Time and a 16LB Brisket......

Discussion in 'Beef' started by kitsapsmoker, May 26, 2010.

  1. I sent this letter to Jeff but I am worried he will be to busy to respond- does any one have any experince with very large briskets?


    Thank you for all the valuable information on your web site. I have followed your site since I began smoking meat three years ago. Four smokers later- brinkman propane (Buddy asked for it back), brinkman electric (could not maintain lower temps), char griller with fire box side (love it and still use it) and now the Bradley 4 rack digital self feeding electric. I perfer the electric self feeder for the larger meats and overnight smoking due to being way to tired by dinner time the next day- I have gone to sleep five minutes after cutting and serving due to this.

    OK so I digress. I have a question on Briskets- I have purchased the mother of all briskets for this weekends Memorial Day, 16 LBS. Why did I do this instead of 2- 8 pounders? Not sure at this point but I am sure it relates to the big meat, big party, big man syndrome my wife will occasionally accuse me of having. My question is will it still take 1.5 hrs per pound or should I take a few off. That's 24 hrs and I am afraid that I could be done well before the serving time and even before the serving time + the four hour warming trick in the cooler. Have you any experience with 15+ lb briskets, should I adjust the time ratio of 1.5 @ 220 for 24 hrs, should I cut the brisket in half, or should I just get a sack and trust that my last five 10 lb briskets have been great and 6 more lbs is just six more pounds? Any thoughts would help.

  2. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    First & foremost, Welcome to the SMF forum, Kitsap.  Around here you will find useful & valuable information.  Just post your questions in the appropriate forum, like beef for brisket as you have done & someone will come along to help you with answers to your important questions.  Also, you should go over to "Roll Call" & introduce yourself so that the wonderful folks here can give you the warm greeting that you deserve.

    To address your concerns, some people have separated their brisky's by point & flat, to achieve shorter smoking times.  Cutting in half should also give you the same result but I have never cut mine.  If there is to be a stall in the smoking process, the size won't matter as the stall will occur regardless.  Yes, the intent of 1.5 per lb is correct, however, folks always give themselves extra time to complete the smoke, just in case of problems or issues. 

    I am sure someone else will or should chime in with their experiences at brisky smoking.  Hang in there, Welcome to the forum again, post in "Roll Call" & tell us about yourself, have fun while you are here & enjoy your stay.
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Since you are going to use your electric I would just plan on the 24 hrs. +2 hrs. to be safe. So if you are planning on eating at 5 PM Sunday (just an example), I would put it on around 2 or 3 in the afternoon on the day before. For the overnight portion if your are confident in your smokers ability to maintain temps you can get a good night sleep, if not just set the alarm to go off every 3 or so hours and get up long enough to check on the brisket, then grab another "nap".
  4. This cracks me up!  I just bought a big, whopping 15 lb brisket to smoke for a bunch of folks and had the same question.  The first post I come to is like I needed to know.  I have a masterbuilt and there is no way for this piece of meat to fit.  I hate to cut it.  I guess I will try to arch it and give that a try.  Wow, that seems like a long time to smoke.  The biggest I have done prior to this is about 10 lbs and they got done much quicker.  I am just paranoid because I don't want to screw up everyone's dinner.  Another experiences I would enjoy and appreciate hearing about.  Thanks guys.
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would cut it in half. Just make sure to probe both pieces because they may cook a little bit differant. Leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch of fat cap on to keep them moist and tender.
  6. I think your right I am gonna cut it in half, just to handle easier.  You think it will still take 22 hours, roughly, to smoke those two halves?  I usually like to pull mine about 195 degress. 
  7. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't think cutting it in half is going to save you much time as far as cooking it til it's tender.  You will still have two pieces that are the same thickness (top to bottom).  Better to just buckle up and plan for a long smoke.  If it's an electric smoker, just relax and let the smoker do it's thing..

    If it finishes early, just foil it, wrap it in towels and place it in a cooler until dinner time.  If you find that it's cookiing way faster than you thought and you need to cooler it for more than a couple of hours, take it off a few degrees early or open the foil for a bit to let some of the heat escape before you cooler it.  Otherwise you may only be able to pull it, not slice it. (Don't ask me how I know that. [​IMG])

  8. gregzee

    gregzee Smoke Blower

    This last new years day i smoked a 17 pounder at 230 degrees.  I dont have the exact time it took due to the amount of beers that I consumed that day, but according to my pics it took the point 15.5 hours to get up to 170.  After separating and wrapping the point, it took 2 -3 hours for the point to get up to 190.  At which point I pulled it off the smoker, left it wrapped in foil and fridged it until the next day.  Around 3 pm the next day, i probed it and put it back in the smoker and waited for it to hit 190 again.  At 190, i put it in a heated serving thing and awaited the inlaws to consume it. 

    Heres the link to my Qview for that day, It may help,

  9. I would like to thank everyone for their great feed back and especially caveman for your very warm welcome.  I now know what I need to do and will begin the prep of this house holds historic cut of beef.....

    Friday evening 7:30 PM- the official cutting of the seal, paper towel tamp with a 20 minute air dry, then culminating with Jeff's mustard massage and my Bourbon Paprika dry rub application.  Upon full inspection the official wrapping of the Saran wrap for a 14 hour fridge Rub to Brisket infusion period.  

    Friday evening 8:30-  A black Label Scotch (rocks with a twist of lemon) pouring for the Gods to celebrate the historic beginning.

    Saturday 10:30 AM  Pull Brisket from fridge and hold on shelf in garage for proper ambient temperature integration.

    Saturday at 12:30 the smoke will be pre-warmed and smoked  to 220deg F with the expectation that the ceremonial smoker loading parade begin exactly at 1PM (the trip from the garage fridge to the back deck with my three young sons in full salute).

    Saturday 1:02PM  The Positioning in the Smoker ceremony- once again full youth solute!

    Saturday 1:05PM  the closing of the smoke door followed by the official cracking of the PBR iced in the 5 gal paint bucket.

    Every 2 hrs a olive oil, paprika, garlic, and beer  wet mop with a visual inspection for safety and quality.  Adding a visual inspection of the beer and ice level in the paint bucket.

    Sunday 6AM The first internal temp check, possible wrapping of the brisket in foil.  Will expect to pull it by 3PM.

    Sunday 3PM the official Cutting of the Brisket followed after a Prayer of Remembrance for the brave sons and daughters who have given all to protect and defend this great nation! 

    Will trust that the empty cooler and blanket trick will hold food until 3PM once I reach an IT of 185 deg.

    I will post pictures for all to see- once again thank you 
  10. gregzee

    gregzee Smoke Blower

    That sounds like a great plan.  I will be looking forward to the Qview.
  11. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    I've done a full packer brisket on my 30 inch MES without cutting it.  I bent it to fit the grate.  Tenting is a good term for this.  As the fat melted and the brisket began to shrink it fit just fine.  In fact, the only time I've cut one is to remove the point and cook it on a seperate grate.
  12. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep, they do shrink a bit.  The last one I did on the drum barely fit across the grate but by the time it really got cooking, there was plenty of room.

  13. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome aboard KitsapSmoker!  One of the many places we've lived over the years was Everett and Oak Harbor, WA and, truth be told, I'd go back there in a New York minute if I could! 

    As for your brisket, I recently smoked a 13+ pound brisket and settled in for a 20 hour ride.  I did split the flat from the point and started my temp readings on the smaller piece.  As you'll note, the whole thing took right at 13 hours.  That's what my brisket did in my smoker.  Yours may be the same or you may hit that plateau and be there for a real long time.  Either way, hope for the best but prepare for the worst!
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  14. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Okay folks....I am a pork guy (and a porky guy...lol), but I am doing my first brisket next week. Having never smoked a brisket before, and not knowing much about it, I am going to ask a stupid question.

    What is the flat and the point and how and why do I separate them?

    I'm all prepared for a long night in front of the smoker and am looking forward to it (see my post in General Discussion titled "Remember when?")

    Thanks in advance for all the advice that is coming.
  15. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     The point is the larger end of the brisket and the flat is the flat portion that runs underneath. The flat has a very straight grain to it and the point is just a marbled mess of goodness. There is a distinct layer of fat that seperates the two. If you do it right, you can almost seperate the point from the flat without cutting red meat. There is a huge chunk of gnarly fat at the end of the point called a corn. Cut this off before smoking. Here's a fairly large brisket I did a while back.


    Definately seperate the two and DO NOT just hack the thing in half...
  16. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  17. sounds great,i have a wood smoker and have never cooked a brisket,it is about a 10 pounds. do i still need to keep the temp. around 220 degrees and will it still take alot of time to cook

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