"You've lost that smoookey flaaavor"

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Original poster
Dec 22, 2006
Danville, CA
My first time cooking the "whole" brisket rather than the trimmed "flat cut" was a bit disappointing. I found the meat to be fall-apart tender and delicious, but with ZERO smoke flavor. Mind you, after a long smoke and rest I trimmed away all the outer fat before I sliced. Was all the smoke flavoring on the outer layer of fat that I threw in the garbage?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I've never trimmed the fat from a big brisket, family & friends like it. I'd like to try to trim it up in hopes of getting more smoke to the meat. I've never "over" smoked a brisket. I can't help ya, sorry.

The only thing I can say is to become a Bronco fan, then everything will work better.

Go Broncos.............................next year.
msmith, I have an Old Smokey electric and used planty of wood (chips & chunks).

Big Al, based on your comments I think I should have pre-trimmed some of the outer layer of fat, then rubbed, smoked and sliced as-is, instead of trimming fat post smoke.

Can anyone confirm this method? Or any other insight would be helpful....

I cant help you there ive never used an electric smoker, but I like a lot of fat on my brisket and have not had that problem. Do you have a stack for the smoke to flow thru the cooker.or does it just hold smoke in. Im sure cheech could help you out.
No vent, completely sealed, holds smoke in. However, I have had smoke flavor before (much more) when I cooked already-trimmed briskets. This time I had zero smoke and I suspect it's because all the smoke ended up on the fat that I threw away. Or at least it sounds like the most logical reason.....
i never trim mine pre-smoke. i smoke it, slice it (pull the point) and trim the fat off my slices. my wife eats the fat. i don't, i can't eat fat. i choke on it trying to swallow fat- always have been that way. as i pull the point i remove the fat from it, and i chunk all fat in the trash. it tastes smoky to us. however i use a stick-burner.
Your smoker does not have a vent? I am not sure how that can be. Do you have a picture of your smoker? I am not sure if the fat thing is the issue by may play a little role in it.

I have not had that happen before.

What kind of wood did you use.

Are you sure that there was smoke created? If there is no vent how can you be sure that it is working?
Photos of my smoker (Old Smokey Electric) attached. Completely sealed off like a pressure cooker. I am thinking of putting a small wedge under the lid next time to let the smoke flow and let the smoker breathe. Cooking times will increase but that's fine because I have already complained on the forum about how incredibly fast my meat cooks. I get no stall at all....it just powers right on through in no time. Anyway, if the wedge works and I like the results maybe I will permanently install a butterfly vent in the lid.



Cheech thats what I thought also seems to me if the smoke cant roll that defets the purpose. Chargerpower did you leave the fat side down the whole cook if so then the fat soaked up all the smoke since you have no vent for it to flow. Someone correct me if Im wrong.
Oh, and I forgot to answer the rest of your question. I used water-soaked hickory chips and chunks. They rest on a metal pan just above the elctric heating element. Mind you, I have used this combo before and got a very smokey taste, so know knows why I missed this time. I did notice, however, that the wood does not burn all the way down, just appears a bit charred. What is the wood on an electric smoker supposed to look like post smoke? Completely burnt and ashey???
msmith, i went fat side up as i have seen better results this way. i think the sheer size of the meat (i have never cooked one nearly this large) and all the moisture from the non-vented atmosphere eats up the smoke to degree. i agree with you that i need it to flow. maybe a vent is in order. still, i plan to trim it down pre-smoke, because like harper, i am not into eating straight fat.
I guess what I am thinking is that in order for wood to burn you have to have oxygen and if this is completely sealed up you will not have enought oxygen to smoke the chips. There may have been enough moisture that helped to create a tighter seal and keep the aire out.

Just my initial thoughts
My impression is that not being the smaller cut, there was less smoke per sq in of this cut of meat, so a larger percentage of the meat ends up being just roast beef. The packer I think works well because it's somewhat thin and allows more smoke penetration per square inch. If that doesn't explain it, then I'd smoke another one and see if it comes out any different. If you don't like the next one, just send it to me. :-)
I'm with you Pyre!

I just can't stand the look or feel of fat on meat it grosses me out and makes me gag (even when I'm not eatting it!

I have seen several BBQ guys trim the fat on a brisket down to about a quarter of an inch thick and then smoke it fat side up. I recall one of them saying they trim the fat to that point so there is enough left to keep it moist while still being thin enough to allow smoke to penetrate the meat.

I hope this helps.
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