Over-nighting a 16lb packer brisket. (now with Q-View)

Discussion in 'Beef' started by whodatatdado, May 27, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I'll be smoking a large packer this weekend. It will be my second attempt at brisket.

    Last time I posted my results with qview - ended up with some nice BBQ, but it was a bit on the dry side.

    Suggestions for this weekend? I will definitely foil this time (probably at around 160*). But should I go for a high heat cook or a low heat midnight cook.

    Very interested in your thoughts!!

    Btw- I'll be 'cueing on an 18.5 inch WSM with the water pan full.
  2. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Low and slow. Them WSM's can maintain temps for many hours.

    Save the planet and not foil.

    Me thinks better smoke, bark and taste!!!  

    Good Luck!!!
  3. Hahaha.

    I tried foiling some babybacks last weekend and was amazed at how much more tender they were than no foil. I made an oath that I'd never do ribs without foil again.

    I am assuming I'll have similar results if I foil my brisket... Is that a bad assumption?
  4. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Foiling is a personal preference, for me I do not foil any meat except for the cooler after smokin'.  I still get juicy butts, brisket and ribs with no mopping or spritzing, foiling will make's the bark soft. A non foiled rib can be fall off the bone too, it just takes many ribs and practice. Good Luck!!!  
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm assuming that you didn't foil the last time. If that's the case then I would try foiling this time so you can see the difference yourself. I tend to not foil & they are always moist, but I usually smoke brisket in the 210-215 degree range. One as large as yours may take 25-30 hours at that temp, but it will be moist. Another tip is if you trim some fat off, put the fat on the top rack & the brisket underneath it so it will self baste. Good luck & don't forget the Q-view!
  6. Thanks guys!

    25-30 hours is too long as it needs to be ready by noon tomorrow.

    Still wondering if I should do high heat or standard method at 225-250.

    Anyone ever try a high heat brisket?
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I wouldn't run @ more than 250*, myself. Brisket will benefit enormously from low & slow, and if cooked too fast, it will pass right through the melting pot temps which tenderize all the connective tissues. With smaller packers or seperated point/flat cuts, I've run as low as 210-215* just so it won't heat through as fast and still get the low & slow benefits.

    As for foiling, a big yes if you don't want to be tending the rig for 24 hours. I've smoked brisket and pork butts on open grates to finish temps many times in recent months and it increased overall cooking times by at least 1/3, sometimes more. No-foil is great if your after that phenominal bark, otherwise, foil is our friend. As mentioned, during the resting stage, the meat will slowly pass back through the melting pot temps again, and this will further breakdown the connective tissues...a double-wammy, if you will.

    180*-185* for sliced and 200* for pulled...if I want sliced flat & pulled point, I seperate somewhere between 160-165*, foil the flat take to ~185* and rest, while the piont rides it out to the 200* mark. Oh, if you're after burnt ends, seperate @ 160* and cube up the point to 1-1/4~1-1/2" and re-season or sauce and smoke 'em for another couple hours...much higher than that and I don't get the texture I'm after in the BE's...slightly crisp bark with a firm popping chew. They're a favorite for appetizers and snacks around our house. You can pull the flat as well, if foiled and taken to 200-205 with some of the fat cap still on...not a standard practice, but it's do-able.

    Good smoke to ya, brother!

    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Like Eric said the worst thing you can do is try to rush a brisket, I'm assuming it's in the smoker now, right?
  9. Wow!! Lots of great info guys. Thank you!

    I got home and started immediately.

    Trimmed a bit and rubbed it up.

    Started the coals minion style and let her rip. On the grill at 5pm.

    I'm gonna target 225*-250*. Prolly closer to 250.

    My goal will be to pray she is tender at around 11:30 tomorrow (18.5 hour cook) That's gonna be a stretch, but I have my fingers crossed!!!

    I've read 1-1.25 hours a pound at this temp. So around 19 hours.

    Wish me luck, I think I am going to need it.
  10. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your most welcome for the info from us all...that's just one of the many reasons why we hang here.

    Looks like you're off to a good start, and from what I've read about the WSM, she'll take good care of your brisket. I think you've found the brisket weight limit for the 18.5"...that's pretty snug on the corners, which I try to stay away from the outer couple inches on a vertical rig, as they tend to run hottest there. It'll be fine eating, non-the-less.

    Brisket is the king of smoked beef, IMHO. Gotta grab another case of myself...my freezer stock is gone...I guess that's what I get for smoking 2-3 per month...LOL! Takes a couple runs to get 'em they way you like 'em, and then you can start playing with some variables and tweek the end product even more to your liking...kind of a never ending cycle, but it's sure fun to play it out and eat the results.

    I love to hear a good success story come from a smoker (even with all that I've had myself), so keep us up to date!

  11. So we are 2.5 hours in.

    Temp holding at 239 at the grate and 136 in the flat. Seems high to me for only being in for 2.5 hours.

    Any insight?

  12. hbark

    hbark Fire Starter

    I had a similar question Thursday on mine, although it was a 9lb flat. All turned out well, took 14 hours overall.

    sent from my Thunderbolt
  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds to me like the WSM is running with very good convection characteristics with 136* @ 2,5 hrs and 239* grate temps. If you trust your probe (recently verified it's temp reading) just roll with it.You probably could have ran in the 220* range and still been in good shape. Some smokers need higher temps to achieve what others will do at lower temps. Higher elevations above sea level is another factor as well...higher temps to get the same cooking times as lower elevations would give. I have both factors to deal with, being at nearly 5,000 ft, and most of my smokers set-up for efficiency of fuel use instead of the best convection properties...just my preference.

    You'll still hit a stall or two before it's over (my guess would be in the mid-upper 140's, and another one about 15-20* above the onset of the first stall, sometimes higher). Keep your lid on the WSM and let 'er ride...don't wanna loose any heat if you can help it. That rig probably recovers in decent amounts of time, I suspect, but it still adds to overall cooking time when you open it up. Let the stall run it's course @ steady chamber temps and it'll wake up when it's ready. I've had some briskets and butts go flat-line for hours, and if you're not expecting it, it can drive ya nuts...second-guessing your probe reading being accurate, probe placement, etc.

    Oh, danger-zone time/temp shouldn't be an issue either if the flat is that close to 141* already...the point should be within 8-10* of the flat, but always lower due to a higher cross-sectional density (thicker). It appears in the pics (when I compare the distance from the edge of the grate to the meat) that it's starting to shrink just a tad, so she's cooking along just fine. You'll see quite a bit more shinkage by the time it hits the 160* range and above.

    Lookin' good...I say smoke on!

    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  14. I agree I could run it a bit cooler... Here we are 3.75 hours in and i'm at 235* at the grate and 156* in the flat.  I've got a new Maverick et-732 and I trust the readings it gives.  Boiling water test showed 214 (close enough for my blood).

    I'm gonna knock the WSM down to run around 220*.

    I hope this thing isn't at 190* at 3am!!!
  15. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    214* rapid boil is close at sea level, but what's your elevation?

    Here's a water-boil temp chart, just for giggles...some related info you can use to tell how close your probe really is: http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Calib-boil.html  

  16. i'm about 375 feet above sea level :)

    So my boiling point is between 211-212.
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  17. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you are doing fine. I doubt if will take the full 1.5 hours per lb like you said. You are wise to leave yourself some extra time just incase though. i just loaded two 10 lb briskets and a 11.5 lbs worth of pork butts in my UDS and I too am looking at about 13 hrs of smoking. The whole meal is riding on my drums ability to cook steadilly all night. Your WSM should do you well. Good luck!
  18. good luck with the UDS!!  Let us know how it turns out.

    I'm currently 7 hours in and it's holding at 162.  I dropped the heat to an average of around 210 and will try to hold that tonight.

    I may try to get some rest :)
  19. Hour 8.  Can't keep the temp lower than 220-230.

    Internal temp is reading 165.
  20. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like it's time to foil.

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