First Brisket

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Apr 29, 2007
Pueblo, Colorado
I have a Chargriller rig with the side fire box. I will try my first brisket this weekend. I need a sure fire success method. How long per pound? What type of fuel? And, anything else you can think of. Thanks.
Congrats on the chargriller. First brisket, huh?
  • Rub it the night before
  • cook between 225 and 250
  • use lump instead of brickettes
  • spray with apple juice every hour
  • wrap at 160 and take it to 195 internal temp
  • forget the minutes per pound equation
  • cook it to temperature and not time
  • give your self plenty of time
  • throw some hickory chunks into your lump for smoke flavor
Hope this helps
I totally agree with BillyQ.
Hope you have a meat thermometer that you can stick in the thickest part of the brisket.
The time thing is about when the brisket hits a plateau and the internal temp does not move.
Be patient and wait until it rises through that.
When you wrap it in foil, keep cooking until 195°F if you want to slice it or about 205°F if you want to pull it.[shred it]
Hope everything works out.
Hey goose, welcome to the forum.

I can't give you all the particulars, but here is what I have learned.

Get a big packer brisket, 12#(or so), and rub it down w/ your favorite rub. You may want to pour on some worchest. sauce to "wet" it so the rub will stick. I've never over done the rub, big hunk of meat can take alot of the salt when doing it for the elderly............they can spot/smell salt a mile away.

get your smoker up to 220-230* and holding and throw the meat on. Fat up is what I do, but from what I've read it doesn't matter that much.

Close the lid and wait for at least 2 hrs before opening it. I like pecan/mesquite mix for wood.....each to their own. After 2 hrs, open the lid and take a pic, drool, and pray. You could add some baste to it, but it will be fine w/out too.

If you have a remote temp prob, put it in the middle of the flat, and in the middle of the thickness. When the internal meat temp hits 160-170, you "could" wrap in foil(what I do), quit adding wood and just keep the temp at 220-230. When the meat hits 200*, take it off the smoker and put it on a table and throw a towel over it and wait at least 1 hr.

Then rip it open, saving any juice at the bottom, and slice it as thin as possible. Taste every other slice

Brisket isn't that tough to do. Just remember 220-230 on smoker temp, and 200* on internal meat temp at the flat.

what I also do is pull the prob out at 205* and put it back in a different spot(still in the flat, just 1/2" from previous hole). If it is kinda tough to put back in, leave it on the smoker, if it goes in nice and easy then its done.

Don't sweat the small stuff! Smoker temp and internal meat temp are most important. Rub, foil(speeds up process), flipping, fat up/down, is all just minor compared to the smoker and meat temp.

If you throw a brisket on the smoker w/out any rub, no baste, etc; yet keep the smoker at right temp and pull the meat off when done then you'll be just fine. It WILL BE GOOD! It will be the best you've every smoked! Then each one will also be the same, best one yet.

Think positive, allow 1.5hrs/# and DO NOT RUSH IT! Brisket is like a woman, if you put pressure on her she won't give in..................treat her like a queen and all will be fine.

Have fun and take Q'n Pics!
Well Goose ad you can see we all use slightly different methods for doing brisket but they all come out great! Just remember LOW AND SLOW, Wrap and rest! Enjoy!
rub the night before or inject - main trick is salt & pepper & good wood- cook fat side up( hope ya didn't buy a yankee brisket)when after 2-3 hrs it's mahogany colored- move off the fire to smoke- maybe after 6 hrs @ 220 flip it w/ a pan under it w/ 1 cup water,@ 9 hrs or 180 internal temp foil it in the pan & maybe 225 or oven cook covered for another 3 hrs.i really can't tell ya cause i don't recipe cook- i have just done so many & ruined a few - but i have been around all night brisket cooks since i was 6 & the dads did lil' league fundraisers and i have even done buried briskets hawaiian style & compost'll know ... just don't get it too hot ( 1st rule is a good brisket w/ a nice fat cap- thats the main thing)
p.s. i know theres a lot of knowledge & experience here but for brisket- talk to texas ( especially west texas folk) it's just sheer experience and pecan or mesquite wood makes the meat-no offense anyone-it's just an experience thing ... like deep fried rattlesnake or chix fried steak.. it's a texas thing...
if it's a side (firebox) burner- i'd 4x fold some foil for a homemade damper, ferget the lump- get some wood & a squirt bottle and a thermometer. do the wood in the fire box & maybe burn some coals to add to the main cook chamber, move the meat fer constant temp.,if it was me & my first cook on a new pit- personally.. i'd go w/ cheap chicken quarters- chicken is hardest to cook & you will really learn yer pit that way.. just my 2 cents worth. as far as that all really goes- i'd get a bag of charcoal a bit of wood & see what temps ya get on a test burn & check out the airflow & experiment before ya ever start meat... no loss no cost.
build your fire in the firebox. i never build a fire in the smoking chamber. i use kingsford charcoal briquettes to get my fire started, then use mesquite wood for the rest of the smoke. after the meat hits 150° internal, i use charcoal again (no wood). the meat won't take anymore smoke after 140° or so, and i see no sense in wasting wood then. sometimes i even move it to a 250° oven after i hits the 150° mark.
Welcome goose5! I also have the Char-Griller, you're gonna learn to love it! When you are ready, there are several inexpensive mods on this site that you can do to it to improve temp stability and fuel efficiency.

But for now, use it the way it is. I build my fire in the firebox, starting with lump charcoal (available at places like Lowes and Home Depot). I get a good bed of coals going, then add wood. Once the meat temp reaches 160*, I wrap it in foil and switch back to charcoal for the rest of the cook.

All the aforementioned cooking methods will get you excellent results. Watch your temps, remember the plateau, be patient.

Good luck!
Smoke. We have smoke. My first attempt has began. I didn't put it in a pan and now I am wondering just how am I going to wrap this thing at 170 degrees? First time for everything I guess. How long does it take to smoke a typical brisket of about 10 lbs?
Folks I am a little concerned. First smoke at 8:30. It is now noon and I already have a temp of 165. I should still take it off at 195. I intend to slice it. I am using a probe type gage that is only 6 inches long. Could not find anything better on short notice. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads