Advice on a 3lb. Brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by spencer olsen, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. spencer olsen

    spencer olsen Newbie

    I'm fairly new to smoking but so far, I do alright.  I have mastered my pork back ribs and chicken wings and want to move on to brisket.  On Memorial Day, I cooked a 10lb brisket and it didn't turn out well.  I over cooked it, but I pulled it and threw some sauce on it and no one knew the difference.  

    Now I am back for round 2.  I have chosen a small 3.2lb cut because it was cheap, already trimmed and I only have 3 kids and my youngest doesn't do beef.  So I have it rubbed, wrapped, and refrigerated for tomorrow.

    My equipment is a Brinkmann Electric that I have fitted with a thermometer.  The temp holds steady at about 225-230.

    My plan was to cook the brisket bare on the rack for about 4 hours glazing every 45 min to 1 hour with an olive oil/apple juice spritz.  

    Since it's small, I know it's going to cook relatively fast.  I have a good thermometer that I can shove into the brisket while it cooks, but I would rather just feel my way through it.

    Sound like a good plan or am I missing something?
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    Sounds like a good plan to me, just remember that placing a time on the brisket is a mistake,  Go by the temperature of the meat.  If the last one you did was dry I would make a point of keeping it well spritzed.  Even better did you consider smoking for an hour or so then foiling with moisture for an hour or so then returning to a hot smoker to crisp it up a bit.  It's such a small brisket I think you need to be careful it doesn't cook to fast and dry out on you.  That's why I am thinking a bit of tin foil will help you out here.   A big ole brisket with a big thick fat cap can kind of self baste but the size you have must have been well trimmed.

    Good luck and post some Q view when you get it finished

  3. spencer olsen

    spencer olsen Newbie

    Thanks for the help...  I will definitely break out the thermometer.  The brisket was well trimmed and I am extra worried about drying it out.  The foil idea sounds great, similar to what I do with my ribs.  I will report with pics tomorrow afternoon and give a full report. 

    Thanks again.
  4. smokinal

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

    We'll be waiting!
  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Don't forget the Bear view. [​IMG]
  6. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. spencer olsen

    spencer olsen Newbie

    OK...  It's been in the smoker for 3 hours.

    First hour, I let it go, then for hour 2 I wrapped it in foil with a little apple juice.  Last hour it is back on the rack and holding steady at 159F.

    I'm a little worried that it isn't moving...  should I move it to the oven or am I fine where I am at and over-reacting?
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Leave it where it is.  They stall and that is a good thing as long as you have good chamber temps.  You may want to keep mopping it occassionally
  9. spencer olsen

    spencer olsen Newbie

    Thanks.  I started freaking out.  It has stalled, but I keep mopping occasionally.  It's looking good so far, I'm just afraid of drying it out.  I'll keep ya'll posted and pics when done.  Now I'm hungry.
  10. spencer olsen

    spencer olsen Newbie


    I jumped the gun and pulled it at 175F - The reason I did is because it was getting late and the family needed to feed.  Despite that, it came out surprisingly tender and I am pleased with the result.

    Here is the brisket...


    The cut...


    The Enjoyment...


    Thanks for your help, guys.  I still have half a brisket left - gonna re-heat that for lunches this week.

    Success tastes good.

    Some Notes:

    I rubbed the brisket with a generic "Texas style" rub I found at the grocery.  I prepared the meat and squeezed half a lime on it before I applied my oil and rub.  I applied olive oil and the rub liberally, wrapped and let sit for about 36 hours.

    I took alblancher's advice and smoked for one hour over hickory before moving to foil for 1 hour.  After I removed it from the foil, I let it cook until the temperature got to 175F.  I probably should have waited for 180-190 but it would have taken another hour or so easily.  I had mouths to feed.  I think it turned out excellent, it wasn't falling apart, but it was still elastic and really, really tender.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  11. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great Spencer!! Excellent QView! [​IMG]
  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    There is nothing wrong with 175 if you slice it.  You don't need to go any higher unless you want to pull it.  Looks great, thanks for the q view

    What was total time on the brisket  3 or 4 hours?

  13. spencer olsen

    spencer olsen Newbie

    5 hours at 250F total.
  14. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice brisket and the smoke line I see in the mid section looks excellent! It will be all downhill smoking travels for you...[​IMG]
  15. kid creole

    kid creole Fire Starter

    Looks like it turned out great.  I've had some cooks that were better than others, but the only time I've ever ruined anything is when I pulled it off the cooker to finish on the grill because it was time to eat chewy ribs or cereal.  :)  You're brisket sure looks tender and juicy.

    Only thing I would say is that after 3 hours, when it hit 159, that was the time to foil it.The purpose of the foil is to increase the humidity next to the meat and slow the evaporation.  Just like when you sweat, the evaporating moisture is cooling the brisket.  What the stall tells you is that the very outside of the meat has hit 212, and it is boiling off moisture.  You get a nice hard bark without the foil because you boil the moisture off of the outside.  In the 3-2-1 method for ribs, you take the foil off at the end to get that crispiness.

    I just cooked my first brisket, so I'm not speaking with a wealth of knowledge from first hand experience.  Everyone should feel free to ignore or to chastise me if I'm wrong.  :)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  16. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    It took longer then I would have expected for a 3 lb piece of meat.  Maybe the next one you do of that size and trim you can do maybe 2.5  hrs on the smoke, an hour in the foil and then an hour back on the smoker.  The foil can screw up a good bark but it goes a long way to making the cut, tender.  You can also turn the heat up for the last hour and that will crisp the outside a bit for you. 
  17. spencer olsen

    spencer olsen Newbie

    Good to know, Thanks...

    Yeah, I think I am going to foil it later to get the temp up and then maybe unwrap for an hour or so to bark it up.
  18. smokinal

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

    That's one good looking brisket!

    Nice job!
  19. thebigred67

    thebigred67 Newbie

    Looks great! +1 on the lime. It seems to do such a great job.

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