1st time smoking Brisket - advice welcome

Discussion in 'Beef' started by fishacura, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Hi all.  Got my MES a couple months back and have done pork ribs twice.  Loving getting into this culture.  Still very much a noob and now want to try Brisket.  Figured what better time than for the super bowl.  Just really confused not about the rub but about the cooking process.  Couple things really after reading so many threads.

    1.  The fat layer - have seen posts saying remove, some saying leave on and some saying cook fat up and others saying cook fat down.  Ugh.  What's the answer?

    2.  Actual cooking process.  Just read one saying cook 2 hours to 175 degrees then wrap for another 2 hours until 190 and then remove when temp is 203.  But I had thought Brisket should take more like 12 hours and I had not seen wrapping while cooking before.

    Any general advice or threads you swear by?  I am only sold on the rub and the wood (mesquite...I found hickory way too powerful on the ribs)..
  2. Forget about final IT. You want to start using the toothpick test at 185°ish. When it probes like butter it is done. Remember to let it rest. It is done when it is done. Not when you want it done. Is this going to be a full packer?

    Happy smoken.

  3. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Mesquite is stronger?  Whoops.  I could have sworn it was the opposite.  Hmmm now not sure what to do.  I guess I'll stick with the hickory.  Not sure how I got that backwards but obviously still learning here.  2 hrs/lb is great too.  Thx!  Makes sense it wouldn't always be the same time and would depend on size.
  4. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Thx Garys.  Perfect links for me!!!
  5. smokin-q

    smokin-q Smoke Blower

    Be sure to watch this: 

    Good luck and enjoy!
  6. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Picked up some apple chips today.  Hopefully I have it straight that this will be a bit milder.

    Went to a local market....$7.19/lb for a 7 pounder.  Thought they were much cheaper so tried another market and $7.79/lb (also had sizes in 7 lb range)

    For some reason I thought I saw $4/lb out here but maybe not.  I am checking Costco tomorrow.  Cannot wait!!!

    Other thing I noticed (I think but I am still learning) that they only carried the "flat" (7 lbs so couldn't be the whole thing right?  And not terribly thick which means it cannot be the point right?)  So I think this is the leaner cut.  Still not worried as may not have much choice for this weekend but would definitely prefer the fattier portion!
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  7. fishacura

    fishacura Newbie

    Well good news and bad news on my first brisket smoke.

    So I wasn't able to get the full packer and sadly went with the lean end. I'm wondering if that was my problem. Taste was great but WOW was it dry! Really dry. I even took it out at 185 to be safe but still just terribly dry. Thoughts? Given a 185 temp do you think it was just too lean a cut??? I smoked uncovered for half the time and covered with butcher paper when it go to the stall.

    As far as good news, at the last minute I figured "hey why not try to smoke some italian sausage". Was worried since the temp was at 225 for the brisket and would have liked to started lower but what the heck. Well let me say THAT came out amazingly well!!!

    Additionally, used apple wood this time in lieu of hickory because of the long time for the brisket. BIG fan of it...much milder with a nice sweetness!!!
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Flats are the toughest thing to get consistent, even getting the probe in the wrong place can throw off your temp measurements by several degrees. If I do a flat by itself I leave the fat cap on, and keep my chamber temps as close to 225° as I can. If you haven't had great success with flats you can wrap them in foil with about 1/2 Cup of low sodium beef broth when the internal temp hits 165°. The biggest thing is the temp control, especially in the winter. Don't get to discouraged if you mess one or two up, even after cooking brisket for 5 or 6 years I still mess one up every so often. On the plus side even a dry brisket makes great chilli or stew!
  9. You are taking it out to early. Forget about temp and use the toothpick test. Don't trim it and do fat up.

    Happy smoken.


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