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First Shot at Brisket


Joined Aug 28, 2013
Hey fellow SMF smokers! First thing I want to say to everyone is Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday is blessed with good times, good company and great food!

I've decided to take my first stab at smoking a brisket tomorrow. I'm going to do a dry burn in my smoker today to attempt to hold a cabinet temperature in this cold mid-west weather. I decided for my first one to start small. (Way smaller than you guys usually cook) so don't laugh! The cut is just shy of two pounds. Plus, I don't have many mouths to feed.

I've read through a few threads and I imagine the same rules apply. Swirv's thread from a few weeks ago has been a good reference, but some feedback would be greatly appreciated. I have the inexpensive vertical smoker from Char-Broil (pretty much the same as the brinkman vertical) and I've modded with a different charcoal pan (a grill wok) that's elevated and it's worked really well for me so far

On to the meat.

I would like to marinade for awhile today before I prep it with my special rub and let it sit overnight. I noticed swirv used Dr.Pepper. I was thinking I would like to try Coca-Cola. Since my cut is much smaller, I figured it probably didn't need a 12 hour marinade. Would 4-6 hours be good for my small cut? Would anyone advise against coke? Thoughts here for a marinade would be welcomed!

After the marinade, I was going to coat the meat lightly in either vegetable or peanut oil to apply my rub, wrap it in Saran Wrap and let it sit overnight. When I awake in the morning, I'll pull it out of the fridge and allow it to return to room temp.

As to what to use in the water pan, I'm conflicted! I usually just use water but I would like to get a little adventurous and try something different. I noticed swirv used apple juice. Should I try this or would there be another good option to consider?

Following the general rule as mentioned by Eric of 1.75hr/pound at 225, I was hoping to smoke a little slower with a chamber temp of around 200 extending the smoke to around four hours.

When the meat reaches 170, I will do the foil wrap, perhaps add some juice or Worcestershire sauce into the foil and place it back into the smoker to finish the process until the meat reaches 190.

I will then remove the meat from the smoke chamber and place it into the smaller of the two ovens to rest for hopefully around two hours.

Slice and serve with some BBQ sauce made from scratch.

This is my first attempt at brisket, I've always wanted to try smoking it myself. Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated!



Epic Pitmaster
Joined Oct 7, 2012

Everything sonds good except. I would not let it sitto come to room temp.You would be ok with that small of a cut. But with a larger cut you would be in the danger zone to long 40°-140° for more than 4 hours.

I would also not drop the temp below 220°

You can put anything you want in the water pan. Their are no right or wrong as long as it is safe.

Happy smoken.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Jan 13, 2008
A few pics is always appreciated but good luck and good smokes.


Joined Aug 28, 2013
Thanks for your feedback! Great advice. I really appreciate the correction. I don't want to screw it up. If I should smoke at 220-225, would I be looking more at a 3 to 3.5 hour smoke time as opposed to 4 hours?


Joined Aug 28, 2013
A few pics is always appreciated but good luck and good smokes.
I should have taken pictures before I placed it in the marinade. I will however take some when pull it out before applying my rub and then a few more tomorrow through the process!

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