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My family is counting on me and I need a LOT of advice on my first Brisket

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
First of all I have only been smoking for about 6 months but I couldn't have done it without the vast knowledge I found here and great advice everyone has given.

All this help has allowed me great success doing fish, chicken (whole and drums), turkey and last time a pulled pork.

I have impressed my family so much that my in-laws have asked me to do a New Years brisket...my first brisket!

Here is the situation:
1) I will be smoking with a Electric ECB.
2) At 7500 ft in the mountains of Colorado...cold
3) A 10-11 pound brisket
4) And don't have 15-18 hours.

SO now what...sorry but follows are a ton of questions?

1) Can I cut the brisked into two 5-5.6 pound pieces to reduce the smoke time?

2) Can I run a bit hot, say 225-250 and still have a tender finish?

3) Is it wise to foil at the stall point like on a pork shoulder?

4) Any other advice that I would need......

icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif:icon _confused:icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif <==== this me...a LOT confused!
post #2 of 11
I would not cut the brisket, it may shave off a little time, but not much.
225-250 is not considered running hot. That is pretty much in the normal temp range. If you like, and are pressed for time, you can run it around 275-300.
No need to foil at the stall, just let it go. It may not even stall on you, and if you smoke at the higher temps, it won't be an issue.

If I were you, I'd start it as early as possible and smoke around 225-250, more towards the 250 mark. After the first 1 1/2 hours, spray down every hour with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and water or apple juice and captain morgans or whatever you think would taste good.

When all done, depending on if your slicing or pulling, wrap that bad boy in a couple layers of foil, then a big towel if you have one and then into a cooler where it can rest for at least an hour.

Lightly smoke with some Hickory or Cherry and you will be looked upon as a god LOL.
post #3 of 11
I hate to say it, but, a couple issues come to my mind here:

1. Will your ECB get hot enough with the weather up there?

2. Will an 11 pounder fit that small round cooking grate? (my 24" wide Smoke Vault had a full grate with a 14+ lb packer on my last day's off)

3. Have you considered doing a point/flat separation prior to the smoke? This will reduce smoking time about ~30%, I've found, and allow you to fit that brisket into the ECB without crowding the meat against the drum;

If you'd like to think it over, this is how I generally do them, and here's how my last one went...you could leave some fat cap on if desired, I went lean trimmed;


I have had the flat come out in 6-8 hours, and the point an hour or 2 later...this is with 14-16+ lb briskets.

Just some food for thought there.....sounds like a great time coming up for your holidays!

Good luck on the smoke, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that stuff!!!! HEH-HEH-HEH......OOPS...that's HO-HO-HO!!!!!!!!! LOLOLOL!!!!!!!

post #4 of 11
Furluvofsmoke hit it I think...Check out his thread he gave you the link to...Thats the way I would go i think..Good Luck
post #5 of 11
Defniately reduce it's size but don't just whack it in half. You have to seperate the point or cap from the flat like suggested. You can put the tip in ahead of time and cook the he!! out of it and serve as an appetizer while the flat finishes up. There's a ton of fat in the cap that needs to be rendered.
You can soak the flat in some buttermilk overnight two days before the smoke and the enzimes in the bm will break down the connective tissues in the meat and make for a more tender texture. If you soak in bm, it will take even less time to smoke in my experience.
Briskets are fun to play with because they take along time to smoke so they are forgiving and open to experimentation.
Good luck
post #6 of 11
Have you considered smoking it for a few hours and finishing it in the oven - I know it is kind of a cop out but at that altitude it may be an option if you have a time constraint - At least it is going to have smoke flavor.
Not advocating abandoning the smoke but if you dont have the time some flavor is better than nothing
post #7 of 11
Yea eric (fortheloveofsmoke) did hit it on the head. You should just split the flat and the point to cut down on your smoke but I don't know if by 30% but i have been wrong before. But you will probally be less likely to stall all that long. So just smoke it at even 250-260 and you'll sahve a little time there to. Then just foil at 165-170 then add some spirtzing liquid to the foil and take it to 200-205 and wrap it in towels and into a dry cooler for atleast an hour if not more. Then you can slice it and then enjoy for it will be really PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif yummy too.
post #8 of 11
Captain Morgans? You OTBS members are a great help to us rookies. That sounds phenomenal and I know what I'm trying on my brisket! Thanks Meat Hunter. And to think I used to just drink it - now I can smoke with it.
post #9 of 11
I would try following Le's advice in this thread:


I have done it a couple times and they turned out pretty good. Should work perfect with your time constraints.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

First of all, again thanks to everyone for the great advice.

And I'm sorry there are no picturesicon_frown.gif

The New Year started out great with the brisket being a hit.

To avoid the complications of smoking in the mountains I decided to smoke in two stages.

In preparation and to reduce the cooking time I separated the tip from the flat and cooked at 250F.

First stage was smoke both here at 4900 ft to the stall and then double foil them for transfer. The only concern here was the brisket would cool down in the fridge over night (actually I was really worried...no more like scared).

Stage 2 was to finish off in the oven up there and let it rest in a cooler until meal time.

We decided to slice the flat and pull the tip, so I took the flat to 195F and the tip to just shy of 200 (ran short or time since we needed the oven for rolls).

When I sliced the flat it seemed to be a little tougher than expected. Maybe I'm my worst own critic, but I should have taken it closer to 200F to help this. Anyway the consensus of the group it was a hit, and the evidence was everyone ate more then twice the usual amount.

After supper we pulled the tip. All I got to say is HOLLY COW was that great. I shredded the remaining flat and combined with the tip and mixed in the remainder of the home made bbq sauce.

My wife and I enjoyed some the leftovers last night....YUMMMMMMM
post #11 of 11
Great that all worked out well, tasted good and made those eating happy...

well done
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