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Marinade or inject?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So, we went to Smart&Final today and picked up 2 hunks of brisket - a 3-lb flat and a 3-lb point that I'm going to be heating up tomorrow. But I've got a couple of questions:


  1. Since these are two pieces of meat should I use the total weight to figure out an approximate time for smoking, or since both pieces will be in the smoker together do I use the weight of one of them? (I know that sounds like a basic dummy question - I looked through the wiki page and couldn't find the answer!)
  2. My last flat I marinated overnight - this time I want to try both a marinade and an injection - should I inject it today and let it sit overnight or should I inject it just before it goes into the smoker? I'm thinking I will inject the flat and marinade the point just to compare with the last (my first) flat that I marinaded.


If I remember I'm going to be taking a bunch of photos this time! Thanks for all the help - this forum is a wealth of knowledge!


Alan Hepburn
San Jose, Ca

post #2 of 7

It'll probably take slightly less time than a single 6 lb brisket, but its done when its done!


Marinade / inject the night before.

post #3 of 7

You can't really cook brisket, pork butt etc. by time and temp. You have to do it according to meat temp as it varies from one piece of meat to the next.

You can use time as a rough guide but it's just that, only a rough guide for planning rough purposes.

I suggest you get yourself a good wireless meat thermometer like the Maverick ET73 that most folks here use if you plan to do this much and follow that to determine when the meat is done.

Basically it will get done when it's good and ready and not before. 

Ribs, chicken etc you can go by time and temp but not the big pieces of meat. Especially the bigger tougher pieces of meat that has a lot of collagen etc. to break down.  

post #4 of 7

When I did 30 lbs of pork for July 4th, it was basically 4 pieces of 7 lb or 8 lb pieces of meat.  It took about as long as the biggest piece took to cook...about an 1.5 hours times 8 lbs.  It did not take 45 hours (1.5 times 30 lbs).

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses everyone - I got the smoker up to temperature and put the meat in at 10:45 this morning:




- it's now 2:00pm and the meat is at 145 degrees so it seems to be moving along. I'm using a Taylor Wireless Thermometer with Remote Pager (it says Wireless but there's a wire connecting the probe to the base unit) and it seems to be working fine. The meat on the left looks like it is mostly point, and I coated it with some Kansas City Steak Seasoning that I picked up at a local Dollar Store. The hunk on the right is a flat that I injected with some Creole Garlic Injectable Marinade - just trying different options to see what we like the best.


Some observations: my smoker is a Brinkmann Sportsmen Smoker:




and I'm finding it difficult to control the temperature. I'm using Best of the West Lump Mesquite Charcoal - $10 for a 40 lb sack at Smart & Final. I put a mark on the cheap built-in thermometer to show where boiling water puts the gauge so I can guesstimate where the temps should be, but I noticed  that it went up almost to the end of the "Ideal" range, then dropped down below the "Ideal" range. The only air flow control I have is the door on the side - no vents anywhere. By opening the side door I can sort of keep the temp about the middle of the "Ideal" range. I can see that if I keep this up I'll be spending money on a better smoker in the future!


I'll have more photos once the meat is done and sliced!


Alan Hepburn

San Jose, Ca

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Okay - dinner is finished! Let's see: into the heat at 10:45 am - it hit 157 degrees at 4:30 pm so I took them off for foiling:


ready for foil


Then I put them back in for about 1/2 hour; then out ant into a nice blanket for their nap. They stayed wrapped in the blanket for an hour, then it was time to carve. I started with the flat:




flat carved


then went for the point:




point carved


And finally - the plated result, including some veggies and sweet potato fries:




Now for my critique:


The flat ended up a bit on the dry side. I think it was caused by two things: I injected the marinade, but I think it needs to sit in the marinade as well so it gets plenty of juice from that; and I think I could have removed it from the smoker maybe 1/2 hour sooner.


The point was real juicy, but a bit hard to chew - my wife said she liked it better, but mainly because it was juicy. She had a lot of waste on her plate because of all the fat. I was going to make it into chunks but decided to just slice it instead - maybe next time I'll "chunk" it up instead.


Overall, I think it turned out okay for a rank amateur and I know I'll improve as I continue!


Thanks to all for the help!


Alan Hepburn

San Jose, Ca



post #7 of 7

It was probably hard to chew because it doesn't seem they cooked long enough.  I think I have heard you foil it at around 165ish.  Then take it up to 185ish, then rest for 30min to an hour.  Then slice.  6 hours doesn't seem long enough.


Also, when I foil everything, I pour a bit of beer in the foil and it helps keeps everything nice and moist.

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