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My First Brisket

Chadm715

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Joined Jul 23, 2020
Tools: Pitboss Pellet Smoker @225 , aluminum foil / pan , Pitboss sweet rib rub , Pitboss competition wood pellets, water pan, brush, cooler/towel/butcher paper
Meat: 5 pound Brisket (I could not find a larger one at the time however I have since tracked down a local butcher that carries whatever I could ask for) for those in Spokane WA EGGERS MEATS

Before I talk about my first Brisket experience I want to go over my First Pork butt attempt. Although tasty I felt it was not up to snuff and definitely not 197 . The night prior I looked at my girlfriend and said wake me up when you get up so we can start right away. 8 am she comes in we fall asleep together for an hour and half resulting gf fail, dedication fail on my part and a start time of pork hitting the smoker at 10 am. I did a dry sweet rib rub threw it on top of a rack with apple juice in a pan underneath. Smoked for hours frequently basting no bark. I did not wrap. All of a sudden got the temp stuck @ 165. And a few hours later 165..... and a few hours later 167 woohoo. Then 7 in the evening 172 and between 9 -10 pm by the fire pit started googling safe pork temp and why I need to wait. I failed to wrap the pork butt to get over the “Stall” and was unaware of any such occurrence. Sad to say I ended up giving in to hunger and pulled it off @179. Shredded pork not letting it rest and added Dr Pepper homemade BBQ sauce served on dinner roll style buns. Was told it was “sooo good” but I was disappointed. Lessons learned : found out wtf the stall was, wrap it, give more time go all in plan out the day.

Monday rolled around and all I could find to throw on the smoker at home was a pack of ball park hot dogs. Success good but I wanted a challenge so had to drive out to my local grocery store and buy my first brisket with my new addiction. I wanted a 10lb but the only option was 5. I did my research, wrote out my game plan and set up that night. I unwrapped the brisket checked the fat ensuring 1/4 thickness on content then rubbed my sweet rib rub all over placed it on the pan aluminum foil covered and let sit over night. Bright and early woke up for work preheated @225 and meat hit smoker fat side up electric thermometer in thickest part with water bowl opposite chimney per some Franklin BBQ YouTube tutorial videos time hack 630 am. Then went to work (currently working from home due to COVID) 930 am first break and time to check brisket finding it already at 167 and for some reason lil to no bark. So I kept it naked checking every 30min to an hour until I read an article a water pan in a pellet smoker may not be the best. Ditched the water pan at 1130 am brisket never stalled and read 180 could see some change in bark at 130 pm and still in the 185 range. Looking good 5 pm rolls around brisket hit 201 I pulled it off wrapped in butcher paper—>towel—> cooler. Waited 1hr 15 min to cut.

The result...... Brisket tasted amazing looked pretty good and I was surprised by how flavorful something without BBQ sauce could be. Served on White Bread and by itself. Nice smoke ring on top with mild overcooking on the bottom with dryness. This did not pass the pull test and I was satisfied with the bark level, flavor, tenderness in 3/4 of the cut.

Lessons Learned:
I need to understand my Smoker fat side up when heat source is located middle bottom was a bad idea. Next time will fat side down
No water pan and wrap with butcher paper between 165-170
Will cook to 203 and let rest 2 hours
Ready to go Again even with leftovers in the fridge
 

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TNJAKE

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Looks good to me. You are correct about fat down on the pellet smoker. Unless you add a drip pan and put a rack over it. Then you can go fat up if that's your preference. No need for a water pan. You have some unrendered fat I can see and if it didn't pass pull test then undercooked a bit. Probe should be able to slide in like warm butter. That's how you know it's finished. All around nice work bud. And keeping detailed notes like you are doing will help you alot
 

boykjo

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Great looking brisket. Nice job.......... :emoji_thumbsup:

Boykjo
 

bregent

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Great job.

Try it fat side down but it may not produce better results - it all depends on the smoker. I get better results fat side up on my pellet grill. I would also suggest trimming the fat down a bit next time - I think you left a bit too much on.

Will cook to 203 and let rest 2 hours
Don't be fooled into thinking you should cook to a specific internal temp. The IT determines how fast it's getting tender, not when it has reached optimum tenderness. Your next brisket might reach that when it gets to 198, and cooking to 203 would dry it out. The only way to know for sure is to do a probe/toothpick test.
 

BaxtersBBQ

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Welcome Chad! If you want some pointers, IMO you’re over thinking the pork butt. Everybody preaches low and slow but 225 will take forever to cook anything. I go 250minimum and have been dabbling at 300F hot and fast methods. Also, try skipping the basting and water pan for pork butts. They have enough fat,almost impossible to dry out.

Brisket looks awesome. Did you only buy the flat? I known lot of people shoot for 210 temp if you want it more tender. Again, I would go 250 minimum smoker temp. Faster it cooks less time it has to lose moisture. Also don’t be afraid to trim a little more fat, it’ll be easier for the smoke and rub to get to the meat.
Yours looks nice and juicy tho. Seriously looks amazing for your first brisket. I screwed up a few before I got it right.

Can’t wait to see your next smoke!! Keep the pics coming man!
 

Chadm715

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Welcome Chad! If you want some pointers, IMO you’re over thinking the pork butt. Everybody preaches low and slow but 225 will take forever to cook anything. I go 250minimum and have been dabbling at 300F hot and fast methods. Also, try skipping the basting and water pan for pork butts. They have enough fat,almost impossible to dry out.

Brisket looks awesome. Did you only buy the flat? I known lot of people shoot for 210 temp if you want it more tender. Again, I would go 250 minimum smoker temp. Faster it cooks less time it has to lose moisture. Also don’t be afraid to trim a little more fat, it’ll be easier for the smoke and rub to get to the meat.
Yours looks nice and juicy tho. Seriously looks amazing for your first brisket. I screwed up a few before I got it right.

Can’t wait to see your next smoke!! Keep the pics coming man!
It think it was a full brisket although a small one I could tell the point from the flat due to the thickness and change in direction of the grain. Will give the @250 a try on the next porkbutt. I have seen mild temp swings down 5 degrees up 10 on the pellet smoker so for brisket until I’m comfy I want to keep on 225. Thank you for the tips
 

tallbm

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Hi there and welcome!

As mentioned above, pork butts and briskets are done when they are tender. They are tender when you can stab ALL OVER with a kabob skewer or probe and it goes in like butter. Use the temp to tell u when to check for tenderness.

Also, if u can get your timing about right then try to plan and finish 4 hours before u want to eat. If you finish 4 hours early then awesome u tightly double wrap in foil then tightly wrap in 3 towels and set on the counter and 4 hours later it will be piping hot still!
If you dont finish 4 hours early, guess what. You have 4 hours of buffer time to get it done :)

If u want more bark, eliminate the water. I think u came across that haha. NO need to wrap if u really want bark and gooooood smoke flavor the key is to just start the smoke early enough and try to finish 4 hours early :)
 

BaxtersBBQ

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Hi there and welcome!

As mentioned above, pork butts and briskets are done when they are tender. They are tender when you can stab ALL OVER with a kabob skewer or probe and it goes in like butter. Use the temp to tell u when to check for tenderness.

Also, if u can get your timing about right then try to plan and finish 4 hours before u want to eat. If you finish 4 hours early then awesome u tightly double wrap in foil then tightly wrap in 3 towels and set on the counter and 4 hours later it will be piping hot still!
If you dont finish 4 hours early, guess what. You have 4 hours of buffer time to get it done :)

If u want more bark, eliminate the water. I think u came across that haha. NO need to wrap if u really want bark and gooooood smoke flavor the key is to just start the smoke early enough and try to finish 4 hours early :)
Yes this is what I meant to say about temp. Some people shoot for 200 or 205 but really the key is probing it. It’s done when it feels like butter.
 

SmokinAl

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Your brisket sure looks good to me.
But it is a learning experience & brisket is one of the hardest meats to get right.
I think you did pretty darn good for your first try!
Al
 

Chadm715

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Yes this is what I meant to say about temp. Some people shoot for 200 or 205 but really the key is probing it. It’s done when it feels like butter.
Will definitely be doing this tomorrow just placed my meat order with a local butcher 12lb brisket and 3 full racks of pork ribs for $197 now trying to figure out if thats decent pricing
 

BaxtersBBQ

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Will definitely be doing this tomorrow just placed my meat order with a local butcher 12lb brisket and 3 full racks of pork ribs for $197 now trying to figure out if thats decent pricing


Yikes... that’s crazy expensive. Where do you live? My butchers doing whole packer briskets for $3.69lb. (Used to be under $3) Even Walmart’s briskets are only $4.50lb right now. My butchers doing ribs at $2.99lb(Walmart is $3.50)
Just picked up this pack with 3 giant racks last Friday. Got a 13lb brisket and 16lbs of ribs for a little under $100. And these prices are higher than usual. Are you buying specialty meat? Organic or wagyu or something?
9B3DFE51-308D-400C-A0C7-C7AAA2639BA5.jpeg
 
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tallbm

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Will definitely be doing this tomorrow just placed my meat order with a local butcher 12lb brisket and 3 full racks of pork ribs for $197 now trying to figure out if thats decent pricing
I agree with Baxter, that is quite pricey.

Even at $6/lb for brisket (high) that would be a $72 brisket. And even at $6/lb ribs (super high) with like 7 pound full spares x3 of them that is $126 making a total of $198 which is one dollar more than what u paid.

So the per pound prices of $6/lb are like way high (about double) the cost of ribs. For a brisket u may pay $6/lb depending where u are. I dont pay more than $2.25/lb for a brisket but I only buy them on sale ($1.67-$1.99/lb usually) and I live in Texas where we have great full packer brisket availability .

I don't know the butcher's financial or supply chain situations but for those prices it would be good if he "threw in" some extra meat items or goodies to help you on your smoking journey.
I don't want to hurt a local butcher's business but I think u can get way better prices at a chain grocery store and you can use the butcher for the special or select items and services they can provide.
 

Chadm715

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yeah I might need to shop around the full breakdown was prime beef brisket whole 13.5 lbs at $133 and 3 rack baby back ribs 8lbs $64. I also have to add this is comparable or same pricing for non marked prime meat I purchased at my local chain store Rosaurs/Safeway Eastern Wa Spokane area. There I paid $48 for 4.5 lb brisket and the spare ribs were average $24
 

tallbm

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yeah I might need to shop around the full breakdown was prime beef brisket whole 13.5 lbs at $133 and 3 rack baby back ribs 8lbs $64. I also have to add this is comparable or same pricing for non marked prime meat I purchased at my local chain store Rosaurs/Safeway Eastern Wa Spokane area. There I paid $48 for 4.5 lb brisket and the spare ribs were average $24
Ouch on the brisket prices. I think u can shop around and fine some better prices but I dont live in WA. Also if you can get chuck less expensive u can do a lot of great smoked beef with it instead of paying brisket prices :)
 

BaxtersBBQ

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yeah I might need to shop around the full breakdown was prime beef brisket whole 13.5 lbs at $133 and 3 rack baby back ribs 8lbs $64. I also have to add this is comparable or same pricing for non marked prime meat I purchased at my local chain store Rosaurs/Safeway Eastern Wa Spokane area. There I paid $48 for 4.5 lb brisket and the spare ribs were average $24
Jeez prices in Spokane are nuts! Spare ribs were $1.94lb at Walmart today here in NY. Was it like this before the pandemic?
1C34EACD-3592-4254-8135-695D14F98D89.jpeg
 

tallbm

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Jeez prices in Spokane are nuts! Spare ribs were $1.94lb at Walmart today here in NY. Was it like this before the pandemic? View attachment 455680
I avoid walmart at all costs but I see ribs for more than that in TX. Maybe a regional thing.
Thats probably less than the normal price I see around here. I wait till they are on sale.
 

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