Going to smoke my first brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by steve borkowski, May 7, 2013.

  1. This weekend I'll be trying my first brisket in a Masterbuilt electric smoker.  Any and all tips are welcome, but what I most need is a recipe for a good SWEET dryrub to apply before smoking.  I'm not sure if I'll add sauce afterward or during the smoke, or even at all.  I'm open to most any ideas.  As I said, it's my first attempt.  Wife liked the turkey breast, but the country ribs were "too smokey" according to her. 


  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Good luck Steve!  Best advice for a first brisket smoke is be patient...it can take from 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound of brisket to get done.  IT of anywhere between 190*-205*, depending on the "toothpick test":  when the IT gets to about 190, poke the meat in several locations with a toothpick, or a bamboo skewer, or anything else pointy.  When it slides in and out like through butter, its done!  Wrap it in foil and a beach towel and put in a cooler or the oven for at least an hour to rest.  When you slice it and serve it, you should be the envy of all who taste it!

    Here is a pretty good basic all purpose rub that has some sweetness to it:

    1/2 cup dark brown sugar

    1/2 cup white sugar

    1/2 cup paprika

    1/3 cup garlic powder

    1/2 cup kosher salt

    1/3 cup onion flakes

    1-Tbsp chili powder

    1-tsp oregano

    1-tsp cayenne pepper

    1-tsp ground cumin

    1-tsp black pepper

    And another.  This is the Memphis Magic Dust Rub, I use both of these mostly for pork, but it is pretty sweet if that's what you're after:


     3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

     3/4 cup white sugar

     1/2 cup paprika

     1/4 cup Morton's kosher salt

     1/4 cup garlic powder

     2 tablespoons ground black pepper

     2 tablespoons ground ginger powder

     2 tablespoons onion powder

     2 teaspoons rosemary powder

    Good luck, and be sure to let us know how it goes!

    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I find brisket (and beef in general) work best with a simple rub of salt, pepper, and granulated garlic - it gives nice flavor without covering the flavor of the beef.

    Like Red said, the most important thing patience. Don't peek, don't poke, don't spritz, just let it do it's thing. For your first one I suggest foiling it with some beer or beef broth when the internal temp. gets to 165°. Then take it to an internal temp of 190-200°.

    Keep it simple and be patient and you will be rewarded. Whatever you do don't try to rush it - if you get impatient and pull it off at 180° or try to crank up the heat to speed it up you will end up with tastey shoe leather.
  4. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

     What he said! Be patient. It will be done when it is done!

  5. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The older I get the more I like to let the meat be the star of the show....especially brisket. For brisket I use very little kosher or sea salt (if you leave salt on overnight it can draw moisture out of the meat), some butcher blend or coarse ground pepper, and a bit of granulated onion and garlic. Trim your fat cap to about an eighth inch or so and score it a little. (I ain't getting into cooking fat up or down discussion). Remember the most famous mantra for brisket........ patience! During the cook, the stall, getting to temp, and after you wrap. I never wrap before the 195 to 200 mark but lots of folks do. And then a good hour and a half to two hours or more for big packers (lots of patience) in double foil and a nice blanket or cooler. If you'd like to save some of Reds rub recipe for when you wrap the flavors will meld together nicely while she's resting. One last thing... did anyone mention PATIENCE?
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  6. I'm kinda surprised no one mentioned patience, but I thank you all for the info.  If I take the brisket and wrap it to let it "rest"  will I not have cold brisket to serve.   Sorry for the stupid question.  But like my Dad always told me. "Steve, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people asking questions."
  7. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Get it right out of the smoker and into the foil with a small amount of juice, beer, beef broth, whatever. Then you can even wrap the foiled meat in an old blanket. This will allow the juices to redistribute and tenderize the brisket even further. It will hold plenty of heat don't worry. Its gonna be great.
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A dry ice chest is your best friend when it comes to brisket. Since brisket takes the longest to cook, and it can be a tad unpredictable on it's finish time you want to give yourself extra time to spare in case of a bad stall. But if it finishes early you don't want to be serving cold brisket so here is where the ice chest comes in. Double wrap the brisket in foil, place 1 or 2 towels in the bottom of the ice chest, put your foiled brisket in, then fill the rest of the space with more towels. Close the lid and do not open it! You can hold a brisket for over 6 hrs. and still have it to hot to handle with bare hands this way. However, if you know you are going to have to hold it for longer than 4 hrs., pull it off approx. 10° sooner than your target temp. Otherwise it will continue to cook and get softer than you want.

    But it is better to finish early and hold it in the cooler, than having to order pizza for the guests because of a bad stall. [​IMG]
  9. Thank you, all of this is starting to make sense, and I'm feeling more confident.  Much appreciated.


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