Need some help with a brisket pls...

Discussion in 'Beef' started by nascar_in_tx, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. nascar_in_tx

    nascar_in_tx Fire Starter

    I have several questions here.

    I smoked a brisket a couple weeks ago, flat with point attached. I put a temp probe in the flat and another in the point. The flat came up to temp faster than the point, as expected. I left it unfoiled for the entire smoke ~19 hours on a 12lb. brisket to about 187ish when I pulled it. I used lump charcoal with pecan splits set away from the direct coals but close enough to get the wood smoking. It came out pretty good, a bit drier than I would have preferred but flavor wise one of my better briskets.

    What part of the brisket should I really be watching the temps at? Both ends or just the point(thicker) end? Or watch the flat for the foil time and then the point for the cooking while foiled time?

    I've since read that some folks will leave the point attached to the flat and smoke the entire thing till it hits the temp plateau. Then foil the entire thing until ~185 and open foil to help the bark form.

    Others have said at this point to separate the point from the flat and foil separately. My understanding is that the point can be removed from the flat by cutting horizontally between the point and flat at the fat line (am I correct here?) (which is the better method, attached or separated?)

    Is it better to leave the flat and point attached in the foil so that the fat keeps everything moist? Or is there enough fat left behind to separate the two until after I pull the briskets at the end of the smoke?

    When you pull them from the foil, is it like ribs(5x2x1 method) where you take the meat totally out of the foil and set it back on the grates to firm up?

    The flat I plan to slice up like one normally sees brisket done. What to do with the cap? I saw a post about dicing it up, mixing with bbq sauce and doing burnt ends. What else can I do with it? Does it work to just pull it and make sandwiches or too fatty for that purpose?

    Should I remove any of the fat cap prior to putting it on the smoker or trim the fat after it's done?

    I've done some "good" briskets, but trying to step up and do a Really Good brisket. I would like to take any suggestions and try them this weekend before the big party in May.

    I'm looking for some tips please. I do a decent job on ribs and chickens but considering it's just my wife and I, I don't normally do large cuts of meat as we just won't eat all of it. However, I've been asked to smoke a couple 12lb. briskets by a couple of good friends, that are throwing a retirement party for a friend of theirs, who is retiring from the airforce.

    I'm planning to use lump charcoal (oak) and split pecan for the smoke. Also planning to smear with yellow mustard and use Jeff's Rub. It's been great on ribs so thought I would try it here as well. Most of the folks at this party are not big on HOT so trying to keep the heat level fairly mild. If anyone cares to suggest a rub other then Jeff's I'm open to checking them out.

    I can't say thanks enough for any feedback / suggestions y'all can give me.


    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    I would separate before cooking, mop lots, foil around 160, pull around 200 or when it feels tender with a fork or probe, and let rest in an ice chest for a least an hour and a half.  If you want to follow a burnt ends method for the point just use a mop with a bit more sugar and let finish  without foiling; my 2 cents...
  3. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Well I can't answer all your questions but maybe I can help with a couple. Once it is at finished temp the point will almost fall off the flat, just run a butter knife along the fat line between them and lift. If you have never had burnt ends you have to try it, I was amazed the first time I did them. One of the most tender most flavorful little morsels I have ever had. The last time I did them I mixed some spicy chipotle BBQ sauce with some brown sugar and they were fabulous.

    Do you have a freezer? I just live with my son and he won't eat anything but I still smoke large cuts and vac-seal in individual portions and freeze and I have lunches and dinners in a snap whenever I want.

    I'm sure someone else will be along to help you with the more technical questions. 
  4. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    Oh yeah, I also only trim fat after cooking so it can do it's "magic".
  5. nascar_in_tx

    nascar_in_tx Fire Starter

    Thanks for the early feedback guys, I'm really hoping to impress. Plus anything I learn here helps me keep the wife that much happier... [​IMG]
  6. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Howdy, Bill_France_in_TX!

    Leave the fat on the brisket!  I removed it from the first one I did a week or so ago and it got too dry.  Folks here say that he fat should be up and maybe just cross-hatched with a knife to allow some smoke to get under it but to let the fat keep the meat moist.  I think I read the bit about scoring the fat in Jeff's e-course.  I'm a watt burner, not a wood burner for smoking.
  7. nascar_in_tx

    nascar_in_tx Fire Starter

    Hey Rabbit!!!

    Thanks for the feedback. I've seen the crosshatch suggestion as well and have not tried it yet. If enough folks suggest leaving the point on (which I'm leaning towards unless some can explain why it's better not to do so) then I would like to try it out this weekend.

    Wish I was Bill France, or at least had is money.... lol   How bout the 16 at TMS last weekend?!?!?! Was at the race, but have not watched the televised version of it yet... I really need to post some pics of some smokers at the track... Some folks simply have some incredible ideas... The fall race I will make a point to walk some of the campground and get some pics.
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is one of the best brisket threads out there, Mr. SmokinAl has done some really outstanding briskets and this thread is a great one that will answear a lot of your questions.

    I suggest searching the beef forums for brisket threads and read up some of the various methods. Couple of things I have found that work great are:
    • Per Al's thread - trim all the fat and place it on the rack above (if you have a set up that allows for that). That way your rub is actually on the meat, but you still get the benefit of the fat dripping on the meat and basting it!
    • Keep your rub simple! Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika makes a great brisket rub. Gives it flavor, but you can still taste the meat itself real well. I usually trim the fat off, rub the brisket with Worshtyshershtyshire sauce (...... lol), then put my rub on and tuck it into the fridge for 12-24 hrs.
    • Don't peek, poke, prod, baste, ect. ect. ect. - Leave it alone! Every time you open your smoker you add 10-15 min. to the smoke - so do that 6 times and you are talking over an hour! Brisket is all about low heat (210°-225°) and patience... lots and lots of patience. Let the smoker work its magic, don't try and rush it by turning up the heat or pulling the brisket off early - if its dinner time and the brisket is only at 180° internal temp., order a pizza!
    • Let the brisket rest for minimum of 1 hr.
    Take notes and keep track of what you do, then only adjust one thing at a time till you dial in the results you want.
  9. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    In your original post you mentioned the two parts cooking differently, that's been my experience too and is why I separate before cooking.
  10. nascar_in_tx

    nascar_in_tx Fire Starter

    13.5 lb Angus brisket has been purchased, coated with a bit of yellow mustard and Jeff's rub recipe. It's in the fridge resting and should hit the smoker around 5p.m. tomorrow. Will post up pics tomorrow before it goes on.

    Quick question for anyone that has done Jeff's rub. I eat fresh jalapenos, serrano and habanero peppers on a regular basis (ok, habanero peppers less frequently than the others). Point being is that what is Hot to many people is not Hot to me. Considering there are a couple of cups of spices in Jeff's recipe, does the one teaspoon of Cayenne really kick it up much for folks that don't normally eat spicy hot food? I will be cooking for a mixed crowd ranging from 30 - 68 years old. A good chunk of the crowd considers black pepper to be really hot. The goal is to have a bit of a zip (for average folks) without tearing them up. Should I drop the Cayenne, scale it back or just go with it. Looking for the opinions from folks that don't do hot please...

    (however with that qualification and this crowd I may not get a

    Thanks again,

  11. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I think 1 teaspoon on a 13# packer after a long smoke you won't really even know it was there except for the subtle flavor it added.
  12. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Are you planning on babysitting it? or waking up real early Sat morning? Have you been following forluvofsmoke's thread on his 2 packers today? Just something to think about with your timing.
  13. I don't think Jeffs rub is spicy but like you said...... anyone who don't like spice willl and has complained that it is spicy that being said I make it the way the recipe calls and if they say "man this is spicy"...... I just tell them to put on their big boy panties and learn to eat spicier food!!
  14. nascar_in_tx

    nascar_in_tx Fire Starter

    I have been reading his thread this evening. I will be pulling all nighters tomorrow and May 5th when I do the smoke for my friends. His thread is timely, a bit different setup than I  will have access to, but still helpful. Babysitting is definitely on the agenda for the big smoke in May.
  15. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Cool, I just don't want to see it get away from you (I did that once with an allnighter). Sounds like you have a great plan, stick to it and it should come out awesome.
  16. nascar_in_tx

    nascar_in_tx Fire Starter

    lol... I like the way you think... Considering I will be doing  two briskets I'm leaning towards Jeff's recipe "as is" on one brisket unless some folks weight in saying it's "too hot" and then doing the butcher shoppes rub on the other. My experience has been anything commercial is generally New York City hot...
  17. I couldn't even taste the heat in Jeff's rub.

    Great Rub!.............just not hot
  18. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If there is heat in Jeff's rub, we haven't found it yet.  That 'we' includes my wife, daughter, son-in-law, sister-in-laws(3) and their husbands and 3 nieces and nephews.  We've eaten it on brisket, pork ribs, butt and chicken.  In fact, for the chicken, we even make dipping sauce with butter, vinegar, hot pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to add some heat.

  19. ya doin' today ? Everything working out okay ? I call jalapeno's "Texas Pickles".....everyone that has eaten any of my meat that has Jeff's rub on it haven't said anything about it being hot.

    I smoke my briskets whole packer. Just find the way you & your family like the best.

    But everyone does agree on one thing......low & slow......may stall.....just sit back & relax.....low & slow
  20. nascar_in_tx

    nascar_in_tx Fire Starter

    Sorry for the slow reply. Did 23 hours on the smoker and 2 hours in the cooler. I used yellow mustard and jeff's rub. Foiled after about 8 - 9 hours. Thanks to all for the suggestions. I agree, I can't find heat in Jeff's rub nor can my wife. So based on the responses I'm feeling pretty good about using it for the party in a couple weeks.[​IMG][​IMG]

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