Franklin's recommended brisket temp and times

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Original poster
Nov 7, 2016
Walnut Creek, California
I've cooked a few briskets on my LBGE at 275'. I think this is the temp Franklin says he cooks his. Consistently mine are done hours before his estimated times. Am I missing something? I see here and elsewhere that most people come in around 240' to 250'. I mean it tastes great, but I don't know if more time in the smoker would make it even better..

I have noticed when I do mine hotter they do get finished sooner as it seems to push through the stall faster. I do brisket on the wsm and when I do a "hot and fast" cook I push it to around 300-320. I am changing a lot of things up at the moment trying to find out that same thing for myself. I do think the overall cook time is going to vary so much between each brisket I don't go by time I just put it on early enough to make sure it's finished early and let it rest until ready to serve. I think the cook time has much to do with the fat content of each individual brisket, such as if yours are very much leaner than what Franklin used yours will cook faster. Most of our smaller packer briskets around here are very lean to my liking and they cook very fast.
I'm no expert by any means, but I don't think a faster cooked brisket is going to make it taste any better/worse than any other amount of time. If you get it smoked, tender and with the bark you like, you're good to go. 
The briskets I've cooked thus far have been choice grade and between 12-14lbs. With respect to pushing through the stall I have definitely noticed that there is little to no stall at that temp. I have watched pork butts go into the stall and go backwards. Of course that was at 220'. Anyway, the end product is excellent. The flat might be a little to dry for my taste but I've only done three thus far so still trying to hone in on the right formula. The reason I went with Franklin's numbers is because I visited there a couple of months ago and wow...That was awesome.

Oh yes, also- I took delivery on my 48" custom offset smoker a month ago and I;m still getting the hang of temp control using nothing but wood. I will say there is a huge difference between the ribs I've cooked on the offset and my BGE. I haven't tried a brisket on it yet.  I really love the BGE for certain cooks but in my opinion the offset has the advantage in other situations. I'm very fortunate to have both, frankly- this is do in no small part to a wife willing to let me indulge my hobbies :)

I cook all my briskets at 275 in butcher paper...14lb briskets usually finish in 12-13 hours...I cooked a 12lb brisket at 300 last weekend and wrapped in foil...cooked to 205IT in 6 hours . Didn't have enough time for fat to render. Was a little tough and too much of the fat cap was left over. I've found that anything slower than 275 is just a waste of time. No need to go that slow.
It's all personal preference as to how one smokes a brisket... What smoke temp, what the finished temp is, foil/no foil, etc...

However, you cannot cook one to time, It'll be ready when the meat decides to hit the temperature you've chosen as the completed IT.  
I don't really think that you will get the results that Franklin gets. There is a big difference between cooking 1 brisket on a BGE and smoking 30 briskets? on a offset...A who different cooking environment.
He uses good quality brisket and hand selected firewood.
The more brisket you cook the better you will get....take notes.
And as Cranky said brisket is done when it is done.
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Franklin?  What does he know about brisket?  LOL!  I think he has some pretty good/informative YouTube videos.

If there's one thing I've leaned about any kind of cooking is if you cook to temperature you're never wrong.

Not caring if it's sacrilegious or not, I always separate the flat and point prior to smoking since they finish at different times.

I'll take "delicious" over "sacrilegious" any day of the week.

I've yet to use the "pink paper", but with the Amazon gift card I got from the kids at Christmas I've been considering to buy a roll...the 24", not the 18".
I know this thread is a year old but sure others who are seeking answers will read this so here is my 2 cents. I think that cook temp and meat quality have everything to do with what internal temp you pull a brisket. It also has everything to do with what your cooking for. The briskets I have cooked in competition are taken off much earlier then what I cook for friends and family as in competition you have the slice thickness test and pull test as part of your scoring. I like my brisket a little more tender for personal preferences. I think Aaron may say 195 degress IT because he is cooking hot to save labor time of cook. At higher cooking temp then your going to see a greater rise in internal temp after you pull that brisket from the smoker. You'll see at 10 degrees rise in internal temp right after you pull brisket from smoker if your cooking at 275. On the other hand, if your cooking at 210 then you'll be lucky to ever get an internal temp over 200 and the brisket will start to drop IT almost as soon as you pull it from smoker. Both ways work and give the same end result with the same IT once the brisket is left to rest. My preference with briskets at home is never over 225 and like to try to keep it dialed in at 210. I like to hold mine in a Yeti for up to 5 hours straight from smoker. Of course I could not do this in competition because time would not allow for that since competitions are on a time clock. The way I cook in competition or how I would in a restaurant is completely different then I cook at home. At home I take my time. Both ways I do use USDA prime briskets from Coscto aged to the max before they go bad
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Something that people forget or dont know about franklin’s technique is after his brisket is “finished” in the smoker he puts it in a heated cabinet at around 165 deg to “hold it” for upwards of 12 hours. Now anyone that does sous vide knows that you can infact cook at those temps and it’s around that internal temp that collagen begins breaking down to further tenderize the meat. It is when he takes it out of the heated cabinet that the brisket is finally finished and it is my opinion his secret to awesome brisket.
Sorry to dig this one up from the tomb but BKING lets us in on a trade secret here.

When he says when the brisket is finished then put into the caninet

Does he mean this:
Brisket is smoked to IT of 203, taken off then placed into the cabinet which has a temp of 165. Or is he saying the brisket itself is being taken off at 165 IT and placed in a cabinet (unknown temp) to cook for 12 hours until it gets to 203?

I doubt 'finished in the smoker' part equals an IT of 165º. More likely the IT would be in the 190-200º range then held in a 165º cabinet until served. JMTC
+1 Another trade secret is he dry brines/rubs and holds overnight before smoking. I personally think the pepper plays a bigger role than many think. Fresh course ground pepper is several levels above plain jane store bought.

Read the reviews:
Sorry to dig this one up from the tomb but BKING lets us in on a trade secret here.

When he says when the brisket is finished then put into the caninet

Does he mean this:
Brisket is smoked to IT of 203, taken off then placed into the cabinet which has a temp of 165. Or is he saying the brisket itself is being taken off at 165 IT and placed in a cabinet (unknown temp) to cook for 12 hours until it gets to 203?


No, the brisket is smoked to 203(or whatever Franklin does his temps to) and then it is put into a warming cabinet set at 165 to hold the meat at temperature. I watched a video of Franklin saying he likes his brisket to be sliced to order to maintain the juices in the meat. This is tough to do with as much meat as they go through in a day, so the warming cabinet is a must.
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