First Brisket

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
May 14, 2007
As part of my, "lets fill the smoker to the gills and make it cry uncle" weekend, I'm going to cook my first brisket.

We don't make a lot of beef in my house as my kids don't like it much and I can't eat it. My wife on the other hand loves beef so I am going to toss in a brisket since I am such a kind and considerate husband ,lol.

Anyway... I was tempted to get a full packer but since this is the first time and it will only be one person eating it and i am trying out a new butcher (he has to be ok, he has a smoker in the back of his shop, lol) I just bought the flat and it's only about 5 lbs.

What kind of cooking time (justt a ballpark) do you think I'm looking at ?

I only cook flats, and just did a 4.5# last weekend.

WSM pegged at 225* or so, I believe it was on for 7 hours (wrapped at 165*, then to 190*) after that it was in the cooler for 2 hours.

I've had 6+#r's take 10 hours, and 7#'rs take 6 hours.

Every one has been different, and a second probe thermometer for the flat is the key.

Since this is also your first, do the tooth pick trick.

About 1/2" in on the top of the brisket (I cook fat cap down. Search fat cap down in the early pages of either beef or pork for an interesting discussion) shove a tooth pick into the meat "with" the grain. Do the same on the other end.

Even on smaller flats, you'll see when the brisket is done, that the toothpicks might not be going in the same direction as you thought.

I leave the picks in until I get to that section cutting, for I now know what way the grain is going.

One wrong cut "with" the grain, and you got shoe leather, and my family would balk at it. I now get perfect cuts every time, always against the grain.

Also, I noticed "packing to the gills" on the smoker, that will also increase the total time of the smoke.

Let temp be the guide on briskets, for sure.

Been interesting reading your posts Ron. Got plenty of friend on Long Island, and hope to get to fly into Islip this year. Hopefully you can snap a pic or two!!
Hey Bill:

I appreciate the words of wisdom. Always fun to try something new!
Hi Ron -

I usually buy packers but I sepate the flat from the point before smoke to trim all that nasty fat out of the middle. Brisket is definately a all about temperature but you probably looking at 5 or 6 hours smoking time.

Don't forget to wrap it after and put it in the cooler just like a butt. Good luck. Your wifes gonna love it!
Went to Wal Mart tonight after work (unaccompanied - hehehe).

I walked into the meat section and started looking around ... I though I died and landed in brisket heaven! Holy smokes! They had a whole end cap full of packer briskets! AND only $1.68/lb! What a time to have a full freezer! Must have been 50 of the buggers. I bought two anyway and three butts (picnic at work next week) , and some chucky steaks to grind into sausage meat and some bacon - no Japepinos this week though - dang.

I got this huge 10 lb hamburg tube gonna make some more of Mossys venison bacon but with beef. I made jerky out of the last batch and it was awsome! Real easy and cheap way to make jerky.

Got out of trouble by promising to corn one of the briskets and make some hash.
my local wal-mart had packers for $1.37/lb right now. my h.e.b. has spareribs for $1.98/lb too. jalapenos are $0.78/lb still. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.