Smoked Brisket

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Original poster
Nov 13, 2010
I've been reading a lot of threads about Brisket and I can't wait to do mine Christmas Eve.But I have one question how long do you give it the smoke.Half the cooking time? More,Less?And what kind of wood do you prefer.

Thanks, Larry
I foil mine around the 165 mark so I would say the meat is roughly in the smoke for half of the cooking time. Foiling is a personal preference. Some do some don't and both ways work and come out great its just what you prefer. I like to use cherry, apple & hickory but anything will work.
Since brisket is a looong smoke I would suggest approx 6 hrs. of off and on smoke. Not sure what type of smoker you got, but in my charcoal fueled one I start with approx 7 or 8 chunks (baseball sized) and those run about 3-4 hrs. Then I add another 3 chunks per hr. for the next 2 or 3 hrs.

I like to use a mix of hickory and mesquite, more hickory than mesquite since mesquite is the stronger flavor. Also please note I am cooking a full 13-15 lb. packer when I smoke brisket, if you are doing a small flat, then use less flavor wood or you will oversmoke it.
I agree with RB I foil at 165 also and I use either cherry, pecan, or hickory. Personally I find apple a little to light a flavor for beef but that is just my tastes and others tastes differ
I think that the amount of actual smoking time is an individual preference and it also depends on the type of wood you are using to smoke with. Fruit woods such as apple or cherry impart a lighter flavor to the beef where hickory or mesquite are stronger and heavier. That being said this is what I do and I have had good success with it.

I use a combination of apple and hickory at about 50/50 and let it smoke for about 2 hours. After that I do not add any more wood. I like to keep the smoker closed as much as possible and I only open it again to check on the water in the pan. The briskets that I have done have come out very flavorful with a good smokey note to them. I do foil at around 165 to 175 and let it go until the internal temp reaches 200. Of course, once you foil there is no need for smoke since it won't get to the meat anyway. I have also heard that once the bark has formed then more smoke is also a waste because it cannot penetrate the bark.

I would not go for more than half the cooking time. After you have done your first brisket, then you can decide if you would like to go with more or less smoke. The tail is in the tasting.

Good luck and don't forget to post us some qview!

Merry Christmas

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 (NIV)
Bark really has nothing to do w/ smoke absorbtion . As long as the meat is there and the smoke is there you are adding smoke flavor to the meat.

 I use pecan and a little misquete for beef.
I use hickory then alternate white oak and mesquite for brisket. I run smoke until the meat hits 165; panning at 4 hours. Start testing the meat for tenderness at 180-190. Once tender pull and foil for rest before slicing. Don't forget to notch your brisket as it will make slicing easier.
Cashlow, I cook my brisket with only S/CBP at 200*F to 225*F for 1,5hrs. per pound.No wrap no Injection and no peeking.Set your temp. and let it go,don't look as you lose cook time.The meat will pick-up the smoke until it is 160*F to 180*F,but for good bark,leave it in the smoker for all but an hour of getting done.Then do the toothpick thing. It will remain moist,as oppose to what a lot say,and do not wrap in foul, as that is only steaming tje meat-there is a big difference in a fully cooked brisket and a steamed one.

Now, the only real secret is "PATIENCE"-do not look,keep the pressure and heat in the cooker.That will be your best Brisket EVER.

Hope you have a good time and remember, 

Now a brisket is a really good smoke and believe me you will like it. Now you have gotten some really good advice form all of theses folks. So enjoy your smoke and remember
I too am a 165˚ foiler.

Hickory & Cherry for my briskets---either one or a combination.

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