First time brisket this weekend

Discussion in 'Beef' started by nmaf, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie


    I've ordered a brisket from the local butcher, to pick up Friday. We're having quite a few people over for my birthday, so it seems I've picked quite a daunting task. I have a couple questions about the procedure.

    Quickly, background: I have a Bradley digital smoker, i don't know the size of the brisket yet, (why can't i spell it brisket, i always type briskey first... i must have a problem) but i'm assuming in the 6-8 pound range. I also have a 7.8 pound boston butt for pulled pork. I just got myself an igrill, so I can monitor fairly easily. The long term forecast is calling for anywhere from 5-16 C (41-61 F) on Saturday. I just bought my smoker and have only used it 4-5 times, but have found myself frustrated with effect the cold weather has had on the internal temperature of the oven. This is part of the reason I bought the igrill, with the ambient temperature probe.

    People will be arriving at my house for probably 5 o'clock. I'm good with not feeding them until 6-6:30. (We're Canadian, so alcohol is always the first course, anyways). So, brisket: 6-8 lbs @ 90mins per = 9-11 hours cooking time? Plus, 1-2 hours of cooler time, I realistically am looking at a 5am start? (not to mention the hour and a half or so it needs to preheat in our arctic climate)

    I am comfortable doing an overnight cook, especially with the igrill i can check the temperature from bed. Friday's I work until 2:30pm. Also Friday is supposed to be very warm, 60ish, and I will have the smoker in the nice afternoon sunshine, so oven temp is less of a concern (until 9pm, anyways!)

    Am I better to do this brisket Friday afternoon  and then reheat for a bit on Saturday afternoon? If I do this, I will probably do the pulled pork Saturday afternoon. I'm not concerned about doing both at the same time, at all, but it would be nice to have that smokey smell lingering all day Saturday, too. I live close enough to work that I could come home at 11am, preheat the oven until I'm off work (2:30pm at the latest) and have the brisket in the smoker before 3pm, which would allow me to sleep by a decent hour.

    Sorry for the long, rambling post. Trying not to over think things!


  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just for your peace of mind, I would suggest you plan for 2 hours per lb. as opposed to 90 min.  You just never know, every piece of meat has a mind of its own, and I can tell you from experience that its no fun to have your guests sitting around staring at you wondering when they can eat.  If it gets done sooner, it can always rest, wrapped in a towel/blanket, in a cooler for several hours.

    Are you serving the Pulled Pork at the same dinner?  If so, I wouldn't wait until the same afternoon to start the butt - it could take almost as long as the brisket (1 1/2-2 hours per lb. @ 225-250*F smoker temps).  You can certainly smoke both the afternoon before, they will heat up nicely on Saturday afternoon before your guests arrive.

    Good luck, and please give us Qview!

  3. I don't have any experience with the digital bradly but I had the one with the analog control and had awful luck when I tried to put too much meat in there, top to bottom was horrible for temp difference. So with that said I would do the pork but the day before, smoke till 165 IT then put in a pan with a little apple juice and cover with foil till IT hits 195-205 depending on how the meat feels. Then let rest 1-2 hours then pull. When pulling meat put juice from pan in the fridge to separate the fat then dump juice back in the meat and it will reheat fine. Then do the brisket the day of the party and do like Red said plan for a long cook so its done early, if it is getting close and still not up to temp you can use the oven with a higher temp if its been foiled. I like to use foil pans rather than just foil, it only took cleaning the over once when trying to hold a pork butt and the foil tore when sliding it in, big mess.

    Good luck and post some pics.
  4. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Red gave you some great advice!  Plan on 2 hours per pound for both the brisket and the butt - or - crank up the heat to about 260 and shorten your time some.  I did my last butts between 250 & 270 and they were done in less than 10 hours and were awesome!

    For the brisket, you might consider using the Texas Crutch (foil at 165 IT until IT of 205).

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  5. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie

    Just picked up my brisket, 7.94lbs. It is an absolutely beautiful deep red flesh. I am searching rubs, I would like to do a coffee based one. Have some good quality beans, and an excellent burr grinder, should be happy with my results. Plan is now to preheat and have in the hot smoker by 2:30 Friday afternoon. I am sensing I should do the 2 pork separately, so I think I'll put that in early Saturday morning.
  6. [​IMG]i'm in. remember to post lots of pics.

    happy smoken.

  7. standing by for q-view....good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  8. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie

    Here is my bone in butt, brining in salt and molasses for the next 24 hours before getting a nice rubdown.

    so close to the weekend!!
  9. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie

    Made a rub, fresh ground coffee, brown sugar, cayenne, chipotle, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and pepper. Probably some other stuff, I just wing it.
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like you have gotten good advice and have a plan. How about some Enhancement...Smokey Au Jus for the Brisket, a Finishing Sauce and BBQ Sauce for the Butt...JJ

    Smokey Au Jus

    1- Lg Onion,

    4-5 Carrots,

    3-4 Ribs Celery

    3-4 Peeled Cloves of Garlic

    Toss them in a pan under the Beef, and let the whole deal Smoke for one hour,

    THEN add 4-6 Cups Beef Broth,

    2 Tbs Tomato Paste,

    1/2tsp Dry Thyme (4-5 sprigs Fresh)

    1-2 ea Bayleaf

    Finish the Smoking process to the IT you want. 

    While the Roast is resting, dump the pan juices veggies and all into a 2-3Qt Sauce pot and add 1Cup Red Wine, something you like to drink, and bring the Jus to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out the veggies and let the Jus rest a minute or so for the Fat to rise. Skim off the bulk of the fat then using strips of paper towel laid on top of the Jus then quickly removed, take off the last little bit of fat.

    The purpose of Smoking the Vegetable for 1 hour before adding the Broth and Herbs is...The Smoked vegetables Roast in the Dry heat concentrating their Flavors and Sweetness giving the finished Jus a Richer, Deeper, Full Flavor.

    Serve the sliced Beef Au Jus or thicken the Jus to make Gravy.

    NOTE: If you are using this recipe with Brisket, additional Water will have to be added periodically to maintain the proper volume. Do not add more Broth as repeated addition and reduction will make the Au Jus too salty..

    Sweet Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.

    Simmer 5-10 minutes until syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For Pulled Pork: Make a Double batch, Butter optional or do as I do...Use the Smoked Pork Fat from the drip pan...

    Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    De-fat the remaining Juice from the foil pack or pan and set aside.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan and add the de-fatted pan Juice and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crockpot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crockpot to 165*F and Serve.

    Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. Thanks for the inquiries, ENJOY...

    Tangy Vinegar Finishing Sauce

    JJ's Finishing Sauce

    2C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. Let rest, at room temp, 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together.

    My Favorite BBQ Sauce

    KC Bubba Q Juice

    2C Ketchup

    1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

    1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/2C Molasses

    2C Dark Brn Sugar

    1T Tomato Paste

    1T Mild Rub

    1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

    1tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

    Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

    Makes 3 1/2 Cups.

    This Sauce balances quite nice with my Tangy Vinegar Finishing Sauce...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  11. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    I will be doing a brisket this Friday. i plan on making the Chef JimmyJ Au Jus. mostly as described. sans onion and probably will use some JD instead of wine. looking forward to trying it.
  12. JJ

    now you have gone and made me hungry.

    happy smoken.

  13. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie

    yeah i gotta pick up an onion and some carrots after work, for sure. have seen the au jus recipe floating around on the forums a few times, was definitely planning on using it.

    got the stuff ready to go in the smoker. had some technical difficulties, on the phone with bradley, got it all figured out, cabinet temping at 215 now, wasn't going above 135. a couple hours later than i wanted to start, but better late than never!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  14. i would say best of luck. but their is not luck involved. your going to do great and have some great Q to share with your friends. i can already see their face[​IMG]

    happy smoken.

  15. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie

    This is the brisket at 170, after 8 hours in the smoker, giving it and the 160F Boston butt the Texas crutch treatment in the oven now for the night at 215f. Has been at the stall stage for 3 hours or so, have temped with a few different probes in a few different places, also don't have the butter feeling when I probe yet, so not worried at all. Hopefully it waits until a decent hour to hit 205. Have my igrill set to alarm.

    Here's a pic of the pork:
  16. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    looks good enough to eat! :)
  17. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie

    Brisket finished at about 3am, so 12h15m cooking time, 9 hours in the smoker, the rest in the oven at 215. The pulled pork is the same weight, nearly to the ounce, (yes, i realize, it's shaped like a football vs the flat brisket) and seems to have stalled for 6 hours now? It's 545am, and still temping at 168-170, so i bumped the oven to 250.  It has been foiled for 6 hours now, with little to no change in temperature. Just let the brisket sit on the counter for about 2.5 hrs, now going into the fridge, OK to cut cold before crock potting this afternoon for warm up?
  18. nmaf

    nmaf Newbie

    Finished brisket. At 3am, awesome.
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That all looks good...JJ

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