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First brisket - help

mdmucf

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Joined Dec 29, 2013
So I have a master built jams gas vertical smoker that I have had for the past 4 Years. I love brisket but have always been leery of trying it for fear of screwing it up. Our local butcher had it on sale this weekend and I thought it’s time to conquer it but not wanting to spend a ton of money, I bought a 3 pound beef brisket. I know it is small, but I would like to make a go of it soon. I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions would be not only great but welcomed and highly sought after.
 

radio

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jul 28, 2013
small briskets are the easiest to screw up. They are usually trimmed to the point of having little, or no fat cap and dry out very easily if not careful. I've done a few small ones (Latest just yesterday) and I always cook to about 160 or so, then foil them with beef broth and brewed coffee until probe tender. These usually get turned into burnt ends and I buy the bigger packers for slicing
Good luck, and take plenty of pics for Q view
 

sauced

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Yes, small briskets are tricky. If it is well trimmed of fat, consider injecting it with a mix that includes butter. While it smokes keep an eye on cooking and meat temps. I would most likely, at the stall, is put it in a pan, add some beef stock and cover. Then check the temp and pull it when it passes the tender test and temp should be around 195. Cover, let rest then slice and enjoy!
 

demosthenes9

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Hopefully you have a thermometer/probe to check temps. Slather your brisket with some oil then apply some coarse ground pepper and kosher salt. Go a little heavier than you would when seasoning a steak. Fire your smoker up to whatever temp you want and stick the brisket in. Make sure that it's out of the way of any thermal drafts. You want/need indirect heat.

You want to start checking the brisket for doneness once it hits about 180ish degrees. Stick a probe into the thickest part of it. When the probe goes in and out with little to no resistance, your brisket is done. The actual internal temp of the finished brisket can vary from 185ish to 210 or so, depending on quite a few factors. That's why you go by feel instead of targeting a specific temp.

If you have a leave in thermometer, depending on what temp you cook at, your brisket might hit a stall where the temp just stops going up. It will just sit there at the same temp for hours, or might even drop a few degrees. This is normal. What is taking place is a process of evaporative cooling. You basically have four options here. You can leave it alone and just let it do it's thing. Option 2 is to turn the heat up which will speed it through. Option 3 is to wrap in foil or unwaxed butcher paper. This limits the evaporation and forces the temp to rise. Last option is to do both, wrap and turn the heat up.

Whatever you choose, still test for being done with a probe.
 

mdmucf

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Joined Dec 29, 2013
So I did it today. Put it on between 250-300 for about 4 1/2 hours with a mixture of hickory and apple wood. Pulled it out with temperature of 210 so I know I should have probably pulled it sooner. Turned out not too bad for my first attempt I feel like. I put a rub on it of smoked salt, a light dusting of garlic salt and black pepper. I did get a little smoke ring as well. I let it rest for 30 minutes and then sliced it to see how it came out. I currently have it wrapped in tin foil and then in a towel in a styrofoam cooler until about 5 pm tonight for dinner. I will post pictures below.
 

SmokinAl

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Looks mighty good there my friend!
Especially since it was your first try!
Al
 

mdmucf

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Joined Dec 29, 2013
Looks mighty good there my friend!
Especially since it was your first try!
Al
Thanks. Brisket is my favorite cut so even if it is a little dry this time I will definitely try it again. I appreciate the encouragement and the help from everyone!
 

gmc2003

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Looks good to me, especially for your first.

Point for sure.

Chris
 

73saint

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Hey man, that's a nice looking brisket doesn't look too dry from here!
 

weedeater

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Looks good to me! I would eat it for sure. Doesn’t look overly dry for such a small brisket. Now next time go big! Like!

Weedeater
 

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