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Brisket and Pork Shoulder on WSM

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dubbs, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. dubbs

    dubbs Newbie

    Hi all,

    Newbee here... both in terms of posting here and WSM user! Got a 47cm (18.5") WSM yesterday and seasoned in with a hot clean burn. Planning on cooking a 4KG (8.8lb) packer brisket cut (more flat than point) on top shelf and a 3KG (6.6lb) Pork shoulder on the lower shelf of the WSM tomorrow - July 5th for a party we are having. Want the meats ready to eat at 5pm. Was planning on getting up 4am to get meat out of fridge to have an hour to warm to room temp - then onto smoker at 5am - giving me 10 hours till 3pm to get them cooked, then got 2 hours time for additional cook / wrapping and resting... Was going to aim to smoke at 120c/250f for the entire cook (bit hotter than would like - but conscious of time!).

    Was planning on letting Pork cook fat side up for approx 4 hours until 68c/155f - then popping into foil container with a bit of cider in the bottom and foil wrapping it all - then back on till done at 95c/205f.

    Then the plan for brisket was to cook fat side up for approx 4 hours until 75c/167f - then popping into foil container with a bit of beer at the bottom and foil wrapping top - then back on till done at 95c/205f.

    Then cutting point into cubes and back into foil with BBQ sauce / rub and onto top shelf of smoker for an hour to do some burnt ends at 120c/250f to be ready when its 5pm.

    I know its impossible to tell how long things take.... but in your experiences is 10 hours likely to be enough based on the 2 cuts of meat I am gonna use at the temps mentioned??? Or should I be looking to have a 12 hour cook time, with 2 hours rest / wriggle room....

    Appreciate any thoughts!
  2. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    First welcome to the site. Second if this is your first time using the WSM you may find it difficult to control you temp due to it's leaking. After a few cooks it will seal itself up fairly tight.

    I think your in the ballpark for times, but caution you to be careful with the brisket. It sounds like a flat at that weight. Use a skewer around 190* to test for tenderness. Probe it all over with the skewer and it should slide in with very little resistance. Make sure to keep us updated.

  3. dubbs

    dubbs Newbie

    Thanks Chris. Would a second hot seasoning work to help seal up or need food cooked on it?
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    There's no real need to season the WSM. It has a porcelain coating so there aren't any residual manufacturing oils. Just give the grates a good washing. A few good cooks will help seal it up. Especially the pork shoulder. Keep an eye on how the door seals to the body. That's usually the weak link. If you see gaps then you can gentle message/bend it to fit. If the gaps are small then they'll fill themselves after a while. Good luck and enjoy. It's a great cooker.

    webs05 and chopsaw like this.
  5. dubbs

    dubbs Newbie

    Thanks Chris. So better to aim at 190f for the brisket temp to pull rather than 205f? Hoping to have time to rest for an hour or more so I guess the cook carries on a bit during the rest time while wrapped in a cooler.
  6. Don't shoot for 190° to pull the brisket, just use that temperature to start probing for doneness. If you insert a metal skewer, it should go through the meat like butter. If you feel any resistance, let it cook another 15-20 minutes and probe again. Do this until you get that hot knife through butter feeling and your brisket will be ready to be sliced into deliciously tender BBQ.
    webs05 likes this.
  7. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Not quite, start probing at 190* for tenderness. It probably won't be tender at that temp, but some brisket flats are. Most finish around 205 some even higher. Probing at 190* will give you an idea on where your at in the cook. There's a fine line between underdone, perfect and overdone brisket. Every brisket different and some don't give up so easily while other just quit.

    Undercooked = tough chewy meat
    Perfect = Juicy, folds over your finger and pulls apart with the slightest of tuggs.
    Overcooked = crumbly meat.

  8. dubbs

    dubbs Newbie

    Thanks Chris / Preacher Man - fingers crossed she goes well tomorrow!
  9. dubbs

    dubbs Newbie

    Brisket about to go on... quick one... this is mainly flat I think... but butcher mentioned there was some point area on it... if so... where is the point on this cut? See photo attached.

    Attached Files:

  10. webs05

    webs05 Newbie SMF Premier Member

    I have the same pit, WSM 18. Be prepared to fiddle with vents early on and a bit through the cook if you have temp swings in the weather outside. Mine takes about 1-1.5, hrs to settle in where the gray smoke dies out and the clear smoke/blue smoke comes out. If you can't wait, at least give it 30mins.

    My process used most recently was minion method. I dumped the coals in the middle and gave them 10 mins. Then put the smoker together with bottom vents barely open. That got me to 250 and it ran well right there.
  11. It's kind of hard for me to make out in your picture, but it looks like the fat layer that separates the flat and point is at the blue line. It starts on top of the flat and moves to underneath the point. If I'm right, that will make the area circled in green your hunk of point...a.k.a. the yum part.

  12. dubbs

    dubbs Newbie

    IMG_0531.JPG IMG_0546.JPG IMG_0535.JPG IMG_0539.JPG IMG_0531.JPG IMG_0546.JPG IMG_0535.JPG IMG_0539.JPG IMG_0531.JPG IMG_0539.JPG IMG_0535.JPG IMG_0546.JPG IMG_0531.JPG Thanks Preacher Man. It worked a treat on the smoker today - The 4.2KG brisket was on for 11hours and was perfect. Pork was on for 11 hours as well - started it an hour later than the brisket - all was served just 30mins after I had expected - so not too bad at all! Thanks for all the tips on this debut cook chaps. Will be back for more tips I am sure!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
    webs05 likes this.
  13. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hi there and welcome!

    Congrats on the successful smoke!

    With pork butts/shoulders and briskets, they don't care what temp you cook them at so I awlays do 275F/135C smoker temp on them. This will give you just a hair over 1 hour a pound smoked naked and never opening the smoker until time to check for tenderness.

    As the guys pointed out, pork butts/shoulders and brisket are both done when they are tender. Never time or temp. The temp will tell you WHEN to start checking for tenderness.
    I check on briskets at an Internal Temp (IT) 198F/92.2C by stabbing all over with a kabob skewer until it goes in with no resitance. Also probe a brisket in the thickest yet center most portion of the Flat. Never probe in the point because that muscle is always hotter and done way before the flat.

    I check for tenderness on pork butt/shoulders at an IT of 203F/95C for making pulled pork (pulled apart and shreded). Same thing, kabob skewer all over until it is like butter.

    Finally, with these two cuts of meat and smoking at 275F/135C smoker temp (about an hour a pound), I always plan to finish 4 hours early. This gives plenty of time in case the smoke runs long AND if you double wrap in foil and then wrap in 3 bath towels and set on the counter, the meat will still be piping hot 4-5 hours later when it is time to cut, serve, and eat! I promise you and here is the proof (I was skeptical at first but live by it now hahaha).

    I hope this info helps and I look forward to your next smokes! :)
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