First brisket, suggestions on how to do. Cookshack or Rec Tec?

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
May 11, 2010
SW Pennsylvania
Hoping to pick one up at Sam's, don't see them in the stores around here. I am looking for suggestions on how to do it. Should I cut it and put it in my Cookshack Smokette  or keep it whole and put on the Rec Tec pellet grill?

Thinking just simple SPGO on it.

Anything else I should know, maybe in helping pick one out.

I have been smoking things for 15 years but don't ever remember doing a brisket other than the corned beef ones for pastrami.Have done most everything else.

Picking out a good brisket...find a good limber one, one that you can bend easily while still in the cryovac.  Look for good internal marbling within the strands of meat.  The higher the grade of meat, the more internal marbling will be present, however, the briskets aren't graded individually, the grade comes from the carcass it came off of.  So at times you might find a jewel in a Select grade that may be as good as a Choice or even a Prime.  Buy as high grade a meat as possible, but don't fret if it's just a Select, it will turn out just fine, just cook it right.  

As far as cooking whole or separated, either way works just fine.  The flat is where slices come from typically, while the point can be sliced, cubed or pulled and chopped.  I have done briskets any which way you can think of (whole, separated, no trim, heavy trim), it all comes down to cooking them right.  Smoke for 4 hours, wrap in pan with some broth, beer, soda, your choice.  Cook it until it reaches above 190 IT, then every 5 degrees after that, check the brisket for tenderness by using a toothpick.  Probe the flat portion of the brisket in several places, once the toothpick slides in easily with no resistance (like a knife in butter), she's done.  Once done, wrap in towels and throw in a cooler or at the very least on your kitchen counter top.  Once the IT has dropped to below 170, slice and enjoy.  

Best of luck and enjoy the smoke!
Stopped in at sam's when I was close the other day and all they had were flats about 6.5# I picked up 2 going to do one this weekend in the RT.

Is there a need to foil this cut of meat, I am not a foil person usually until the meat is done and ready for a rest.
Hello Dave.  If using just the flat it may be necessary to foil with some kind of Au Jus.  Chef Jimmy has a recipe on the site for a good one.  The flat has less fat than the whole packer so that drying out might be a problem.  Good luck.  Post some pics.

I would recommend at least placing the meat in a pan after 3 to 4 hours of smoke with some liquid, either broth, soda or even your favorite beer.
Try to get a full packer next time, its usually less per lb and you get the point which is the best part of the brisket. I've never foiled a full packer until its cooked to IT of around 195 to 200. Then I'll wrap for a couple hrs with a little liquid and drop in a cooler. Thats really when the magic happens. Just be sure to have patience and no need to cook real low temp. 250 to 270 will produce just as moist and tender. And SPOG is a good choice. Let the meat be the star of the show. Oh yeah, I'd go with the pellet cooker over the electric. Best of luck.
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It is rare to see flats here, never seen packers, have been looking. Maybe I need to ask the meat guy where I usually get all my butts. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.