doing my first smoked brisket this sunday

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Nov 21, 2006
Waco, TX
hello everyone. i am going to try my hand at smoking a brisket this sunday. i get off work at 11am, i plan on startng at 11:30. i bought a packer cut, 7lbs today.
i plan on making a rub, to be applied just before placing in the smoker; a "mop" sauce (apple juice based); pecan wood for smoke (since i have 3 pecan trees- free wood). wood is branches/limbs that have fallen off that i have kept dry all year.
today i bought a meat thermometer that has a probe on a wire to use. it has programmable desired temp; current temp; and a countdown (or elapsed time) timer, that can be set in hours:minutes or minutes:seconds. it is almost identical to the one jeff recomends from amazon. i bought mine at H.E.B.

couple of questions. 1. is it better to place the brisket straight on the rack or in a pan? i have one of those throw-away roaster pans i can use. 2. i want to slice this brisket- the temp to hit is 190°, right?
i'll make sure to take pics, only camera i have is cell phone camera, but it takes decent pics.

edit: clarify info about thermometer.
I do mine right on the rack Chris. A 190-195 internal temp. will be just right for slicing. I would suggest foiling it at 165-175 internal (I decide by bark color and texture)then back in the smoker to finish. Be sure and let it rest wrapped in foil, towels or newspaper, and in a cooler for at least an hour to re-distribute the juices.

Anymore questions just ask! Good luck and don't let the brisket thing intimidate you. Managing fire is managing fire. You just gotta manage longer to cook a brisket. ;)
i am not letting it intimidate me, don't worry about that. i have nothing better to do on sunday anyway. i read that link a few times already. we eat when it is done. whatever time that will be. i figured around midnight-1:30 a.m.
Chris, ya could always start it at 5:00 am and cat nap all morning!
I did a brisket a few months back and it was awesome. I just rubbed a bit with salt and pepper and smoked with hickory for about a week. (it seemed like it anyway) It was freaking delicious. Be aware of the plateau period and don't get ticked off like I tend to do sometimes....
i work 11pm sat night until 11am sunday morning, hence why i am starting ~11:30am.

anyway, last night at work i got a new 55 gallon barrell. i am (actually a mechanic, they are the only authorized welders at my job) making a new smoker. hopefully he will have it finished when i get off tomorrow morning. i had him cut 1/4 out of it for a door.told him i wanted it waist high (3'). i am using expanded metal for the rack, with an angle-iron frame; an expanded metal shelf (maybe 2). i am going to use the screw out opening on the one end for the smokestack. building a firebox out of plate steel. i will join the firebox to the grill part with a pipe, making a damper in it. what size pipe for that? i was thinking 4-6". the only thing i will have to buy separate is a thermometer for it to keep track of the temp inside. right now i have an oven thermometer to sit on the rack. i want something that i can mount it the door/end with a probe extending a bit. like the ones you buy at the store have in the lid. i will post pics of it when done.
any ideas for it? will check back before i head to work tonight.
Chris, did you get the smoker built? More important, How did the brisket come out? Show pics of the food and the smoker if you've got em.

Keep Smokin
i didn't finish the smoker. almost done with it though, should finsh next weekend.
the brisket turned out ok, considering it was on the old smokey. i didn't get to take pics, as my wife had my cell phone with her. it cooked a little to fast, i think, but it was tender, tasted good, and had a decent smoke ring.
Hey man, ok brisket is always better than no brisket. Pics were optional anyway... maybe next time.

I know all about that "didn't get it finished" thing. With your work hours it has to be hard to get anything done. I know cuz I work a swing shift myself (12 hr day/nights mixed with 8's too). Too many other things get in the way of fun.

We're with ya man.. hang in there and Get R Done, and as always

Keep Smokin

If you have access to rather clean 55 gal. drums and access to wood, you should try building a "Burn Barrel". There's a topic of mine on the site, and they're pretty easy to construct. I can't preach this enough to those with "Stick Burner" Smokers. If you want TRUE wood smoking....this is the way to go!

BTW, welcome to the site!

i can get clean 55-gal drums every few weeks. i can't hog them all, lol.
as far as wood- i have two pecan trees; my parents have mesquite, post oak, and i don't know what else (they have 8.5 acres, 2 of which is a pond, out in the country). she said i could have all i wanted, to let her know and she would cut it and bring it to town on her way to work.
i took her a plate of the brisket, along with a baked potato, for lunch today. she said it was delicious.
i saw the burn barrel topic. looked interesting. what is a "stick burner" smoker? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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