First time smoking brisket. Few questions

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by michaelpm, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. michaelpm

    michaelpm Newbie


    I am having a family dinner with friends this weekend. I have ordered a 10lb brisket from a local farm. Now from what I understand it's about 1.5 hours per pound. I am picking the brisket up at 7am and wont be able to even marinade it until about 7:30 or 8:00am. I am picking it up the same day. Little upsetting as i'd prefer to marinade it over night but the butcher doesn't cut the meat until friday evening.

    Now my concern is I would like to at least get 4-5 hours of marindaing on it but if I do that nobody will be eating until much later.

    Is it possible to cut these into 3lb briskets and cook them at the same time? Will this cut down the smoking process? I am using an off set smoker that the heat is fairly easily maintained now. I have never smoked this much meat on it at once though. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    I'm doing my first brisket this weekend so I can only speak from my research to this point.  Like everything to do with smoking anything, it all comes down to a personal preference for just about everything.  I bring that up because you sound quite concerned about marinading the brisket.  From many articles and postings I've read a lot of people don't even bother marinating because "they say" the penetration is minimal and those who tend to say that seem to usually just inject a beef broth or other favorite injection mixture.  Given your time constraint you may want to wait to try marinading another time.

    For my first one this weekend I'm not going to bother with marinating and I'm going to try injecting, putting a rub on and mopping/spritzing.  I think it would be preferred to rub the night before but many also say you can rub right up to the time you throw the brisket on.

    I'm sure some more folks will weigh in with their experienced thoughts...just wanted to share with you that there are alternatives when time is limited and you don't have time to try out marinating for a day or two before.  

    Here one such article I've read that references not marinading

    Swing on by Roll Call and introduce yourself and your smoker etc so everyone has an idea what your working with.  Good luck and remember we love our Qview, so don't forget the pictures! 
  3. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    While I was writing my post above one of the fine Mod's moved your post to the Roll Call section so disregard my invite to do so. [​IMG]

    And by the way, welcome aboard!  You'll find a lot of great information and great folks here at SMF!  
  4. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    First off Welcome to SMF!

     The 1.5 hours in my opinion is on the low side for low and slow. netween 1.75 and 2 hrs per lb is a much more realistic figure. So in a low and slow smoke you could be looking at 15 to 20 hrs

     There really is no way to tell you how long as you may have a long stall or even no stall.

     I havn't done it but there are folks on the site that have upped the temps to get the meat done faster. ( may affect tenderness).

     If it was me , I would run the temps @ 275, Smoke  in a foil pan. flip brisket every so often so all sides get smoke .When meat hits 165 cover tightly w/ heavy duty foil and cook to 200.

     what you are doing is actually baking / braising  the brisket in its own juices after applying smoke. produces a very flavorful, juicy brisket but w/ very minimal bark.

     Let us know how it comes out and show us the qview.
  5. michaelpm

    michaelpm Newbie

    Awesome. Thanks for the help. My Final concern is that the brisket I get should be about 8lbs. But I dont have 12 hours+ to cook it. I wont even receive it in time to eat it. If I cut it, into two 4lb pieces of brisket will this take the cook time down to 6+ hours? Or does that not apply and it will still be 12 hours+?
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Maybe you could inject the brisket and that would cut down on the marinading time. Now you can't get a brisket any other place then this butcher???? Now your asking for a shorter smoke time?? You can raise the smoker temp like Eman said or you can cut it in half and that will cut a ;itt;e time off but not much. One thing not to forget is the resting time in the cooler. Oh yea don't forget the Qview that's for us here. We're crazy about that stuff.
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    the smaller the brisket the less time it will take to cook.

     Halve or even third the brisket and do the foil pan method cook at 250 and watch the internal temps closely. You should be able to compleat the smoke in enough time and remember you

    must have at least an hour to let it rest before slicing.
  8. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Really there's no telling how long it will take. each piece of meat is different but for an 8 pound flat I'd say around 12 hours at 220 - 230. I would bump up the temp to 275 as suggested but I have a slightly different method because normally I slice the brisket. If you take it to 200 after foiling it will probably be too tender to slice. I usually foil at 165 and take it to 185 -190 before pulling and resting. If you want to pull it or chop then go to 200 - 205. If you're worried about tenderness at that temp just foil a little sooner. Most importantly SLICE ACROSS THE GRAIN!!!!
  9. #1  marinating is overrated (when talking about briskets)

    #2 I have been doing my briskets with the hot-n-fast method with excellent results - I usually start out slow (250) for the inital smoke period and then ramp up (350) until 170 - into foil then back into (350) until done.

    You can really cut down the time it takes and I have noticed no difference in quality and in fact my briskets are much more consistant - give it a try if you are having a timing issue. 
  10. michaelpm

    michaelpm Newbie

    OH man. Well i'm only feeding about 10 people. So about 6-7lbs would be good. I just have time constraints. Nobody wants to eat dinner at 8pm haha. So I can pick this up by about 7am, and have it on the grill by around 8am at the earliest maybe a bit after. Realistically by 8:30am. Where i'm cooking it is on an opposite end of the city. So i'm picking this up tomorrow morning and i'm likely going to be picking up an 8lb brisket.

    If I trim it down to 6lbs and cut in half, so two 3lb briskets. Or just leave it at 8lbs and two 4lb briskets.

    How long do you figure this will take to cook? I think i'll be aiming for slicing it. Any suggestions? The butcher said he would bring some other briskets too to pick from weight wise. But from what i've read aim for 1/2lb per person. For 10 or 11 people 6lbs should do it. I think 4 might be too little.
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have never tried the high heat method so I can't speak for that one. But I have done several 14 lb. briskets with great results, and if you go for the low and slow type of cook I can tell you there really is no rushing a brisket small or large. If you want that fork tender classic piece of meat you have to be willing to give it the time it needs to get there, and the small ones are actually less forgiving than the larger ones. If you cook brisket to fast you end up with something closer to a well done london broil - tastey, but kinda hard to chew.

    Injecting will definately work better than marinading, but even an injection needs 4-6 hrs. to work its way into the meat better. I run my smoker between 200-225° and take the brisket to 170° internal temp before foiling (ballpark 8-9 hrs.), then I put it in a foil pan with some beer and take it to 190° (another 3-5 hrs roughly). Next step is critical - brisket gets double wraped in heavy foil and put into a cooler to rest for a minimum of 1 hr. While it is resting you can take the juices from the pan put them in a bowl and toss it in the freezer till the fat hardens on top, toss the fat, then reheat the juices for putting on top of your sliced brisket.

    I know you are short on time, but almost everybody I know who rushes a brisket ends up regretting it when it is time to eat. I generally will start my briskets between midnight and 2 AM for dinner the next day.

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