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Making My First Brisket - Advice Needed

Daba's BBQ

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6/23/21

Hey y'all

I will be smoking my very first brisket next weekend and need a bit of advice. I have a 12 pound, gorgeous brisket that I will be seasoning the night before my cook with black pepper, salt and coffee. I am planning on having about 12 people over and I am shooting to serve dinner around 6:30 pm. I'll be smoking on a Traeger Pro Series 34 with hickory pellets. I have seen and read numerous recipes and videos, all providing different methods, temps, etc. After digesting all of this, I am leaning towards a low and slow cook, starting around 6:30 am at 165. I am planning on taking it off around noon, use the Texas crunch method and returning it to the smoker for several more hours. I'll remove the meat, wrap it in a blanket and let it set in my cooler until it is time to serve.

Thoughts?
What is the optimal temp I am shooting for?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Daba's BBQ
 

801driver

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I smoke my briskets at what I consider low and slow at 225' naked (not wrapped) all the way through until they reach the 200' area. I then start poking and keep going for 30 min intervals till tender all over. I have had some 12 pounders done in 18 or so hours, a few others have taken 24-25 hours. Some people foil when the center reaches 170' or so just before the stall which can last several hours. It might speed it up a little to push it through the stall but I have never seen much difference other than the bark being softer. After it passes the poke test, I then pull out and foil, wrap in towels and put in an ice chest to "rest" at least a couple hours, 3 or 4 is good also, it will still be very hot inside to slice at 4 hours.

To me, it is always better to have it ready extra early than possibally be a little late. JMO Good luck to you.
 

Daba's BBQ

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I smoke my briskets at what I consider low and slow at 225' naked (not wrapped) all the way through until they reach the 200" area. I then start poking and keep going for 30 min intervals till tender all over. I have had some 12 pounders done in 18 or so hours, a few others have taken 24-25 hours. Some people foil when the center reaches 170' or so. It might speed it up a little but have never seen much difference other than the bark being softer. After it passes the poke test, I then pull out and foil, wrap in towels and put in an ice chest to "rest" at least a couple hours, 3 or 4 is good also, it will still be very hot inside to slice at 4 hours.

To me, it is always better to have it ready extra early than possibally be a little late. JMO Good luck to you.

What about this?

- 275-300 degrees for 6 hours
- Remove from smoker
- Texas crunch
- Put back on smoker at 275-300 for an additional 4 hours
- Remove from smoker
- Optimal temp when removing - about 200 degrees
- Blanket wrap, let rest for a few hours and serve
 

civilsmoker

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My recommendation would be to run your smoker at 275 till the IT hits 160 to 165, then I would put in a foil pan and cover it tight then run it at 275 till IT195-298 and then would put it in the house oven at 170-180 deg till dinner time 2-3 hours in the house oven will make the magic.

https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/copper-pot-quick-brisket.301235/

Just my opinion but the 2-3 hour rest is the most important part.....

I'm not sure you will have it ready by dinner time if you use a low and slow method like you have it planned.....oh and by the way I prefer the 275 and rest method as I can get sleep and it is ready before dinner and therefore no stress, when you want to eat you pull it out of the oven let is rest 15 or so min and eat.....
 
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bregent

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After digesting all of this, I am leaning towards a low and slow cook, starting around 6:30 am at 165.
I would not do that. Running at 165F will likely take much more than 12 hours. If you want to start at a low temp for a few hours to get more smoke that's fine. I would suggest starting around midnight and run at 225F or more. If you want, you can wrap it in the morning. With any luck it will finish around noon or 1PM, and then you store in the cooler till serving time. Even if it were to finish before noon, it will still be plenty hot by 6PM.
 

schlotz

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So it's going to be your 1st brisket attempt and with 12 guests. A bit of a bold move. I agree with civilsmoker civilsmoker , run your smoker at 275º. There are many variables to contend with doing an overnight smoke including your smoker stopping and you not knowing it. Best to maintain as much control as possible to ensure a positive outcome for your guests. When the IT in the thickest part of the flat is somewhere around 170º I would pull it, double wrapped tightly in butcher paper (yes, you can use foil but BP allows for better bark) and put it back in the smoker. Once the IT hits 195º start checking for tenderness in many areas of the flat. The feel should be like probing a jar of peanut butter. If not ready, wait 30 minutes and repeat. Once you are satisfied, pull, open and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes in order to stop the cooking. Now re-wrap an place in a cooler with towels. Leave the reporting temp probe in it so you can monitor while it rests.

Keep the door shut! - If you're lookin' ya ain't cookin!
Good Luck!
 

bregent

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There are many variables to contend with doing an overnight smoke including your smoker stopping and you not knowing it
Agreed. You should not do an overnight smoke unless you have a low temp alarm configured. It's not a bad idea to also configure a high temp alarm in case you get a grease fire or similar event.
 

SmokinEdge

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I always allow on a single brisket 1 hour per pound at 275*. This allows for a little wind or rain and includes wrapping in a foil pan and resting time. Don’t be that guy who invites guests and struggles with his meat.
 

phathead69

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not meaning to be a party poopper, buttt i would recommend a practice run this weekend on a brisket. 12 people and the main event is one of tougher smokes out there is a bad day waiting to happen. while as mentioned any brisket any day can be stubborn there is some common ground. run you a choice 10 lbs or so. test your plan for nxt weekend. wrap and freeze it for chilie or other recipes.ive done brisket last 3 4ths and range between 12 and 15 hours averaging 240F or so. i start midnight and when its done wrap and towel/cooler till supper just my 2 pennies.
 

Daba's BBQ

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So it's going to be your 1st brisket attempt and with 12 guests. A bit of a bold move. I agree with civilsmoker civilsmoker , run your smoker at 275º. There are many variables to contend with doing an overnight smoke including your smoker stopping and you not knowing it. Best to maintain as much control as possible to ensure a positive outcome for your guests. When the IT in the thickest part of the flat is somewhere around 170º I would pull it, double wrapped tightly in butcher paper (yes, you can use foil but BP allows for better bark) and put it back in the smoker. Once the IT hits 195º start checking for tenderness in many areas of the flat. The feel should be like probing a jar of peanut butter. If not ready, wait 30 minutes and repeat. Once you are satisfied, pull, open and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes in order to stop the cooking. Now re-wrap an place in a cooler with towels. Leave the reporting temp probe in it so you can monitor while it rests.

Keep the door shut! - If you're lookin' ya ain't cookin!
Good Luck!
I will not be a doing an overnight cook
 
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If you’re wrapping it after its done I would start closer to 4:30. I’ve had them smoke 12 hours at 225 while wrapping it at 165 On my Traeger. You want to make sure it has time to properly rest. I’ve stored them in the cooler for a couple hours at times.
 

noboundaries

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If you go low n slow, as originally planned, you'll have a flavorful but tough cut of meat filled with dry-tasting unmelted collagen. You're timing at 275-300F is a better choice. And, as mentioned above, rest wrapped in a 170F oven for 2-3 hours, or more. Worst case is an overcooked brisket that is delicious, moist, tender, but a bit crumbly when sliced. Trust me, as long as they are not smokers themselves, they'll think you are a divine pitmaster.

I never worry about serving overcooked butts, briskets or ribs to my non-smoking friends and family, but EVERYONE notices an undercooked, collagen-filled, dry and tough hunk of meat whether they are smokers or not.

Smoke it until the flat probes tender, then rest it. You'll be glad you did.
 

Daba's BBQ

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Joined Jun 24, 2021
If you go low n slow, as originally planned, you'll have a flavorful but tough cut of meat filled with dry-tasting unmelted collagen. You're timing at 275-300F is a better choice. And, as mentioned above, rest wrapped in a 170F oven for 2-3 hours, or more. Worst case is an overcooked brisket that is delicious, moist, tender, but a bit crumbly when sliced. Trust me, as long as they are not smokers themselves, they'll think you are a divine pitmaster.

I never worry about serving overcooked butts, briskets or ribs to my non-smoking friends and family, but EVERYONE notices an undercooked, collagen-filled, dry and tough hunk of meat whether they are smokers or not.

Smoke it until the flat probes tender, then rest it. You'll be glad you did.
Thank you
 

Fueling Around

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Are you doing this on the Traeger pellet pooper?
I've only done 1 brisket on my pooper. About 50% less time than my other smokers due to the convention oven factor of the forced air flow.
Not always a good thing. Brisket needs time to breakdown the fat & collagen for a juicy meal.
 

civilsmoker

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What about this?

- 275-300 degrees for 6 hours
- Remove from smoker
- Texas crunch
- Put back on smoker at 275-300 for an additional 4 hours
- Remove from smoker
- Optimal temp when removing - about 200 degrees
- Blanket wrap, let rest for a few hours and serve
The above will work a lot better for your time table. Rather than 6 hours go to IT 160-165 then wrap. As an FYI the easiest way to wrap is a foil pan that is foil covered and makes it easy and clean to put in the oven. The very important key is the 2-3 hours at 170-180 covered in the oven. This holding at temp causes the breakdown that a long cook does but accelerates it. The blanket thing will work but the 170 deg oven is the best. This extended hold at the rendering temp is magic.

The method I described above will work every time and makes doing good brisket about the easiest cook there is. Is it competition grade no but your friends and family will think you are a pit master.
 

civilsmoker

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As an FYI at about IT 155 you will see pools of juice exiting the meat....this is the start of the stall that’s why I wrap at 160 because it can take considerable more time to get to 170 so I prefer to save the time for longer resting in the oven.....I can’t state how important the oven rest is.........
 

Daba's BBQ

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Joined Jun 24, 2021
Are you doing this on the Traeger pellet pooper?
I've only done 1 brisket on my pooper. About 50% less time than my other smokers due to the convention oven factor of the forced air flow.
Not always a good thing. Brisket needs time to breakdown the fat & collagen for a juicy meal.
Yes. Traeger Pro Series 34
 

Fueling Around

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Yes. Traeger Pro Series 34
Sorry. I didn't read your original post completely.
Pellet grills/smokers don't add a lot of per se smoke flavor.
I use a pellet tube to give the smoke flavor.
smoking.jpg
I use a mild blend of pellets in the hopper, but go for single flavor in the smoke tube. Friend of mine uses 2 tubes.
I use the civilsmoker civilsmoker foil pan method for brisket and butt, but I move it entirely into the oven to finish. Leaving it in the smoker just gets the outside of the foil pan messy
 

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