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first brisket ever

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am cooking my first brisket ever tonight.  Starting around 10 or midnight, and planning on eating tomorrow around  5.  I have it covered in rub since this morning and sitting in the fridge.  It's a 12 pounder.  Any advice or tips would be great!



 fat cap up


And the other side:


I will post more pics as it progresses.

post #2 of 19

When i did my first one, the key advice I received from the old wise ones was


Patience and no peaking




Put it in your smoker

Get Drunk

Wake up the next morning

Should be ready.


If you're after more specific temps and techniques...the search bar will bamboozle you.

Have fun, dont stress and post lots of pics



post #3 of 19

If you want it for dinner I would start it a little later.  If you start it at 10pm to midnight you may have it ready around lunch time, plus a little time to rest it.  They say 1 to 1 1/2 hr per pound but mine come up less than an hour a pound, more like 45 minutes a pound, but I tend to cook on the hot side. 

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

I plan to smoke around 250, and from what I read it seems I can let it "rest" in a closed cooler double wrapped in heavy aluminum foil and it will stay at serving temp for several hours?  I got stuck with a pork shoulder on my first ever smoke and it took longer than expected.  So maybe I'm a little gun shy but I would rather start early and have it ready a little early, than start later and not have my supper ready in time for company.  I will post lots of pics once I pull it and then again once I start cutting.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

After about 2 hours on at roughly 235 the internal temp is reading 115. Is that normal? It seems like the temp climbed awfully quick. Any tips?
post #6 of 19


Originally Posted by Figueroa2005 View Post

After about 2 hours on at roughly 235 the internal temp is reading 115. Is that normal? It seems like the temp climbed awfully quick. Any tips?



Yes, that's normal.   Tips ?  Close the door and let the thing cook.   Once it hits about 180, start checking for tenderness by sticking a probe into the thickest part of the flat.  When it does in and out like a knife through warm butter, the brisket is done.



How often to check kind of depends on how the probe feels going into the brisket.  If there's a lot of resistance, give it another 30 mins and check again.   If just a little resistance, check again in 15 mins. 

post #7 of 19

BTW, some quick science type stuff.   The internal temp (IT) will rise pretty fast when you put the meat on.  meat was probably around 40 degrees or so, smoker is 225 or so.   As the IT gets closer to the chamber temp, the rate of increase will slow down.     At around 150-160ish, the brisket will go into "the stall" where the IT will stop going up for quite some time. It could even start falling.   No worries, the brisket is just going through a process of as evaporative cooling.  Basically, the brisket is sweating just like you or I would and this cools the brisket down.


Eventually, the IT of the brisket will start climbing once again, but the rate of increase will be much slower.  For example, it's taken 2 hrs to rise  about 75 degrees.   Later, it might take 3 hours to go from 180-190.   Again, completely normal.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ok, that initial jump just had me worried.  Thanks for all the great info.  The lid won't get opened again until the IT is about 190

post #9 of 19

No stress, low temp, good smoke, throw the clock out the window. When the meat starts to loosen up allowing a smooth insertion, start testing occasional looking for glide in like butter resistance.


Personally I like plain salt and cracked black pepper as a rub, with more pepper than you'd normally use on meat. Brisket loves cracked black pepper.


Patience, set it, tweak it in where you want, and walk away.


Let it rest, I actually prefer brisket the next day cold, slices easier, and makes the best sandwiches!


The meat can carry heavy smoke, hickory, mesquite, and pecan works well too. But don't attempt to try the limit of smoking your first brisket.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

The brisket is now sitting resolutely at 156.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

12 hours on the smoker, IT of the brisket has been comfortably at 187 for a little over an hour.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

14 hrs after starting, the brisket reached 192.  I'm a few greatly, but that's better than being late or waking up at 1 to put it on.  It is now wrapped and in the cooler.



post #13 of 19

I'd say your first try was a great success !!



post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

If it tastes near as good as it looks and smells, I'm sure I will think it a great success.  Just gonna let it sit in the cooler for a few hours and cut when company arrives.  My mouth is already watering!

post #15 of 19
You certainly knocked out of the park, Figueroa!

If you can wait until company arrives before tasting that meat, you have more willpower than I ever had!

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well I have to wait until I get my son from my ex anyway so I will wait. But it's not being easy!

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

So crowd was hungry, I didn't take any pictures after resting and slicing.  Flavor was amazing, tenderness as perfect.  However i forgot I trim any of the fat cap off so there was close to an inch of fat on there that was exactly appetizing to all guests.  But over all everyone ate until they were overly full and gave nothing but rave reviews!  Thanks for the support and guidance everyone!

post #18 of 19
Looks great!
post #19 of 19

Congrats on the brisket !!!

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