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45 Lbs. of Brisket for Graduation Party!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My son graduated high school last week, and several families threw a joint party/picnic.  I offered to smoke brisket and chicken for the event.  I picked up 3 15 lb. packers (flat and point together) for the event.  I use a SFB smoker with an upright bolted to the end.  I could not fit all three packers on the side barrel, so I had to separate the flat and point of one an smoke it in the upright portion of my frankensmoker (we call her "Grillestate"). 


The recipe was about as simple as it gets: trim excess fat, then apply salt, pepper and smoke.  No injections, rubs, sauces, or spritzes with juice.  Of course, I had a water pan in the smoker to keep things moist.  Below is one half of one of the packers I smoked right before foiling....



This was the first time I smoked an entire packer brisket, and I have a couple of interesting notes about my experience:


  1. The job was a piece of cake.  No problems, no complications, really tasty outcome!  One of my best friends is Jewish, and he invited me to make the brisket for his Passover celebration next year (tough to get a higher compliment, I thought)!
  2. They cooked way faster than many of our members' threads said they would.  I maintained a really steady 225* (corroberated by 3 different thermometers), and they finished in just over 11 hours total.  In fact, they hit 210* rather than the 195* I was shooting for.  (BTW, they fell apart and we ate them pulled style rather than sliced.)  I was expecting a 12-16 hour smoke/cook, so I was totally caught off guard.
  3. The plan was to place them wrapped in my cooler to rest for several hours between finishing and the party.  Because they were done so quickly, I had 4 more hours in the cooler than planned, so in the cooler they sat.  Man, did they stay hot!  One brisket wasn't unwrapped until 14 hours after cooking, and it was still really warm, juicy, and tasty!


Thanks to all our members for threads lighting the way on this one.  Lots of great advice and encouragement.  I can't wait to do another one (or 2 or 3)!  Thanks for looking!

post #2 of 4



Looks great!  You did a fine job.  My experience is there is nothing better than a good brisket - but the long times was killing me.


We run at 250-275 and we are at 195 in 7-8 hrs.  Try that, i think it will appeal to your biological clock as well.


As far as your Jewish friend, throw a Corned beef on there next time too - get them at WalMart or Sam's or at a good place - and smoke that.  Pastrami.


If he is a good, Jewish boy, worth his weight of such a good title, he will really appreciate your effort to throw some Pastrami on there too.


I rinse off the corned beefs fairly well - DO NOT Salt them - they have been brined to within an inch of their lives already.  Just a little pepper.


Oy vey!  This is how to live.


BTW - about two years ago the inventor of the Nautilus Machine died at 81.  A Deli owner from NYC, known for his Reuben Sandwiches died the same year at 95.  


A coincidence or Yiddish Good Living?



post #3 of 4

Yea it can be frustrating when your meat cooks faster than you are expecting. I guess that is better than it taking way longer than you expect especiall if people are waiting to eat. One thing I have found is the thickness of the brisket is one thing that controls how long they smoke. I have had a brisket weigh more than other ones but they get done faster because they are thinner then other ones. Fact of the matter is no two pieces of meat may cook the same because of size, thickness, fat content etc. What can you do??? Just sit back and relax and plan plenty of time. haha Good looking Brisket!

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the encouragement and advice, workoutchamp.  I'll have to try the pastrami. 


Rbranstner, I appreciate the Q-view compliment and your experience.  It didn't freak me out -- just surprised me a bit.  I too have seen a lot of variability in cook/smoke times over the years.  Just one of those things!

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