Need a few brisket questions cleared up...

Discussion in 'Beef' started by pork off, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. pork off

    pork off Newbie

    I am going to try my first brisket soon and have a few questions.  I read tons of posts and everyone has so many different techniques that it is hard to determine what is correct.  I have an 18.5 WSM and will be using Kingsford blue.  There probably is no right or wrong way, but a known good plan would be great.

    1. Water pan or no water pan?

    2. Inject or not?

    3. Foil or not?

    4. Just salt and pepper or a rub containing brown sugar?

    5. Minion or snake method for the long cook?

    6. Wood type.  Is oak good?

    These questions are probably answered in other forums, but I don't have time to read 19,000 posts and compile the most popular answers.  Thanks for all of the info on this site....its very helpful!
  2. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You will get a bunch of answers are right that there is not really a wrong way.  

    Hopefully this helps, but is just my opinion.

    1- Water Pan or No Water Pan?:  I like a water pan as it helps hold the heat and recover quicker when you open up to SOP/MOP or check on your brisket

    2- Inject or Not?:  I like to inject my Brisket, I us a solution of beef broth, beer, and some apple cider vinegar.

    3- Foil or Not?: I like to foil at the stall (typically 150-160IT) I think the meat cooks more even and if you want some bark, open the foil at the end and pull the point, increase your heat or toss it on a mesh sheet or pan over high heat. To me the most important part of smoking a Brisket is when you pull it, I recommend wrapping your Brisket in foil and 1-2 beach towels, throw it in a cooler for 2 hours.  The meat will really finish nice and tender.  A lot of people skip this because they are in a hurry and want to eat.  

    4- Just salt and pepper or a rub containing brown sugar?: My personal preference is a rub (I actually make a low salt rub), not just the brown sugar is important, but the pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, etc help create a tasty crust.

    5- Minion or Snake Method: Both work well, it really depends on space.  I do both, but typically minion on my stick burner.

    6- Wood Type:  Oak is good, I like a blend of Pecan, apple, and Hickory.  

    Hope this helps!

    Good Luck and Smoke ON!
  3. I did my first brisket a few weeks ago it came out awesome. A water pan is good. I slathered it with a light coat of mustard and seasoned with just salt and pepper. I spritzed with beef broth I did not inject. When I hit 160 I wrapped in foil. I used pecan/hickory wood. I kept it simple. When the brisket reached 203 degrees I put it in a cooler and let it rest for 2 hours. As long as you cook to a proper temp between 195-205 and let it rest it's going to be amazing. That's just my 2 cents.
  4. pork off

    pork off Newbie

    Thank you both for the info. I will try a little from each. I will hopefully be able to throw it on the smoker in a day or two and will update with pictures and what I did. If anyone else has some info please let me know.
  5. I got another question regarding brisket...

    So if I have a brisket flat that doesn't lay flat on the smoker because its longer than 18 inches, will cutting it in half have any negative effects? 

    Can I cut it in half, and only cook half and freeze the other half? does cooked brisket reheat well?
  6. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    I don't think it hurts to cook it without it laying perfectly flat, seen someone smoke one hanging on a rib rack and I think it turned out fine.  I've had no problem cutting briskets in half.  Usually I've cooked both pieces at the same time and eaten on one half and froze the other, but if you wanted to you could freeze the 2nd half to be cooked later.  Brisket tastes the best right after taking out of the cooler but it reheats OK. 
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  7. Thanks Aggie. I will cut it in half and save the other half for another cook since this will be my first brisket.
  8. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Everyone of your questions is personal preference. Try it one way and keep a log on how it came out, and what methods you used. Try them all and figure out what you like best.
  9. pork off

    pork off Newbie

    That's what I am going to do. Thanks. I just wish every attempt didn't cost 30 to 40 dollars! Haha. Hoping to smoke it on Thursday. Will update and post pics.

    Here is some chicken I did a while ago.
  10. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Chicken looks great.

    Good luck and let us know how the Brisket turns out.

    Smoke ON!

  11. pork off

    pork off Newbie

    Put the brisket on this morning at 8 a.m. and went with the water pan, rubbed with some salt pepper and paprika. Threw on some oak chunks and some hickory nuts. Will update later on with progress.
  12. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Anxious to see how it turns out!  Just be sure to rest it in a cooler for an hour or two after it comes off the smoker, really makes a difference.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  13. Can't wait to see.
  14. pork off

    pork off Newbie

    Well here is the finished product! Wrapped it in foil at 189* IT and had to finish it in the oven because it was getting late. Cooked it to 199* then put in a cooler for 1 hour. Would have done a longer rest but had to eat it ! It turned out pretty good for my first attempt. Tasted great and it was very tender. Next time I will try an injection to see if there is a difference.

    Anyone have any tips for reheating?

  15. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like it came out great!  If I'm just reheating a few slices for a sandwich, I cut them off and put them in a pan with a little juice/drippings/etc to keep them from drying out.  If I'm reheating all of it to feed the family I put the whole thing in a pan with a little juice, cover and put in the oven.  Drying out is the main problem you have to be careful of when reheating.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  16. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Looks like a damn good first try!

    Places slices in foil pan and cover with beef broth then heat up on grill or oven. It's the best way I've reheated brisket slices.
  17. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic

    Fine looking brisket for the first try. [​IMG]
  18. Nice looking Brisket and Chicken   Good Job  [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  19. Excellent results man!

    I'm in the middle of doing my first one right now, i hope it turns out as good as your's looks!
  20. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    I have found that for most meats, you can reheat once successfully. After that, it goes down hill fast with each reheat. So I package single serving sizes in zip bags, each with some au ju or foiling sauce. I keep a few in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. If it's just a little bit, like for a sandwich, I open the bag a nuke until warm. 45 seconds for my nuker.

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