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Oldhoss 09-25-2013 11:09 AM

Need Some Advice On First Brisket Cook
Been smoking meat for about 15 months now and never done a briket. It is my 47th birthday tommorrow and I am celebrating with my first brisket attempt. I got a 10 and a half pound Angus brisket that the fella said was 25 days aged:

There is about 1/3rd of an inch of fat on the top. I am thinking of not trimming the top at all. The bottom looks like this:

That fat chunk on the leading edge is pretty hard and I am wondering if I should trim it or not? The butcher said to leave it but alot of the youtube walkthroughs trim this down significantly.

I am planning to begin cooking in the morning first thing. I was going to make a rub with 1/3 fine salt, 1/3 fine pepper, 1/6 oinion powder and 1/6 garlic powder and apply to the brisket tonight before going to bed. I am thinking of adding a few tbsp of worshtershire sauce to the brisket before rubbing. The rub will be on lighter side I was thinking.

I am planning on removing the meat from the fridge an hour before cooking. Gonna use the Kettle and start off with water in the smokenator pan and a temp of about 220f for 2-3 hours then ramp it up to 275f with the water removed after an hour or so to promote bark formation. Not sure how long the cook will last but I want to feed guests at about 6.30pm. Thinking of having the food on the grill by 8am. Should I be starting earlier? I was going to foil it near the end of the cook....when I do this I am not sure yet. I have read often about the feel of the meat when it is done and to look for carmelization of tat on the exterior of the brisket rather than at internal temperature being reached so I will be keeping that in mind. When it is done I will foil and let rest for about an hour.

Gonna use some white oak to smoke with.....I have mesquite, cherry and hickory on hand as well.

Should anyone have some words of wisdom for me I'd sure appreciate it.

peeps 09-25-2013 11:15 AM

Assume you mean 8am meat on the grill.

Better to start early and rest/wrap for longer than to have folks waiting and not get a proper rest. 8am sounds like you might be cutting it close, IMO.

Foil or BP when you get the color you want and pull from the heat when it probes tender at the thickest part of the flat.

Porcine Perfection 09-25-2013 11:17 AM

Happy Birthday!

Take your time and have fun. Looks like a good plan to me. You may want to get some other food for your guests in case it is not done at exactly 6:30. Pulling it off early would be a mistake. You just need to be patient until it is probe tender. Resting is also important. You can keep it in foil and wrapped in a cooler if need be so I would give myself plenty of time.

Ron_L 09-25-2013 11:18 AM

For competitions I trim that hard fat and also trim the fat cap on the back side only in the point area to get more surface area for rub on the point. You don't have to do any of that, but the fat will just end up in the drip pan.

As far as cook time, with the temp plan that you mentioned I'm guessing that you will be looking at 75 minute per pound, so around 12.5 hours. You also want the brisket to rest in a dry cooler or something similar for a couple of hours. This lets the juices recirculate.

So that's about a 15 hours cook and hold time. If I did my math right that would mean starting the fir at about 2AM and getting the brisket on at around 3:00 - 3:30AM.

As I'm sure you have read, the brisket will be done when it is done. The two hour rest time also acts as a buffer in case it takes longer. If it's done earlier then you jusr let it rest longer. Cook it until the thickest part of the flat is probe tender. The point will take care of itself.

scp 09-25-2013 11:43 AM

I am a fairly newbie...only done 5-6 packers but nailed the last two.

I think you are spot on for your rub.

My method....trim all the hard fat and a little of the soft fat as needed...rub...smoker temp in the 300-350 range...fat side down...when internal temps reach 165ish remove point rerub point wiith a spicier/sweeter rub for burnt ends.....put point back on.... foil the flat....back on smoker....start probing @ 195 IT...don't pull until probes like butter... last two didn't probe tender until 209-213. Then in to cooler for a couple of hours. Burnt ends can go until you have the look and feel you like. Can't mess them up.

I think on my earlier ones..I was pulling too early and they were drier and tougher. I thought I was overcooking...not the case.

Oldhoss 09-25-2013 11:47 AM

I was thinking about an 8am start and going with a low temp to start with in the humid environment for good smoke penetration. It sound like I should start with a higher temp if I want any sleep tonight. Does a start temp of 275f sound good? If I do ramp it up after 4 or 5 hours it would be to 300f only....good idea or bad idea?

Also I was wondering about the timing of applying the rub...should I do it tonight or an hour or so before it goes on the grill?

Thanks guys.

peeps 09-25-2013 11:57 AM

Do the rub while the coals are getting hot.

Ron_L 09-25-2013 12:01 PM

I like to put the rub on about 4 hours before cooking to give the rub a chance to rehydrate.

If you cook at 275 you should plan on 60 minutes per pound, plus the rest, so a 12 hour cook plus hold. If you cook at 300 that will drop to about 45 minutes per pound.

sliding_billy 09-25-2013 12:19 PM

There is no need IMO to start at one temp and ramp up unless you are just doing that after wrapping to speed up the cook. I would just run the whole thing at 300 if you want to start it in the morning instead of the middle of the night.

SmittyJonz 09-25-2013 01:13 PM

Cut all the Hard Fat off and leave the softer fat.

when to rub depends on the Rub Id say -- some Rubs do well in an hr or two and some seem to work better 4-6 hrs upto over nite - I trim and apply Rub the nite before cuz I ain't a morning person so all I gotta do fire up the Smoker next day.

JimboLD 09-25-2013 01:43 PM


I see you are in London - just curious - where did you get your Brisket?

aawa 09-25-2013 01:56 PM

Definitely trim the hard fat off the packer. Also trim up some of the fat layer that separates the point from the flat. Aaron Franklin has a good video on Youtube on a channel called BBQ with Franklin. It will take you through how to pick out a brisket, trim a brisket, and cut a brisket.

There is nothing wrong with cooking at 275 to cut your cook times down. There is also nothing wrong with ramping up the temperature towards the end to reduce cook times.

My personal preference for doing briskets.
Trim fat cap of hard fat and about 1/4in thick around.
Rub with 1 part kosher salt, 1 part course ground pepper, 1/4 part garlic powder (by volume)
Throw in uds or kettle running at 300-325 fat cap down.
At 4ish hours check for color, if it is at the color you want wrap in foil or butcher paper. If not at the color you want let it keep riding.
At the 5 hour mark start probing the thickest part of the flat for tenderness
If not tender, check every 20-30mins until it probes tender.
Pull off smoker, vent heat off for 20mins, then wrap tight again and place in an oven (that is off) for 2 hours
Slice and enjoy.

I prefer my brisket with pecan wood, but oak is good on it as well. Oak and Cherry mixed together on brisket is very dericious as well. I woudn't smoke with mesquite, as it is very aggressive. I use mesquite to throw onto the coals when I'm grilling burgers/steaks etc.

---k--- 09-25-2013 04:54 PM

I would check out Bigabyte's Brisket Tutorial found in the roadmap thread. It is an excellent step-by-step primer. Then from there check out the posts by Pitmaster T in the roadmap.

Bludawg 09-25-2013 05:02 PM


BluDawgs Brisket

K.I S.S. some of the best brisket you will ever eat! Total cook time including the rest 8 hrs or less. I promise it will be as moist as mornin dew on the lilly, tender as a mothers love, pure beefy smoky goodness.

1 packer 12-15 lb
Trim off the hard fat on each side of the flat thin the fat cap to 1/4"

Mix your Rub
1 part kosher salt 4 parts Med grind Black peppa by volume( this is a true 50/50 BY weight)
apply a coat of rub you need to be able to see the meat through the rub clearly.

Pre heat the pit to 300 deg
place brisket on the pit Fat Cap Down and point to the firebox unless it is a RF cooker then point to away from FB

Maintain pit between 275-325 if cookin on a stick burner
cook Brisket 4 hrs
remove from pit wrap in a single layer of Butcher paper Return to pit Fat cap up.
after 1 hr probe the thicket part of the Flat only! If it isn't *probe tender it will be within 1 hr.
once it is probe tender remove from the pit keep it wrapped in the paper you cooked it in and allow it to rest on your counter until the Internal temp reaches 150 this will take about two hrs.
Don't ever slice more than you can eat big pieces retain moisture and won't dry up on you like slices will.

*PROBE TENDER>This is the feel that is mimicked by cutting room temperature butter with a hot knife, there should be no drag

Oldhoss 09-25-2013 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by JimboLD (Post 2637037)

I see you are in London - just curious - where did you get your Brisket?

Picked it up at Laziz Meats:

The fella does some amazing dry aged steaks as well.


Originally Posted by aawa (Post 2637046)
Oak and Cherry mixed together on brisket is very dericious as well

I have mixed Cherry with Hickory plenty and love it. The Oak is new to me and I have used it only twice but I am gonna follow your advice and mix the Oak with some Cherry.

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