Cooking Time for Brisket
I saw a good recipe in the recipe section for beef brisket. This is my first smoke with a new Bandera and want to try a brisket. I have a good idea for the cook time from the recipe (1-11/2 hours per pound). Any suggestions??
The Bream Meister,
This is just my opinion and I don't know much, BUT.
Cooking time is just an ESTIMATE. Cooking time means nothing. It's the internal temp of the meat that means it's done.
If you smoke it at 225, it takes a certain amount of time. If you smoke it at 300, it takes much less time.
Take a Brisket to an internal temp of about 195. Let it rest an hour and it will slice like butta.
A brisket is going to tax you if this is your first cook! For a long cook you'll absolutely NEED to have figured out fire control and it can be a bastage. You'll also have to have your fire grate raised because the amount of ash you'll produce while cooking a brisket will choke out the fire if your grate is too low. And trying to clean out excessive ash while the fire is still going is...fun. BTW - do you have a steel ash bucket yet? ;)
Buy lots of wood! The 'Dera can be a bit of a fuel hog, even if you've mastered fire control. It will be worse if you can't keep the temps even.
If you aren't baffled up yet - and I'm sorry, I'm just assuming you haven't had time to make all the mods yet! - you'll have a real hot spot all along the right side of the smoke chamber and it can crisp a piece of meat that takes HALF as long to cook as a brisket does.
You'll need to have a way to keep the meat moist. I don't know if you're a sand- or water-in-the-water-pan guy, but you should spray or mop some sort of liquid on the meat at regular intervals. Keep the door closed as much as possible, but the beef will dry out on you if your temperatures are too high (I cook at 220° - 225°).
Others will chime in, of course, but that's what I recommend if you're set on cooking a brisket as your inaugural cook. What I REALLY recommend is that you learn the 'Dera by cooking something a little more forgiving, like pork spares or a loin! Anything that takes less time to cook at this stage of your training might be better.
And don't forget to throw on some fatties at different spots on different racks. You'll spot your hot/cold spots easily with something cooking everywhere!
Give me a call if you need to. I'll PM you with my number.
 If anyone else has something to say that I said wrong - don't hold back! We're all learning all the time. <wink>
Help out, you farkers!!
Just a coupla point for ya.
What kickass said. Predicting time requires a PhD in chaos theory. There are many variables. Weather, total mass of brisket, fuel characteristics, quantity of brewski's consumed, etc. So plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time. Like say 16 hours of relatively sober attention.
After yur done, and its coolered and the fire is secure, then you'll know what to expect. Then you hand the coolered meat to some one else to serve. You've done your share.
I cook mine at 220 degrees for no less than 18 hrs, with the mods I have done to my smoke-n-pit and using charcoal I can hold that temp for 5 to 6 hrs at a time. It always seems to turn out juicey and tender.
Thanks for all the suggestions...sounds like I'll probably try something easy the first time/ By the way this is a great site with great suggestions!
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