First Time Brisket...Hints or Tips needed

Discussion in 'Beef' started by boog22, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. boog22

    boog22 Newbie

    So I am planning my first brisket smoke in 2 weeks for a cookout for family and friends. Plan on doing a packer. Please post any recommended rubs, methods and any hints or tips you might think help. I plan on serving around 4-5pm on saturday so I would also appreciate any recommendation on start times.  I will be smoking in Masterbuilt 2 door with propane.

    Also I am assuming I will have to separate the brisket due to size limitations in my smoker.  Should I be putting the 2 parts on at separate times?

    Thanks in advance for any advice
  2. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    How many people are you serving? 

    How big is the brisket? (if you have bought it already.)

    If you haven't bought it, get something in the 14 pound range, trim off the excess fat, leave about 1/4" all the way around. I usually cut out a big chunk of the hard fat between the flat and point towards the point end of the brisket. 

    Give it time. And then give it some more time. 

    Keep you smoker at 225-250, and smoke it for a solid 12 hours. If you want to wrap it do it once it gets above 160 IT, usually about 5 or 6 hours. Then keep the heat steady until the internal temp gets up to at least 195 degrees. Then rest it for at least an hour, maybe two. Let it sit wrapped in foil of butcher paper in a pan with a towel over it. Don't worry it's won't get cold.

    As for rubs, keep it simple your first time. Just salt and black pepper. Course ground is better than fine. 

    I prefer to keep the flat and point together. I think your smoker will accommodate a full packer. Measure the inside, length and width and buy a packer brisket that will fit.
  3. boog22

    boog22 Newbie

    Thanks for the reply

    Will probably be serving about 20 people. Havent bought one yet

    Rack size is about 21" x 21"
  4. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I sent you a PM with a link suggestion for my workbook.  It walks you through prepping and smoking your first brisket.
  5. Not to hi-jack the thread, but I am about to do my first one too.      I got a 6.33 lb (3 inches thickest part, 2 inches flatest part) that will just  fit in my MES 30 if I put it diagonally on the rack, almost touching the back/side but not quite.    Is that an ok way to do it since it will shrink back a little from the walls of the smoker?   Or should I cut it in half and put it on 2 racks?

    I will eventually move it into the drip pan and foil the whole thing.


    Oh, and sorry, one more question.  When you put it in the drip pan and cover with foil, do you wrap around the temp probe?  Or do you take the probe out and stick it back in through the foil?
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

  7. boog22

    boog22 Newbie

    Got a 10.5lb packer. Trimmed off about 2lbs of fat. Used SPOG for a rub and it is resting now. Still debating my start time tonight. Plan on eating tomorrow around 4-5 in the evening. So final weight of it is about 8.5lbs. I know you never know how long but I am thinking about a 12 hour smoke then resting in a cooler for a few hours. Looks like a midnight start probably. Picture is before trimming didnt get picks before I wrapped it up.

    Any other tips to keep warm just in case it is a fast smoke?

  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    What temp are you smoking at?

    You can hold it for 4 hours in a cooler without any problems. 
  9. boog22

    boog22 Newbie

    Planning on smoking @225.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    At 225 you should be good with a midnight start. 
  11. I have one of those bean bag warmers that we didn't use anymore, so it gets heated in the microwave for 5-7 minutes and then tossed in the cooler with the foil wrapped meat and towels.     I think it helps to keep the heat in longer.
  12. thesmokist

    thesmokist Meat Mopper

    the last packer I did was about 16 lbs after trimming. I injected it with beef broth and beefy onion soup and rubbed with SPOG. cooked at I think 240 put it in at 6pm and was done at 4 the next day. I took it out at 195 and let it rest for two hours. it was long cook time but it was a huge chunk of meat. it turned out real good.
    I'm planning another for Labor Day weekend
  13. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking forward to seeing the end result!  Make sure you get LOTS of pics
  14. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    One piece of advice I didn't see posted:

    Mark the brisket grain before you rub it or cook it.  I've heard of using a toothpick, but I just put a horizontal cut into the corner of the flat that's at the end of the grain.  

    After cooking it, I can easily see that cut and start there for my slicing.
  15. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Our host, Jeff, wrote and article/tutorial and sent notice by email just yesterday.

    Look here.
  16. boog22

    boog22 Newbie

    I forgot to do this, I did just read Jeffs tutorial I figured great timing for me. I was trying to look at my picture I posted to determine the grain but not sure, anyone else able to determine the direction just by a photo?
  17. boog22

    boog22 Newbie

    Got it on at midnight as planned. Smoker steady @225. Rubbed with SPOG and smoking with pecan.

    Also got some wings seasoned and ready for tomorrow

  18. boog22

    boog22 Newbie

    Not sure why but I have zero bark forming. I put pecan chunks in and they didnt burn off much at all. IT 155 right now. Probe said it was only 130 which had me worried but I moved it and it instantly went up, must have been in fat or something I am assuming. Now I am questioning if this is going to turn out ok. Now I may go grab some ribs and throw on just in case

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  19. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    I know I can't say for sure.  

    When you're done you may be able to see the grain direction from under the fat as you take the point off, or just try a slice from one of the corners of the flat and see what you get.  The flat will tell you the grain direction, just more a matter of it being easier to mark it while it's raw.  :)  
  20. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    If it was 130 and went up when you moved it you moved it into a fat pocket.  Go back to the lower temp.  Double check your probe with an instant-read thermometer at other points when you start getting close.

    I use a different type of smoker so don't know anything about what you should expect for bark formation in your smoker.

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