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Newbie using my smoker for the first time- Brisket!

jasonrmcc

Newbie
25
36
Joined Dec 29, 2016
Smoking my first brisket today! Here's some info and a timeline thus far...

Outdoor temp- 25, increasing to 39
6# flat with cap (bought in error, have a packers cut in the fridge for Monday!)


Left brisket out on counter for a little over an hour before putting in the smoker. Slightly cool to the touch.

Rub left on over night- coarse salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, onion powder, brown sugar, oregano, cumin, garlic salt


4 cups hot water in water pan
Set temp to 225
7:30am brisket enters the smoker! Smoker temp-120
7:45am- wood chip tray pops out and the wood chips are on fire. I Got nervous and turned off the unit for 3-5 minutes while I inspected. The flames died down and I turned the smoker back on.
7:50am. Smoker temp 160. I read that it was too many chips too early and to start with a few and keep adding until there's some coals. Then 1/2 cup at a time.

8am: smoker temp up to 195
8:15am: smoker temp up to 207, drops to 195, realize the smoker was set for 200, not 225 like I thought I had done [emoji]128580[/emoji]
8:17am Set to 225 within a few minutes, at 225
9:30am IT @140, smoker temps holding, have used 1.25 cups of hickory chips thus far
10:00am IT @ 153

Currently: waiting patiently for the "stall" [emoji]128556[/emoji]

Since the IT is above 140, do I stop using chips
Completely at this point?

Should I add more water at any point? (I haven't opened the door since 7:45am)

Thanks for all of the information, you guys rock!
 

SmokinAl

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I would keep adding chips the whole smoke, unless you foil it.

Then of course you wouldn't add any chips while it was in the foil.

You can let the water pan run dry if you want.

Al
 

crankybuzzard

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Do as Al said and you'll be in good shape.

What type of smoker and how are you reading temps?
 

jasonrmcc

Newbie
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Joined Dec 29, 2016
I would keep adding chips the whole smoke, unless you foil it.
Then of course you wouldn't add any chips while it was in the foil.
You can let the water pan run dry if you want.

Al
Thanks Al! I let the water pan run dry (assuming since I haven't opened). Wasn't sure about chips, so the last hour or so was no chips, but I just started again. Thanks for the tips!

Do as Al said and you'll be in good shape.

What type of smoker and how are you reading temps?
Will do, thank you! I'm using a MES 30". IT are from a probe thermometer, smoker temps are just the MES digital display. I ordered a Thermoworks Smoke thermometer, but it won't be delivered until next week.

I think I just broke through the "stall" (no foil), as the IT was 158 from 10:30- 12:50pm, (deviation of 157-159), but in the past 15 minutes it's ticked up to 161!
 

crankybuzzard

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Sounds like you're moving along well.

When you get your new thermometer, be sure to check and see how well the MES readout is in reflecting actual temp. They are notoriously wrong.

Looking forward to your final on this one!
 

jasonrmcc

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Sounds like you're moving along well.

When you get your new thermometer, be sure to check and see how well the MES readout is in reflecting actual temp. They are notoriously wrong.

Looking forward to your final on this one!
Yes, IT temp is at 168, slowly rising now! I'll be sure to compare MES readout vs the Smoke Thermometer.

The only question I still have is what temperature do I take out the brisket, foil, towel wrap and drop in a cooler? Seems like most recommend between 190-200. Others do it off feel with a toothpick.

Anyone have any input?

I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished product [emoji]128521[/emoji]
 

hardcookin

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Probe tender in the thickest part of the brisket. The temp can be anywhere from 195 - 210. Though most of my briskets are probe tender around 203 for some reason.
I usually pan my brisket with a little bit of beef broth and then cover the pan with 2 sheets of foil, for resting in a cooler.
 
Last edited:

bladeguy

Meat Mopper
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Joined Nov 23, 2016
I start checking mine around 190 or so, and I use the back end of a beater from a mixer.....if it goes in smoothly, it is good to go. Wrap it, into the cooler with towels. Now, if you want to slice the brisket, unwrap and let rest on the counter for 30-60 minutes or use your probe and don't cut until 140 degrees. It will hold a slice better. When I try slicing much warmer than that, it usually falls apart. Looking forward to seeing what it looks like!
 

jasonrmcc

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I start checking mine around 190 or so, and I use the back end of a beater from a mixer.....if it goes in smoothly, it is good to go. Wrap it, into the cooler with towels. Now, if you want to slice the brisket, unwrap and let rest on the counter for 30-60 minutes or use your probe and don't cut until 140 degrees. It will hold a slice better. When I try slicing much warmer than that, it usually falls apart. Looking forward to seeing what it looks like!
Thank you for the advice!

We're getting "close"! IT has been uniformly increasing 1 degree every 7-9 minutes since it broke through the stall.

Time / IT
12:45- 158 (was at this temp for a little over 2 hours)
1:00- 159
1:15- 161
1:40- 166
2:18- 171
2:30-172
2:45- 174
3:07- 176
3:14-177
3:32- 179
3:45- 180
3:50- 181

I haven't opened the smoker once, so tempted, but I'll wait until 190 and enjoy the view of the TBS for now [emoji]128556[/emoji]
 

bladeguy

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Joined Nov 23, 2016
Thank you for the advice!

We're getting "close"! IT has been uniformly increasing 1 degree every 7-9 minutes since it broke through the stall.

Time / IT
12:45- 158 (was at this temp for a little over 2 hours)
1:00- 159
1:15- 161
1:40- 166
2:18- 171
2:30-172
2:45- 174
3:07- 176
3:14-177
3:32- 179
3:45- 180
3:50- 181

I haven't opened the smoker once, so tempted, but I'll wait until 190 and enjoy the view of the TBS for now [emoji]128556[/emoji]
My prediction is you must be close....unless you hit a 2nd stall. Had that happen before.
 

jasonrmcc

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Joined Dec 29, 2016
"DONE!!!!" The brisket is doubled wrapped tightly in foil, two towels and in a small cooler! Smells great, looks great, (I think), let's hope it tastes great!! I'll let everyone know in about 2 hours! Thanks again for all of your help.

 

bladeguy

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It looks great....but I noticed you didn't report back yet......hoping it is because you ate too much and you are now in a food coma!!!:drool
 

jasonrmcc

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It looks great....but I noticed you didn't report back yet......hoping it is because you ate too much and you are now in a food coma!!!:drool
As soon as I started slicing it, people starting eating iT and I wasn't able to get a good picture of the sliced brisket from the "good half". The narrower and thinner end of the flat was a little dry, but the fattier thicker end was very tasty! I think it was in for slightly too long as I would preferred it to be a little moister. Overall, a success, almost the whole brisket was eaten [emoji]128077[/emoji][emoji]127997[/emoji]


This is what was leftover after sitting out for about two hours....
 

crankybuzzard

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Looks very good from here! Great work!

Points for your first!
 
Last edited:

bladeguy

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Excellent job.....I've found that if I want the whole thing to be moist, I need to wrap the brisket after some point in the smoke. That said, I don't always wrap them, and they always get eaten!! Great job!
 

jasonrmcc

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Joined Dec 29, 2016
Thanks for everyone's help! It wouldn't have been possible without all of the research I did on this forum and the pointers you guys provided!

I might be starting another brisket, (packers cut), this evening for an overnight smoke...still debating.

How big of an impact does leaving the rub on for 12+ hours make on the finished product? I Would only have it on for a few hours today, otherwise I have to wait until next weekend.
 

nopigleftbehind

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Your brisket looks  a lot like my first  and only one.  I thought mine wasn't "broken down" enough (my preference).  What did you think of yours?  I had over a cup of juice in the foil during foiling in cooler.  Is the foil/cooler time "PULLING" the moisture out of the meat?  
 

bladeguy

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My question to you is does your rub have the salt in it? If so, I prefer to rub up to 48 hours in advance, I make my own rub with no salt, and salt separately. So I will salt the meat with Kosher salt ahead of time..,,,hopefully 12 hours or more. Sometimes I will add the rub then too, or I will add the rub right before it goes on the smoker, I don't think the rub matters, only the salt. Salt will penetrate the meat and help retain moisture during the cook, so I like to give it time to penetrate, some call this a dry brine. Rub, however, doesn't penetrate the meat much if at all, and doesn't help with moisture retention. The reason I salt separately, is I want to know how much salt I put on the meat. I've found too much or too little salt makes a work of difference, whereas I haven't found a great difference between too much or too little rub.....unless you cake on the rub.

All of that said, I would not hesitate to not dry brine a brisket prior to cooking if I had one thawed and was ready to go on the smoker.....I would just rub the salt and rub on it as soon as possible, and throw it on the smoker. It would still be good, but you may want to foil it so as not to lose more moisture.
 

bladeguy

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If wrapped tight, the foiling should help redistribute the juice throughout the meat. I've never added juice to a brisket, and the only dryness I have experienced is on thin portions, or where I didn't let it rest very long. I will rest it for 4-6 hours if I can in the cooler, and it seems to get more tender as it rests in my experience.
 

remsr

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I prob my full paker baskets in the flat the thinnest part of a full packer, because the flat will get done first and could dry out if I prob the point the thickest part when it hits 195 to 205 the flat may be a lot higher and over cooked if I probe the point I also smoke my briskets at 200 degrees and foil pan and cover with foil with a 1/4 cup of beef broth and some rub at 160 internal temp and smoke to 195. Wrap in stretch wrap and tin foil then place it in a cooler packed with towels for at least 2 hours while the pan juices refrigerat and the fats solidafy. After the resting period I unwrap and slice, scoop off the fat from the juices warm them up and pour them over the slices. My breskets are condiststly melt in your mouth tender, juicy and tasty from flat to point.
Randy,
 

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