Did my first brisket solo this weekend on my Traeger 34 Elite. Posting my process and lessons learned to improve and hopefully help others.
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
- Purchased a nice 12 lb whole beef brisket for $2.99/lb locally. Had fat trimmed to 1/4".
- Scored the fat, massaged both side with oil to coat (but not drip). And then I applied this meat rub liberally.
- Wrapped in foil and refrigerated overnight.
- The next day, around 12PM, I preheated the smoker at 225F with hickory pellets.
- Placed brisket fat-side down (right out of the fridge). No meat probe inserted yet.
- Spritzed meat every 1-1.5 hours with this spritz recipe.
- After ~5 hours I inserted the meat probe, which showed a IT of 156F.
- Let it run overnight, woke up the next morning to a brisket at 186F (no foil).
- Let it continue to cook til 195F and until the meat probe felt like cutting through hot butter (~7:30AM)
- Wrapped generously in foil and multiple towels, then through it in my oven (no heat) to rest until dinner (~4 PM).
- Removed the point, and put in fridge to make burnt ends tomorrow!
- Sliced into 1/4" pieces, against the grain.
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
The point was cooked perfectly
- 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?