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Noob here

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey gang,

Just unboxed the only wedding gift I put on our registry, an 18.5 weber smokey, and I'm all fired up to try something new.

I live in Portland OR, but hail from Louisiana originally. Ive never BBQed anything before, but was always in awe of my grandfather's abilities on the pit. Looking forward to trying a brisket this weekend. Any easy recipes or sure fire tips for a rookie like me?

Thanks all.

post #2 of 9

Jimmy, welcome to SMF and congrats on both the new marriage AND a great choice of wedding gifts.  Having never BBQ'd anything before and starting with a brisket, that's gutsy!   Good for you.  Lots of folks start with something easy like chicken or ribs to get to know the quirks of their equipment. 


Any chance a generous wedding guest put a Maverick wireless dual probe thermometer on your gift table?  Or at least a temperature probe?  If not, any grocery or kitchen supply place will have an inexpensive temperature probe ($10) you can buy that will help ensure success by checking the internal temperature of the meat. 


Lets see, how to make a brisket easy in a WSM for a first timer.  I prefer smoking briskets using hickory wood chunks buried in my charcoal, 3-4 chunks the size of a fist. 


Below is what the Weber WSM manual recommends for a brisket.  Although that's not the recipe or technique I use in my WSM the guidelines are solid.  The only change I'd make for a first timer is the final internal temperature.  190F internal temperature (IT) can work, but use the poke test.  When you stick it with a toothpick right through the foil the pick should slide into the meat like room temp butter.  If it resists, keep cooking.  I tell folks take it to an IT of 200F to help ensure a tender, juicy product.  Also, while it is resting in the foil at the end, cover it with old towels on the counter just to keep it hotter longer.


Smoker Temp 250F.



Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours (resting time is an additional 1 to 2 hours)



4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 brisket (flat cut), 5 to 6 pounds, untrimmed

2 cups favorite barbecue sauce



1. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.

2. Lay the brisket, fat side up, on a large cutting board. Trim the layer of fat to a ¼ inch thickness. Turn the brisket over and trim any hard fat or thin membrane covering the meat. Season the brisket evenly with the rub.

3. Place the brisket, fat side up, in a disposable drip pan large enough to hold it.

4. Place the pan on the cooking grate. Smoke the brisket until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160 °F (71 °C), 4 to 5 hours. At that point remove the brisket and pan from the smoker (close the lid to maintain the heat). Baste the brisket with some of the juices and fat collected in the pan. Then wrap the brisket in 2 large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Discard the pan.

5. Return the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 190 °F (88 °C) in the thickest section, about 2 to 3 hours longer.

6. Remove the brisket from the smoker and let it rest inside the foil at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. It will stay hot.

7. Carefully unwrap the brisket, being careful not to lose any of the juices inside the foil. Move the brisket to a large cutting board. Pour the juices into a small bowl.

8. Cut the brisket in 1/8-inch slices across the grain. Spoon or brush some of juices over the slices. Serve warm with barbecue sauce on the side.


Makes about 6 servings


If you can, take pics of your smoke and post them here, letting us know how it turned out. 


Have fun with your wedding gift!

post #3 of 9

Have ya got a dog named Phideaux?  :icon_biggrin:


Hello and Welcome to our addiction.  A word of warning: There is no 12 step program for this one!  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have, and pictures help a bunch.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  Check out Jeff’s 5 day smoking E-Course ( link below ) that will help you get started.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!




post #4 of 9

Hello.  I will assume you have seasoned your smoker; if not, then that’s your first step.  I always advise the same with this question.  Chicken leg quarters and maybe some burgers with just salt and pepper.  Easy to do and cheap to buy.  I know!  I know!  You have been reading for weeks, now have your smoker, you are ready to get started and this idiot says chicken legs and burgers??  WHAT??  The first few smokes are about learning to control temps in YOUR smoker.  Each one can be different.  If that first smoke burns, the dog gets a good meal.  If it ain’t done, finish it in the oven.  Little money lost and with luck you still get a good meal.  TEMP CONTROL!! IS THE KEY!!  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #5 of 9

Hey Jimmy, welcome from East Texas.  NB and Danny gave you great information, Rule of thumb is 1.5 hours per pound, I love brisket but it can be a little difficult at times. You want a good bark, good smoke ring and tender and juicy. allow plenty of time. I smoke on an RF low and slow. I did a brisket and other stuff a couple of weekends ago, take a look at the link, maybe something there you can use. Good luck





Gary S

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks For the tips everyone. Ready for B-day (brisket) tomorrow with my fancy new thermometer, dry rub and my "seasoned" smoker. Little nervous, but figure that even though there may be easier meats to start with, "to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift" (to quote prefontaine).
post #7 of 9

Congrat on the wedding and smoker. As all the others said temp control is the key. Good luck and welcome to the group. Keep smoking.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm officially stuffed and hooked. The final results were fantastic. Thanks everyone for the tips and suggestions.


I did a 7.5 flat brisket, starting at 7 am this morning and it was done around 4:30 this afternoon. I put it in a pan for the first 6 hours, then foiled it for the last few. Didn't do any marinade or sauces, but the rub was super easy yet very tasty (salt, black pepper, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and a little bit of celery seed). Then I followed a lot of the advice from folks here and wrapped it in some towels and stuffed it in an ice chest to rest. Smart move.


The guests loved it, the wife loved it (and is now subsequently not upset about me getting the WSM for the wedding) and I think it was a great experience.


I think if I had one thing that I want to figure out next time is how to get a little more crispiness on the edges of the brisket. Any advice there for someone on a WSM?


Thanks so much gang, looking forward to many more bbq chats!

post #9 of 9
Congrats to you and your wife on the wedding! And congrats on a successful brisket right out of the gate! Be sure whoever gave you that wsm for a wedding gift gets an extra special thank you card!! :-)
Have fun and enjoy!
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