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post #521 of 599

I agree with the guys who say 'learn your smoker'.  Knowing what your smoker will and won't do...and how to get and maintain a constant temp is just as important as quality and consistency of you cut of brisket.  For example, I know that if my smoke chamber temp gauge (2/3 way up on the barrel) says 250, the temp down at cooking level is 225.  The temp at your cooking level is what you really need to know.  And, each of the last two offsets I've had were different.  So, you have GOT TO know your equipment, quite literally top to bottom.


The other thing to keep in mind is most of the time, we are not smoking to turn into the judges.  Honestly, some of the meats at competition cook-offs look great, but are really dry.  They cover with sauce to add flavor AND moisture back to the bite.  Most of us cook for the family and friends where taste wins all contests.


I smoke using hickory and burn a fire only big enough to keep temp steady.  (Hint: a couple lumps of charcoal can help keep things steady as wood burns...before you are to the point of adding another log.)  I start with meat prep 24 hours before trim and apply my rub.  Cover and let sit in fridge overnight until 2 hours before smoking.  I preheat smoker to 225 and then put meat on fat side up.  Smoke until IT is 160-170 F.  Next, I pull off smoker, and wrap in heavy foil, while I am wrapping the brisket, allow smoker to cool down to 210, then back on smoker (wrapped in foil) and cook until IT is 205-210.  Pull meat, open top of foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temp.  Move meat from foil to platter, slice and serve.  (Sometimes wife take juice and make gravy for mashed potatos).


This gives us a brisket that is moist, slicable and very tender.  I have done 8 lb up to 22 lb cuts this way.  Friends and family really enjoy it, and that's really the competition I want to win.


Keep Smokin'!

post #522 of 599
So I work in a butcher shop gonna buy two certified angus brisket should I mechanically tend arise them since I have access to it?
post #523 of 599
Originally Posted by Mr beef View Post

So I work in a butcher shop gonna buy two certified angus brisket should I mechanically tend arise them since I have access to it?



There is no need to tenderize a brisket. If you smoke it properly, it will be super tender. 

post #524 of 599
Thread Starter 

Hello Mr beef.  JC has ya covered.  Smoked properly that brisket will melt in your mouth.  In fact if you go a little too long it won't slice, it will just fall apart.  Either way it eats good.  Keep Smokin!


post #525 of 599
Thanks I've read that about different grades of beef doesn't matter done properly will end up with same result (tender) just figured since I can and have access to it if I should
post #526 of 599
Originally Posted by Mr beef View Post

Thanks I've read that about different grades of beef doesn't matter done properly will end up with same result (tender) just figured since I can and have access to it if I should

Choice and prime are the ones to get. Prime will take a little more manageme as it has a smaller window for the best doneness. Choice is a little more forgiving. Select will never be as tender as choice or prime can get.

Ive cooked many great briskets with choice. I'm always a little disappointed with select.
post #527 of 599
Well I'm getting cab(certified angus beef) at my cost it is only 3.28lb
post #528 of 599
Good to see the variety of experiences. Here in KC applying rub is a given. But after years at the Royal I am an Aaron Franklin believer! Let the meat and smoke speak for themselves! Of course low and slow rules but so does the wood. Cherry and pecan seem to be a good balance. 250-275 for 8-12 usually works depending on weight. MUST have a water pan and recommend a remote thermo. No wrapping or tenting. Good trimming before to remove excess fat and glands essential, though I do think a "low quality" cryovac piece works best. It's all about the fat and time!
post #529 of 599
Gona be cookin for around 100 people. Ive never done this large amount before so would it be wise to get one huge brisket, or a few 10-13 lb ones just incase the one big ass brisket gives problems at 160°? Biggest brisket ive smoked was 18lbs.
post #530 of 599

That would be a Big A_ _ Brisket to feed 100 people, remember the old saying   "Don't put all your eggs in one basket"


If it were me I'd be cooking several



post #531 of 599
Thats more what i was leaning to. Gona try to find 3, 12-15 pounders.
post #532 of 599
My name is Benson, and this is my Brisket story...

My first full brisket smoke. Previously smoked flat only on two different occasions with decent results.
Landman Great Outdoors propane smoker (not the wide one that easily holds a full brisket.
15+ lb packer brisket purchased at Costco untrimmed

I would say I probably "butchered" my lovely friend a bit, although in the process I clearly learned the point/flat separation. After trimming the full brisket squeezed into my vertical smoker OK, knowing full well it would keep getting smaller. I would guess I trimmer off 4-5 lbs of fat, concentrating primarily on the hard fat and a little of leveling on the fat cap. Seasoned with Montreal and wrapped into fridge for about 6 hours.

(This is the end of my pictures - I just lost track of pic taking as things get going)

Brisket went on at 02:30 at 225. I did fight my temps a bit, but never worse than +\- 20 degrees or so. 06:30 IT is 160 and received spritz. 08:30 IT is 162 with spritz. 09:00 IT is 163 so I wrapped in foil to speed things along, included spritz in foil.
13:30 IT is approaching 190, and at 190 I check for tenderness using quick read thermo (probe is my toothpick tenderness gauge). Clearly not toothpick tender, return to smoker with foil opened on top.
(Should note that Baby Backs went in at 11:00 in same chamber).
197 probe check, still not tender in flat, but the point is like butter. Separate point and flat, move point to cooler wrapped in towels and return flat to smoker.
It seems that my IT was just stuck at this point (I probably fail the patience test here), and did not really move. At 14:30 I probe check and still don't "feel it", so I just remove and wrap. Meal time is a little after 5 pm. In the meantime, ribs are really rolling along, and are a little ahead of schedule in the 2-2-1 method. They get returned to smoker at the 4th hour out of the foil and are pretty much done. One rack was too tender to hold together and pulled apart, so the last hours was about 20 minutes instead, and they get wrapped to rest in the cooler at 15:30.

Burnt Ends go on at 16:00 (never did this before), and the point is really tender and juicy. Burnt ends were great, other than a fail on my end on the right size to cut these. I just cut them up way too big, but they were a real hit with the family.
The flat cut at 17:00 was OK. Meat is tender and has plenty of moisture. But the "collagen spacing" is not there. The meat is still very dense. The pull test is fine, I just don't like it visually. Usually you see that collagen gap spacing in the pull, and it still looks dense.
So is this a "cook problem" or does it just have to do with the piece of meat? Should I have left the flat on longer? IT never got over 200, so my patience was a fail.

Overall I am not disappointed with what came out, but I am looking for the perfect cook and want to get better next time.
Also worth noting, I pretty much read this entire thread before (a little during) this cook to plan ahead.
post #533 of 599
I would say it just needed to go longer. Most of my briskets go well over 200. The last one I did, was sitting at 201 but the tip of the flat was still a little tough. Ended up pulling it at 204 and it was perfect. Next time, just leave it on there a little longer and you'll be good.

post #534 of 599

Holy smokes!!!!!  Just got through every post after about 6 hours of reading.  Lots of good information in this thread.  First, I might be fighting a loosing battle from the start.  I was at sams yesterday, and they had flats only, decided to get one before reading this thread.  It has a nice layer of fat on it, so that may help me out a bit.  Need to find a source of packers.  I have a Costco opening here soon, will have to check them out.  I'm planning to try the flat this weekend and have devised a plan based on the suggestions in this thread.  I'll take plenty of notes and pics, and post something up after I'm done with it this weekend.


I'm new, and like to think and plan out what limited smokes i have done to this point, maybe a bit on the retentive side.


Friday evening:  This is all dependent on the weather and if it's supposed to rain or not (smoker is uncovered at this point)

1) Unpack, rinse, pat dry, check out the fat and trim some if needed, looking to keep around 1/4" on it.

2) Rub my meat with SPOG, and maybe a little paprika, brown sugar (wife likes a little sweetness in her meat), and some cumin. Wrap and Rest in fridge over night.

3) Get smoking supplies prepositioned inside so I don't have to make a ton of noise Saturday morning.


Saturday, as early as I can get my butt out of bed in the AM: Hopefully by 6AM

3) Retrieve flat from fridge, and place on counter.

4) Load up smoker pans with charcoal mix (KBB and lump for initial heat) and smoking wood (mix of 3/4 cherry and 1/4 apple chunks, and chips, it's all I have right now), and get it in the smoker.

5) Get drip pans water pans in the smoker.

5) start up a 1/4-1/2 a chimney of charcoal mix, and get remote thermometer on the grate.

6) Dump lit chimney on the other coals, and wait for smoker to get up to at least 240.

7) transfer flat to smoker, doing fat side up. Close lid and monitor temps with target of 225-240.

              7a.  cook breakfast for the family.  Might grill some sausage and potatoes over the coals.

8) Insert probe and check IT after 4-5 hours. 

9) Let IT get to at least 165, and make decision to crutch or not.  Probably going to since it's just the flat.  Wrap with foil and add a minimal amount of liquid (undecided) to the foil. place back on rack.  Probe IT from a few areas before wrapping just to be sure.

10) Monitor both temps, light and add more coals if needed.

11) Take it to an IT of 195, open foil and toothpick test for tenderness.  Remove when it is like "butter".

12) wrap foil tightly again, wrap in a few towels, place in a pre-warmed cooler for 2-4 hours, depending on how long it takes to get to this point, and when I wanna eat it.

13) Bring out of cooler, slice at 1/4 against grain, marvel in the awesomeness I just created, and eat it.


Saturday night/early AM Sunday:

14) Complain because i'm stuffed because I ate too much delicious brisket.

15) Eat more brisket 


If I've missed anything, please advise, or let me know if my plan is flawed.  It will be greatly appreciated.



post #535 of 599

Sounds like a plan


enjoy and have fun

post #536 of 599
Thread Starter 

GO FOR IT!!!  Good luck!  Keep Smokin!


post #537 of 599

Say Bama, can you tell me about Blacks Rub? What's in it or what kind of flavor it adds?



post #538 of 599
Just saw kileens rub in a local grocery store, any reviews on it?
post #539 of 599

sometimes I rub with

Bad Byrons and other times just salt and pepper


I like the IT of 195 then wrap and towel and place in cooler for at least 1 and half hours


never failed


I always smoke btwn 220 -250 normally takes a flat 7 - 11 hrs and a packer can take longer, prefer flats get em from Sams club $4.27 / pound.

post #540 of 599
Goin to do my first brisket injection this weekend.

When should i inject? The night before when i rub it? Or right when im about to throw it in the smoker?
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