View Full Version : Expert help needed fast - brisket is getting to temp too fast!

09-13-2009, 09:31 AM
Hi All,

First of all I want to thank everyone here and the administrator's of this website for a great resource. I used the epic ugly drum smoker thread as inspiration and guidance to build my own.

Today I'm testing it with my first cook, an 8-9 pound brisket. But after only 3.5 hours on the cooker, the thermometer started beeping that it had reached 190 degrees. That's way too fast, right? I'm worried I'm doing something wrong.

I've been keeping the temp steady at 225 or so. I used a second over thermometer on the cooking grate to confirm that the smoker thermometer is accurate. I tested the meat with 3 different meat thermometers. What's going on? Am I going to ruin my first brisket by cooking it too fast?

The only other time I cooked a brisket was on a Brinkman Smoke n Grill, and it was a constant 12-hour struggle to get the meat to temp.

Any assistance greatly appreciated.

09-13-2009, 09:35 AM
Check the temp is a few places. Your probe could be in a seam of fat and you could be getting a false reading. Also test the feel as the probe goes in. If you feel resistance then it isn't done. The probe should side in like going int butter. Also, check the accuracy of your thermometers just in case.

Finally, if it really is done, which is unlikely, wrap it in a couple of layers of HD foil and put it in a dry cooler wrapped in old towels or clean newspaper. It will stay hot for several hours.

Northwoods Smoke
09-13-2009, 09:38 AM
Gotta be a false reading. If not, follow above.

09-13-2009, 09:50 AM
I agree with the advice above.

09-13-2009, 10:23 AM
So what's the verdict boots?

09-13-2009, 11:03 AM
Are you taking the temp from the side or grate, Im sure you know but you need to add about 30 to the side temp to get grate temp.

09-13-2009, 11:12 AM
Hard to say for sure yet, but it looks like Ron L was right - I poked around with the thermometer a bit until I found a tough spot, and the temp was back down at 180. Am I correct in understanding that the temp should hover around 180 for a good while before it reaches the 190 range, at which point it's done?

Not sure yet, but I think I may have insufficiently cleaned out my reconditioned barrel. There's an acrid smell that I'm hoping is the exterior paint, but could be the few tiny spots of phenolic liner that I did my best to sand and grind away. If there are dangerous fumes in my smoker, will the taste of the meat give it away, or could it taste fine and still be dangerous?

Also, the FDNY showed up on my roof in full gear in response to "calls from all over the neighborhood." But when they saw that I had taken all the proper precautions, they were more interested in learning how the smoker worked than telling me to be careful.

Thanks all.

09-13-2009, 11:13 AM
I have an oven thermometer on the grate to corroborate the side thermometer, and they seem to agree - if I was cooking at 255 by mistake, would that dramatically speed up the cook?

09-13-2009, 11:18 AM
Temp is just a guide feel will never let you down on the doness of the brisket when the probe slides into the flat with little effort its done....

09-13-2009, 11:22 AM
Okay, but right now the probe is sliding right in some places, but other places there's still some resistance. Do I keep it going until the whole thing is butter, or is it done now?

Hugh Jorgan
09-13-2009, 11:33 AM
So how many hours are you at now?

I would be very surprised if it's done already, but stranger things have happened. Are you just cooking the flat or is it a whole brisket, point and flat still joined?

09-13-2009, 11:33 AM
Some places where? if your probing the point it'll give you a sense of doness when its not always check the thick part of the flat to get the correct feel.....

09-13-2009, 11:34 AM
This is a little late but I wanted to post pics of my first slow cook pork butt. First thanks to all who post the great info regarding low and slow. I couldn't done it without you all.
I got a 6.5 lb. boneless, injected w/apple juice and rubbed w/Simply Marvelous Season All. Set up my weber knock off like I saw done here. Got rid of the lighter fluid and started it with a map gas torch. On the Q at 11 am and at 11:30 pm took it off, wrapped in foil and back on for two more hours...2:30 am was pullin'. My neighbor came down wanting to buy a couple of plates...wow, now I know what all this fuss is about, I've never had anything like it. Again thank you all. One farkin' convert.


09-13-2009, 11:50 AM
I'm at 7:20 now. I think it's a whole brisket - it came cryopacked.

At the thickest part of the flat there's still some resistance, but everywhere else there's literally none.

09-13-2009, 11:57 AM
You could very well be close at this point. Especially if it is a flat vs a packer. If it's fairly easy to insert the probe, I say go ahead and wrap and cooler this one. Later when you slice it, you will get a better idea of what went on. All lessons learned this time will make the next one better...

09-13-2009, 12:00 PM
You're close to an hour per pound and from what i have read of UDS cooks that sounds reasonable. Foil it, cooler it and let it rest until you need to eat. It will continue to cook in the foil for a while. If you think it is as tender as you want it let it sit for 10 minutes or so before foiling and coolering. That will take some of the heat off of it and it won't cook any more.

09-13-2009, 08:24 PM
Welcome. Pay real close attention. You are in the right place to begin to learn about making brisket. Someone will chime in and tell you where you are going wrong. Just be patient.

09-13-2009, 09:03 PM
LMAO...The Funk!

09-13-2009, 09:09 PM
I know with mine the temp in the center of the grate is 50 degrees hotter than my side thermo reads, so I have to keep the side thermo at about 180