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My first attempt at a brisket is in progress! Questions

Mark W

Newbie
18
1
Joined May 26, 2019
Hi all,
I'm kind of new to smoking. I have done some chicken, ribs, and butt in the past. I love brisket, but honestly, I've been afraid to take one on. I finally decided to bite the bullet and try a brisket. Started it at 1:30 in the morning. I have some questions. I just have a Masterbuilt 30" electric smoker. Because it is so small, I had to separate the flat from the point. The whole brisket was 14 pounds before trimming. I have the point on the top rack, and the flat below it. I wrapped both in foil about 45 minutes ago, 8 hours in. Temp has been at around 230 degrees. I have a thermometer in the flat now, and it's saying that the temp is 156.

Looking for advice on how to proceed. I was expecting a cook time of about 12-14 hours. Because I separated them, will the cook time be shorter? Which piece should be done first? So now, should i just be monitoring the temperature? I'm praying this thing turns out OK. The plan is to make burnt ends out of the point. Please let me know any suggestions you all have for me. Thanks so much!
 

mike243

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,363
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Joined Feb 25, 2018
Flat should be done first at around 204, the point is easier to finish as far as not drying out but should be pulled about same temp, when they probe like butter is the best way to tell, the temp could go either way some ,
 

Mark W

Newbie
18
1
Joined May 26, 2019
Thanks very much for the advice. Flat temp is now at 165 degrees, 9 hrs 20 mins in. Does this sound OK? Based on this, what's your estimate on how much longer I have to go? Just trying to plan meal time a little bit. I will monitor to the temp you guys suggest.
 

Mark W

Newbie
18
1
Joined May 26, 2019
Hi all, so temp is around 190 now, and it's 1:08 in the afternoon. If I am trying to eat around 4:15, should I take it off earlier than 204, since it will continue to cook for longer when I put it in a cooler to rest for so long?
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
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Group Lead
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If not leaking, the foil you have is fine. And though a bit late seeing this, Yes, the meat will continue cooking in the cooler IF you go straight from smoker to cooler. You can Counter Rest for the surface to cool, then cooler to Hold Hot...JJ
 

thirdeye

Meat Mopper
196
183
Joined Dec 1, 2019
I'm late seeing this too but use internal temperature as a guide only, use probing to determine tenderness before going into the hot box. Vent the foil until the internal temp falls about 20°, and the brisket won't continue to cook. This will sound weird, but for probing get a bamboo skewer or a slightly dulled ice pick and a jar of peanut butter. Probe the peanut butter 3 or 4 times to get the feel (going in and coming back out).... then probe the brisket. You want the same feel. This will give you a limber slice that can pulled apart with little effort. Oh, and save those foil juices.

 

4x15mph

Fire Starter
53
49
Joined Dec 28, 2014
Im in the same boat although I just did a 6 pound flat without a point and on charcoal (Weber Kettle). My plan is to put it into a cooler for 1 1/2 hours once it hits 205/toothpick test. It has been going since 7:30 AM this morning and this is taking forever. I brined with beef broth for the first time which is probably why I hit such a long stall (aka, stop). Im at 190 now and it is 5:00. At this rate we might eat at 8:00 PM. That's a long time....
 

Mark W

Newbie
18
1
Joined May 26, 2019
Thanks for everyone's help. I'm so happy with the way it turned out! Made burnt ends out of the point, and they couldn't have been better! The flat was pretty good. Nice and tender, but a little on the dry side. I went straight from the smoker into the cooler with it without venting it at all. It was in the cooler for 2 hours. Do you think that might have caused it to not be as juicy? It wasn't really dry, just not as juicy as I would like. Any suggestions for the next one?

I'm addicted now! Also, I'm thinking of making some chili from the leftover brisket. Other ideas for uses for leftover brisket?
 

4x15mph

Fire Starter
53
49
Joined Dec 28, 2014
I found injecting the brisket kept mine moist. I have only done that this time and will now do it always. It does increase cook time
 

thirdeye

Meat Mopper
196
183
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Thanks for everyone's help. I'm so happy with the way it turned out! Made burnt ends out of the point, and they couldn't have been better! The flat was pretty good. Nice and tender, but a little on the dry side. I went straight from the smoker into the cooler with it without venting it at all. It was in the cooler for 2 hours. Do you think that might have caused it to not be as juicy? It wasn't really dry, just not as juicy as I would like. Any suggestions for the next one?

I'm addicted now! Also, I'm thinking of making some chili from the leftover brisket. Other ideas for uses for leftover brisket?
What grade of beef did you buy? USDA Prime will be a bit fattier.
What foil liquid did you use when wrapping?
A 2-hour rest is probably the minimum, 4 is better if you can pull it off.
BBQ beef sandwich, Taco's, burritos, or French dip sandwiches work well for brisket.
 

Mark W

Newbie
18
1
Joined May 26, 2019
Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't use any liquid when wrapping. Maybe that was the problem?
 

thirdeye

Meat Mopper
196
183
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't use any liquid when wrapping. Maybe that was the problem?
Likely part of the problem. The wrapped (cooking) step, just like with ribs, is for tenderizing. Holding meat in a hot box will allow some liquids to be re-absorbed.
 

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