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Fast smoked brisket

nolz17

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Joined Nov 12, 2016
I'm new to this forum, but have been reading posts for years picking up tips.  I felt the need to post something regarding smoking brisket hot and fast, since there seems to be a ton of differing opinions, and maybe help others out with any questions.  I have to say, I still can't really believe it's possible to turn out perfect brisket in such a short period, but I've done it multiple times now and will never go back to low and slow.  Here's exactly how I did it (tried to include all steps).  

Started with a 12.75 lb, USDA prime whole packer (weight was before trimming).  I trimmed mostly all of the fat cap off, leaving very little and did not separate the point from the flat.. just left it connected.  

No brine, no soaking, no injecting, no 12 hours or overnight with the rub on it.  Took it out, trimmed it, seasoned liberally with a homemade rub that closely resembles Montreal Steak seasoning (mainly kosher salt, freshly ground pepper).  I let the brisket sit on the counter with the rub on it while I got the fire going.

I use a Weber (Performer) charcoal grill.  Lit a full chimney with mesquite briquettes and let them go until 3/4 ashed over.  Set up an indirect cooking space - charcoal on one side, aluminum pan filled with water on the other.  Put the grate on, set up my Maverick probe on the cooking grate and put the lid on.  Temperature was around 360, bottom vents completely open and top vent half closed on the opposite side from the coals (right over where the meat will go).  

Put the brisket on fat cap side down (well what was left of it), stuck the other Maverick probe in the thickest part of the brisket, and tossed 2 soaked oak and 2 soaked pecan chunks on the coals.  Had a nice smoke going in no time.

The entire smoke, the temperature stayed around 350, sometimes fluctuating down to around 330 and up to around 370.  Added charcoal and more wood as needed, but basically left it alone.  Turned the brisket over at around 150 and reinserted the probe.

Wrapped tightly in 2 layers of aluminum foil at around 175, left the probe in.  Removed brisket at exactly 208.  Just under 6 hours.  

Left in foil, wrapped in a towel, kept the probe in and put it in a small cooler.  Let it rest for 4 hours, until the temp came down to about 150.  

There wasn't a drop of juice or liquid in the foil upon unwrapping.  The bark was still fairly hard, didn't turn into mush like others have mentioned.  Sliced and it cut like room temperature butter.  Juicy, moist, not falling apart but as tender as can be.  

I don't claim to know what the secret is - maybe it's the high quality meat... but it's a no fuss, fool proof method I've done multiple times now with the same exact result.  I would love to hear some of the pro's offer their thoughts... but it blows the doors off of going low and slow for 18 hours.  Start at 8AM, pull off around 2PM and eat at 6PM.  You can't beat that.  

Here are a couple of pictures... 

 


 

hardcookin

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Nice job with the hot & fast brisket! Looks like you have it figured out.
 

donegotfat

Meat Mopper
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Joined Oct 16, 2016
Definitely looks tasty!

I don't know if I will have the nerve to try a hot and fast brisket, but I am fairly new to this so maybe down the road.
 

ynot2k

Smoke Blower
148
29
Joined Sep 24, 2013
Excellent job!  Hot and fast is coming more into the mainstream now with pro smokers.  Look at Killen's down in Houston - he swears by it.  More important than how you smoke a brisket is knowing what you want the brisket to look like and taste like on the tray - doesn't really matter how you get there as long as you nail it.  I think hot and fast at 350 or so is a risky proposition for pros, and even riskier for backyard smokers, but that's just my opinion based on my own experience.  The hotter I cook the less the margin of error on when to pull and how to treat the meat after smoking.  I prefer 260 (which is where my offset pit seems to settle in most of the time) and I know how to smoke brisket at this temp on this pit.  YMMV.  All that really matters is that the final result is exactly what you wanted when you started the cook.  And it certainly looks like it turned out that way for you.  Nice cook.
 

SmokinAl

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Nice job on the brisket.

Hot & fast works for butts too.

It's becoming more mainstream.

Al
 

nolz17

Newbie
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Joined Nov 12, 2016
Thanks... Full disclosure... Even though I've done it enough to trust that the method works, it still freaks the hell out of me each and every time.  I guess it's trying to wrap your head around "fast" when all you've ever known, read, or done is "low and slow".  I tend to make the best sides when I do a brisket with the mentality that if it's like shoe leather, at least the side dishes will be awesome..lol.  

Interesting comment about it working with a butt... I'm going to have to give that a try.  I'm assuming the concept is all the same?  The only thing I can think of with the brisket is you have to use the highest quality meat you can afford (for marbling and more break down-able fat content) and the long rest time is even more important - as being the 2 absolute keys.  I have done briskets in the past that were Choice quality and even at low and slow, they were dry and tasteless, tough as well.  I'm lucky enough to live by a gourmet meat shop (in Central Florida) that sources Prime meat, so I've never gone back to your typical supermarket brisket.  

Pork is pork... yeah you have berkshire or a heritage pork, but that only affects the taste... it's not like pork is graded based on marbling, like beef is.  I only keep a Masterbuilt electric smoker for pork butts, as I can set it and not have to babysit for 16 hours.  My problem with the electric smokers is lack of smoke, and I've tried every set up and youtube hack imaginable.  I never use it for anything other than pork butts, and I start the butt on my weber for the first 4-5 hours just to get a decent amount of smoke flavor, then finish in the MB.  

So the question, anyone have a few fast smoked butts under their belt??  What setup did you use, tips/tricks??   
 

SmokinAl

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Thanks... Full disclosure... Even though I've done it enough to trust that the method works, it still freaks the hell out of me each and every time.  I guess it's trying to wrap your head around "fast" when all you've ever known, read, or done is "low and slow".  I tend to make the best sides when I do a brisket with the mentality that if it's like shoe leather, at least the side dishes will be awesome..lol.  

Interesting comment about it working with a butt... I'm going to have to give that a try.  I'm assuming the concept is all the same?  The only thing I can think of with the brisket is you have to use the highest quality meat you can afford (for marbling and more break down-able fat content) and the long rest time is even more important - as being the 2 absolute keys.  I have done briskets in the past that were Choice quality and even at low and slow, they were dry and tasteless, tough as well.  I'm lucky enough to live by a gourmet meat shop (in Central Florida) that sources Prime meat, so I've never gone back to your typical supermarket brisket.  

Pork is pork... yeah you have berkshire or a heritage pork, but that only affects the taste... it's not like pork is graded based on marbling, like beef is.  I only keep a Masterbuilt electric smoker for pork butts, as I can set it and not have to babysit for 16 hours.  My problem with the electric smokers is lack of smoke, and I've tried every set up and youtube hack imaginable.  I never use it for anything other than pork butts, and I start the butt on my weber for the first 4-5 hours just to get a decent amount of smoke flavor, then finish in the MB.  

So the question, anyone have a few fast smoked butts under their belt??  What setup did you use, tips/tricks??   
I've done several hot & fast butts on my offset.

I run it at 270-280 & they come out just as good or better in my opinion than low & slow.

Most are done in 8 or 9 hours instead of 18-20.

Al
 

nolz17

Newbie
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Joined Nov 12, 2016
 
I've done several hot & fast butts on my offset.

I run it at 270-280 & they come out just as good or better in my opinion than low & slow.

Most are done in 8 or 9 hours instead of 18-20.

Al
Awesome!  I saw your Hot&fast butt post... have a quick question, off topic, something I saw mentioned.  You have a guru, that you mentioned you're thinking about selling now... I've been thinking about getting one for my Weber kettle... I just can't justify the $150, but I have a co-worker that judges top BBQ contests (friends with Myron, others) and swears by the guru as being an absolute essential.  Rarely I end up having to really fuss with my weber kettle, but for the most part I can keep the temp steady just by adjusting the vents in the bottom and top.  I can usually go about 3 hours or so without having to mess around with it, sometimes longer.  The guru is advertised as a truly set it and forget it device, but I have my doubts about that.  Plus, I would have to drill a 1-inch hole in the kettle to install it, which is my main reason for not going with it.  What's your experience been?  
 

SmokinAl

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I had a Guru on my Weber kettle & it works perfectly.

Initially I bought the Guru for my 22.5 WSM, then I drilled a hole in the kettle & used it on it too.

I just started using it on my Lang & it works perfectly on it too.

However with the Lang I still have to feed it wood, but the temp stays exactly where I set it.

I have done 23 hour all night & day smokes with the 22 WSM & never had to refill the charcoal or add wood, while the Guru kept the temp within 2 degrees of the set temp the whole time.

It is worth every bit that it costs.

Al
 

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