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First brisket (plus lessons learned)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone!

 

Did my first brisket solo this weekend on my Traeger 34 Elite. Posting my process and lessons learned to improve and hopefully help others.

 

5/06/2016

2016 Traeger Elite 34

Prep time: 12 hours

Smoke time: 19 hours

Rest time: 9 hours

Total time: 40 hours

 

Outside temp: 58F

Pit temp: 225F (start)

Target IT: 195F

 

Process:

  1. Purchased a nice 12 lb whole beef brisket for $2.99/lb locally. Had fat trimmed to 1/4".
  2. Scored the fat, massaged both side with oil to coat (but not drip). And then I applied this meat rub liberally.
  3. Wrapped in foil and refrigerated overnight.
  4. The next day, around 12PM, I preheated the smoker at 225F with hickory pellets.
  5. Placed brisket fat-side down (right out of the fridge). No meat probe inserted yet.
  6. Spritzed meat every 1-1.5 hours with this spritz recipe.
  7. After ~5 hours I inserted the meat probe, which showed a IT of 156F.
  8. Let it run overnight, woke up the next morning to a brisket at 186F (no foil).
  9. Let it continue to cook til 195F and until the meat probe felt like cutting through hot butter (~7:30AM)
  10. Wrapped generously in foil and multiple towels, then through it in my oven (no heat) to rest until dinner (~4 PM).
  11. Removed the point, and put in fridge to make burnt ends tomorrow!
  12. Sliced into 1/4" pieces, against the grain.

 

Q-view:

Fresh from butcher and good price

 

 

9 hours into smoke

 

After smoke finished (19 hours), as I wrapped it up to rest.

 

The flat (top) was a bit overcooked

 

 

Mmmmmm

 

The point was cooked perfectly

 

 

Lessons learned:

  • After eating WAY late on my first pulled pork, I decided to use the 2 hour/lb estimate on the brisket. Turns out the cook was actually closer to 1.75 hours/lb (1.6 hours/lb exactly). This meant my cook was done about 5 hours early (planned for 12PM finish and a 3-4 hour rest).
  • I used 20.5 # of pellets over 19 hours = 1.1 #/hour
  • The flat was a bit dry, but the point was perfect...considering splitting the two BEFORE starting the smoke and cooking each to 185-195F. I felt the probe "cut like butter" in the point, so I'll be sure to try that as the temp starts hitting 185F in the future.
  • Lexington Dip bbq sauce was AWESOME with this brisket. Huge fan.

 

Not sure if the extended rest contributed to drying out the flat a bit. Either way, seems like each piece will likely be "finished" at different time or temp, so is splitting the meat ahead of time a good idea? Anyone try this?

post #2 of 9

I think you did very good on your first brisket.

 

It looks delicious.

 

I do separate the point & flat before smoking.

 

Here's one I did a few years ago.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/105041/weekend-brisket-burnt-ends-qview-galore

 

Since then though, I always smoke the flat in a pan sitting in it's own juices, with some beef stock or French onion soup added.

 

Al

post #3 of 9

K4121, Nice job on the brisket!

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

I think you did very good on your first brisket.

 

It looks delicious.

 

I do separate the point & flat before smoking.

 

Here's one I did a few years ago.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/105041/weekend-brisket-burnt-ends-qview-galore

 

Since then though, I always smoke the flat in a pan sitting in it's own juices, with some beef stock or French onion soup added.

 

Al


Glad to hear separating the flat from the point has been done before with good success. It makes sense to me.

 

French onion soup added to the flat in a pan sounds like an awesome idea...I think I will have to try that next time.

 

Looks like you smoke to 180-185F, then wrapped...then continued to smoke to 205F with a 2 hour rest? Still do it this way?

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyMoon View Post
 

K4121, Nice job on the brisket!


Thanks CrazyMoon. Brisket is my favorite smoked meat, so I'm really trying to nail this for next time.

post #6 of 9

Looks very tasty!  That bark looks good, I haven't tried one yet where I didn't wrap it with a crutch around 160° but I can't get bark like yours that way.  Great job on your first one

post #7 of 9

Good job! I still haven't smoked the perfect brisket although this last one was pretty good. Like you, I did an extended rest on mine, 12 hours to be exact. When unwrapped I it, there was no liquid left in the foil, the brisket had reabsorbed it all. I temped off the flat and pulled when it poked easy with a toothpick. The flat was juicy and tender. The point literally exploded with juice when I cut into it. I did not wrap the brisket until I pulled it to rest. 

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaz4121 View Post
 


Glad to hear separating the flat from the point has been done before with good success. It makes sense to me.

 

French onion soup added to the flat in a pan sounds like an awesome idea...I think I will have to try that next time.

 

Looks like you smoke to 180-185F, then wrapped...then continued to smoke to 205F with a 2 hour rest? Still do it this way?

 

 

Yes I still do it that way.

 

Al

post #9 of 9

Beautiful Brisket, Bro.

 

Points for a nice post.

 

Disco

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