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Unread 12-11-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
treymoran
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Default Just need a little input

I just got volunteered to smoke a brisket for a family gathering tomorrow at 5pm. My aunt brought over a 17lb packer and a mound of Kielbasah sausage. I have what is probably an original Bandera (I've had it FOREVER!). Am I right to think the brisket alone will take approx 22 hours ? its more like 15 lbs now after trimming away some fat. yeah, I know, don't trim it and I usually don't but this was excessive. 2 lbs of fat and it still has plenty to protect it. anyway...brisket is coated with my rub and I was about to light the fire. Just making sure my estimate is right. I'd hate to be starting too late.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:06 PM   #2
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What temp you cooking at?
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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225-250 is what I usually use for whole brisket. I have the heat baffle mod (similar anyway) and the firegrate mod. never done one this big though.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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Yeah, 1.5 hours per pound is a good benchmark at those temps. Can you kick up the temp? If you can get it to 275 - 300 you may be closer to an hour per pound.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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a 15 pounder is going to take quite a while at those temps. I'd do a combo cook - start low and slow for a few hours, then crank it up to 325 or so to get it done faster. I've done that a few times and can't tell any difference from one done totally low & slow. There are much more educated guys that'll chime in shortly...
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:25 PM   #6
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You're about right on the time. I would shoot for upwards of 24 to 26 hours and if it's done early, plan on keeping it warm until dinner time.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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Smoke it at 225-250 for a few hours the double wrap in foil and raise temp to 300 and cook for most of the way to keep it from drying out. The last hour or so unwrap and let it crisp up on the outside.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:31 PM   #8
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I agree with everyone above. I would try and do what Dan said, do a hybrid cook and finish hot and fast. The meat you have is large enough that a hot-n-fast brisket should be good, and you cut the time quite a bit. If you can get the temps to 300F, you could be done in 12 hours or so.

That being said, err on being a little conservative, as you can always hold and foil for a couple hours.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:33 PM   #9
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I'm now thinking about keeping the temp 225-250 until late tonight then wrap it and finish in the oven at 300 overnight. I'll stick it in the cooler once done and all will be good come 5pm tomorrow. no fire monitoring through the night that way. i'll light a new fire for the sausage. thanks for the help!
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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have you thought about doing a high heat brisket?

If you can maintain 340-350, you should be able to get it done in 4.5-6.5 hours.

I put mine on straight from the cooler/fridge with the pit heating up from about 180, and bring it up slowly to about 340, no fail, fat side down, until internal is about 160 (should be about 2 hours) This has always been enough to develop a nice smoke ring and enough smoke flavor.
Once there, wrap it up tight in foil (you can add some seasoned broth but not nescessary) and let it go about 2.5 more hours at 340-350. Open the foil and check it with a probe at the 4.5-5 hour point, and about every 20-30 minutes after till it's done (note no temp mentioned - it's done when it's done)

I know, it isn't low and slow....sacrilige right? But hey, it works....and I hear it's how those guys down in Texas do it
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:38 PM   #11
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I've never done the high heat method. I always do low and slow.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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Well, maybe this isn't the time to try it,family gathering and all... but I highly recommend you try it. I used to do low and slow, and the result of the fast method is as good, if not better in my opinion
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:49 PM   #13
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I have the fire going now. I might try the high heat version when I have more time but I like to play with fire too much.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 05:04 PM   #14
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just did the baffle and firegrate mod today. so far maintaining 238/240 pretty constantly. using BGE Lump with some oak thrown on top. using a heat sheild(one rack wrapped 3/4 across with heavy foil). So far so good. I usually have good results with the Bandera but then I've had it awhile and have learned what works. the mods are new to me. Im monitoring the meat temp and chamber temp through the stack with the chamber probe 1 rack below the meat.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 05:18 PM   #15
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My last cooker was a BSKD (aka backwards bandera). The last packer I cooked on it was a 13 pounder. I cooked it (225 - 250 F) fat side down for 7 hours, and then I wrapped it. 5 hours later it reached 198 F in the thickest part of the flat. I pulled it and coolered it for 3 hours. It turned out great!
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