2 part smoke?

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Original poster
Jun 16, 2010
Happy Holidays Everyone!

I'm having  a party New Year's day & have 2 smallish briskets  (5.5 lbs each) I want to smoke for the party. I don't think I'll have the time to attend to the smoker for 10-12 hours. I had a thought...what if I started them on the smoker Friday for about 5 hours or so, then finish them in the smoker the next day for another 5 or so hours? I'm concerned the meat may become dry or turn into something unrecognizable due to the meat cooling then heating up again. Any thoughts or experience with this?


Couple of thoughts here....

First I'd just smoke the briksets ahead of time. Then cover the pans with HD foil and let rest in an insulated cooler. A few hours before service reheat in the foil, rest then slice. You can also add some au jus to the pan to help with moisture.

The danger I see here is you will be prolonging the time in the danger zone and increasing food bourne illness risk.  You can also smoke to 165F then cover and finish in the oven before service.
I wouldn't smoke it half way then cool then smoke it again. If you are going to smoke it do it all at once. Brisket heats up really well the next day. Just put some drippings and beef broth in a pan and cover the slices and reheat the next day on the smoker. Or vacuum seal and reheat in boiling water.
At 5.5 lbs. each I am guessing you have trimmed flats (?). If so smoke all the way, rest and refridgerate them whole. Day of party toss them into a crock-pot with the saved drippings (save the drippings!), and some beef broth if needed. Heat on low for 4-5 hrs.

I did some trimmed flats this way and the extra low and slow in the crockpot really made them a lot more tender and juicy compared to when I tried one after just smoking and resting it.

I have to agree with RBrans and say to smoke it before and then just re-heat as needed. I would also recommand that you re-heat using a pasta/steamer pot. It' the way to go it re-heats it and the meat won't lose any moisture and to me it reallt brings out the smokey flavors.
They have given you great advice. Smoking it half way will only make it tough and you may not get all the way thru the danger zone temp wise.  Smoke it and reheat it in its own juices for sure
Since you'll probably be up until midnight on new year's eve, I'd probably start smoking them around 7 or 8:00. When the midnight festivities have passed foil them in a pan with some liquid and (gasp) pop them into a 200* oven and go to bed. Like Johnny Rodriguez said, they are likely trimmed flats due to the small size, so you will probably want to get up early and wrap them in foil and  towels and stick them in a cooler. Don't want them drying out.
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