To split or not to split...that is the question!

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2007
Waukee, IA
I have a 10.5 lb. brisket to smoke for our family christmas this weekend and was wondering if it is ok to cut the brisket in half or if I should just figure on cooking the whole thing all night. I figure it will be about a 15 hour smoke??   I have a masterbuilt electric smoker which works very well so I am not worried about keeping temp. right overnight.  Just didn't know if I would get more tender meat by using 2 smaller pieces.

Any suggestions appreciated!!! 
Hey porkpuller, Glad to meet you. If it were me I would smoke it whole, it would be very tender and juicy if you foil at165º and pull at 190º and let rest for 1-2hrs. just my 2¢, hope this helps and don't forget the Q-View!
Raptor700 is right on;  I never separate and always get great results.  Could easily be done either way -- just personal preference (and sometimes dictated by smoker model/space.
Thats the way I was leaning towards....keep it whole and smoke away.  Am I right to assume it WILL take about 15 hours at around 240-250??   Or would you suggest a slightly lower temp?
225* would be closer to 15 hours. Most of my packers have run 18-20 hours in the 16lb range.

I would suggest no injection, and 225* for a good long stall to melt away the connective tissues to get good tender slice. Without injection, you don't have to worry about getting through the internal temp of 40-140* in 4 hrs. I try to foil @ 170*, 180* if I have more time...take to 185-190* and probe the flat for tenderness, 200*+ for pulled, warp in towels and rest at least 3 hours for a 10lbr.

If you want pulled beef from the point, separate the packer either pre-smoke or post smoke just prior to foiling after flat reaches finished slicing temps. Foil both cuts, return point to smoker/oven at 225* (while flat is resting in towel wrap) and take to 205* before towel wrap/resting.

Figure on 17-18 hours from start of smoke to slicing if taking the full packer to slicing temps, and longer for pulling temps of course. This will all be dependent on actual chamber/grate temps of your smoker (make sure it runs at what you set it to with a probe thermo, as some electrics can't pull much over 200-210* if it's cold weather).

I've separated the point/flat cuts (pre-smoke) and trimmed pretty lean if I want a good smoke reaction on both sides of both cuts, and there's still plenty of natural moisture with a water pan in the smoker.

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