Newbie from Pretty Water;-)

Discussion in 'Beef' started by tulsajeff, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. tulsajeff

    tulsajeff Master of the Pit Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member


    Gotcha! Knew that would attract some attention[​IMG]

    Down to serious business here.. I need some advice from you Brisket connoisseurs.

    I have a catering gig to do this weekend for some friends and I am just making them buy the stuff and I am donating my time.

    Well, he went and bought (4) 17# briskets at Tulsa Beef Company!! Not to mention the 2 turkeys, 4 pork shoulders and a ham in a pear tree[​IMG]

    Those briskets are probably some of the biggest I have ever seen. We just don't normally get that kind of size here.. big is usually 12-14 pounds max.

    Has anyone every cooked one that big and if so, was it as good as the smaller 12-14 pounders?

    I have a huge fridge and let me tell you that my wife is not too happy with me turning it into a meat locker for a day or two.. those suckers are not even fitting on the bottom shelf without turning up on the sides.

    Anyway... I am a little bit concerned about the size but it may be no big deal.

    Any words of wisdom?
  2. ba_loko

    ba_loko Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Jeff, much like yourself, I've yet to cook one up in the 17# range. I have, however, done many in the 13-14# range, and I've found the key is to remain at the low and slow. It never fails that the plateau is similar to a smaller brisket, but the tenderness doesn't arrive until sometime around ~18th hour. Don't let the size intimidate you. There have been several times where I felt like my money spent on a brisket was a total waste of money, only to find out that more time and patience at a low temp brought it to a point of "outstanding"!

    I look forward to others responses. You did pose a great question.
  3. bigarm's smokin

    bigarm's smokin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well Jeff, after reading your post, I think you should ask Santy Claus for help on the brisket. [​IMG] , Terry
  4. chris_harper

    chris_harper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    jeff, the biggest i have done was a 12lb'er. i try to get 10lbs and less. i would think same way would work- 225-240°, your rub (you know the one i mean) and your sauce (again, you know the one i mean) in a bottle to serve on the side. mesquite wood for flavor. just the way i would do it.
  5. adb551

    adb551 Smoke Blower

    In my experience the bigger the cut of meat, the longer in the smoker, the better chance of losing moisture if not properly regulated. You can get by with a little "Kentucky windage" when you are talking five or six hours, but you have to really watch your heat on a big cut.

    I have to think that a 17 pounder will require alot of attention. keep your heat low..we are talking about a 18-20 hour smoke here!!

    I have done a 15 pound before, and it turned out fine, but don't wander off drinking beer and watch the CHIEFS and let your temp get out of control.

    Any size, and any cut, can be done well with enough attention.
  6. starsfaninco

    starsfaninco Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jeff, I've done a few 15-16 lbers, and like was mentioned earlier, long and slow is the nature of the game. I've done the Dr Pepper marinade and dry rub on two and they came out great. I've also just dry rubbed them and beer and foiled them towards the end of the smoke. I don't think you'll see too much difference between the smaller ones vs these except the time.
  7. tonto1117

    tonto1117 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jeff, really no difference then the smaller packers except if your not a foiler(texas cruch) you might want to consider foiling them, tend to pick up a bit to much smoke and dry out a bit if ya don't in my experience. Also pick up a few more gummy bears and popcorn for the long haul[​IMG] . Please let us know how it goes and good luck!!![​IMG]
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't suppose just cutting 'em in half is a solution? Ya could do pulled with the tips and sliced with the flats?
  9. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Big briskets mostly just take longer. The thing is bigger briskets came off bigger cows (duh, I know) bigger cows are usually older cows (duh, again) older cows generally = tougher meat. So basically like has already been said, pay closer attention to the temps swings and stuff then you might normally and you should be fine.

    Hopefully the grade is choice and not select which will put the odds more in your favor. I would rather have a huge choice grade vs a smaller select grade (most times anyhow).

    If you go the cutting in half route, I would recommend cutting in half length wise, essentially giving you two 8.5 whole briskets vs a 17 pound monster with both having the flat and the point portions. The only real difference in the end product will be the length of your slices.

    I am no expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. [​IMG]

    Good luck with it in any case.
  10. dutch

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

    WOW Boss, sounds like you're in for an all-nighter!! My neighbor did a large brisket for Labor day that was close to 15#. He has done the typical 10-12 pounds and the only thing he noticed that was different beside being a longer smoke session was that his brisket had two plateaus. The first was around 170* and the second ws around 185*.
  11. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    17lbs.....WOW first thing is to make sure you cut the tail off and knock of the horns. Sorry I just couldn't help myself. I have never even heard of one that big. I would say "good luck" but I know you won't need any cause "YOU DA MAN"
  12. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Shouldn't you have the smoker fired and those things in there already??? Hopefully they'll be done by Saturday, gone are the days of the all nighter, you're going for a weekend stay! [​IMG]
  13. starsfaninco

    starsfaninco Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    THAT cracked me up.. Lets go Jeff... You're slacking already!!
  14. bigal

    bigal Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Not that I can really add anything to what you already know, but this is something I've learned. BTW, never done a 17# but have done 14's, so for what it's worth......

    I wouldn't go by temp as being done. We like very tender brisket and what I do is keep my dig. thermom in and when it hits 200-205* I'll take another thermom and poke it into the flat. If it comes out easy then it's done, many times the meat may hit 210(could be thermom also). I'd also foil at about the 170 mark, as long as it will take you'll probably need some au jus to pour over it when it's sliced and ready to eat.

    You know it will be tough meat, so I'd take it to near pulled brisket. I'd also use every "cruch" that you know of as this may be a big challenge. Please let us know how it goes and the end result. Great learning experience for everyone on the site.

    Good luck Jeff, hope it goes well for ya.
  15. squeezy

    squeezy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ok Jeff ... the first thing you want to do is ... leave that ham in the pear tree, 'cause it probably isn't ripe yet!
    Secondly, do what everyone else has said and all should be great!

    Hope that helps? [​IMG]
  16. monty

    monty Master of the Pit Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, Boss, it would occur to me that if I were to attempt a hunk of meat of that size, not to mention four of them, I would prefer to double up on my thermometers. Two in each. Aside from temp variations in your smoker you are aware as well as everyone else that each piece of meat has its own character.

    I have participated in outdoor cooks of whole deer, pigs and a side of beef and trust me the bigger the piece of meat the more unevenly it will cook. Of course, the more whole the carcass the longer the party! [​IMG]

  17. someone really took you up on "donating your time." i think a 17 pound brisket would give me nightmares. I remember someone having a thread a few days ago about a 18.5 they did i believe. Maybe he might have some info for you. Good luck
  18. brennan

    brennan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    HOLY CRAP! MY BABY ISN'T EVEN THAT BIG!!! [​IMG] IMHO the task set before you seems daunting at best. I don't personally have anything new to add here except that you can turn any chunk of dead animal into something sublime with a huge scoop of TLC. You may also want to put Johnny, Waylon, Willie, David, Mearle, and Hank and probably some of their friends on repeat to appease the Brisket Gods.
  19. hawgheaven

    hawgheaven Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jeff, ONE 17 pounder is a chore, but FOUR?!

    Everyone here has good info, not much I can add 'cept see what SmokieOkie has to say. I tried his method on the last two briskets I did and let me tell you, they were awesome!

    Good luck!
  20. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Sounds like someone just burchered some big long horns! Biggest I've had yet is 15 lbs. I'm with Monty on the themrometers though. Might be a good time to split the beasties through the center too or your not gonna be seeing Abigal for a few days!

    Are you pulling or slicing? 17lb packers would give you some awsome points to burn! WooHoo!

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