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First time brisket. I am already nervous! This thing is cooking fast!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by freakynorm, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. I picked up a vac packed 12# brisket from Costco the other day. I've not done one before but the wife is always asking me to cook one but they never sell whole briskets, just the trimmed flats and I heard those were kinda iffy to smoke sometimes since they can dry out. I was working out near a business Costco where they have a whole different inventory and sure enough, they had whole untrimmed briskets. So I picked one up.

    I made my own rub of salt, paprika, pepper, garlic and onion powder and just a small bit of brown sugar. I trimmed it but I don't think I did a good job. The fat was super thick, like almost 2 inches thick in some spots and the point seemed pretty massive compared to all the other pics I've seen while researching. 

    Once it was trimmed and rubbed up I put it on the UDS. I am using cherry and pecan chunks with Kingsford Blue charcoal. I put the brisket on at 6:30pm with a UDS temp of 235deg. It's 2 hours in and the brisket already hit 144deg. Does that seem extremely quick? I tend to panic so I went outside and double checked the internal temp with my instaread thermos and sure enough the thicker parts are at 140deg with the thinner end of the flat hitting 155deg.

    After trimming I'd say I was left with an 8lb chunk of meat. I was figuring on anywhere from a 8 to 15 hour cook. I am planning to pull it at 165-170deg, separate the point, cube it up for burnt ends and put them and the flat back on, let the flat hit 195deg, pull it, wrap in foil and let rest for a few hours, once it's ready, I'll pull the burnt ends and go to town. Wish me luck!

    I contemplated trying out a local butcher to get a whole brisket but they charge so much money, like $4.99lb. I didn't want to try my first and blow it and waste $60. $30 is bad enough if I screw it up lol.

    Non fat cap side before trimming.

    Non fat cap side after trimming.

    Fat cap untrimmed.

    Fat cap trimmed.

  2. UPDATE---At 12:10am it hit 165deg so I pulled it off. Got it inside, separated the point from the flat. I was shocked at how thick that piece of fat was holding it on there. I trimmed off a bit of the fat blob from the point, added some more rub, foiled with a bit of apple juice and honey whiskey since what I thought was beef broth turned out to be chicken broth lol. Plus I like a bit of sweetness on the beef BBQ when I eat it. I cubed up the point and tossed on some rub and some Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce on it. I know some people frown on store bought sauces but that one is my favorite. I am too lazy to try and replicate it so I just buy it and enjoy.

    Bit blurry but here it is on the UDS before I pulled it off. Of course right after I started the smoke, it rained like heck and the wind picked up something fierce.

    The flat after removing the point. I poured all those juices into the foil as well.

    The point cubed, seasoned with more rub and tossed in BBQ sauce. Back into the smoker! I've never had burnt ends before but all the pics I've seen people post on here made me want to try them so bad. 

    Gonna see if I can doze a few hours now. :)
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like all is going well. Times are just a guideline. Sometimes meat cooks quicker, sometimes slower. You should be fine...JJ
  4. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow. Looking good!

  5. UPDATE---I dozed off and forgot to set the food alarm on my Maverick but luckily I woke up as it hit 200deg. So I pulled it from the UDS, did a toothpick probe, in and out smooth as butter, so I wrapped it back up, into a cooler for a few hours.

    I took the burnt ends, added some more rub and sauce and back onto the smoker for a few more hours. I did manage to sample a few and man, I could eat those suckers all day. I'd love to have a 10lb point and just make those bad boys. 

  6. UPDATE---

    The burnt ends were done so I pulled those suckers off and got the flat out of the foil. Since I foiled it, it lost the crispy bark. Next time I don't think I will foil it. It was good, but I can definitely do better I think. Super tender but not as juicy as I would like. Maybe I am not a huge brisket flat kinda guy? The burnt ends however are right up my alley. Kinda like a chunk of smoky, chewy, crispy beef jerky.

    Lil bit of a smoke ring. Think I might have had the probe in the thinner part of the flat when I foiled it. The temp showed 201 when I pulled it but the first slices were not as pull apart tender as I have seen other briskets. Then again, I wasn't expecting it to be done so quick and be running around at 3am trying to get things done lol.

    Next time, no foil and just a coarse salt and pepper rub methinks.

    The right side was a bit more crumbly in texture which I like.

    Heaven in a bowl! I seriously could have eaten the whole dang thing at 4am. I munched on a few while slicing the flat just to be sure they were as good as they looked.

  7. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Cant complain about that.

    Looks great.
  8. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Nice slices and the B E look awesome!

  9. ted campbell

    ted campbell Newbie

    It looks good.  If you want a more juicy brisket you could always wrap it in foil after a couple of hours with some juices.  If you do that it will cook MUCH faster and will be a much more tender and moist.  You can still cook the point the same way or pull the point off when it all hits 195 and treat it the same as you did this time.  You could also wrap it in parchment paper which won't make it cook as fast but I think it helps it retain moisture.  I let mine rest for a few hours in a cooler to ensure the meat retains as much moisture as possible.  Don't forget to save the juices in the foil.  That is amazing stuff to add moisture and flavor to the brisket.  To reset your bark you can put the brisket back in the smoker or an oven for a little bit.

    Brisket takes a lot of trial and error to get what you want.  For example I don't like my burnt ends with much sauce on them.  I used to use more  sauce and then cut back on it.  I found just a little bit adds to the beefy flavor.  I also don't sauce them until they are only going to be in the smoker for 30 minutes or so.  I don't want to take a chance of the sauce  burning.

    Below is a picture from a competition I was in for my brisket.  The picture is kind of fuzzy.  This was my first competition and I got my name called for 7th in brisket.  Talk about something that will put a smile on your face.

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks really tastee Norm....... Did you share and make someone else smile?
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Looks Fantastic Norm! Nothing wrong with eating the whole bowl of BE at 4am, no one else is up so who's going to know! [​IMG]

    Your plan for just S&P on your next one is a good plan. I like to keep it simple and let the meat shine through!
  12. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Wow, nice job! Those burnt ends in particular look incredible!!

  13. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would dive into that in a split second!

  14. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Oh Yeah!!!!  A Sucess for certain.  [​IMG]
  15. Thanks guys. I wish they sold just the points around here. Kinda slim pickins out here in the boonies for shopping options.

    I did foil it at 165 and it cooked really quick. It was a super fast cooking brisket. Always my luck, I get the ones that set records for fast cooking times and it freaks me out. I think my thermos are broken and such lol. 

    Next time though, no foil and just a straight salt and pepper rub and I will let it cook to about 165, then pull the point and cube it up for burnt ends, then both back on the smoker till 200, rest the flat in foil in my cooler and season up the ends and let those cook for a few more hours.
  16. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great Norm, 
  17. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Norm.. this looks awesome... specially the burnt ends... a few things If I can... next time don't trim all the fat off... that's what keeps the flat moist and flavorful.... myself, I think the bark softens up when wrapped in foil and resting in the cooler... so the only thing I would do different... don't trim the fat off but just make some crosshatch cuts in it down to the meat....