Gonna smoke my 1st brisket tomorrow

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jul 16, 2006
Northern NY (Adirondacks)
Howdy Folks,

I have been a member here for about a month. I have done pork butt twice and smoked chicken. Where I live here in Northern New York (near Lake Placid of 1932 and 1980 Olympic fame) I have not been able to find a brisket. Last week I was visiting a relative in western PA and ran across a 6 pound brisket in a Martins supermarket. I assume that it is a "flat".

I have read other posts and they don't seem to be specific to this piece of meat. I plan to rub, smoke at 225 in the GOSM, spray with apple juice/bourbon mix, foil at 165, cook to 195, rest at least 1 hour in cooler.

Any comments or something critical that I have missed?


You're correct about it being a flat. A flat won't take quite as long as a whole packer but it will take several hours if cooked low-n-slow, I'd say to plan for at least 8 to 10 plus a rest.

Be sure you know and understand what the plateau is and what's happening during this phase. It will drive you nuts if you don't know what's going on. The meat's temperature will stop rising, possibly stall for 1 to 6 hours, and sometimes even drop a few degrees. No, your thermometer is not broken and you don't need to stoke the fire. :lol: This is when the tough meat fibers begin using the heat's energy to break down and become tender, it's when the juices begin releasing to make the meat moist. Don't rush it or try to push it by raising the temperature of the pit, you'll end up with a tough, dry brisket.

Sounds like you've got a good grasp of the cooking process, I just thought I'd point out the plateau just in case.
Meowy, sounds like you did your homework. The plateau was frightening to me when I smoked my first brisket, not too long ago. I wasn't ready for the 3 hour "stale mate", I was thinking an hour/hour and a half,TOPS. Three hours later (and minus my fingernails) the temp began to rise again. Brisket was good, but not great. It was juicy, but could have been more tender. I let it rest for only about 30 minutes (no cooler), needed longer. I've now learned to listen to everyone here when they offer advice. You can't rush great Q!
Bob-BQN, thanks for the explaination on the plateau. I knew (all to well) about it, just didn't understand the definition as it pertained to smoking. Now I do!
Good day all!
Thanks Bob-BQN ,

I ran into the plateau thing with the pork butts Even after reading about it here, it still was painfull to wait through. I was hoping on an 8-10 hour cook time.

I have read much on this forum about fat up vs. fat down. I'm going to do it fat down.


Good luck with your first brisket, Meoey. That is perhaps one of the most difficult cuts to master, but once you get it down pat you will know true taste nirvana. Brisket smoked to perfection is the Holy Grail of Bbq to most folks and the rewards are well worth the time and effort.

You should change the title of this thread to, Gonna smoke the best brisket I will ever have. Nothing is quite as good as that 1st one you do well. It may not be the juiciest, the tenderest, best looking brikset you will do, but you are going to LOVE it.

No more advice to give other to remember a few things...

1. There is usually someone online who can help you.

2. The meat knows what it is doing, keep the lid closed as much as possible, and let it do it's thing.


4. Grab a few cold one, to get through the "stuck" phase. ... dealing with the cold one, will prevent you from wanted to "turn up" the heat, or to "force" the brisket.

Take pictures if you can. We love to see pictures of cooks.

Let the meat rest, it may take more than 1 hour, it may not need 1 hour. I have never cut a brisket in less than 2 hours off the grates. I let it do what it wants to do.

Sorry for being long winded, I want you to enjoy the experience.
Meowey, you have the experience of a couple of long smokes behind you and you have the confidence of everyone of us that YOU CAN do this and be successful. Feel free to keep a running commentary of what's going on-and like Gary said someone is usually on that can answer your questions.

Best of luck tomorrow!
BTW-my cell # is listed in my Profile if you need to call and have questioned answered.
What time is the brisket cook to start? Hope I can be of help, or will try to keep checking in during the day if all you need is someone to hang out with during the cook.

Started at 6:15 this AM. Smoker temp holding at 215 F. Replaced wood chunks at 8:15 AM. Sprayed twice. Meat temp at 149 at 9:20 AM.

Have taken some pics. How do you post them to this forum?

Two Pics

Lookin' good so far 8) I'm throwin' a rack of ribs on in about 2 hours and will be checkin' on ya throughout the day. Relax and open a cold one.
BTW I used to live in Saratoga Springs some years ago 8) I was working for Quadgraphics at the time. I love upstate N.Y. 8)
Hey, Meowey! Great pics and thank you for keeping us posted on your progress. And that's a great tag line you have! "Don't let the bastards wear you down". (Freely translated) Was going to teach secondary English and Latin till I served my practicum. Escaped in a hurry! Good luck on the rest of your day! I'll be looking forward to more posts!
Lookin' mighty fine Meowy! Have you hit the plateau yet? If so what temp, and how long? If you're interested, I created a document that I use when I smoke to help me keep track of info like time, temp, weather, rubs and suaces I used, notes, stuff like that. I have attached it below for you to look at. I print this up, use it during my smokes, and put it in a binder for future reference. Sorry to chime in so late, but it's still mornin' here in Colorado, and last evenings Knighthood celebration lasted into the weeeeeeee hours... I'll be in and out all day as well. Lookin' forward to the finished pictures.

Glad you recognized the tag.


I hit a short plateau (1 hour) at 149 F. Not quite up to 160. Going to foil at 165.


Thanks for the replies and help.

Absotively posolutely Gorgeous! You have a good one going there! Thank you for sharing!
It looks fantastic! Let us know how long you rest it for, and try to get a smoke ring picture, if it's not all gone by now...
GOOD EATS! (to quote a well known TV chef)

Rested about 1 and a quarter hours wrapped in towels in the cooler.

Tender, moist, tasty, and could cut it with a fork.


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