Brisket question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by hawki, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. hawki

    hawki Newbie

    I decided to try and do a beef brisket this weekend. I went to wal-mart and bought the only brisket they had in the meat case. (Made the selection process very easy) It is a 13.8 pound specimen. My question is Could I cut the brisket in half and smoke the two 7lb pieces together and cut the smoking time down?
    I live in a town of row homes with small back yards...I am guessing that If I fire up my smoker at O dark thirty somebody will report a smoke smell/fire to 911 and Many of my friends and neighbors will be responding with at least 4 fire engines, 1 ladder truck and a Mack Areialscope with lights and sirens a blazing.
    The second idea is smoking the brisket from 8am till dark and finishing it in the oven.

    Any other suggestions?

  2. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Weather you cut it or not it will be a long smoke. I would plan on 1.5 hours or more per pound at 225-235°. Allow yourself tons of time! The neigbors will be over asking for some not dialing 911!

    Here is a link to a sticky to help you out.
  3. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now don't anybody throw anything at me for this...
    Butch, you could always bring your brisket up to 170 and when you go to wrap in foil you could finish it in the oven. At least that way you wouldn't have to worry about the neighbors.
    I always try to bring everything to completion on the smoker but there have been a few times where I (and I'm sure many others) had to finish it in a 225 oven.

    Are you planning on slicing or pulling? If pulling you'll want to bring it to 205.
  4. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Duck! Here comes a tomato! :)
  5. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cutting in half won't do much for the timing. It's more about the thickness and connective tissue than it is about overall weight. I'd do what FireItUp said if you're afraid of smoking in the dark. No harm in finishing in the oven once you've foiled. At that point it's just cooking and not taking any more smoke.

    But what they'll be smelling will be some sweet smoked brisket. Unless you've got billowing smoke I wouldn't think they'd confuse it for a house fire. They might call the cops and have you arrested just so they can come over and steal your brisket.

    What I'd do is start about 4am. Get the smoker going, some beers flowing and some tunes rockin' nice and loud. Then they'll just think you're throwing an after hours party!
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One thing you can do is go tell your everybody what you planning on doing then they would know and you won't be explaining things to the firemen. After you do that you mite want to go get another brisket for everyone will want some. Yes plan on a long smoke but it will be fun just chillin in the back yard smokin.
    Life Is Good
  7. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Almost 14 pound brisket? Seperating the point from the flat will help some, bit probably not too much. You would probably be better off staying up all night, if it gets done quicker then you think wrap it in foil, then in towels and into a dry cooler.
    Let the neighbors know what you are up to so they don't get trigger fingers on the phone.
  8. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    Does it have a lot of fat? You could trim the fat down a bit to maybe 1/4 to 1/8th an inch. That will really only help in the beginning when you put the meat in the smoker, and the temps recover.

    Otherwise most likely as soon as anyone smells "smoke" and look outside, they'll probably smell cooking meat too. You should be fine.

    I live in an apartment complex, on the bottom floor of a 6 room building (in the middle).

    What I did was tell my neighbours I smoke food from time to time, and to ask me about smoke coming from my platio before doing anything else.

    Unless its an obvious fire, then they should probably get out...
  9. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I agree, give your immediate neighbors a "heads-up" so they don't worry. Still, I don't think anyone will call the fire department.

    Let us know what transpires.
  10. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree with the others. Just tell your neighbors what your doing. Also your smoker shouldnt be putting out billowing smoke so if its TBS they shouldnt call on you.

    Good luck and cant wait to see the pics.
  11. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    I have cut several briskets in half to fit in my MES and never had a complaint. I typically smoke it to "pull" and have no KCBS judges as neighbors or friends, so they don't care what the presentation looks like. [​IMG]
  12. hawki

    hawki Newbie

    A while back I had to do a bunch of ribs and pork butts for a party so I started smokin around 7am (on a Saturday). By 8:30am I had 3 different people from one of the fire companies come running up the alley to investigate...even though the smell was heavenly and I just had the 'thin blue smoke wafting out of the stack. Within another hour I had two different vehicles race up the alley to see why a bit of smoke was coming from my yard.
    Seeing as I got the smoker going I also got t racks of ribs ready to go too.

    I intend to somke the brisket all day tomorrow and into the evening...If need be I will finish it in the oven.
    After parusing some other posts I am also going to try some smoked 'Spam' bloomin style.
    The wife thinks I am nuts smokin spam....She's a 'picky eater'.

    Thanks for the opinions and info.
  13. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You got a lot of good advice up there ^^^^

    Here's a link to a great tutorial on how to separatew the point and flat and trim a brisket. Gots lotta pics-

    I start mine at 0400. That means the night before everything is loaded and set and rubbed etc. I get up at 3 or 3:30 AM, and start the fire (preset up) and the coffee maker. I pull the brisket out of the fridge and unwrap it. By 3:45 or 4:00 the smoker is ready and in she goes! Usually ready by 6:00 PM, however do let that fool you. Last one I made stalled for 3 hours and wasn't ready till after 8 PM. I should have finished it in the oven, but I stubbornly stuck it out with the smoker the whole time.

    As they've said, let your neighbours know ahead of time and believe me, they will be over during the day wondering and asking about that GREAT smell. [​IMG]

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