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jefflouella 07-02-2010 09:29 AM

Trimmed Brisket
Tomorrow will be my first time smoking Brisket. I called the butcher down the street and ordered me a nice cut. But when I picked it up, brought it home, and unwrapped it to examine it, the fat cap was trimmed off. Since it was my first time ordering a brisket, I didn't know I had to ask to not have the cap trimmed off (rookie mistake). Anyway, I now have a 6.5lb fat cap trimmed brisket to smoke tomorrow for a party. What are some things I could do to insure I don't dry it out and keep it juicy.

Some ideas I have (which are probably misguided) are:
  • Spray mop it more often
  • Lay bacon on top of it
  • Use Butter injections
  • Only smoke for a couple hours before wrapping.

Am I off base? Are some better than others? Do I just go about it the same way?

Thanks in advance for any help.

boogiesnap 07-02-2010 11:22 AM

this might work for what you have:
cover the top with bacon.
cook at high heat maybe 325 until internal is @ 170.
foil and cook till probe tender poking from the top.
total time should be @ 4 hours max.
the less time in the might help the meat stay more moiste without the fatcap heat "buffer"
i have cooked the last few high heat and they are fork tender and flavorfull.
hope that helps.
btw, do not mop more often. you'll be messing with the heat/humidity inside the cooker and most likely will dry out the meat.

jefflouella 07-02-2010 12:35 PM

Thanks Boogiesnap,

I have a Charbroil H20 Smoker and getting the temp up to 325F is quite difficult (maybe impossible. I can maintain 225F-235F pretty good, but have trouble getting it over 250F. I bought the smoker for $5 at a flea market as a beginner smoker. I did some modifications, but that was be able to lift the unit off the charcoal so i can for with the heat and not have to take it apart.

Do you think it would be fine to place it on the smoker at 225F until the internal temp is like 165ish, then foil until it hits my temp? When I foil, if it a good ideas to add some sort of mop in the foil?

landarc 07-02-2010 12:44 PM

Many of the guys here trim pretty hard on the brisket before putting it on the cooker, a few remove the fat cap completely. It sounds like you have a fully trimmed flat to me. This is going to be a dryer part of the brisket, but, it does not require special handling with bacon or mopping. I will say, I have had problems doing hot-n-fast brisket flats, but, go for it if you can.

I would rub it up, inject (apple juice or beef broth, not butter) if that is your thing. Place on smoker at 235F if that is what you can get it to and let it run, no need to foil. You just want to make sure you pull it at the point that a probe (metal skewer, ice pick...) goes in very easily with little to no resistance. This will be somewhere around 195F up to 205F. A flat can dry fast once it comes out of stall.

boogiesnap 07-02-2010 01:02 PM

i didn't think it was just a flat, but a small packer.
i've had trouble myself with just the flat too.
go with what landarc said, he knows waaaaay more than i do. and that's gonna be a fact!

SmokeJumper 07-02-2010 01:07 PM

Flats can be tricky to nail and with fat-off even harder. I usually try to avoid wrapping but in this case it might be the safer choice. Lower cooking temps would be good - below 250F if possible You might pull at 180F or so and wrap in foil with your favorite basting liquid.
What kind of cooker are you using? Regardless, I recommend keeping the lid closed on your cooker through the cook if possible to keep temperatures and moisture up.

jefflouella 07-02-2010 02:12 PM


I have a Charbroil H2O Smoker. I modified it slightly. I moved the legs to the outside and put the charcoal pan on some brick. This way I can remove the smoker from the heat and tend the fire if needed. Normally I couldn't do this.

This is my first brisket, but from what I can tell it is the Flat and the Point, but just has the fat cap trimmed off. Next time I know to get it with cap on. I ordered it from a local butcher and told him I was smoking it this weekend. I just figured it came on. I am sure it will be good, but I have some company coming over and I wanted it to be great.

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