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Much Ado about Brisket

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So with only 1 successful smoke total which was loved by all I was thinking of tackling a brisket. However, after looking through a few threads this seems like something a novice should not attempt.


When is someone actually ready to tackle a cut of meat like brisket? At the current cost here in Cali I don't want to spend that kind of money only to end in disaster especially on an Easter dinner. Maybe I should just do a turkey or ham?



post #2 of 8

I think it's BS. Brisket is no more difficult than any other meat. I did one my 3rd smoke and it came out great. Go for it!



post #3 of 8
While I agree with Smokin-q to a certain extent and do feel that jumping in with both feet is usually the best way to go, for a big Holiday dinner sometimes prudence is the best bet.
Maybe try the brisket, but also do a double smoked ham for the last few hours of the smoke. Hams are pretty hard to kill, not terribly expensive and when the brisket AND the ham both turn out perfectly, you'll just have a bit of variety on the table. And, in the unlikely event that the brisket refuses to cooperate or runs long, you serve the ham and no one's waiting for dinner.
Look up Bearcarver's double smoked ham for an easy to follow step by step tutorial.
Good luck and Happy Easter!
post #4 of 8

You can do it man! Just use a tried and true recipe like one from Gary S or Bearcarver and do it exactly like it says in the plan. Take pictures and share your smoke with us in real time so if you run into any snags we can get you through them. I would suggest you tackle your first one a day ahead of when you want to eat it. Like Saturday for easter or something along those lines. The trick to Brisket is patience and knowing when it's done. Brisket is no harder than Butt but the difference is that when it's done it's done. There is no hard and fast rule for this as it can be tender anywhere from 180 to 212 or beyond. There is lot's of great reading here on Brisket and many ways to do it but I would stick to one of those guys's recipes to start. The search bar at the top of the page is your friend here. What type of smoker you are using is kind of important for us to know and other factors like the size of your Brisket and weather it is separated or whole would be what we would need to know to help you out. Happy smoking. timber

post #5 of 8

Rub it...

Smoke it...

probe it...

pull it...

rest it....

slice it...

eat it...

Brisket has been covered here millions of times.  Any number of methods, temps, rubs, etc., it's all personal preference and what type of smoker you run.  It is as Smokin' Q says, no more difficult than any other meat, the first problem and most important is beginners tend to be impatient and start a brisket Saturday morning with the intention of eating it for dinner that night.  Then 6:00 comes and it's at 185 IT and they remember somewhere on SMF that they read to pull the brisket off at 185 and place in a cooler...never checking for tenderness, then they slice into it, and have rubber band slices.  This ties in to the other big problem is that there are so many theories as to how to cook one, those that are new to them, can get confused.  Every one has their take on flavors, tenderness, and smoke that makes a good brisket for them, what you have to do is use the tool bar above as timberjet mentioned, read several methods then attack it, after the smoke has cleared, evaluate the product, post pics on SMF and ask for help and suggestions if it didn't come out as you had hoped.  That is one of the great things about our addiction, you can always eat your mistakes and try it again next weekend.  But most of all be patient with your brisket, it will sense that and get tender for you...but if you rush it, it will make you pay.

post #6 of 8

Read this thread and then go for it:



post #7 of 8

Brisket its all about 4 things:

  1. Being able to hold a steady temp for 13-16 hrs. (on average).
  2. Patience
  3. Patience
  4. Patience :biggrin:


Start with a full packer (flats are smaller and leaner so they are less forgiving with drying out) in the 12-15 lb. range. You can either trim the fat or not up to you - if you do trim the fat I highly suggest placing it on the rack above your brisket so it can drip down on it and baste it. Put on a simple rub salt, pepper, granulated garlic, paprika, and a little cayenne powder if you want extra kick. Go big on your rub flavors - it's a big piece of meat and your seasoning the outside only.


Run your smoker at a steady 225-235° put the brisket on, close the lid..... AND LEAVE IT ALONE!! Don't mop, spritz, peak, poke,... you get the idea. Just open the smoker to add wood, and stick the probe in around the 4 or 5 hr. mark. Once you hit 190° internal temp stick the brisket with a skewer or toothpick, if it slides in nice and easy your done, if not keep going (check 3 or 4 places along the brisket). Once it is done wrap it in foil and let it rest for at least 1 hr.


The main mistake people make is they don't leave enough time to cook and then with all the family and friends arriving they panic and rush it. That gives you tasty shoe leather. Better to finish early and hold it in a dry towel lined cooler for a few hours than rush it.


Good luck!



post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
You guys and gals are amazing. Even with all this I will admit I chickened out. We went with ribs and tri-tip. Tri-tip will be Friday's dinner. It is my first and less costly then brisket. Then Sunday will have ribs and I will smoke a few potatoes.

While all your advice was amazing and I did read several recipes here. In the end I lacked confidence. So I will work on that and then tackle a brisket. Just got to get a feel for smoking.

I will tackle it one day for now though I will post on the tri-tip for morrow with pictures.
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