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Advice on switching brisket to convection oven from smoker

osh

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Hi all,

I’m pretty new to smoking meat so wanted to pick your brains on best practices when finishing brisket in a convection oven. I have a craftsman gas smoker so the plan is to smoke the meat for 4-6hrs and then finish it in the oven for an additional 4-6hrs. I found keeping the temperature correct with the craftsman varied too much and needed constant attention hence wanting to pretty much set and forget in our relatively new oven.

How do I keep the bark crispy without drying out the brisket?

Can I over cook the meat or is there a particular balance I’m looking for?

By the way, this is one of the larger briskets I have smoked. Thanks for any tips in advance
 

thirdeye

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You are not planning a wrapped step once you go to the oven correct?

In that case, I think a foil lined pan with a rack would be fine. With convection it won't make much difference if you bake with the fat cap up or down. After the 4 to 6 hours in the smoker your bark should be set, meaning if you rub it with your finger it doesn't flake off. The time in the oven will preserve and even develop what you have already have.

Yes you can overcook a brisket to the point it's so tender slices won't hold together. Some people inject as a little insurance and for a flavor bump. Either way, when the internal gets above 195° I pay more attention to how tender the flat feels when its probed. One of the better examples of a good tenderness is the resistance of room temperature peanut butter. You can use something like a bamboo skewer, a cocktail toothpick, an ice pick etc., and pay attention to the feel going in and coming back out. Briskets should rest in an insulated cooler for as long as you can. I prefer 3 or more hours. Wrapping it in foil will soften the bark, so if crispy is your goal, put it in the foil fat cap down and leave the top vented. Open the cooler every hour to let the accumulated steam out.
 

osh

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Thanks for the reply.
Yes I plan on letting it sit in a cooler for a couple hrs. I’ll leave it for 3 as I plan on getting a head start this time. No more last minute smoking although the hot and fast method I had to do last time worked out pretty well in the end.
I like to inject my brisket with beef broth, butter and whiskey. I call it Irish style...
Also, I’m wondering if the oven should be on Broil, Bake or Roast for this job? And is bakers paper not worth the hype? I’ve read mixed things..

You are not planning a wrapped step once you go to the oven correct?

In that case, I think a foil lined pan with a rack would be fine. With convection it won't make much difference if you bake with the fat cap up or down. After the 4 to 6 hours in the smoker your bark should be set, meaning if you rub it with your finger it doesn't flake off. The time in the oven will preserve and even develop what you have already have.

Yes you can overcook a brisket to the point it's so tender slices won't hold together. Some people inject as a little insurance and for a flavor bump. Either way, when the internal gets above 195° I pay more attention to how tender the flat feels when its probed. One of the better examples of a good tenderness is the resistance of room temperature peanut butter. You can use something like a bamboo skewer, a cocktail toothpick, an ice pick etc., and pay attention to the feel going in and coming back out. Briskets should rest in an insulated cooler for as long as you can. I prefer 3 or more hours. Wrapping it in foil will soften the bark, so if crispy is your goal, put it in the foil fat cap down and leave the top vented. Open the cooler every hour to let the accumulated steam out.
 

SmokinVOLfan

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You def just want to put the oven on the bake setting. 250-275. Keep your temp probe in it.

My personal opinion I would wrap it in butcher paper. It still lets the meat tenderize but breathe enough so that it doesn't kill your bark.
 

thirdeye

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Thanks for the reply.
Yes I plan on letting it sit in a cooler for a couple hrs. I’ll leave it for 3 as I plan on getting a head start this time. No more last minute smoking although the hot and fast method I had to do last time worked out pretty well in the end.
I like to inject my brisket with beef broth, butter and whiskey. I call it Irish style...
Also, I’m wondering if the oven should be on Broil, Bake or Roast for this job? And is bakers paper not worth the hype? I’ve read mixed things..
My oven has a regular 'bake' setting and a 'convection bake' setting. My circulating fan does not come on until the preheat temp has been reached. Then it cycles on and off during baking. After the brisket rests you could return the brisket to the oven and use the broil setting for a couple of minutes, but don't have the rack in the high position. Using parchment or peach paper (never use freezer paper) is effective as it's breathable. It doesn't work as well at high elevations.
 

osh

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This is great guys, thanks.

Are you fans of spraying your bark for the first couple of hours? I tried this last time on a pellet smoker and the results were really good. Also, are we overnight smokers or early riser smokers? There seems to be pros and cons for both options... Smoke till 2am then switch to the oven or get up at 5am and smoke till 10. One way has you eating a little late (especially if there’s any complications) but the other way has you eating really early... Tough life choices ;)
 

thirdeye

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lgkXrbk.jpg
In the first couple of hours you should get some surface juices pooling, so I don't start misting until hour 3 unless the meat looks dry. I prefer the overnight cooks and like to time it so my brisket goes in the hot box around noon or one. If you have not done the long rests before, you might really notice a difference.
 

osh

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View attachment 457526
In the first couple of hours you should get some surface juices pooling, so I don't start misting until hour 3 unless the meat looks dry. I prefer the overnight cooks and like to time it so my brisket goes in the hot box around noon or one. If you have not done the long rests before, you might really notice a difference.
I think I managed 2hrs rest last time and you’re right, it was the 2nd couple of hours I misted...
So do you keep it wrapped in the same butchers paper you cooked it in for resting as well? I had mine wrapped in towels as well but definitely don’t want to ruin that bark!
 

SmokinAl

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Wrap it & finish it in the oven. If your using an electric smoker, it’s really just an oven with smoke. Probably won’t even notice the difference!
Al
 

osh

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Wrap it & finish it in the oven. If your using an electric smoker, it’s really just an oven with smoke. Probably won’t even notice the difference!
Al
Until I get a pellet smoker, this is what I’ll do. I spent a day messing with the gas trying to keep the right temp one time doing the whole cook in the smoker
 

thirdeye

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I think I managed 2hrs rest last time and you’re right, it was the 2nd couple of hours I misted...
So do you keep it wrapped in the same butchers paper you cooked it in for resting as well? I had mine wrapped in towels as well but definitely don’t want to ruin that bark!
Yes. You could set the pouch on a pan, or you could lay down some foil to keep the towel from soaking up grease, the the paper will be fully saturated and have some liquid in it. Just be careful not to tear it.

57hyITF.jpg
 

SmokinVOLfan

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I am with thirdeye I am on overnight smoker as well. I did this one hot and fast in my camp chef gasser and finished it in the oven once I wrapped it in butcher paper. Pulled at 203. Turned out great.
brisket8.jpg

brisket9.jpg
 

tallbm

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Hi there and welcome!

When going to the oven there is a very real situation where your brisket comes out tasting like a roast rather than a smoked bbq brisket. Since you're doing such little time on the smoker I would bet you get more of a pot roast than a smoked brisket if you wrap or cover while in the oven. If you go about 75-80% of the total cook time on the smoker you can probably get away with wrapping in the oven.

To avoid this you can still use the oven but I always tell people to NOT wrap when in the oven. Simply treat it like an unwrapped brisket in the smoker but the difference is you arent applying any smoke while in your oven.

If you go this route you will guarantee bark, you will continue to grow the smoked bbq flavor you are looking for, and you can avoid the dreaded roast flavor that you don't want because.... why even smoke a brisket if you are going to end up with an oven pot roast dish/flavor.

Actually if u want to do a test, do half the brisket (cut long ways) wrapped and half unwrapped and you will see what I mean :D

From the heart of brisket country, I hope this info helps you out!
 
Last edited:

osh

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Hi there and welcome!

When going to the oven there is a very real situation where your brisket comes out tasting like a roast rather than a smoked bbq brisket. Since you're doing such little time on the smoker I would bet you get more of a pot roast than a smoked brisket if you wrap or cover while in the oven. If you go about 75-80% of the total cook time on the smoker you can probably get away with wrapping in the oven.

To avoid this you can still use the oven but I always tell people to NOT wrap when in the oven. Simply treat it like an unwrapped brisket in the smoker but the difference is you arent applying any smoke while in your oven.

If you go this route you will guarantee bark, you will continue to grow the smoked bbq flavor you are looking for, and you can avoid the dreaded roast flavor that you don't want because.... why even smoke a brisket if you are going to end up with an oven pot roast dish/flavor.

Actually if u want to do a test, do half the brisket (cut long ways) wrapped and half unwrapped and you will see what I mean :D

From the heart of brisket company, I hope this info helps you out!
Personally I’m apprehensive about wrapping it too early but mostly because I like a really crispy bark. Should I put a water tray in the oven to avoid drying it out or would that even make much of a difference?
 

tallbm

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Personally I’m apprehensive about wrapping it too early but mostly because I like a really crispy bark. Should I put a water tray in the oven to avoid drying it out or would that even make much of a difference?
I smoke whole packer briskets with my MES40 electric smoker which is basically an oven with smoke and a vent haha. The MES doesn't need water in a pan at all cause it retains moisture/humidity very well. An oven generally does the same.

I smoke my briskets 100% unwrapped all the time in my MES40.
If you like bark I would say rock the whole smoke/cook unwrapped and you will have your bark.
If you notice like 80% of the way in its "too" barky then spritz and wrap and foil and finish the cook and that will soften the bark.

I don't think your brisket will dry out if you smoke and oven cook uncovered the whole time.

Just know.
Dry tough briskets are undercooked.
Dry fall apart briskets are overcooked.
Dry and hard burnt briskets... well overcooked.

Briskets are done when they are tender. Briskets are tender when u can stab ALL OVER with a kabob skewer and it goes in like butter.
Use the internal temp (IT) of a brisket to tell you WHEN to start checking for tenderness. I start checking at an IT of 200F.
Best place to probe a brisket is thickest yet center-most portion of the Flat muscle, never the point muscle.

I don't think you will dry out your whole packer brisket. If you are doing just a flat and not a whole packer then I would suggest spritzing and wrapping once it hits like 180F IT.
I hope you got a pretty good and flexible brisket which helps alot too.

Let me know if this info helps and makes sense. Keep the questions coming and we can get you sorted out :)
 

osh

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Well it’s 3.30am and I’m warming up the oven. Definitely tempted to stay up longer to keep this thing in the smoker but with guests arriving I better get some sleep. Next time I’m setting up a hammock and camping out. Here are the 2 shots I’ve taken. Looking forward to delving in to this tomorrow...

Thanks for all the help!
 

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osh

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So after 10hrs of cooking my internal temp is only at 178. What should I do?
 

tallbm

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So after 10hrs of cooking my internal temp is only at 178. What should I do?
Turn the heat up the brisket doesnt care what temp you cook it at. What time do you plan to eat?

U can put that sucker at 350-375F and you should be fine.
 
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