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New to site with 17lb Packer ready to smoke!

KVB

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Joined Nov 8, 2019
Hey all, name is Vince and I’ve been lurking these forums for almost a decade now. You guys have pretty much taught me everything I know about smoking/bbqing/grilling. The first time I ever attempted a smoke I had read many, many articles on technique beforehand, and then proceeded to smoke a tri tip. Back then I was in an apartment and only had a little 14”x8” portable Weber. Well, I smoked that bad boy with wood chips and charcoal for 7 hours on her till she hit 185 and it was perfect. I know most of you would scoff at the idea of tri tip like that, but I tell you it set the world of smoking in motion for me.

SO - Here I am, I finally decided to join to say thanks and hopefully receive some advice on how to smoke this big packer I picked up at Costco this week.

This is my 5th brisket, but I’ve never done anything over a 10lb flat before. I am running a Traeger right now with a charcoal bbq to boot. My technique is to trim a 3/8” fat cap, cover with 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup pepper, then smoke cap up at 250 for 7-8 hours till I hit an IT of 205. I tent lightly for 30 min as I like a good bark. And that’s it for the brisket.

How would you guys recommend I do this packer? Same style as always? I have been watching Guga Foods and he did one he dry aged till an IT of 180 of his Komodo and it looked great. Not sure if I should switch up now!

Cheers
 

eddiememphis

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I know most of you would scoff at the idea of tri tip like that, but I tell you it set the world of smoking in motion for me.
Whatever works for you is great. There are very few guys on here that will say you are doing it wrong.
 
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jcam222

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I like to inject my briskets. If you decide to try it I highly recommend Butchers Prime Brisket inject.
 

noboundaries

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A dry aged brisket has had all kinds of interior action that has broken down the internal structure, so 180F would work. Since you have a Costco brisket, probably Prime, 200F, give or take 5F, will work fine. Probe for tenderness.
 

fivetricks

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I would expect a whole lot longer than 8 hours for a whole packer @250 though. Maybe you picked up a very small one.
 

SmokinAl

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A 17 lb. packer will take at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound to cook at 250. I would run your pit at 270-280. Then your looking at about 1 hour per pound. Do a search on hot & fast brisket. I think Chili did one at 350.
Al
 

KVB

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Killer, thanks for all the info. I think I am going to try the brisket inject in half of it and compare, and shoot for 200F this time.

SmokinAl - I am not in a hurry to cook her, but I will try 275F this time. Going to check out Chili’s thread and see whats going on with the hot and fast method thanks.

And yes the others briskets I’ve done for 7-8 hours were 7 to 10lb flats.

Will be sure to post a follow up to this.
 

KVB

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I was just thinking -
Considering I’ve done briskets for roughly 7 hours average, and no more than 9 before, I’m wondering if I should wrap this one to avoid burning the outside of the brisket too much when she going in for so much longer. I like bark, but I don’t want charcoal tasting crunch and I’m concerned I may end up with that.
I don’t have any butcher paper either, so it would be foil unless I can find it somewhere in town.
 

Danno44

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Welcome and good luck with the packer. Only advice I can give is time and temp is a guide only. Need to probe for tenderness for it to be done. That could be 195 or 215....please keep us posted as you probably know we like photos!
 

texomakid

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Aug 6, 2017
I cooked an 18 lbs brisket this weekend in my Yoder YS640. I used course Kosher salt & medium grind pepper (generous coat of both) with a light layer of tx smoker tx smoker beef rub on top of that. The Brisket was one I picked up at Sam's. $2.88 per lbs Select grade. No injections, Just a rinse, applied rub and into the cooker loaded with Lumberjack 100% Hickory & Mesquite blend mixed together. Set the Yoder on 250 and let 're run. Ran the cooker @ 250 for the first 15 hours. IT's were 180 on the point & 165 on the flat. Adjusted the dampner on the Yoder to get some more heat toward the flat and increased the temp to 285. 4 hours later it was done. 203 is supposed to be the "perfect" IT according to many so that's what I shoot for but in reality 195 to 210 will work in my experience. When I pulled the brisket I wrapped it in foil and then I wrapped it in a couple of towels and stuck in into a cooler/ice chest to let it "rest" for about 3 1/2 hours. It was another really good brisket. I've posted a few pics not to hijack your thread but to share what I do and have done on many briskets. I've cooked a bunch of 'em.

Probe 1 is the point - Probe 2 is the flat
IMG_4735.jpg

A shot of this 18 lbs brisket after 19 hours in the cooker.
IMG_4737.jpg

I think someone was drinking an adult beverage but I'm not sure who that was?
IMG_4739.jpg

IMG_4740.jpg

Just remember, there is 100 different ways to cook a brisket and just about all of them are good. Let us know how yours turns out.
 

KVB

Newbie
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Joined Nov 8, 2019
I cooked an 18 lbs brisket this weekend in my Yoder YS640. I used course Kosher salt & medium grind pepper (generous coat of both) with a light layer of tx smoker tx smoker beef rub on top of that. The Brisket was one I picked up at Sam's. $2.88 per lbs Select grade. No injections, Just a rinse, applied rub and into the cooker loaded with Lumberjack 100% Hickory & Mesquite blend mixed together. Set the Yoder on 250 and let 're run. Ran the cooker @ 250 for the first 15 hours. IT's were 180 on the point & 165 on the flat. Adjusted the dampner on the Yoder to get some more heat toward the flat and increased the temp to 285. 4 hours later it was done. 203 is supposed to be the "perfect" IT according to many so that's what I shoot for but in reality 195 to 210 will work in my experience. When I pulled the brisket I wrapped it in foil and then I wrapped it in a couple of towels and stuck in into a cooler/ice chest to let it "rest" for about 3 1/2 hours. It was another really good brisket. I've posted a few pics not to hijack your thread but to share what I do and have done on many briskets. I've cooked a bunch of 'em.

Probe 1 is the point - Probe 2 is the flat

*clip*

A shot of this 18 lbs brisket after 19 hours in the cooker.

*clip*

I think someone was drinking an adult beverage but I'm not sure who that was?

Just remember, there is 100 different ways to cook a brisket and just about all of them are good. Let us know how yours turns out.
Wow great job on that brisket brother. With a smoke ring like that I’m almost ashamed to post mine up ! How do you carve yours when you leave the flat and the point on for the smoke? Just separate afterward and then carve?
 

KVB

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Joined Nov 8, 2019
So naturally on Saturday morning I woke up sick as a dog and got progressively worse throughout the weekend. Really made it hard to cook when I could barely lie down without being in pain, let alone walk around.

Anyhow, I trimmed her down to about 16 lbs, not too much extra fat, but not much for marbled fat either unfortunately. I was shooting for 15 or so hours, and in my haze of sickness I for some reason imagined that if I threw her on at noon Saturday she’d be off by 3pm Sunday. DOH! She finished up around midnight Saturday. Not the business when you’re sick.

I have been having issues with my Traeger for some reason lately, and twice during my cook the fire died and the brisket lost temp. Once at 150, and then again at 198 right as it was about to finish. Unbelievable. I keep her very clean so I’m not sure what’s going on.

Quick run down -

Noon Saturday - trimmed skinny part of flat off and threw both it and the rest of the brisket in at 250F grill grate temp. Added foil tray of water to increase humidity.

Roughly 6PM - find smoker cold and brisket around 148. Fire back up and increase to 275F grate temp. Threw skinny part of flat in another foil tray and moved to upper grates.

Left at 9 pm and came back at 11 to find the skinny part at 212F IT. Damn. The rest is at 190F.

Midnight - find grill cold and the brisket at 198F IT. Called it quits as I didn’t have it in me to keep fighting her.

This was by far the least successful smoke I’ve had! Not sure what’s up with my Traeger but it’s really grinding my gears. Grrrr. Meat turned out great though actually. So there’s that. The smaller pieces of of brisket in the photos were the skinny part I had cut off. It fried in the fat in the foil pan and put a good 3/8” of bark around it. Turned out good and moist too I’m surprised to say.





 

texomakid

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Aug 6, 2017
Those pics of your brisket look like money to me. Really good looking bark and a nice smoke ring. I hate it that you're having issue with your cooker. Hopefully you'll get them sorted out. As far as marbled fat in briskets I don't see a lot of that since I typically buy select grade briskets. I'm one of those "old school" guys who thinks I can cook it good. I see a lot of fat on the briskets I cook but it's mainly the fat cap and the thick layer between the point & flat. Also, as you mentioned, I do cook whole packers with flat & point - just one big ole hunk of meat. I do some trimming of the excess fat on the exterior (many say trim it down in the thicker parts of fat leaving 1/4" of fat) prior to coating with rub/seasoning. I then cut it in the middle once its done and that will leave a little overlap of flat on the point. As you have already figured out the grain runs different between the 2 pieces and we ALWAYS want to cut across grain on a brisket. The point is more forgiving so I usually focus my IT to the flat. Undercook and it's tough, over cook and it's dry and falls apart. My last one was almost overcooked on the flat but still very good. It just takes practice and I learn new stuff on every brisket I cook. As far at that smoke ring I'm in the "fat cap down" mode currently and I place the brisket on the top self of my Yoder. It barely fits on that top shelf height wise but I think that has a lot to do with that mega smoke ring I get. Looks cool but I don't know if it makes it taste any better.

Aaron Franklin has a series of videos where he explains a lot of stuff on how to cook a brisket. I'm always looking for pointers to make it better - easier. They're worth checking out if you get time.

Again really good looking brisket. Maybe you wont be sick when you cook the next one and that cooker will cooperate a little better. Big like on that brisket. They get better and easier with practice.
 
Last edited:

KVB

Newbie
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Joined Nov 8, 2019
I’m gonna look up Aaron franklin thanks. I haven’t heard of him. Always looking to improve the technique and make new recipes.

Orangebillsfan - come over next time! I always bbq enough to feed a party. Hah!
 

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