Smoking my first brisket tomorrow and I wanted some suggestions on prepping it from the experts!!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by uga dawg smoker, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Should I marinate or inject? and with what? Give me some good suggestons..Same for the rub..I'm hoping for some tasty suggestions..

    So far my homework tells me to plan on at least 1.5 hours/lb and to keep the temp between 200-225.  I've also read to pull it when it reaches 200 internal temp.  Should I wrap it in foil and continue smoking after 3 to 4 hours of smoke? I use a propane smoker with a water pan so hopefully that will keep it moist.  Having said this, should I still wrap in foil?

    Im also up for suggestions on what you guys like to serve with brisket.  Should I keep a pan below the brisket to collect the juices? I've read to KEEP this for dipping the meat in later.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    #1   First of all, let's mention the fact that once you inject or insert a meat probe into a hunk of meat, you will have to get it through the Danger Zone (40˚ to 140˚) in no longer than 4 hours.

    #2   If you just marinate it or rub it, you can put it in the smoker at a minimum of 225˚, and after 2 or 3 hours, you can safely stick your probe in it (after sterilizing it) to keep tabs on the internal meat temp through the rest of the smoke.

    #3   Don't go by time---Go by internal Temp. Most of us will recommend foiling it at about 165˚ (with a little bit of some kind of juice maybe?), and pulling it at 195˚ for slicing, and 205˚ for pulling. After you pull it, many of us like to keep it in the foil, and wrap it in towels, and put it in a dry cooler or microwave for one, two, or more hours. 

    You can marinate it, but most recommend a mustard or Worcestershire sauce coating, with your favorite rub on top of that.

    That's just a start. I'm sure you'll get lots of help.

  3. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If this is your first brisky, I would suggest keeping it as simple as possible and take some notes.

    1. Just use a little kosher or sea salt with some black pepper for the rub. This way you can see what the smoke and fat does to the meat for flavor.

    2. Don't marinade or inject. Either of these can drastically affect the outcome of the meat and then you won't have anywhere to start for improvement.

    3. The smoker needs to stay at a fairly stable temp, the lower the better, down to no less than 220.

    4. Don't probe, poke, test, cut, or even look at the meat for the first 4 or so hours depending on the size and cut of the brisket. If you have a large packer that is bigger than 8 pounds, then you can leave it alone for at least 8 hours.

    5. If smoking a packer, trim the hard fat (kernel or corn) from the point and leave the rest. This will give you an idea of what to trim next time.

    6. Score the fat on the flat in a diamond pattern and smoke it flat side up.

    7. LEAVE THE SMOKER CLOSED. Briskets are like caterpillars. Leave them alone and they come out beautifully transformed.

    8. You can test for doneness by temp of 200-205 or by inserting a toothpick into the flat. If a toothpick goes in with very little resistance, then it is done.

    9 Wrap the flat it in a few layers of foil and then in a big towel. You can put it in a room temp cooler if you want, but a towell will work by itself.

    10. Let it rest for at least one half hour.

    11. Meanwhile, chop the point up into small, 3/4 -1" cubes, re-season and sauce them in a pan and put them back in the smoker. Let them continue to smoke until they get a little "burnt" and enjoy.

    12. Slice the flat thinly ACROSS the grain and serve with the juices that were in the foil..

    13. Post up the pics.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Both of these guys have excellent recommendations. I do them like Bear, 165 then foil to 205, in cooler for 3 or 4 hours, then slice. I remove most of the fat & silver skin off both sides, then I like to coat with mustard & rub with a little br. sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, CBP, & McCormicks steak seasoning, then inject with beef broth, onion powder, garlic powder, wrap in saran wrap & put in the fridge overnite. During the smoke I like to spritz with a mixture of apple juice & worsty every 45 min. or so. 2 to 1 is a good start. But even if you want to make it real simple & just smoke it naked remember smoke it until at least 200 - 205 degrees internal, keep the temp low (225) & it will be tender & juicy. Good luck & let us know how it turns out w/ Q-view.
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All good advice, but like Pit4Brains said, being your first brisket, keep the rub simple for this first one. Salt, pepper, garlic powder is the holy trinity for beef - go a little heavier on the pepper.

    Don't be shy about rubbing the seasonings into the meat, it is a BIG chunk of meat and your are only seasoning the outside, so go big! If there is a specific meal you are trying to have this done in time for a vague rule of thumb is 1.5 hrs. per. lb., plus 1-2 hrs. rest time, plus 2 hrs. of exrta cook time incase you get a bad stall. That being said some briskets cook faster than others it really varies with each piece of meat. That is where the cooler is your friend. If you finish up early just wrap the brisket in two layers of heavy duty foil, then an old towel, then place it in a towel lined cooler and fill the rest of the cooler with towels. It can hold in that cooler for 6+ hrs. and still be almost to hot to handle with bare hands.

    Main thing is DO NOT try to rush a brisket. If the internal temp is at 185° and you have dinner guests waiting...... order pizza. [​IMG]  Pulling a brisket early or not resting it sufficiently will turn out a tastey piece of shoe leather.
  6. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ohhh yeah, one more thing..

    If I were you I wouldn't invite everybody you know to a brisket dinner on this one. Like JR said, you may be ordering pizza. Keep this one as a learning experience... I'll say this again, take notes of everything you do, times, temps, weather, etc..
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  7. I know it a little late to jump into this post but I thought I'd mention my first brisket I did last weekend was almost 2 hours per pound on the time.
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    These guys have you covered as far as the cooking and as alelover mentioned I usually figure 2 hours per lb when when I am figuring out my time line as I don't want people waiting around because the meat isn't done. I would rather have it done early then throw it in my cooler for several hours to rest until its time to eat. Each piece of meat will cook how it wants to so you have to go by internal temp rather than time like bearcarver mentioned above.
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    The one thing that I haven't heard anyone say yet is the brisket will cook in it's own time. So you need to make sure that you allow enough time for the stall which may and may not happen. You can always leave it in the cooler for many hours. Then you will have plenty of time for some good Q-view too. 

Share This Page