First Brisket Attempt w/ Q-view

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Original poster
Oct 11, 2010
Lubbock, TX
My first attempt at brisket was a mild success. It was a 6 pounder. Smoke Flavor was nice, but I used a bottled rub from Angelos Barbeque in Fort Worth and I think I may hae used too much, very spicy although it did seem to mellow when I had what was left over the next day.  I made a rookie mistake, I was anxious and very hungry, pulled off of smoker at 180 but I am pretty sure I didn't let it rest long enough before was still a little tough.

How much of the cap do you guys leave on? It was a pre-trimmed half-brisket so I left all fat on, but still looked excessive when it was done.


Ready to go!



About 2 1/2 - 3 hrs in





Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Oct 18, 2007
West Fargo, ND / Northern MN
The fat cap is a personal preference I have found. Some say leave it all on there and some trim most of it off you kind of have to try it both ways and see what fits you best. I personally like to leave some on but I still do a pretty good trimming on it. Next time take it up to the 195-200 range before pulling it and also let it sit for around a hour in the cooler with towels and see how you like the difference. If I am slicing it I will pull it at around 195 but if I am pulling it I will take it over 200 before I pull it. I also like to inject mine with a mixture of beef broth, V8 and some simple spices such as pepper, garlic & onion powder etc. Sounds like you still had a success so I wouldn't worry about it. The more times you try it you will find little things that you want to do different and pretty soon you will have it tweaked to your specific liking.


Meat Mopper
Nov 15, 2010
Rural Nebraska
Looks good to me fairly decent smoke penetration actually. I don't have a lot of experience with brisket the biggest thing is cooking plenty of time nice and slow.

Awhile back here I cooked a nine pound at 230 degrees with a beer water batch below. It took me twelve hours in the cooker and I was running out of coals so I went an additional hour in the oven inside a little at 200. Then, let it rest for 40 min. double foiled back in the oven off. It looks to me that yours had a pretty thick cap. I don't know if I do it right necessarily but I trim mine back quite a bit more. And, I score it a lightly with a few punctures on top a bit bit deeper prior to marinating. My experience is that it's pretty hard to season too much.  I've noticed too that the taste is always better the next days it seems.

A little story about my first brisket smoking experience...I live in a rural area could hear coyotes howling and yapping in the field, Lol. I knew it was going to end up taking most the night when I started so I was really concerned that they might move up here in the yard and snatch the meat! I left a radio playing tunes in the yard before I went to bed.  :p

From the looks of it you probably did everything about exactly right. Like you say, you probably could have let it rest longer and with a few minor adjustments you'll get it where you want it. That's a nice looking hunk of meat!


Gone but not forgotten RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Sep 12, 2009
Macungie, PA
Looks real good Bass Player!

Taking it to 195/200, like RB said, and a little resting in foil would have made it much more tender.

I like to foil mine at about 165˚ too.

Most people seem to trim them down to 1/4" or less fat---I like more, but I also like to score through the fat---all the way to the meat, at about one inch squares or diamonds.

That will let your seasoning and smoke work it's way into the meat.

If people don't want to eat the fat, they can cut it off.

I used to give meat scraps to my Lab, but I cut the fat off first & ate that myself, because I knew it was bad for him.



Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Jul 19, 2010
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>I used to give meat scraps to my Lab, but I cut the fat off first & ate that myself, because I knew it was bad for him.  



Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 11, 2010
Lubbock, TX
I'll definitely try trimming the fat next time, it seemed thick to me.  I knew that I pulled it too early based on how tough it was, I just didn't realize how early...20 degrees..oops. We finished off the last of it yesterday so I guess it didn't turn out too close to inedible.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 5, 2009
Portland, OR
You had a good first go, especially for a small flat. Being a small flat the fat cap is your friend, you can trim it to approx. 1/8-1/4" if you want but leave some there. I cook small flats nice and slow at 190-210°, when the internal temps hit 165° wrap it in foil with some low sodium beef broth (or some beer
), take the internal temp to 200°, pull it off the smoker and rest it for at least 1 hr. That will give you a nice brisket.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
May 20, 2010
Crestview, Florida
Looks like a darn good first brisky! I found that the spice is alot tamer the next day. And as rbranster said, the fat is a preference thing! Just do what works for you! It does look great.
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