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Beef "brisket" - first time smoking a brisket

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So I've never really smoked a brisket before, its just the wife and I and what am I going to do with 10 or 12 lbs of beef if I do a whole one.  

 

So the wifey is really proud of herself when she comes home from the supermarket with a beef brisket for me to smoke on the smoker.  

All 1.98 lbs of it, neatly trimmed and darn near void of any fat layer to speak of.  I love her so much for thinking of me anyway.  

So most the 'rules' and guides for brisket I've read are taken with a grain of salt....

 

What i've done is to season both sides with salt, onion, garlic and fresh ground pepper.   keeping it simple.   beef is chillin' in the fridge with seasonings in one of those tupperware marinating trays that have all the ridges that lets the air or marinate circulate.   I figure after lunch tommorow I will fire up the WSM and put this on the cooker.  

 

Chart I saw shows about 1 1/2 to 2  hours / pound to get to 190 to 195 deg.  

 

Suggestions?  

 

When I do turkey / chicken / pork I have been keeping a squirt bottle handy with some apple juice or cider, and squirt the meat whenever I check the temps.   I'm thinking that apple juice isn't right for beef, and may fill my squirt bottle with some Sam Adams instead.    (its what I've got handy).  

thanks much guys.   I know I'm not around much but this forum has been the best resource i've found for this endeavor.  

I'll get some pics and let you know how it goes either way.  

 

regards, 

 

Jeff

post #2 of 13
Kind of a small brisket,which could be a problem keeping it moist.
I have sprayed brisket with beef broth. I would wrap once you get desired bark and then check for probe tender in thickest part of the flat. - 195 - 210 temp wise.

Take a look at thickest part of flat before you wrap so you know where to probe.

Good Luck!!
post #3 of 13

Yes a smaller cut of brisket will cook equally well. Remember though that it is not only the temperature that the meat gets up to that is important but also how long it is there. Brisket needs time for the tough fibers to break down. Smaller cuts will get up to temperature quicker but they still need the time. With the smaller cuts it is also important to foil for the second half of the smoke to prevent them from drying out. When up to temperature wrap it in several layers of foil in the cooler and leave it for several more hours to continue to cook and the fibers to break down under its own heat.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks, I had planned on setting up a thermocouple probe in the meatiest part of the brisket while its on the cooker.   Will remember to allow it more resting time after it comes off the WSM.  

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Here's some pix:  its turned into a rainy day here in NJ as Matthew has his way with the south east, not nice for doing much outside but a nice day to putter around the house with some small jobs while I tend the cooker.  

 

 

The time / temp chart I found showed this little guy to only take 3-4 hours.   I've been keeping the WSM around 225.  At the time of the last photo there the probe was showing 160*F and on the cooker for about 3 1/2 hrs.   Right now I'm about 6 hrs into it and only up to 182.  have been giving it a basting of Sam Adams about once an hour.     

 

We are gettng hungry....may have to cut this one short and eat!   

post #6 of 13
You almost need to cook the brisket till it is done, or it will end up being dry and tough.
Bump your smoker temp up to finish it faster or finish it in the oven.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks, just went and looked at it, meat probe is up to 190.5*F; and the cooker is running 250.   opened up further on bottom vents.   

this differential could explain my longer cooking time today.   

 

have been doing some reading that the lid temperature on the WSM will run 15 - 20 higher than cooking grate temp.   I think I'm going to build 

a small enclosure that will house a pair of small 1/16 DIN controllers and this way I can have one in the meat and one on the cooking grates.  

post #8 of 13
have you tried the tooth pick method. Now that its at 190 take a toothpick and if it goes in like butter its done.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

No toothpick, but thanks for the tip !   Thumbs Up   I'm learning all the time.  

 

I let it sit on the cooker until I had 191.5 and decided that we were having dinner!  

 

pulled it off the WSM cooker and wrapped in 2 layers of foil, then wrapped in 2 kitchen towels and let it sit on the counter for about 15 minutes while we finished prepping the rest of dinner.   

 

I learned allot on this cook, and will be making some mods to my cooking gear as a result and adjusting how I measure temperature for sure.  

 

the end result was awesome.   the beef was tender and juicy.  Generally when beef its this well done I find it to be dry....but this was great.   Had a nice smoke ring about 1/8" thick, and the beef had a mild bark to it.  

The smoke flavor was there but not so strong that my wife got put off by it.

I'm already looking forward to the sandwich I'm going to make with the leftovers for tommorow's lunch :drool

 

The wife had made scallop potatoes and broccoli.   

 

here's pix of the finished beef:  

 

 

And plated: 

 

post #10 of 13
Glad to hear that you were happy with the trial run. You know your hooked now.

Why wait for lunch. do steak and eggs for breakfast. Or a Brisket Burrito.
post #11 of 13

Once you get the confidence from your first brisket it is plain sailing from then on. Well done Thumbs Up

post #12 of 13

Jeff That looks real nice,I also use a WSM 18.5" with a BBQ GURU.It keeps the temp of the smoke to almost set it and forget it. The meat probe that comes with it is very accurate Points for your first Brisket

Richie

 

congratulation_graphics_2.gif

post #13 of 13
Looks like you done a good job! And it was a good learning experience. icon14.gif
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