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Brisket Advice wanted


Joined Jun 20, 2016
I'm new to the the adventures of smoking and was wondering what everyone thought about using McCormick's smokehouse maple as a rub?  Do you think that it would be too much with smoking?  I'm debating between, Montreal Steak, the smokehouse maple, or just salt and pepper.

I picked up a shift of overtime wednesday night so the plan is to prep wednesday night and smoke the brisket at work on my normal shift.  The plan is to wash the meat in cold water and marinate it.  Then Thursday morning pull it out of the fridge and let it warm to room temperature for a hour.  Place it in the smoker until it hits 165 then wrap.  Leave it in for another two hours before pulling it out and putting it in a cooler.

I've only done one other brisket(See attached).  It turned out well enough for my girlfriend to stop complaining about the money I spent on the smoker, however I learned that I need to marinate the entire brisket not just one side.  I didn't trim the fat off the last one, am I better off doing that or leaving it?  Do you all have any other tips or pointers so I don't mess this up at the firehouse?  .



Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
If you use the smokehouse maple rub and are concerned that the flavor would be too strong, just cut down on smoke intensity or length of time in the smoke. You could also use a milder smoke wood.

I don't temper meat at room temp...it's not really going to help even-out internal cooking of larger cuts of meat, anyway. And speaking in terms of food safety, a cut of meat cooked low & slow should go straight from the fridge to the smoker so that the surface of the meat can be pasteurized more effectively. If you're cooking hot & fast the process is much faster, and tempering the meat for an hour or less wouldn't be cause for much concern.

When smoking whole brisket with conventional cooking methods I got the best resulting finished product with the fat-cap on, but trimmed to around 1/2" thickness (or slightly less), placed fat-cap up for self-basting. The rendering fat helps to give the meat a more juicy bite and chew. Sure, you get less smoke flavor or dry rub to the actual meat because the fat-cap covers one entire side, but that's the trade-off. Without the fat-cap you risk having a dry and tough flat muscle (thinnest portion)...the point muscle (thickest portion) has tons of marbling, so it won't care one way or the other, but the flat can suffer from lean trimming because it already is a much leaner muscle...unless additional measures are taken (another day, another post).

I smoke brisket low & slow (220-230*) and use patience...it's done when it's done, not when I want it to be done. Don't worry about the stall if you have a temp probe in the meat...speaking of probes, don't stick it for at least the first hour, so the surface has had time to pasteurize. Probe for tenderness after internal temps reach 180* or so in the flat (somewhat tender, for slicing) and 200*+ in the point (very tender, for pulling, or you can slice it at lower temps, also). If it probes tender, it's ready to rest before serving. I have taken the flat to pulling temps before, but it's tricky, and I might have had a fluke, or just plain got lucky...only happened a couple times since 2008.

Unlike what many might say, Brisket can be among the easiest of the larger cuts to smoke, with very little prep involved...but you gotta be patient...in this case it is especially true that good things come to those who wait.

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