First brisket - need additional information :)

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Original poster
Mar 26, 2011
Ok good morning.

I bought a brisket at costco the other night and prepared it with a dry rub my bro makes.  I think i need to change it up, I didnt care for the rub.

So i put half of the brisket (a few lbs maybe 5) in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap over night.

My smoker is an electric.

So i regulate my temp, get it around 220 steady...

I used hickory chunks, some apple chunks (briefly soaked) and put the meat on.

The smoke was immediate and strong.  First question... good or bad???? good amount of smoke, could it be too much?

Within a few hours I had a great bark on the meat, and everything looked great.  water pan had plenty of water and the smoke continued for 4 or so hours from what I had in there.  I figured that would be enough smoking, now I just need to cook it.

So about 8-9 hours later my temp reached 184 and I pulled it.  wrapped it in 2 layers of foil, towelled it, and cooler'd it.

I went to bed.  Woke up a while later (maybe part of my problem????)  it stayed in there for about 8 hours.

It was still warm, not really warm, but warm.

I sliced in to it, and the fat layer and bark was good, not great.  Perhaps the hickory made it a bit bitter?  It was pretty strong.  and didnt taste bad, but It just wasnt quite right.

I trimmed off the burnt ends, which are edible, and tossed the rest.  It was very very dry.

Now I understand doing a smaller piece of meat, its harder to keep it moist, but I was expecting a little more than what I got.

So im looking for some advice.  What are you guys using for your brisket smoking wood? Im thinkig about going purely apple on the next round????

Also, if anyone is familiar with rudys bbq in austin tx and surrounding areas, thats the tenderness and flavor im going for.

Their extra moist is INSANELY moist. 

Any idea someone has that dry rub recipe or close to it?

I have no experience making a smoking dry rub, so I want to do the best i can.  a bit salty a bit sweet, a bit of kick.

Any assistance would be appreciated.  I really really want to knock brisket out of the park.

Thanks in advance.  take care all
About your smoke you said it was immediate and strong. This could be a big problem. You don't want to see lots of smoke coming out of your exhaust. You want thin blue smoke that you can smell and not necessarily need  to see. If you have  thick white smoke that is going to create creosote on your meat and cause bitterness.
so do i just use much much less wood? and continue to add it as it burns up?

i had probably 8-10 chunks in the pan ... should i put 1 in at a time ? wont it require constant adding?

thanks for the input so far. im on my way :)
Yes 1 or 2 chunks at a time is plenty. Also, for a more juicy brisket, most of us pull it out at 165, foil it with some liquid, then in the oven or back on the smoker until 200-205. Then put it in a cooler for a couple of hours.
ok, great tips..

what liquid? either water or maybe apple cider/apple cider vinegar combo?

i was under the impression 185 was as high as you wanted to go on the smoker. 205 seems hot, but of course you guys are the experts :)

what wood do you use for brisket? please. thanks
mine might be a little odd but at 140 or so is when i really start to heavily baste with my liquid vinigar mixture untill i reach 160-165 then wrap in foil with a good mopping and wait for 200-205, pull and rest. i use a combination of lump and chunk mesqite. there is never a failure just another step in the journey...
ok, great tips..

what liquid? either water or maybe apple cider/apple cider vinegar combo?

i was under the impression 185 was as high as you wanted to go on the smoker. 205 seems hot, but of course you guys are the experts :)

what wood do you use for brisket? please. thanks

I usually just use beer. I don't think it matters what you use, you are just steaming the brisket to further break down the connective tissue. If you take it to 205 it just melts in your mouth. I use hickory, oak, & pecan mixed. Only because Lowe's had 40# bags of it on sale for $3.99. My whole laundry room is filled with bags of wood.
thank you much folks.

IM still a little concerned about the dryness that my brisket had.  The fat side was not bad at all, quite ok. but the rest of it was very very dry.  Do you guys experience that? or is there a way to prevent it.

I had my water pan in there, fat side up and wrapped it in foil and rested it.

Will it make a big difference to foil it with liquid at 160 or so, and then let it go to 205?  I need the melt in your mouth brisket ;), but does it exist on the flat? or do i need the point? thanks again
What they said.... smoke chamber temps between 200° and 230°, when internal temp hits 165'ish wrap in foil (or place in covered foil pan) with a good splash of liquid (beer), then let it go till the internal temp gets to 190°-205°. 190° is the absolute minimum, most of us go to 200°. Once the internal temp is hit put it in the cooler to rest for 1 hr., slice it up and enjoy!
Your smoker is a vertical? Smoke one fat side down and see how it comes out. I always smoke my briskets fat side down. Keep the smoker 225-240°. Use less wood. A couple of small pieces at a time should do it. You are using the wood for smoke, the electric part takes care of the heat. For a rub, buy Jeff's rub recipe. Buy the sauce one also for some great sauce. I use that rub on everything I smoke. I use the sauce on a lot of stuff (hotdogs, hamburgers, brisket, ribs).
I used to pull my brisket at 185* and then cooler it. Lately I go to 195*-200* and boy is it tender and moist, I slice it and use no foil during the smoke, I like the bark, foil is only for the resting, I believe. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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