Help brisket too big for MES 30!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by fa1321tx, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    Hey guys 

    I bough a 9.69 lbs packer brisket today got it home washed, mustard glazed & seasoned. Once the initial work was done I noticed it is too big for my MES 30.

    I put it in the fridge and need some advice from you please!

    1. Will it shrink any in the fridge overnight?

    2. Should I try to cook it directly on the rack instead of a pan if it fits?

    3. Would you cut it to fit into a pan if so how much in half or just the end?

    4. I want to use mesquite & hickory do I add smoke the whole cook time?

    5. I want to serve this on Sunday at 11 am when would you start cooking?

    1.5 x 9.69 = 14.53 + 2 hours = aprox 17 hours is this correct cooking time?

    Thanks in advance!! 
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  2. 1-Won't really shrink in the fridge overnight. It will lose a tad bit of water but not enough to shrink. (The salt in the rub pulls out a little moisture)

    2-Yes cook it on the rack. Not that you can't do it in the pan, but not necessary. 

    3-If it does not fit you will have to cut it most likely. Some say you can bend it and tie it to fit. 

    4-Both Mesquite and Hickory are considered the strongest of smoking woods. Depends on how much smoke you like. If you haven't done this much (seems like you are asking a lot of questions so I assume you have not done this much-thats why we are here!) I would not do smoke the whole time with those woods. Most folks say that once the meat reaches a temp of around 140* or so it will not absorb smoke any more. I tend the think you will continue to get smoke flavor on at least the surface if you continue to smoke the whole time, at least that has been my experience. I would smoke for about the first 4-6 hours of the cook. Brisket can handle a lot of smoke, but work your way up as you gain more experience and see what you like. You can over smoke especially with Mesquite and Hickory. 

    5-Start around 7-8 pm on Sat. You will want to cook that puppy and then let it rest wrapped in foil and in an ice chest to keep it worm for about 2 hours. This is an important step. So give yourself time. If it gets done early in the am, it can keep in the cooler for hours as long as it is fairly warm.

    I do not cook to time and you will be strongly advised around here against trying to use time as your cooking parameter. IF you do not have a thermometer that you can place in the meat and leave it in while it cooks, at least get one that you can check the meat temp periodically. This will require opening the smoker to check and will add some time to your cook. Cook to an internal temp (IT) of 190* -200*. Closer to 200 is getting to falling apart territory. Many like to do the toothpick test: When IT reaches the 180+ range, stick a toothpick in it and if it goes in like butta you are done. I am an ultra hands off guy and just put mine on and go to sleep and forget about it until it gets to around 195. Then I wrap it up for a couple hours and then pig out. 

    You have time to get a thermometer before tomorrow night. I would highly recommend doing so. Also, use the search bar and check out the beef section. Lots of good info here. 

    Also, I too cannot fit a large brisket in my smoker. I cut just a tad off the flat end to fit. (see pick below). You can throw in the small piece you cut off with it. It will be done sooner and you can snack on it. 

    Good luck and post pics!

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
    chapterthree likes this.
  3. Good advice

  4. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    Thanks the advice! I have the iGrill2 probe to monitor the temp. As for the smoke I was hoping to just add for the first few hours so I can go to bed by midnight.
    What is the best spot to place the probe?
  5. Awesome, so you have a therm. Great. What temp will you cook at? I'd recommend somewhere between 225-240.

    Stick the probe in the flat somewhere towards the middle. The point has a lot more cooking latitude than the flat. So, when the flat is done your point is good to go. 

    I just did this one last night and it was a 9 pounder. I trimmed a really small portion of the flat (maybe coulda squished it in since it will shrink when it cooks) and started at 9 pm and it was ready to eat at noon, rest and all. So give you self another hour to hour and a half to be sure so, yeah start at 7-7:30pm.  

  6. Oh yeah, and you can add chips until you go night night, say 4 hours or so,  and you should be good to go. 
  7. Nice, I like the bark

  8. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    Thanks I was thinking about swapping between mesquite & hickory every hour for 4-5 hours.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One more suggestion, the IT for when you pull it. Its only a helpful reference. Make sure and use a toothpick or a fork to check doneness.

    Thermometers are a tool, they bring you close, its up to you to decide when its done. No two react or cook the same.

    BTW the brisket will shrink in the box.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  10. ozsmoker

    ozsmoker Smoke Blower

    i would cut off the thinner end(s) and use them for another recipe (eg chilli) as the thin ends will likely burn anyway

    for next time, you could consider separating the point and flat... mainly because they have a different fat profile and will therefore be at their best at different internal temperatures

    also, for me at least, i feel like i have to wrap everything i smoke in foil at some point during cooking so that the meat doesn't dry out... whether it's because of the heat being electric or because of the very low humidity where i live, i do not know
  11. Let us know how it turns out

  12. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    I live in the Houston area so hopefully humidity will work to my favor for a change! Lol!
    I will let you know how it comes out. Last time I tried one I used a pan and it was too tough IMHO despite the IT being 195 so I will try using the toothpick method.

    I have time to buy more wood chips if you guys think choice is too strong my thought was I would spent less time adding wood to the cook.
  13. Hey fa 1321tx   my #1 son runs a tower crane in Houston,   If your brisket was tough it didn't cook long enough

  14. fa1321tx,

    The wood chips you have will be fine. Brisket can take a good smoke, IMHO. And yeah, Gary is probably correct about your last brisket being tough. You can dry out a brisket by cooking too much but even dried out it will be rather tender. Tough usually means not cooked enough to break down the connective tissues resulting in a touch piece of meat. 

    Another thing to consider in you pursuit of brisket nirvana: the quality of the meat. I have cooked select, choice and prime. I notice a big difference in prime vs select. Some say they can make a select as good as prime, but I am skeptical. My prime briskies come out noticeably better. Especially the flat. The point not so much, but the flat on a cheap piece can be too lean and makes for a dry flat. When I do primes and do them whole the flats are great. 

    BTW, I'm in The Woodlands. 
  15. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    I'm in The Woodlands too I live in Sterling Ridge. Where do you buy your briskets from?
  16. That's a pretty nice area

  17. fa1321tx

    fa1321tx Smoke Blower

    It is Gary I am a realtor in The Woodlands and it's one of the best places in Houston to live IMHO. My wife dragged me up here initially now you would have to drag me away!
    It's kinda windy today hope it does not make the MES temps to erratic tonight.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  18. Cool. I'm in the stepchild section over in Harper's Landing (just kidding- its a nice little village). 

    I get them sometimes at HEB and sometimes from Costco or Sams. I have gotten one from a local meat market off of Sawdust. It was a very good prime brisket, but was around $6/lb. I catch them at previous mentioned stores prime for $3.99/lb sometimes. I look for small ones since I am only feeding a few, mainly myself. I am going to talk with the guys at the HEB on Market street or 1488 and see what they do with the points from the briskets when they have flats in the case. If I can buy just a few points from them that would be heaven. Otherwise, I do whole packers as this to me is the absolute best way to go. 
  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is a small meat market I used to use up in Conroe. If you happen in there, try his jerky!

    Its on N. Fraiser or Hwy 75, H&S I believe the name was, you knew it was a good butcher, he had a liquer store added on.....LOL

    I used to go in, look in his display, when I asked for something he'd always say it was old or tough or stringing or something and go cut exactly what I wanted. LOL... I never could get him to understand why prime rib made bad chili meat! He'd be making deal on what he needed to sell too! I really emnjoyed going in there.

    Don't forget the jerky!

    BTW I lived up on Lake Conroe for a few years, just about long enough to break even on my property.....
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  20. We lived in Conroe for a year when we moved from Lafayette. We have friends on/by the lake. Been out on the lake a few. 

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