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Brisket Overload!

nicholson

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I have been asked to cook brisket for a church event in about a month, and I need some help. I have a really large gravity feed (Stump's style) smoker, and I will have - probably - 15 briskets in it at the same time. I can handle the brisket just fine space-wise, but with that kind of load at 250 - 260 degrees, am I going to encounter any significant difference in cook time? Common sense tells me yes, but how much? Is there a rule of thumb? Should I slightly elevate my holding temp, or should I just plan for a longer cook? My rig is completely insulated, and I can hold consistent temps for as long as I need to.
 

dougmays

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The general rule of thumb is whether your smoking 1 piece of meat or 10...the temp is the temp and everything will cook the same. So you shouldn't have a problem using your normal cooking method with 15 briskets. 
 

va_connoisseur

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If you can hold consistent temps, you will be fine. Your time will vary because of the position of the briskets, how often you peek, Murphy's Law, etc. but for the most part, consistent temp equals consistent cook time.

How long does it typically take for you do to a brisket? I would not imagine it would vary more than 10-15% from that based on the the load.
 

noboundaries

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It's a physics thing involving heat transfer and thermal equilibrium.  Given a stabilized chamber temperature the only difference you'll see between one brisket and fifteen is that you'll use more fuel over the length of the smoke to overcome the low temp thermal mass of the greater amount of meat.  Just keep your eyes on the gravity bin fuel load.  I don't know how a Stumps works, if it has vents or a forced air blower, but you'll need more air too for the greater fuel burn to maintain your chamber temp.  Once again, physics.   

Think of it this way, burning fuel provides heat energy to the chamber.  Heat transfer to the meat involves hot, fast moving molecules of air bumping up against the slower moving, cooler molecules of the meat.  Heat energy from the air molecules flows into the meat.  Once the chamber temp is up to target and all the air molecules are fast moving, one brisket absorbs less available heat energy than fifteen briskets.  So to keep the chamber temp up as the larger mass of meat absorbs heat you need more fuel.

Test next Friday.          
 

nicholson

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Joined Oct 17, 2013
I usually allocate 8 or 9 hours for a 12 pound, trimmed brisket, at 250.

What do you consider the ideal internal temperature for removal?
 
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dougmays

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above 190....do you know the probe/toothpick test for tenderness? if you can easily slide a probe, fork or toothpick in and out you know its tender. if you get resistance its not ready yet
 

nicholson

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I know some people like to remove, wrap and rest at a certain temperature before achieving 190, is there a significant benefit to this? 
 
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dougmays

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some wrap and foil to infuse flavor and also speed up the process. i do both. if your in a time crunch you can wrap. or if you want to impart any other flavors later in the cook. you can wrap any time after 5-6 hours because after that point your smoke absorption is limited and your just using the heat
 

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