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Old 07-06-2011, 08:02 PM   #1
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 06-25-11
Location: SW Michigan
Default First brisket with obligatory pron

Alright, so I'm new here and new to smoking, and for my third ever smoke I figured I'd give a brisket a try. To be honest, having never been to Texas and living up in the cold midwest I've never really found a decent brisket at any restaurant and thus was never terribly impressed with it. But a month ago I was in Kansas City and had a chance to sample some brisket that actually tasted like real barbecue, and have been craving it since. So I figured I'd give it a go.

Before I get to the pron I might as well share my process and thoughts on the final product so that if anybody has any tips for the next one I can make it even better.

So anyway, it was about a 9 pound select packer. Fat cap was a little thick so I trimmed it down to about a quarter inch or so. Gave it a good basic rub of salt, pepper, paprika, and a little garlic, cumin, cayenne, and some oregano. It sat in the fridge for about 18 hours.

So at 3 this morning I fired up the WSM, minion method, and added 3 chunks of oak and 1 of hickory and mixed them up among the coals. Meat went on at 3:30 with fat cap up and held at about 245 degrees until about 6am. Temp alarm woke me up around then when it had a spike and went to 275 so I got up and brought it back down to 240. It then stayed steady in the 240-250 range for almost the entire rest of the cook. I flipped it over after six hours and added another two chunks of oak.

At about the 10 hour mark I gave it a few pokes with the probe to see how it felt. Still quite a bit of resistance throughout so I gave it another two hours. By then it was starting to feel pretty good, but still a tad tough in the thickest section so I gave it one more hour. So at the 13 hour mark or so it was feeling nice and when lifting it a bit with tongs it looked like it was going to split in half, so I pulled it.

After pulling it I just wrapped it tightly in foil and let it sit on the cutting board for around two more hours. Then I began slicing. The thin end was quite a bit drier than I expected. The taste was phenomenal and as tender as could be, but on the dry side. As I got closer to the center it was definitely more moist. But tenderness was spot-on. Pieces held together, but give them a slight tug and it would separate with ease.

The interesting thing was after removing it from the foil there were virtually no juices left behind, so I'm guessing any added moisture was probably lost during cooking? Either way, it wasn't unpleasantly dry or anything, but it wasn't oozing juices when you cut into it either.

All said and done it was the best brisket I've ever had by far, and probably one of the best pieces of meat I've eaten in years, and that's saying something because I'm quite a carnivore. So I can only imagine what cooking one slightly better would yield.

Anyway, here's the pron as promised. If you have any suggestions or see a step I missed, or something I mistakenly did wrong, please let me know so I can improve going forward. Thanks!

After the rub:

After about six hours:

Finished product:

Slicing and nice smoke ring:

Last edited by marubozo; 07-06-2011 at 08:19 PM..
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:05 PM   #2
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great first run - hope it tasted as good as it looks.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:09 PM   #3
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Nice job!
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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Great looking briskie. I'm in Pron heaven!
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #5
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That's your first brisket? I've had competition brisket that didn't look 1/10 as good as that. Nice job!
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Last edited by Boshizzle; 07-06-2011 at 08:38 PM..
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Thanks from:--->
Old 07-06-2011, 08:26 PM   #6
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awesome job...looks great!
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:27 PM   #7
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You are off to a roaring start! Nice work!

One thing - you may want to rest it in a cooler, rather than on the cutting board. The wrapping is good, but it's better to stick it in a cooler (you can pre-warm it with hot water) and then wrap it in towels and it'll hold for up to 6 hours (maybe more - haven't tried longer than that)
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:56 PM   #8
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Very nice! Are you sure that was your first?
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:04 PM   #9
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 06-25-11
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Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
Very nice! Are you sure that was your first?
Yep. I've done a few small flat pieces in the oven over the years, but obviously that is sad and too embarrassing to even talk about.

But thanks to the wealth of knowledge here I've spent hours reading and hopefully absorbed enough info to get off to a good start without flooding everyone with a bunch of n00b questions.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:15 PM   #10
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NICE!!!!! looks like your off to a fine start!!!SMoke on Brother!!
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:23 PM   #11
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That is fantastic! Nicely done, your patience on the cook was the key. Great pics.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:28 PM   #12
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Yes very nice looking brisket especially for the first one.
I would have rested it in a cooler for at least a few hours
beforehand instead of on the cutting board.

Good job!
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 06-25-11
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Thanks. But regarding the cooler, I know that would have kept it hotter while it rested, but would it have mattered in this case? There was no juice in the foil and it didn't spill out juice upon slicing. So wouldn't that mean the extra moisture was already lost?

It was already perfect in terms of tenderness so it didn't need any extra carry over cooking I wouldn't think. But then again I'm still trying to figure everything out so I may very well be wrong in my thinking.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:53 PM   #14
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When you poked it with your probe did it go in like butter?

Letting it rest in foil does cook it slightly but it also can bring back the juices.

Next time I would not take it out until the probe goes in easily.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:53 PM   #15
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Join Date: 02-17-10
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That's an awesome first brisket, nice job.... now I want some brisket...
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