Originally Posted by hominamad
Ok so it seems like one of the main skill is knowing where the small window is where it's the right time to pull it. I also know you're not supposed to open and check often because you lose heat, etc. So, at one temperature do you start checking it, and how often should you check? Not too often I imagine or you lose a lot of heat each time.
Also, has anyone here used a pellet smoker to cook a brisket? Or a gas? I know the restaurants in NYC where I've had those amazing brisket experiences use gas as a heat source - so I know it's possible to make good brisket this way.
As a rule of thumb,use a formula of 1.5 hours per pound to put you in the ballpark for a cook. This is not to be followed "in stone" but it will give you an idea of how long to expect your cook to take. For example, an 11 pound brisket, x 1.5= 16.5 hours. BUT, it may finish sooner than that. This was my estimated time for my brisket last Saturday, but it finished in 12.5 hours, so you see how it is not to be followed religiously. The only way you are going to cook good, Knock your socks off, Aaron Franklin, 25 dollars a pound brisket is by cooking a brisket every weekend. The weather changes every day, and so do your variables for smoking a brisket, and the only way you will learn is by doing it. And doing it on a smoker you have gotten very familiar with.You need to know every little nuance of your smoker, inside and out. There is no other way. Practice, practice,practice, there is no "Pill" you can take.
Here in Texas, we only smoke with Wood. Real wood fires give a brisket (and BBQ) the best taste, in my opinion. As far as meat goes, I only smoke Prime briskets from two different butcher shops. Prime is only $3.19 a pound and has nice marbling throughout.
Good luck in your quest. You will get there.