- 27 Posts. Joined 6/2014
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smoking my frist brisket today
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For the OP just understand what is happening to the brisket as you smoke/cook it.
1. It absorbs heat from the hot, smoky air once put on the smoker.
2. It will warm up until it "stalls," the point which the muscle starts "sweating" out water from the cells. Experience indicates this usually happens anywhere between 150F and 170F internal temperature (IT). The stall can last as little as an hour to several hours. Each brisket you put on the smoker is different.
3. You need to decide at this point if you are going to double wrap in foil with a little liquid like beef broth (1/2 cup) or not wrap. Since this is your first brisket, my recommendation would be to wrap it, seal it tight, then stick your meat probe through the foil into the thickest part of the "flat."
4. Put it back on the smoker, don't worry if the IT drops (remember, the meat has been sweating), and let the IT rise until 200F. Brisket gets its internal moisture from melted connective tissue. The connective tissue does not start melting until 170F IT. Connective tissue is what makes brisket one tough cut of meat so it must melt for the meat to get tender. Smoking/cooking it too long will cause all the connective tissues to melt out of the meat. It will fall apart but be dry and powdery tasting.
5. Probe the flat with a toothpick at an IT of 200F (or 195 like mentioned above). It should slide in like pushing into room temp butter. I recommend 200F IT because that is generally a good result point for both slicing or chopping.
6. Pull it off the smoker, leave it wrapped, and cover it with towels on the counter or in a cooler for an hour or two.
7. Open the foil, save the au jus, slice and serve with some of the au jus. Only slice what you need.
8. Put the leftovers in the fridge, including the au jus. The next day scrape the fat off the jus and throw the fat away. What remains is the gelatin, which is the melted connective tissue. Slice what you need and add a little of the gelatin to the slices. Warm and eat.
I have to disagree with 5 oclock about unwrapping the meat when IT is reached. Leave it wrapped for the rest. The magic happens while resting. As for checking with probe? Dirtsailor has had them done at 185 so start checking early. I have never had one done below 195 and I never pull, only slice, but thats a good reason to start checking early. Different meats, different techniques, different therms...... all make a difference. With brisket you need patience. If you pull it too early you lose a lot of the tenderness and sometimes can get an expensive piece of cooked shoe leather. One last thing.....that 1 1/2 hours at 225 usually is optimistic. With stall and rest 225 tends to be 1 3/4 or thereabouts. Another reason to cook at a bit higher temp. Gets you done quicker and helps drive you through the stall. Always good to be done earlier than having people waiting to eat, cause if they're waiting you are going to pull early and everyone may be disappointed. Finish early and its ok because brisket, if tightly wrapped, will stay for several hours and still be hot and delicious.
That was a mistype on my part. I wasn't reading what I was typing. Should have been rest for two hours and unwrap. My bad.
Depends on the size of your brisket and the temp you are smoking. I tend to smoke briskets at 250-275 and the stall happens about 2.5 to 4 hours into the smoke for a smaller 8 lbs brisket.
If you'll notice I didn't put any chamber temps in my directions above because I didn't want to start any discussions on the best temp to smoke briskets. If you want a long smoke, 225F. A short smoke, you can go up to 350F. It all works. Sure, there are variances in the smoke ring and bark, but I've cooked too many juicy, tender, flavor-packed briskets over the years in the oven at 350F before I started smoking to discuss which is the right chamber temp. I have used 250-275F smoking briskets because that's where my WSM liked to cruise. Heck, I've even put briskets on at 225F and let the temp climb to as high as 315F (fell asleep). Didn't matter, came out great.
That said, I just got a BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 for my WSM for Father's Day. It basically turns my WSM into a true smoky "convection" type oven because it holds temps so nicely and keeps the air moving in the smoker, which cooks the meat faster at any given temperature due to greater heat transfer. I am looking forward to doing all kinds of temp experiments with it over the summer. Tomorrow, two whole chickens, 6.5 lbs each, 99 cents/lb. They are injected and in the brine. Think I'll set the Guru at 325F and beer can the chickens.
Looking forward to your brisket pics caribou 89. Looking forward to everyone's brisket pics!