First whole brisket and burnt ends

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steve carpenter

Original poster
Apr 26, 2013
Redford, Michigan
I will be doing my second brisket next week. I cooked just a flat last summer and my family went nuts for it. After a visit to a local bbq place, we tried burnt ends for the first time and my wife asked if I could figure out how to make them. After doing alot of reading and looking through my notes how I did my brisket before, I've come up with a plan and wanted to lay it out for anyone's comments...

The day before the cook, I'm going to trim the fat off nearly everything but the flat, leaving a 1/4" fat cap on the flat. Rub on some EVOO, then, putting a light coat of McCormick's Montreal Steak seasoning, a heavy coating of Sweet & Smokey, then a dusting of heavy brown sugar all arount. Wrap it up in plastic and put it in the fridge overnight. Then making a pot of Au Jus for injection while I'm waiting for the smoker to heat up.

The next morning, unwrapping it, then putting it on the top grate of my WSM. I just got a Pitmaster IQ110 that I haven't unpacked yet and I'm eager to try it out. I'm going to cook it to 140, then foil it with more rub and a little au jus, put it back on until it hits 180, remove the foil and then take it up to 190. Wrap it up in foil, put it in the cooler to rest.

I am looking for a little bit of advice though.

When should I sepearte the point from the flat to make the burnt ends? When it hits 140, or when it is done all together?

I am planning to cube up the point and put it in a deep foil pan with Sweet Baby Rays. Should I add the sauce at the last 30 minutes, or right from the begining? Do I need to drain the fat before adding the sauce? I've also heard of taking it out of the smoker at the end and pan frying it and tossing it with warm sauce after it's done.
I made my first burnt ends a few weeks ago and I along with others thought they turned out great.  I took the flat to an IT 160 degrees, pulled off the smoker and then cubed.  I added a dusting of rub to the cubes, sauced them and then put them in my perforated pan I use for grilling veggies and put that on the grate directly above the fire box.  I stirred them frequently and left them on there for probably 30-45 minutes.
I would take them both to 190-195 till the flat is tender and then separate, rest the flast, cube the point and put back in for burnt ends
Getting things ready now.  I'm going to start cooking Monday evening and plan on having the smoker run about 20 hours into Christmas Eve around 3PM.  I ended up buying two pork butts to cook at the same time.  I wanted some leftovers for the next week or so and I didn't see any reason not to use all the space in my smoker.

Have everything out in the kitchen ready to go

Brisket unwrapped and washed about 15 pounds

Pork butts washed about 11 pounds each

Brisket trimmed

Pork butts trimmed and scored

Brisket seasoned with montreal steak seasoning, mccormicks sweet and smokey and brown sugar (This is NOT texas style)

Pork butts seasoned with garlic powder, sweet and smokey and brown sugar

All wrapped up and ready for the fridge for 24 hours

Assembled my rain box that with my pit probes and IQ110.  Got the instructions from a youtube vid off the Pitmaster IQ channel

Into the smoker at 3PM after doing some sausages.  It's about 25 degrees out and a little windy.  I had a little panic after it got dark and the temp dropped to 200.  After kicking the coals around a little and putting up a cardboard wind block around the WSM, I got it back up to 230 and it's holding between 230 and 240 now.  
At about 10:30 last night (5 hours in), I went out to foil everything.  I saw that the pit probe for the iq110 and come out of the aligator clip and the pit had been running hot (about 260).  It also had started getting really windy and snowing at about 20 degrees.  After foiling everything, I put it in my oven at 230 and put my probe in the brisket.  At around 1AM it hit 180 and I was going to remove the foil, but by the time I got everything ready it had already reached 190.  I ended up taking it out and letting it rest (in the foil) for about 2 and a half hour, then put it in the fridge.  My plan is about 3 hours before guests arrive to put it back in the oven at 225 with some beef broth in the foil to warm it back up.  Not my ideal situation, but I didn't see much else choice.

The first pork butt is 203 right now and I'm getting ready to drain and unfoil it from the pan and put it back in until it hits 205 again.  Then do the same with the other one which is about 10 degrees behind.  

At the same time I put the brisket back in, I'm going to pull the pork and pack away the extra for another day.

I started running the smoker again this morning with nothing in it to see if the pit probe on the iq110 got damaged last night when it came apart.  Lots of smoke for just lump charcoal, but I'm hoping its just because it's so cold out.  I think I need to invest in a welder's blanket or just wait until spring to smoke again. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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