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First brisket attempt...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

After hours of research I'm attempting my first brisket here in Texas on my Camp Chef 24" Smoke Vault (propane) this weekend.  Going to list out my plans, give some updates, and listen to you all talk. 


I've read over a lot of forums and it looks like many different regions have a hard time finding briskets or they are very expensive.  Luckily, living in Texas they are readily available at pretty much any grocery store.  Yes, many stores only carry select but a couple of stops and I can find anything I want.  I found USDA choice on sale for $1.99 pound (Excel brand) so I snatched up a good looking 12 pounder...at $24 I thought it was a great score.  I did find CAB for $4.49 a pound but thought for my first smoke I had better not invest that much...also I've heard of many people not getting a difference out of the two, thoughts?


Being from Texas and traveling the state with my fiancé to try all the great joints I've built a plan for this smoke.  Franklin's and Mueller's are going to be our inspiration for this smoke.  I'm sticking with only kosher salt and pepper for my rub.  My original plan was to go the Franklin route with half pepper, half salt.  We recently had Hutchins brisket, it was amazing and heavy on pepper, I've decided on 2/3 pepper and 1/3 salt for this smoke.  I know Mueller's goes very heavy on the pepper but I thought I'd meet in the middle.  I'm going to trim the fat to about 1/4", rub, and let it come down closer to room temperature a couple of hours before she hit the rack. 


My plan is for a overnight smoke Friday in order to have a mid day meal on Saturday.  Being that this is my first brisket, the overnight smoke worries me a little bit.  I think I'll end up babysitting throughout the night with a cooler of beer, my favorite chocolate lab, and a cat nap here and there.  My fiancé will hate this idea as she doesn't like going to bed alone but hopefully the fruits of my labor will earn me forgiveness the next day.


I have a ThermoPro TP08 wireless thermometer that I will be using to measure the temperature on the smoking rack.  I'm going to plan on smoking between 230 to 250 degrees for 12 hours.  I'm thinking she'll go on at midnight and take her off around noon the next day to let her rest for an hour of so prior to cutting.  I'll be using oak chunks with a couple of cherry chunks mixed in.  I'm going to cook for the first 6-8 hours uncovered, then spray with a water/Worcestershire mix, wrap in butcher paper and let it smoke for the remaining 4-6 hours. 


Any thoughts and suggestions are always welcomed.  I'll be putting pictures on this thread as the process starts tomorrow night...only one day away! woohoo!  

post #2 of 15

Sounds like a good plan, but I'm not sure your are going to be done at noon. at 250 degrees if you are trimmed at 11lbs then you probably will be looking at 15-16 hours. But don't go by time go by temp or really feel. sometimes your are done at 198 degrees sometimes you are done at 205 IT cook until when you push in that thermapen in it feels like pushing into room temp butter. Otherwise everything sounds good salt and pepper make great seasoning for a brisket just let the beef stand alone.


as far as choice and prime etc. i cook choice all the time and get plenty of compliments and get the product out that i like. if you can get prime cheap then go for it but its not necessary to make good que!


Happy Smoking,

phatbac (Aaron)

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

I meant to ask on my original post.  Do you guys recommend soaking the wood chunks in water or not?  I've only down one smoke so far on the smoker, bacon wrapped chicken and potatoes.  I didn't soak the wood chunks but I was only smoking for about 2 1/2 hours. 


Phatbac, thanks for the input.  I might consider putting it on at 10 PM.  My brisket should be down to at least 11 lbs after trimming.  We've already decided on a Saturday around the house so I'm not on any time frame of when I have to take it off the smoker. 

post #4 of 15

IMHO no need to soak them.  All it does is make them steam and look cool till they dry and start to smoke.

post #5 of 15
As far as your grade of meat goes, BBQ was developed to take a tough cheap piece of meat, cook it low and slow and turn it into something truly decadent. There is no need to really buy prime in my opinion. I just did my first brisket last weekend and needless to say I was intimidated...but it turned out amazing and wasn't too scary at all. My 14 pounder took 16 hours to cook. I put it on at 4pm and took it off at 815am. It hit an IT of 165 at 5:30am but wasn't done until an IT of 195 degrees. Keep a detailed log of your cook, including weather, temp, wind, everything. It will come in handy in the future. Good luck and have fun!!! Post some pictures too!!
post #6 of 15
Forgot to mention, I also let mine rest for 4 hours, double wrapped in foil and then in a towel and placed in the cooler. When I took it out it was still really warm but firm. My cook temp was also 180 degrees for the first 5 hours then 225 for the remainder of the cook. I did not wrap it
post #7 of 15

Smoke it for 5 Hrs put it in a foil pan with 1 can of beef Cosamine ( butchered the spelling ) Throw in the oven covered at 220 for 4 Hr's , Wrap in foil and toss in a cooler wrapped in foil for 2 hr's . While resting poor juices in a bowl and place in freezer for 1 hr . pry fat off top and put drippings in pan on warm . Slice Brisket top with drippings and enjoy !!

post #8 of 15

To the op and all who are considering brisket for the first time.  Just jump in and do it.  I do not understand the intimidation felt by all doing a brisket.  Growing up, all I could actually smoke, decent, was brisket.  (I think my ribs still suck)  I have done 100's of briskets.  But believe me, I have royally messed some up.  I could have made some really good shoes with more than a few of my briskets.  Who cares?  Goof some up and I promise you will get really good at them.  Brisket is actually very easy and very forgiving IMO.  It is very hard to over cook.


You have a good plan to start with.  Stick to it.  Don't change your mind halfway through.  Stick with one method, see how it goes, make changes on the next one.  I now buy my brisket from Costco only because of the good price.  It is prime, but any grade of brisket works equally well IMHO.  I used to get choice from my local butcher with equally good results, but I just couldn't resist the prices at Costco. 


Don't focus on time, minutes per pound etc.  You can get a rough estimate on time, but that is all it is, an estimate.  Cook to temp and most importantly, FEEL.  Plan to have your cook done long before you want to eat.  The brisket will only benefit from sitting in the cooler wrapped in foil and a blanket for 1 - 5 hours.  If you are going to wrap in butcher paper, 12 hours is a really good rough time.  I generally get 17 - 19 pounders from Costco, and my cook is done in the neighborhood of 12 hours at 230 - 270 degrees in my stick burner.  When I plan on a lunch brisket, I start the fire at ~ 10pm.  The brisket will go on ~11pm.  I also wrap in butcher paper now days, and I know the cook will be done by noon or before.  Without wrapping, I was smoking for about 18 hours on those big ones.  I then wrap in foil, a towel, and into the cooler until we eat.  If the brisket decides it's done at 11am or even 10am, I don't care.  It holds very nicely in the cooler.  I have left one in the cooler for 4 1/2 hours before, and it was still hot to the touch.  Much better to be done early than to have everyone waiting around because the brisket decides it wants to cook an extra 2 hours you had not planned on.


Don't soak your wood.  Waste of time and water. 


I would suggest a water pan in the Cook Chamber.  I keep two pans in my CC, and I go through about 2 gals. of water during a cook in my stick burner.  This may be different on your gasser, so maybe guys with experience with gassers could chime in on that.


Remember, Brisket is our friend. And the reward is huge when it's done.  Enjoy the long cook and give us lots of pics please.  :icon_smile:

post #9 of 15

Sounds like you have plenty of info.


All I can say is good luck & keep us informed.



post #10 of 15



Sounds like you have a good plan.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

And so it begins. Trimmed and rubbed. Smoker is set up with thermometers, water, and wood. Giving the meat and hour or so to come up closer to room temperature and on she goes. Getting ready for a long night!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

I don't know why this image didn't show up..
post #13 of 15

Looks good so far!



post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Alright, slightly worried. About 9.5 hours into my cook now my internal temperature is hovering from 155-154. I guess this is the stall everyone talks about. I took the brisket out at 9 hours and sprayed with wor. sauce/water, wrapped in paper and returned to the smoker. The brisket felt much stiffer than I imagined it would..is this normal? Also, I went to sleep for a little bit and didn't set my temperature alarm..the smoking temp spiked to about 285 for an hour to hour and a half. Still keeping my fingers crossed!
post #15 of 15
I cook my briskets @ 275 all the time. The temp spike didn't hurt a thing. If anything it will speed the cook up.
Pull the brisket when the thickest part of the brisket probes like butter.
Good Luck!!
Edited by hardcookin - 5/21/16 at 8:23am
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