Pre-Smoke/split smoking a brisket...please help

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Original poster
Long time lurker, first time poster.

Thanks to this forum I have gotten pretty good at smoking a brisket.  Traditionally, I smoke one on a saturday or sunday, I get up around 4a to get the fire started, meat on the smoker by 5a.  I smoke it til about 165 on the smoker, then transfer it to the oven till it gets to 190.  At this point I split the point and flat, chop the point for burnt ends and put the flat back on the smoker for about an hour to take the sogginess out of the bark.  Works great, ready to eat by 7PM, everyone is happy...

This week I have an important guest showing up on wednesday who wants to take me up on my offer to smoke him a brisket.  Wednesday I am in class from about 10a-6p and he is showing up along with 20 people at 7pm.  I couldnt bring myself to turn him down, So now I am stuck in a do I smoke a brisket when Im gone all day, or how do I smoke it before I have to leave but have it ready at 7.

I have a roommate who will be home around 3.  I am thinking that I will start it around midnight, have it ready to go to the oven by 10, then let my roommate pull it out by 3 (but I think that is too long in the oven).  If I do that, what should I do once it reaches 190?  Is there a safe temp to store at where I wont dry it out but can keep it for 3ish hours till I get home and can finish it on the smoker?

Or is there a better way?

Please help me experts!
If you can do it before your company comes you can always reheat it in the crockpot with some of the juice from cooking it and some beef stock. It will still be tender and juicy this way. Or if you can only do it that day you can wrap it good and tight with some foil,wrap it in some old towels or pillows or blankets whatever you have and stuff it in a cooler,then make sure you tuck the brisket in nice and tight.I have let my briskets sit in a cooler for 3-4 hours this way and they have still been nice and hot. Yes the bark gets a little mushy but its still great!!!
Im not concerned so much about the mushiness as I am about the safety of it.  I will put it back on the smoker for an hour before anyone shows up to take care of the mushiness.

I have also used a cooler, Usually after I pull it off the smoker for the last time, I tin foil it, wrap it in a towel and stick it in a cooler.  I just wasnt sure how long it is safe to that...

As far as the crockpot, I could do that, but its a 15lb brisket, I think I would need 3-4 crock pots to keep it all ready.
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Take the day off from school. Make it easy on yourself.
Being that his location is Ft. Rucker. He may not have that option .

But that would be my vote also.
It will hold fine in your foil pan for 3 hours or so.  If your roomate is trustworthy, just have him turn the oven off when the therm reaches 185-190 and leave it in there until you can get home to deal with it.  I cooked a 16 lber last weekend.  I pulled it off the smoker at 191 degrees at 2am and wrapped in towels and stuck it in my oven (turned off) and the IT was still 151 when I got up at 6:30.
Have the roomy double wrap it in heavy foil, wrap it in a towel, put it in a dry ice chest, fill the rest of the ice chest with towels (or a pillow), close the lid. It will keep for up to 5+ hrs. no problem.
Have the roomy double wrap it in heavy foil, wrap it in a towel, put it in a dry ice chest, fill the rest of the ice chest with towels (or a pillow), close the lid. It will keep for up to 5+ hrs. no problem.
This is what I would do. I have kept things in a cooler for 6 hours with enough towels to fill all the voids in the cooler
This worked out pretty well.  It was a little bit drier than usual, but I cant pin it on that as meat quality tends to vary and I did try a little different technique.  All in all it turned out well and my guests were pleased.  Thanks for the help all.
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