking brisket and excellent job on your first !

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