finally found a whole brisket- when should I start it?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by philip_g, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    going to smoke a 15lb whole brisket for the first time, the local grocery store happened to have one out today.

    I usually figure about 1.5 hours per lb for a flat cut @ 225 degrees, if the same holds true this one will take almost 24 hours to smoke which means I should start it around 3-5pm today I figure. You guys agree?

    How should I go about running the MES overnight? Mine seems to run a long time if I load the hopper up with chips, should I just load a couple small chunks while I'm up and then load the thing up around midnight and let her go?

    What do you guys use to mop with? [​IMG]
    I hope this one comes out, my last flat cut was really dry. This is a lot of meat for one person [​IMG][​IMG]
  2. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    Apple juice mixed with EVOO is what I usually mop or spray with. I would suggest taking it to 165*, foiling it with some apple juice & EVOO in the foil pack & take it to whatever temp you want, depending on if you plan on slicing or pulling. I have never had a dry brisket doing this.

    I run my MES overnight quite often when doing brisket or butt. I just try to make sure it gets adequate smoke in the first part of the smoke, load up the hopper & hit the rack. One I recently did I foiled @ 165* set the MES to 205*, slept 7 hours, woke up & it was perfectly cooked for pulling.

    Then into a small cooler, pack the dead air space with towels & it was still HOT 5 hours later when we had it for lunch.
  3. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    I don't want to miss either window though, I've had briskets before rocket to 170*, I could start it now and cook it to 170 and foil, then back the heat down to 205 like you did and let it run overnight, maybe I'll try that.

    If I start at midnight I don't think it'll be at 170 before I wake up, but I also don't think I'll be eating it tomorrow at all.
    If I start it around 5pm I think I'll sleep right past foil time and be stuck with another dry brisket :(
  4. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    Good morning, Phillip. Not sure if this works in the grand scheme of things, but why not cut the briskey in half? Not sure about how many folks you're feeding, but maybe this might work for you. Just a thought.
  5. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    I could, but I had planned to just smoke the whole thing and slice it, then vac seal it and freeze individual portions of it.
  6. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    gotta love a all nite briskit smoke-you got good advice-have fun
  7. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    I couldn't wait, I started it.
    I'll run it to 165-170 and foil it really tight and run the smoker at 200 and let it go overnight. It's all folded up trying to stuff it in my little MES lol
  8. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    Keep us posted & add some pictures.....& updates on how it is going[​IMG]
  9. If you smoke a brisket for 24 hours you will have shoe leather for supper. Don't go buy X hours per pound - it's done when it's done. If a fork pushes into it with just a little pressure it's done.

    Cook it to 165 - 170 and mop it along the way if you didn't inject. When you foil it add 1/4 cup "Rick's sinful marinade":

    1 can flat beer
    3 tablespoons your favorite rub

    Take it up to 195 - 200 or until it passes the fork test. I doubt this will take more than 14 hours.

    Some things you can do to make it go faster:

    Trim out the hard white fat between the point and the flat. This make the entire piece of meat more uniform so it will cook evenly and faster as well.

    Consider removing the point from the flat about 3 hours before the end of your smoke. Put the point closer to the heat. You'll get more bark.

    If you are going to freeze keep your pieces as whole as possible. When you slice them you will loose moisture. I cute mine to chunks that will fit nicely in the bottom of my small crock pot. When I need some I take a frozen chunk and put it in the crock and cover with beer and water. Cook on low for a few hours and presto. BONUS: the smoky juice left over in the crock will make a KILLER chili.

    Take some pics and note your times. I'd like to hear how it came out.

  10. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What he says works great.
    Good luck.
  11. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    hit 165 in about 7 hours.
    double foiled and in the oven at 225. I'm getting hungry.
    Haven't seen a plateau yet so I have a LONG way to go.
  12. I have one myself but only use it for smoking fish or cold smokes. Anyway, my thought is that once you get the meat to 160 - 175 and foil it you are using an electric smoker as an oven so you might as well finish it off in an oven instead. You could always crisp up the bark later on it if you want.


  13. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    I think that's what most people do. I do anyway.
    Lot easier to watch the temp in the warm lit house than the dark patio, and it's had 7 or so hours of smoke so that should be way more than enough.
  14. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

  15. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    hit a little plateau around 185, back down to about 180 and I let it get back to 185 and pulled it.
    I should have pulled it sooner, I'd like it a little less tender for slicing but it the skinny end is perfect for pulling.
    Moist and melt in your mouth tender, but not enough smoke flavor. It spent 7 hours in the smoker with a LOT of mesquite smoke going so I'm not sure why.

  16. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    That could be said for any smoker no matter what the source of heat is.
  17. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    that's electric smokers for ya...i have a mes and still would like some more smoke flavor on my briskets...still great just want alittle more thats all. still taste better then any bbq joint around me tho....
  18. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    we had a GREAT BBQ joint and they went out of business. I could get a pound of perfect sliced brisket for about $14.
  19. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    "that's electric smokers for ya.." meaning what?? [​IMG] If you want more smoke flavor, add more wood.
  20. philip_g

    philip_g Fire Starter

    I had smoke rolling out of this thing for 7 hours, I couldn't put more wood in if I tried.

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