Brisket in Old Smokey

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Original poster
Dec 22, 2006
Danville, CA
I just assembled my new electric Old Smokey and plan to use it for the first time on Xmas day by making a brisket. I am very well aware that brisket is probably the most difficult meat to begin my smoking career with, but I am up to the challenge. I also realize that electric smokers may not be the "old school purist" way to go, but I chose this model based on a variety of factors (mainly because I'm a beginner) so replies encouraging me to return this for a charcoal model are not encouraged.

All that being said, based on a multitude of research on-line and through BBQ enthusiast friends, I have decided to proceed according to the following set of bullet points. But like I said, I'm just beginning and very impressionable. So should any of you have any expert advice for me on any of the below mentioned points it would be greatly appreciated!

* I don't have any true butcher shops near me, but some great supermarkets that have butchers in the meat section that are very helpful and accomodating. My plan is to obtain a completely UNTRIMMED BRISKET from them?

* Even though I am only feeding 4 people, I plan to buy a 10 lb. brisket as I understand it will shrink in half and I plan to trim all the fat off after I cook it?

* I plan to use a dry rub, either store bought or by hand (from an on-line recipe). I have heard that it may be wise to mop the meat with a thin coat of regular MUSTARD before applying the rub. I guess it tenderizes the meat and may also help the rub adhere to the meat?

* I plan to cook with the fat side UP to make sure the meat is basting itself throughout the cooking process, right?

* My plan is NOT to add any water to the drip pan, as this model is completely electronically temperature controlled and, with no ventilation at all, is supposed to maintain a great deal of moisture inside?

* I plan to cook the meat at 220 degrees and keep an internal thermometer in the meat and stop cooking and serve when it reaches an internal temperature of about 185 degrees? I have no idea how long this will take. 8 to 10 hours?

* The smoker came with wood CHIPS. I have read that chunks are better, but I'm tempted to use these chips they gave me. I am also very cautious about oversmoking my first time out, so I plan to use less than more....yet I still have no idea how much to use. I'm thinking...a handful?

* I may open the lid once just to check things out, but I do not plan on basting the meat at all and just letting it cook without touching it till it's ready to eat, so as not to mess with the temperature and circulating smoke inside the unit?

* I do NOT plan to use aluminum foil AT ALL in the process.

* I do NOT plan to use towels and a cooler AT ALL in the process.

* I am no expert trimmer, but I plan to slice off most of the fat after the meat is done. First I'll trim the top layer of fat off and then I understand that the two pieces of meat of the brisket are connected by another layer of fat that needs to be disconnected so that the meat grans can be alinged for proper slicing across the grain?

I think that's about it. As you can see, there are plenty of question marks. I know it's somewhat last minute, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!!
Sounds like you have a good handle on how to do it. There are things that I would do differently however each of us have our own way of getting the job done and different tastes.

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