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Old 02-14-2018, 08:42 AM   #1
bonz50
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Default Brisket size question for the BBT (Brethren Brain Trust)

didn't want to hijack another thread, so.... I've got some opportunities to get some choice briskets at what I believe is a really good price for my area ($3.49/lb). my question is regarding the size, could I fit a typical ~12lb brisket on my 18.5" WSM?? I've never measured and I'm not gonna buy one without knowing. is it bad practice to buy, cut in half and cook separate?? I want to learn brisket before I get a bigger stick burner
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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A 12 pounder might hang over on the 18.5 WSM, but that's not a problem. Use a "prop" to rest it on the grate. Like an empty/no label can. Draping it over like that will typically make it fit. As the meat shrinks up some, you can end up taking out the can.

Yes, it is bad practice to cut the brisket in half pre-cook. Well, at least it is sub-optimal.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:50 AM   #3
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so, take a beer can and slide it under the each end? or in the middle?? poke some holes in the can to allow smoke penetration?
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:05 AM   #4
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I say the middle. If the flat is really thin, don't be afraid to trim a little bit off. It will just dry out and take up space in your WSM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:15 AM   #5
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what to do with the trimmed portion (if I have to)??
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
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what to do with the trimmed portion (if I have to)??
Experiment with it. Smoke it and turn it into something. Maybe pull it off early and chop it up for future chili. Or dice it and make burnt ends.

Yeah, that can goes in the middle. Poking holes is not a bad idea.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:04 AM   #7
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the weight does not always tell the story. it could be long and skinny or short and fat....just like a lot of us. another vote for trimming off the skinny end to cook as a snack or make ground burger.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:25 AM   #8
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I have used a rib/roast rack on my large BGE (18" grid) before when cooking 14lb+ briskets. If not to oversized, once it draws up enough, I remove the rib rack. The rib rack has a very small impact on the surface area of the brisket.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I have used a rib/roast rack on my large BGE (18" grid) before when cooking 14lb+ briskets. If not to oversized, once it draws up enough, I remove the rib rack. The rib rack has a very small impact on the surface area of the brisket.
that's worth try since I have a couple of them around, shouldn't impact smoke penetration any more, probably even less, than the grates themselves. sounds like I need to get a brisket for next weekend!!!

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Old 02-14-2018, 10:37 AM   #10
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nothing taboo about cutting a brisket in half. if you lay both halves on top of each other you reduced the surface area available for evaporation and might even get a better end result.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:25 AM   #11
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nothing taboo about cutting a brisket in half. if you lay both halves on top of each other you reduced the surface area available for evaporation and might even get a better end result.
I think laying both halves on top of each other will greatly reduce bark and smoke and increase cooking times by a great deal.. unless you mean something else?
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I think laying both halves on top of each other will greatly reduce bark and smoke and increase cooking times by a great deal.. unless you mean something else?
no, that's what I meant. It doesn't reduce the bark if you rotate, and it may increase cooking time a bit but more importantly it will reduce evaporation of moisture, which is the more important factor.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:44 PM   #13
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I've cooked a lot of 12 lb. briskets on my 18.5 WSM. I've used a rib/roast rack upside down for 14 lb. or larger briskets on the WSM, but I can't imagine you would have any problem at all fitting a 12 pounder on the WSM....
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:54 PM   #14
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I have cooked 16-18LB briskets on the WSM no problem. If for whatever reason you run into space issues place a cleaned off wood chunk underneath near the center and it will help take up a little less space as it would normally when sitting flat. Also helps some of the liquid from pooling on the top of the flat if you ever get that issue too. Worst case you can separate but I doubt you'd need to.
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:32 PM   #15
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I've cooked a 19Lb packer on my large BGE. I hung it over a rib rack. No problem.
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