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Unread 05-18-2009, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default Cooking a brisket

I am new at using a smoker and have a lot to learn. When I hear others talk about smoking a brisket, I hear "low and slow" and "18 hours" etc. However, 18 hours seems like a LONG time for some briskets. How do you know when to take the meat off the smoker? I put a 6.5 pounder on the offset about midnight (225-250 degrees) and (thinking longer is better) took it off at 3 P.M. and it was too well done. Good burnt ends, though...

Please advise...

Thanks in advance!

Dan
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Unread 05-18-2009, 05:23 PM   #2
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Your probably mistaking that its too done for not done enough.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineMaster;[URL="javascript:void(0)"
927848[/URL]]Your probably mistaking that its too done for not done enough.
Really? I never thought of that! The meat was tasty, but I didn't have any sauce on it, so it was a touch on the dry side.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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when people are talking about a 18 hour smoke it is usually with a whole brisket, thats flat and point attached, usually about 12-14lbs, and will take a good 16-20 hrs to smoke, a 6lb flat should be done in about 9-11 hrs depending on the temp of the smoker.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 05:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by early mornin' smokin';[URL="javascript:void(0)"
927854[/URL]]when people are talking about a 18 hour smoke it is usually with a whole brisket, thats flat and point attached, usually about 12-14lbs, and will take a good 16-20 hrs to smoke, a 6lb flat should be done in about 9-11 hrs depending on the temp of the smoker.
aha...thanks a lot. I did find a good looking recipe for "Brisket Chili" in the recipe section, so I think I'll try that with the left overs.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 05:49 PM   #6
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Yup! Flats will be done much sooner. In part, that is why I've never cooked a flat.

A packer trim brisket, with a "nose", and with a nice fat cap is the way to go, IMHO. Cook that low and slow, with the fat cap "up" is the conventional wisdom. However, some of the brethren have been "speed cooking" briskets.

Smoking the brisket for a good 17-22 hours has given me great results, with the fat rendering off and basting the meat on the way down, turning it into a truly glorious tender state. And the nose? WOW! I find myself picking bark off that part of the brisket before anyone else gets to it, under the "cook's privilege" rule.

Also, flats tend to be a bit more dry, again, because there is not much by way of basting going on: Most flats have much of the fat cap trimmed off.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 07:00 PM   #7
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only thing i would do different is cook with the fat side down, it protects all that meat from the direct heat.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 07:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineMaster View Post
Your probably mistaking that its too done for not done enough.
He cooked a 6.5 pounder for 15 hours at 225-250.

I do not think it was not cooked enough.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 09:28 PM   #9
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Time means nothing. Its the internal temperature that matters. What was the temp when you pulled it.
Pics help.

You can cook a flat in 8-10 hours depending on its thickness and temp.

What kind of cooker are you using? Is this grate temp you speak of?
More info please!
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Unread 05-18-2009, 09:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G$ View Post
He cooked a 6.5 pounder for 15 hours at 225-250.

I do not think it was not cooked enough.
I'm guessing the comment that they were good for "burnt ends" was pretty spot on!
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Unread 05-18-2009, 09:36 PM   #11
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I never cook a whole for that long, but I usually run my heat a little high around 270-280
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Unread 05-18-2009, 10:59 PM   #12
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I cooked 14 packer briskets today for less than 8 hours at around 260. Most were only around 190 when taken off (they're in the walk-in cooler to slice tomorrow, add some juices and heat in the oven for a luncheon. Weird stuff that a smoker full of packers was nearly done in less than 8 hours. It just depends on the meat too. These were select grade (not MY choice to order!) so maybe that had something to do with it. Get a feel for what's "done" by pushing on your brisket. Also, slide a probe it... when there's no resistance, it's done. Takes practice.
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Unread 05-18-2009, 11:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineMaster View Post
Your probably mistaking that its too done for not done enough.
this is probly the issue low and slow means 200 to 250 for as long as it takes to get to 185 to 190 depends on how you like it dont worry about time worry about temp of cooker first and internal of meat second and sit back and wait for the 185 to 190 even if it seems like its to long and it (looks ) done you will be fine we all did this post pics and have fun brother:icon_devi l
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Unread 05-18-2009, 11:56 PM   #14
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agree with the ones that said for a 6 pound flat that was in there way too long.

check the brisket howto in the roadmap a weath of information. internal temp if you are paranoid like me, or sliding a probe in and it should be like going through warm butter, are the ways to tell if it's done. Though I've known people that can touch the outside and tell.

the very loose time guesstimate on low and slow for a brisket is like 1-1.5 hours per pound. But it is always trumped by your doneness checks.
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Unread 05-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoqualmiesmoker;[URL="javascript:void(0)"
928021[/URL]]Time means nothing. Its the internal temperature that matters. What was the temp when you pulled it.
Pics help.

You can cook a flat in 8-10 hours depending on its thickness and temp.

What kind of cooker are you using? Is this grate temp you speak of?
More info please!
The internal temp when I pulled it was 159-160. I was using a Brinkman SnP. I am judging the temp by the thermometer in the lid.

I ended up chopping it up and making some pretty awesome nachos out of it...so, not a total loss.

I still welcome any and all comments...

Dan
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