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Brisket too big???

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Well after spending a week looking around here for a packer brisket, and only being able to find 4 lb flats, I finally found a place that had full briskets. Only problem is the smallest one they had was 18.5 lbs PDT_Armataz_01_23.gif and has very little of a fat cap.

So does everyone think this will smoke up ok. I'm planning on starting it on my propane GOSM tonight for a few hours, then once I get the temp right top the water pan and wood box off and let it go all night. I figure it will be ready to wrap early tomorrow morning and finish cooking by lunch.

I've cooked smaller ones (10-12 lbs) overnight before the same way, but I'm a little worried about this monster taking to long, and without a good fat cap drying out too much.

Any suggestions, or tips? Any one ever cooked a ~19 lb brisket before?

I'm going to reheat it Saturday for a cookout, and add some Chickens, Beef Sausage links, a couple of fatties, and some Salmon to the smoker Saturday for everyone that is coming over Saturday afternoon.
post #2 of 64
General rule is large briskets come off older cows, older cows equal tougher meat. That being said, no reason it won't come out just fine. Once you know how to cook a brisket, you know how to cook a brisket. PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif

Do you wrap in foil when you are cooking? If not, this just might be a good one to do it on for a little extra help.
post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
Yeah I normally wrap them in the morning, usually I catch them around 170, but sometimes I oversleep and they go a little longer.

I'm trying to decide if I should wrap it before I go to sleep and give it some extra protection or not. As big as this one is, I don't think it will be up to wrapping temp even after cooking all night.

I was actually thinking about putting a pan under it to catch the juice, then in the morning just trowing it in the pan and wrapping it so it will cook in it's own juice. I've never cooked one that way, but have had a few that were good done that way.
post #4 of 64
I usually wrap around 170 as well.........I generally try to keep an eye on things and don't wrap until it goes through te plateau.....in my experience, by 170 it usually has. I think wrapping before that is just going to speed up the cooking but not necessarily help in the tenderness department, but that is just my best (and uneducated) guess. You don't need the extra protection as long as you keep your smoker temps under control.

It is a good idea to collect the juices to put back in the foil when you wrap. If you should forget or the sucker just isn't giving up the juices like you wanted, you might try a little beer in the foil..........or just keeping it in the pan like you mentioned. I know several people who cook them from start to finish in a pan and swear by it.

I guess to get my 2 cents back down to 2 cents, I would recommend doing whatever you can to get some moisture back on the thing when you pan/foil, but would not bother with wrapping early.

What temp do you usually cook the thing to before you call it done?
post #5 of 64
i usually do that and it comes out pretty good,but the main thing is low & slow. if it doesn't have much fat cap you could try smokyokie's searing method,that may retain more moisture.
post #6 of 64
Thread Starter 
I usually hit 200. I've actually thought about taking it to 210-215 and pulling it apart so I can mix it with the juices better, but I really like sliced brisket better than pulled. Though as thick as this thing is, they are going to be some big slices.
post #7 of 64
I don't think the searing will help, but I won't bet my life on it either. From what I have heard and read, searing a large piece of meat is done to add flavor and color, it doesn't help with the moisture retention, because the crust you create is not waterproof. Searing smaller cuts helps with the moisture retention because the high heat forces the internal juice further into the meat, but those smaller cuts you generally sear and remove from the heat (think steaks). The larger cuts (like the brisket) is going to still be cooking for a long time after the sear.

Not saying that you should not sear, but just saying that I don't believe it will help the moisture concern.
post #8 of 64
true. i've never done it,just seared a chunk of brisket fat for pintos & that worked well.
post #9 of 64
Yeah, I prefer sliced to pulled as well. I usually stop the cooking at 195, sounds like we are in the same ball park.

Good luck with that big damn thing.
post #10 of 64
That little line caused instant salivation. PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif

Like with anything, don't take anyone's word for it when it comes to Qing, try it and see what you think. I think in the world of Q/Smoking the only thing we all agree on is that this stuff tastes great.
post #11 of 64
I agree with the above.
Not sure when you are going to start ... but be prepared for going past noon!
Regarding the fat cap, I would just cover it with some bacon ... as it rules for flavor and moisture retention among other things! icon_mrgreen.gif
post #12 of 64
If you are very concerned with the time this thing might take, cut the sucker in half lengthwise so you are basically just cooking two 9lbers. Won't help with the moisture worries, but it won't take near as long to cook. Pull one off at 200 for slicing, pull the other later for pulling/shredding. Then you don't even have to worry about the lack of a fat cap..........you can just think of it as two large flats instead of one big packer................but personally I hope you keep it all in once piece just so we can all find out how it turns out for you...........oh, and bacon never made anything taste bad.
post #13 of 64
18 1/2 lbs??? what dinosaur that come from??PDT_Armataz_01_20.gif Your lookin at up to 24 hr. cook, maybe longer, might help if you remove the point from the flat and cook that later, or send it to me and i'll take care of it........
Good luck with that beast and keep us updated!!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #14 of 64
I like the way you think Bubba.
post #15 of 64
Thread Starter 
I'm not too worry about my time, just about if it will dry out more cooking that long to get the internal temps up. I've got a tank and a half of propane so if the full tank cuts out I'll switch and go get it filled.

I don't think I want to try and cut it in half lengthwise, and after searching half of Northern Virgina for a whole brisket I'm not giving up any of if PDT_Armataz_01_41.gifPDT_Armataz_01_42.gif so I guess I'll be cooking for a while.

I may have to take it off tomorrow and stick it in the oven to finish so the fiancee can watch it tomorrow afternoon and just cut it off when it's done. She refuses to go near the smoker. I really hate to finish it that way (sounds like cheating) but you have to do what you have to do.
post #16 of 64
Thread Starter 
I've got some Jewish friends coming over for the BBQ, so the Bacon is out. I had thought about turkey bacon though, but I don't think it has enough fat to make a difference.
post #17 of 64
Never heard of Kosher bacon? ... me either LOL!
Perhaps you can scoop some last minute suet from a butcher near by??
post #18 of 64
IMHO, if there's no fat cap at all, rub it well w/oil before you sear. I generally smoke 2 hrs fat side up, then 1 hr fat side down all done in a foi; pan, then flip back to fat side up and cover the pan w/ foil. Toughness won't be a problem if you take your time to get to 195* because you'll break down the connective tissues, ie if you slice cross grain . 3 hrs of smoke exposure is usually plenty.
post #19 of 64
Whew... dang!!! Are you sure you don't have the whole cow there? Did you check for a pulse?!

I am rilly on board with SmokyOkie's searing method. The last two briskets I've done using his method... they were the best two briskets I've ever produced!

As far as the size, bigger is better... right? eek.gif Just be prepared to hang around the smoker a little longer. wink.gif
post #20 of 64
I think first I'd split it flat and point then I'd sear the point the SMokyOky way - but I haven't tried it yet just going by the reviews.

Does it look to be fatty in between the flat and point? 19 lber holy cow!
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