Smoking a brisket (Basic Questions)

Discussion in 'Beef' started by arkansaspat, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. arkansaspat

    arkansaspat Newbie

    Ok so I browsed the "Let's talk brisket" for 15 pages or so and ran across a couple of questions:  (I am a noob so bear with me)

    I am using propane with the wood pan and a water pan above that.  I am buying the basic Sam's briskets.  I think 7-8 lbs?  I forgot to look.  So if I am understanding this correctly I need to fill chips up and water (or whatever liquid) and fat side down and get it to 165 IT.  At this point I take it out and wrap it in Alum. Foil and put it back into the smoker until 200 or so...doing the toothpick test.

    1.) How often do you put more wood chunks in?  (I am not using the chips, but the bigger chunks)  Do I just keep it full of water since the chunks will take longer to break down.

    2.) I think I have been taking it out waaaay too early.  It is still tough.  I am sure I haven't gotten to 200 roughly.  Expensive lessons. :(  Will the brisket breakdown take place while it is in the aluminum foil I take it?

    3.) Let is rest until it comes back down to 180? 

    Thanks for the pointers!  You guys are smoking geniuses.  I think I will need to fill up the propane tank for a 15 hour burn LOL.

  2. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to the forum, Pat. Let me start off with the fact I am no expert on brisket. I've done a couple but they both turned out very good.

    Here's what I do. Right or wrong it works for me and comes out tender and tasty.

    First I rub the brisket with a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

    Then get the smoker heated up. I keep my water pan full of sand instead of water. Helps control heat better I think.  But water adds moisture into the firebox to help keep the meat moist. try either way.

    Fill the chip box  and put it in the smoker.

    Then put the brisket in. I put mine in fat side up so the fat renders down through the meat helping to keep it moist. Again try it both ways and see which way works best for you.

    Keep an eye on your chunks of wood! My propane smoker had a habit of catching them on fire. Keep a mister spray bottle handy!

    At about 160-170* wrap in foil and put it back in the smoker! No more smoke needed. When it gets to an I T of 203*  I pull it out of the smoker and place it on the kitchen counter wrapped in 2 old bath towels for about 1 hour.

    I then unwrap it and slice it across the grain. When I unwrap it , it is still too hot to handle.

    I hope this helps you out.

    I'm sure that one of the other guys that do brisket all the time will chime in here and help you out more. The secret to a real fall apart brisket is the 200* I T I think! Good Luck and let know how it turns out for you!

  3. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    I take mine out to "rest" when the IT hits 195. After about an hour it will be at 200. Then the brisket will be very tender but not fall apart. Any higher than that 200 - 205 and you risk the meat falling apart as you slice it, but it will still be delicious!!
  4. I think everyone has a different approach to it. I did one on Tuesday for first time and what I've noticed is IT on brisket is most important not time cooking or cooking temperature(low and slow or hot and Fast). I had a 12# brisket and had to separate point from flat due to it not fitting in my smoker. I stuck my probe in the flat because I heard that one cooks the fastest. I was expecting an all day cook but since I separated the 2 the IT rose really quickly. I was skeptical at first but I've learned to trust my equipment and left it alone, not opening the door for any reason. Also I did not have that long of a stall at 165° so I did not wrap and I also wanted a good bark. Low and behold, 8 hrs later I had an IT of 200° which I pulled flat and did the usual wrap with blankets and put in cooler for 2 hrs. The point I cut in cubes, re-seasoned and sauced, and put back in smoke for another hour for burnt ends. Forgot to put I cooked at 225° if I cooked hotter it may have finished faster as well. But what I ended up with was perfection.
  5. arkansaspat

    arkansaspat Newbie

    Yeah think I fell into the trap of it getting to 165 or so and thinking it was done.  I am thinking of trying another one and once it gets to the 165 then do the wrap thing and put it back in.  How many hours of smoke do you all think is needed?  If I load the pan with chunks and it smokes for an hour or that enough or do I need to burn thru the first pan and like a couple hours later put in a fresh pan of wood?

    Thanks for the help folks!

  6. Usually it's up to the first 5 hours but the size brisket I had cooked quicker so it's really up until the stall(165°), they say it doesn't absorb anymore after that. I have an electric smoker so it's a chip tray and I have to load every hour.
  7. beastcook

    beastcook Newbie

    I have a question regarding my first brisket.  Your input is appreciated.

    after trimming this packer I intended to apply only salt the night before?

    Do I saran wrap the brisket while its (dry brining) overnight or leave it Naked in the frig?

    I then plan to dry rub some other seasoning a couple hours prior to placing the brisket on smoke the next day.

    I Hadn't planned on using a water pan but considering adding water pan for this brisket now that I have read info from experienced cooks. Also, I have a little hot spot about 1/2 way thru the horizontal cooking section so I'll probable sit a water pan on top of the tuning plate and this will be below the cooking grates in the area of this temperature hot spot.

Share This Page