My First Brisket

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Original poster
Sep 24, 2006
First let me tell you my first smoked brisket was both outstanding and merely good.

Yesterday was the Jewish New Year and for the dinner celebration at my sister and brother-in-lawsâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji] I smoked two 5 lb. briskets. Traditionally, we bring the brisket and my wife makes it in the oven with dried onion soup packets and other ingredients that result in a good, but predictable dish. I got a Brinkman electric and took over the brisket duties.

My philosophy is that cooking is art and science, and before I try to become an artist, I better have the basics of the science down first. Follow tried and true recipes before substituting or monkeying with it. I hate it when someone making fettucini alfredo substitutes skim milk for heavy cream because theyâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]re on a diet and then complains that it tastes bad. Likewise, I donâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t get the lady on another forum, who complained her smoked brisket was tough and dry when she smoked it at 220 for two hours and then stuck it in the oven at 350 wrapped in foil and insisted that couldnâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t have been the reason.

Getting up at 6 a.m. I followed Dutchâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s sticky on the Basic Brisket Smoke. I put some of my favorite rub on the meat, some hickory in the smoker and left plenty of time for dinner at 6 p.m. Using a digital meat thermometer the briskets were ready for foil and apple juice when I left for synagogue at about 10:30. Figuring the meat is in foil and heat is heat, I put them in the oven at 220. Part-way through the service it was clear we were gonna be there 1.5 hours longer than anticipated. My wife understood when I asked for the car keys, drove home to lower the heat and tend to the meat so it wouldnâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t overcook.

What a woman!

At 3:30 I stuck the foiled meat in a cooler and wrapped it in towels. We got to my in-laws at 5:30 and at about 6:00 my brother-in-law sliced the brisket.

I tasted a slice and gave a slice to my wife.

The brisket was tender.
The brisket was succulent, with clear juice oozing from each thin slice.
The brisket was flavorful.
The rub was great.
The brisket was awesome!

Then it hit me. Not everyone had arrived and we hadnâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t even sat down for dinner. They were going to put the sliced brisket in a pan, cover it with foil and stick it in the oven to stay warm. They said, “the gravy will keep it moist.â€

Over the next hour, while people came and we ate the first two courses, I was thinking about the sliced brisket in the oven getting dry.

I knew it when my bro-in-law asked to slice it.
I knew it when they took it out of the cooler.
I knew I shouldâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve just told them not to slice it until it was ready to be served.

When it finally arrived at the table, the brisket was good. My brother-in-law noticed the “smoke ring,†something I knew nothing about, but he saw it on tv. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m not above wanting compliments and there were none. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m a pretty fair cook and if I put in the time and effort like it when I “uncork a great one†and people tell me “These are the best ribs Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve ever had!†None of that.

My wife took some leftovers and they were pretty tasty today.

Next time I wonâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t let anyone mess with my brisket.
From where I stand, sounds like your first brisket was a success. You faced the challenge, you utilized the techniques and you tasted the prize. How sweet is that? Congratulations :!: :)

Next time take photos (we love photos!) Donâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t we guys/gals?
I think you summed it up. Don't let anyone mess with your brisket. Sounds like it was perfect when first sliced. You can not take the rap for circumstances out of your control.

Just to reiterate Carl's sentiments. We love pictures.

Take care, have fun, and do good.


yo georgew dude,
my brother in law has "helped" me cook before.

im sure thats where the expression
"to many cooks spoil the broth" came from.

how about another old saying,
"practice makes perfect"

im glad to meet you.

aint this place great!
Hi George,

Congrats!!! on your first Brisket...Stories like yours is how we all learn. Thanks for posting. Add some pics to your next one...that would be great.

George, I'm glad the Brisket sticky helped you. In reading and re-reading your post, I can't find any thing that you did wrong. To me it was a perfect success. Now about your brother in law slicing that brisket before it is time. . . . Well, let's just say that when we married our spouse, we had to accept the rest of the family as a "packaged deal"! 8) :P
Thanks for the support guys! My BIL meant no harm and now that it's a few days later the whole thing doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Re-reading my post, it seems this smoking meat thing can stir up a lot of passion!
Georgew, Congrats on doing Brisket right the 1st time. Good smoke ring, great taste, juicy....I would have served it, and told the rest of the family "next time don't be late" To me Brisket is the King of the BBQ world. Do one right and you lay in bed at night with a smile on your face. Get it wrong by just the slightest bit, and it knaws on your insides till you smoke one right.

You did what you are supposed to do. Use other reciepes that you know work. Cook by temp, and feel, not the clock. LOW and SLOW. If you are in a hurry for any reason, the go LOWER and SLOWER. Let that huge chunk of beef get Tender, Juicy, Tasty.

My family has learned, if I Que it, and bring it in the house. ASK ME before you cut it. The resting stage is very important with that type of meat, and nothing grates on me more than to ahve it cut into, too early.

Good job, great post, can not wait to hear from you on the next smoke run.
Sitting here with a glass of Buffalo Trace after a 12 hour workday (I thought it would only be 11) and all your comments are getting me thinking about cooking another brisket...

...or turkey. My sister in Manhatten invited us up for Thanksgiving.

Yep, time to do some research on smoking a turkey.
Congrats on a fine sounding smoke. The brisket is the "prized" Q, the biggest feather in your cap! It sounds like you worked it perfectly, not your fault some of the guests straggled in, their loss... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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