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First Beef Smoke...First Brisket

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Whats up everyone.

Its been a long, brutal winter in NYC. I'm finally back to smoking. Purchased a brand spanking new WSM 18". Already smoked some baby backs which came out great. So now I want to try a brisket. As usual I got some questions.

The brisket is going to be purchased from a local supermarket. It will weigh between 4 and 6lbs. I'm starting lite. Here is the plan and questions:


Get Brisket. Trim it if need be. Clean it. Lite mustard coat and dry rub it. Overnight in the fridge.

Smoke temp will be 250 degrees?

During the smoke should I spray it with apple juice? can I mix the juice with beer of whiskey ( jack of course )?

At some point will I wrap it in foil then stick it back in the smoker? What is that point?

Looking at around a seven hour smoke? longer or shorter?

What will be the internal temperature when its done?

When its done wrap it in foil, seal in plastic, and let it rest for a half hour. Is this right?


Thanks in advance for all your help. I will take pics for Qview.


post #2 of 8

I like to smoke at 215, 250's just too high for brisket IMO.


Mustard's  usually saved for pork, Olive Oil, Canola Oil, or thick Worcestershire Sauce are most commonly used on beef. There are those who claim that oil on the surface of the meat will prevent smoke penetration. I am skeptical of this claim, because I rub all my meats down with olive oil, and have never had an issue. Furthermore, if you do a spice rub, oil means smoother transfer of oil-soluable flavors from the rub to the meat. I've had brisket and chuck that got the mustard rub, and it didn't really lend a different flavor or texture to the meat, so I considered it a waste.


Rub: keep it simple the first time through, experiment later. I would avoid rib or pork rubs as they're too sweet for beef. SPOG (salt, pepper, onion, garlic) are the basic coverings of brisket. I also like cayenne.

Rubs take time, so make sure you coat your brisket, and let it set in the fridge for at least a few hours. Overnight will be best.


You can spray it as you smoke, but Webber says that every time you open you smoker to spray/fiddle with the meat, you add 20 minutes onto the cook time.


I would advise searching the site for Brisket posts to see how everybody else does it so you can formulate a plan, but BearCarver and SmokinAl have some good threads about brisket. BBally's got a good few, too, if I remember right. 

Also, Meathead's got a great teaching site:http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/texas_brisket.html

I read his methods up one side, and down the other for a month or two before my first brisket.


Many folks foil up their brisket at 160-ish, and let that braise away until 190-205 degrees, temperatures will depend on preference. Closer to 195 means a little tougher meat, but it stays solid better for slicing, closer to 200/205 means a more tender product, but runs the risk of drying out, or shredding when you slice.


Finally, when you pull the meat from the heat, foil it, wrap it in plastic, wrap it up in towels, and park it in the cooler for at least one to two hours to let it finish off. You'll be glad you did!


Good luck!

post #3 of 8

Sounds like Moose has you covered. Don't forget the Q-view!

post #4 of 8

Yes Moose nailed it

post #5 of 8

Moose is loose  yahoo.gif


Don't forget the Qview

post #6 of 8


GODSPEED MY FRIEND! I am pretty good at smoking butts, fatties, abt's, chuckies, etc. however I have never tried a brisket.


Today I made my way to the store, and picked up a 14 lb. packer cut (after reading posts on here for about 1-2 hours SPECIFICALLY on how to buy the meat).... and I looked at it and to be honest, the thing looked like an abortion to me!!! I was intimidated by a freaking piece of meat! I thought, "My Lord, I can't even tell how this is supposed to separate, where to cut it, etc. etc." So I put it back, and I went over and picked up an oh so familiar BOSTON BUTT... and then I thought to myself... ya know what---the hell with this, I am getting a brisket, maybe I'll go a bit smaller (like you are talking about)....


So, I go over, and I picked up a flat cut (4 lbs) and I looked over at that packer...and I thought long and hard about how much I wanted to really unleash on that packer.... 


Long story short---I left with nothing but frustration. Now here I am, back on this forum, reading about brisket.  I guess next time I go in there I'll maybe know what to expect.


$2.18/lb for a packer at my local Wally World....$1.99 at Sams club.....being intimidated by a slab of uncoocked cow---priceless. Good luck, and keep us posted. I could use the motivation.


Chris th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Whats up everyone. Thanks Moose. You do have me covered. CCPROPILOT I feel your pain.

To All: I backed out of the brisket this week. After reading Moose's reply I came to the conclusion that I'm not prepared. Lacking a few tools ( cooler, towels, etc. ). I will make my brisket run in two weeks.

To CCPROPILOT: A packer I'm not ready for. Itimidated by the beef... yeah I am. I will tackle it in time. For now I will test drive the 4lbers. For now I will continue my research. 


post #8 of 8

Good luck Quag, it can be intimidating, but I honestly feel whole packers are easier to work with than hunks of flat. They're a good deal more forgiving because of their mass and fat. That said, aye, sometimes we all need a tactical retreat to reevaluate our plans and skills. All I can say is find a solid recipe, and commit it to memory, it'll give you something to fall back on when things get rough.

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