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12 lb brisket Question


Joined Aug 4, 2010
Hey all,

I have a 12 lb brisket on the smoker along with some butts for a family reunion tomorrow. I put the brisket on at 10:00 am this morning and just checked the internal temp after about 5 hours and I was already at 175. I checked in muliple places with 2 different thermos and both are reading the same. I have kept the smoker temps fairly steady between 210 and 240 all morning. I was expecting this thing to go for 16 to 20 hours, what is going on? I'm freaking out a little because this is for a family reunion tomorrow. Is this thing going to be ok? Do I need to head out now and get another and toss this one? I need your expert guidance and opinions! Maybe I'm just being paranoid but I really need this thing to come out great. Thanks for your help in advance.


Joined Oct 3, 2009
I'm no expert but are your Butts cooking faster than you expected also? If so, perhaps your oven thermo is reading low and you're cooking warmer than 210-240..


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 24, 2009
Hey man don't panic yet. And for sure don't throw it away.

Is your brisket a flat or a whole packer? In my experince the flats and points that are seperate cook in a little less time then a whole brisket. Mine are coming out at 200 degrees and going in the hot box/cooler to rest for at least 2 hours. Then they are going in the freezer for an hour or two, then out to slice. Sliced meat will go in gallon zip loc bags and in the fridge. Tomorrow AM I will put the bags in a vac and seal bag with the zipper cut off. Next they will go in a pot of boiling water until hot. Back in a stainless pan and in the hot box until its time to eat.

Depending on the time you are wanting to eat would be the deciding factor if you want to pull them out at say 180 and put them back in tomorrow. Myself I would not want to take the chance. 

One other option would be that if you are wanting to stay up all night then finish this one when its finished. And toss another in later tonight so it will be done in the AM.

Good luck on which ever route you take. And would love to see the Q view. My spell checker is not working so we are going to have to live with the typo's. LOL


Meat Mopper
Joined Feb 18, 2008
I wouln't get to paranoid, it will probably stall on you. Just keep on smoking, I'm sure you have several hours to go. cook it till its done and throw in a cooler and let it rest for a couple of hour. Using those tempetures its going to turn out fine.


Joined Aug 4, 2010
Thanks for the quick replies. It is a whole packer brisket and I had planned on pulling it off around 195 or so and into the fridge and reheating slowly tommorow morning to slice just before we eat (around 2:00 or so). I have had excellent results with this method, that is why I was smoking the food today to avoid the all nighter. If your family renunions are anything like mine there will be plenty of adult beverges being consumed tomorrow and I need my rest
 but it may not be avoided. The butts seem to be cooking normally that is why I'm so confused about the Brisket...I might do what you suggested and finish this one and throw on a "back up" just in case, all nighters aren't all bad...

Thanks for the help guys.

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