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bbq1980 07-08-2013 10:03 PM

Brisket and Pork Butt at same time. Any other suggestions?
I've got a standard, modified ECB (charcoal) that I broke in on Memorial Day with a successful cook involving some whole chickens and an 8 lb pork butt which were each cooked separately as I learned the ropes.

My wife's bday is this weekend and I'm gearing up for my second official cook. We're having people over. Show time is late Saturday PM. I'm planning on repeating the whole chickens along with a smaller, ~ 6 lb pork butt, but this time, I'm taking the plunge and adding a brisket to the mix.

Ordered a ~ 9 lb (i.e. smaller) packer from the butcher and it's my first brisket. I bypassed starting with a smaller flat due to the known issues (dryness, lack of fat, etc) in favor of the packer and I've gone over several threads, including the seminal brisket tutorial here:

So my plan is to give myself plenty of time and start the cook when I get home from work Friday night. I'd like to try and cook the brisket and butt together. From what I've read, I'll probably try the butt on top, fat cap up and the brisky on the bottom fat cap down, right above the water pan, with 250 as a cooking temp. No foiling, though I might get some butcher paper when I pick up the meat since the brisket might need it given the flat's lean-ness.

Hopefully the brisket fits on the 14.5" grate, or else I'll try the can method for support underneath.

I also only have one Maverick ET-732 so I'd probably put it in the brisket. Does anyone have other tips or suggestions? When doing multiple cuts, where do you put the one meat probe? Should I flip flop the brisky and butt? Which cut will finish first? How will cooking 2 things at once influence temps?

I'm sort of expecting the brisket to be average or below average, as its my first one and it seems like screwing up your first few is a right of passage, but if I can serve it or perhaps part of it and churn out another good butt, it'd be a moral victory. Gotta start somewhere...

Thanks for the help.

Astrobeerman 07-08-2013 10:50 PM

If you are going to start on Friday niight, I would do the butt and bisket seperate. I've done 2 briskets together and it took a while fo temps to rise. I just think doing them seperate will save you headaches (temps and air flow through vessel issues due to size of brisket, etc..)

Check to make sure your brisket fits on the 14.5 grate. Litterally lay the cryo pack on grate to simulate how much space it would take. Go from there.

To save time, you could go hot and fast on brisket.....350 or so. Its an all night cook, so its an experience everyone has sooner or later. With HnF, all temps are slightly higher than LnS temps. In other words if you wrap at 160, try wrapping at 170. Finishing temps will be in 200s, but remeember probe till its like butter. You will get the urge to pull, because of temps, but if it doesn't probe like butter, than its not ready.

Good luck, ask questions.....and pics are welcomed.

Astrobeerman 07-08-2013 10:57 PM

You could get creative and begin your brisket in smoker, than after 4 hours, wrap and finish off in oven. This frees up smoker for butt to begin.

A lot of ways you could go.

BBQPitt 07-08-2013 11:18 PM

I just did this last weekend, and I have to echo one sentiment. Airflow became an issue for me. I was using an offset smoker a bit on the small side.

I wound up moving the butt much further away and they ended up getting done almost simultaneously, and on time. I was relived to say the least.

You might want to "preheat" a bit and get the temp up a bit past where you want to be for the cook. That way when you put the meat on, the drop isn't so bad.

landarc 07-08-2013 11:51 PM

A 6 pound butt and a 9 pound packer should not be a problem on two racks. I think the overall setup of meat and racks makes sense. Heck, I have done same on my 18" kettle. Running at 250F, it will run through the night, I would bet 12 hours or more. I would put the probe into the fattest part of the flat, that is going to be the part that you need to monitor the most. That being said, internal temperature only matters as to when to start probing. If the butt has a bone in it, cook it until the bone wiggles freely. If no bone, then cook it until you can reach in and easily split the butt in half.

The brisket should be probed at 190F internal temperature, if it is really tight, let it run for an hour. Then probe again. Do this until it probes with the chosen device sliding in easily. An ice pick is the ideal profile for this job. Since you will be stacking, use a long skewer, that works just fine. And reduces the risk of dropping the butt as you try to probe the brisket.

Bludawg 07-09-2013 09:04 AM

I would cheat the brisket put it on let is go 6 hrs. pull it wrap it (Preferably in Butcher paper) and put it in the oven to finish. Do the same with your but & use foil on it. Cook both to probe tender(the only spot on that brisket that matters is th thickest part of the Flat, if it is probe tender the rest will be perfect). I recommend this because it will give you better odds of success especially cooking for a crowd, Hone your skills on your family not your friends.

mtbchip 07-09-2013 10:43 AM

YES, simple and delicious. Watch the temps and pull the brisket when done (usually 2/3 the time of the pork). Started cold cooker full of hardwood lump and smoke "vessel" full of pecan chips. This is obviously a pork shoulder/leg. I usually cook Boston Butts bone-in.

bbq1980 07-09-2013 10:54 AM

Thanks for all of the input. The issue about air flow sounds legit, especially with the brisket occupying the bottom shelf and I've read about the use of the oven since meat essentially stops absorbing smoke after ~ 3 - 4 hrs or a temp of ~ 150, and if I pop them in the oven, I'd get a steady 250 and can probably even catch a bit of sleep since I won't have the babysit the smoker.

Ideally, I'd do them both separate but timing is tight and I'd like to save the chickens till Saturday since I know I can bang those out in 2 - 3 hrs. My Memorial Day butt wound up needing around 16 hrs I hit the classic stall, then it hit a second obnoxious stall around 180 and I thought I'd never get up into the 190's but I resisted the urge to pull it and it turned out quite well. No foil, so decent bark and good smoke penetration. So this is why I'd like be sure and leave plenty of time, just in case.

I also thought about just doing the butt and chicken again, but the challenge of taking on a brisket and pleasing a crowd sounded appealing.

So it looks like I'll start in the smoker then switch to the oven. Pics to follow...

bbq1980 07-10-2013 10:55 PM

Okay, so the pre-cook feeling has begun.

I'm now thinking I might tweak the plan a bit and get the butt on at 6 PM Friday, give it 8 hours of smoke, and at 2 AM, pop the butt in the oven to finish and put on the brisket, giving the brisket a good 10 hrs until noon on Saturday, when I wrap up the cook with the chickens.

This way, I can catch the drippings from each piece of meat, I can avoid any airflow issues, and each piece of meat can get max smoke. Also, the 2nd cooking grate in the ECB is literally right on top of the water pan and I'd rather not have steamed meat. And I'm borrowing my father in law's cooler to rest the meat and I can get some butcher paper when I pick up the meet tomorrow, since I didn't foil my first butt but I may wrap the brisket.

How does this sound?

daninnewjersey 07-11-2013 02:48 AM


Originally Posted by bbq1980 (Post 2547200)
How does this sound?

Like an awesome way to spend part of the weekend. Go for won't know unless you try. That's the beauty of bbq...experiment...

JoeMal 07-11-2013 02:07 PM


Originally Posted by daninnewjersey (Post 2547302)
Like an awesome way to spend part of the weekend. Go for won't know unless you try. That's the beauty of bbq...experiment... and results are a must!:razz:

bbq1980 07-14-2013 04:11 PM

10 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by JoeMal (Post 2547867) and results are a must!:razz:

As requested, here are the pics and a recap. I'm curious about advice on the brisket. I thought it had a few flaws, but our guests devoured everything and I had several compliments on the brisket so I think it went better than expected.

What I wound up doing was starting the 6.5 lb pork butt at 7:30 PM Friday night, and I ran it at around the 250's until midnight or so to give it as much time exposed to smoke as possible before moving it to the oven and "cheating" a tad, though I hated to do it. I had prepped the night before and had the ECB locked and loaded minion-style with apple and cherry chunks mixed in with the Ozark Oak lump in my charcoal ring.

With the smaller packer weighing in at 9.75 lbs (I didn't do any trimming), I knew I had to give it plenty of time, so by 12:30, I had the brisket on, fat cap down. I also put the packer on the ECB grate while still in the packaging, just to get a feel for the spacing. I draped it over a can to make it fit and had it going in the 250's for the duration of the night. So relatively low and slow went the brisket until about 8:15 AM Saturday morning when I was at 243 degrees on the grate and 190 degrees in the flat.

From doing the necessary research beforehand, I went out to start to probe for the "butter" consistency. The point had it, but a part of the flat still had some resistance and it had nice color that was already rather dark, so I decided to wrap it in HD foil, then back into the ECB. When I opened the smoker up to probe the brisket, I used the opportunity to spray it down with some beef bouillon.

At 11 AM, I pulled the brisket when the probe slid in easy in multiple places. In retrospect, I might have waited a bit too long but I really didn't want to pull it early and have it be tough. So then, wrapped in foil, it went into the warmed, toweled cooler where the pork butt had been resting since 8:30.

At this point, the smoker was now free for the chickens (after I brined them for 5 hrs and let them dry until Saturday AM), so on they went to wrap up the cook. At one point, I was pulling the pork at 152 deg., I had the chickens on the smoker, and I had the brisket resting in the cooler playing musical meats.

I gave the brisket a long rest and carved it (against the grain, of course) around 3:30 PM Saturday. I liked the smoke ring, and I liked that I was able to cut some nice slices and that the slices were fork tender. It was a tiny bit dry and the bark was extremely dark, almost charred, despite the fact that I had it wrapped for the last few hours of cooking, fat side down, and with a rub with less sugar compared to what I use for butts. The meat color was also a tad on the pale side I thought but I think I'm a harsher critic than any of the folks who showed up.

In hindsight though, I'm glad I went with the packer over a flat, a choice I wrestled with extensively. For my next brisket, I think I might upgrade my meat injector (have a cheapo plastic one) so I can inject some moisture, and I might try and find some butcher paper for wrapping. Sam's had some but I sort of scoffed at buying 1,000 ft of the stuff and my butcher was nice enough to give me some for free, since I asked, but it had some sort of waxy coating on one side so I didn't use it.

It was a bit of learning experience separating the flat from the point and I've got the very tender, chunked up point in the fridge in the garage. The flat was devoured by out guests. We had nearly 40 people come by, between the start of the party and when the last guests left, and while we had some burgers and hot dogs at the ready, I never had to fire a single one, so that was awesome. Everyone went to town on the Q.

So there you have it. I think that covers most of the how the cook went. Thanks for the help. Suggestions on the brisky are appreciated. Hopefully this helps others take the brisket plunge for the first time.

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