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Half a small brisket, do the same rules apply?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey all, my first post here... Today I purchased my first smoker, a Brinkmann vertical square one. I figured it seemed to tick boxes for $60 - it's charcoal, square, has a water pan, and 2 grill shelves.

So, my question is this - I'm just making 3lbs of brisket, half of the 6 pounder I got. I've got it marinading in dry rub right now. Would you still apply the same 1.5hrs per pound rule, and cook it for 4.5 hours? Is this long enough?

I plan to fill the water pan with beer, smoke over hickory wood until 140, and foil until 190. Does this sound about right? Or, can I spray misted apple juices on it for the same effect as wrapping in foil?

Thanks all - I'm REALLY excited about my first smoking!

post #2 of 9
That is not a rule, it is a guideline for estimating cook time. You want to cook to meat temp, not time.

That depends on what your thermometer says.

Sounds like a good plan. You may want to smoke til 165° or so though. Here is a thread that may be helpful as well


Won't have quite the same effect. Some people foil, some don't. Matter of personal preference. If it is your first brisket, I'd foil. They take a little experience to do them unfoiled and keep them from drying out.

Enjoy your first smoke. Relax and don't get in a hurry. Stop by Roll Call and introduce yourself.

Most of all -- have fun.

post #3 of 9
Dave didnt leave me anything to add on, nailed it.
post #4 of 9
Welcome to SMF Papoo. I'm assuming that the part you'll be smoking is the flat or a portion of the flat. I'm also assuming that it's "super trimmed" or "market trimmed". If that's the case then you've got 2 or 3 negatives going for ya. It's not anything to worry about. Just that if you try to follow the same guidelines for a whole "packer" brisket, you could end up with a dry/tough piece of meat.

Every once in a while, my sister will bring me a super trimmed piece of flat to smoke. To make a long story short, I have to warm smoke it for a couple of hours then, regardless of the temp, foil it 'till it's done. By warm, I mean 125* to 175*. Rest it for at least :45 then slice against the grain. Use a NO / VERY LOW sodium (salt) marinade or rub. You can add salt to it when you foil it. Keep in mind that salt is the main ingredient in most store-bought rubs & marinades. The longer the meat is salted, the more moisture is drawn out. Normally, it wouldn't be that big of a deal if the meat has a fair ammount of fat on it.

So to recap:
  • Easy on the salt
  • Easy on the heat for the first 2 hrs then foil & let cruise between 225* and 250* till done
  • Easy on the alcohol - wait, scratch that
  • Take pics as you go along and post some QVIEW for us to drool over
  • Relax, have fun, and don't try to resist this new addiction that's going to take hold of you biggrin.gif

Good luck - let us know how it turned out

post #5 of 9
Good post Tom, you taught me a thing or three!!
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great advice, guys..

Well, the smoker is currently being 'cured', which I'm using as an opportunity to gauge temperatures control. What I have noticed, is that it seems to want more charcoal than I envisaged, which is a shame, because of the limit set by the size of the charcoal bowl.

As advised, I'll be foiling it, perhaps even earlier than I thought, to let it baste & braise in it's juices. Can't wait. I do have one more question, though.

Is temperature control always a case of open vents for hotter, close them for cooler? I have 2 lower vents, and 2 upper vents. I'd rather keep the top ones more closed, so as to keep the smoke in. Does this make sense, or will I be losing too much heat?

Thanks all, I'll be taking pics along the way..
post #7 of 9
Keep the top vents open at all times when you are cooking. You don't want to keep the smoke in. You want it to waft past the meat at a decent velocity -- just "gently kissing" the meat on it's way by. You don't want to hold it in and "stomp all over' the meat. That will give you creosote and yucky tasting meat. PDT_Armataz_01_32.gif

Use the bottom vents for temp control.

post #8 of 9
If it is a flat and/or super trimmed, I would add several slices of bacon on top to keep it moist. Other than that, cook to temp and you'll have a nice dinner.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks all,

It's now in. Didn't have time to do the bacon, but it's smoking away nicely! I'll keep you all duely updated!

Thanks again..
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