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First brisket tomorrow

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    First brisket tomorrow

    First time cooking brisket tomorrow (on the PBC or otherwise). I've gotten pretty comfortable with a dozen or so pork and poultry cooks, but first time cooking beef on it.

    I got a 12-pound full packer. How long should I expect the total cook to take? Noah's video says a 16 pounder takes up to 6 hours, but it looks like smaller briskets on here have taken considerably longer. I have little kids so I'd like to have the brisket ready to be sliced at about 5pm or so tomorrow. Would putting it on the PBC at 8am be early enough? Or should I plan for a longer cook? I understand the need to let it rest an hour, and am also ok with getting up earlier and letting it rest longer if that will give me more of a cushion.

    Also, the full packer is pretty long. I'd prefer not to separate the flat from the point, so was wondering if i could hang it sidewise like in a "U" shape along the two rebar using four or more hooks.

    Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!

    I'm lazy and impatient, so here's how I cook my briskets: I'll put them on around 10 in the morning. I cook them until they get to 160F or stall, whichever comes first. Then I wrap them in foil with a quarter cup of whatever tasty adult beverage I have handy, put them in the oven at 300F and take them out a little after the probe reads 200F. Then I wrap them in a towel and put them in my cooler, usually for an hour or so. I've held briskets in the cooler for three hours or more, with no ill effects. I sacrifice the yummy bark I'd get with an all-day, PBC-only cook, but I'm guaranteed to be done by dinner time, and I don't have to reload the charcoal bin.


      If it is 19" or over, I just cut the thicker part of the point off after I clean out the fat b/n the two muscles.

      Cooking until I get bark a typical cook will last about 10 hours at the most.


        Thanks guys, that's all really helpful, I really appreciate it.

        Jerod, does the 10 hours include the rest time? And should I expect all-in around a 10-hour cook to serve time? If I accidentally sleep in, I'll go Crunchy's method, but otherwise, I'm just wondering what time I should try to wake up and have my brisket on the PBC.


        • Jerod Broussard
          Jerod Broussard commented
          Editing a comment
          I would allow a 10 hour cook. If it gets done too early (over 2 hours until dinner), just let it rest at room temp, when it gets down to 150 internal, stick it in a 170 degree oven.

        If you wanna eat at 5, I'd say be safe and set your alarm for 4:30am to light the coals and so forth. If it takes 10 hrs to cook that gives you roughly two hrs for cambro time. If it gets done sooner you can always keep it held in the faux cambro, but if it's late that could be quite a pain if you don't give it enough time. Lots of us will wait until the stall is through before wrapping, in order to build a good bark up. That obviously eats up more time.


          I guess you guys are cooking at higher temps than me. A 12lb brisket would me at least 16hrs (maybe more) on my COS. I just did a 7lb flat last a couple of weeks ago and it took 12hrs. Then again, I don't crutch, I boat.


          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            The Pit Barrel cooks pretty fast due to the hanging of the meat and what that offers, then there are no vents on the top, so things stay pretty even steven. Running 250 it will keep up with other cookers running 300.

          New2Cue, My first Brisket took 2 Days! Forgot to light the Smoker the first Day? You'll do fine Cook by the Thermometer and You Can't Go Wrong! Take some Pic's to show us! Allow your self Plenty Of Time, as an old Flight Instructor once told me the three most Useless Things are; Runway Behind You, Air Space Above You, and Fuel in Someone Else's Tank? 👍👍👍👍👍. Dan


            Thanks very much guys. Huskee, I couldn't get up that early, but did get up at 6:45 Let the brisket sit while I started the PBC up. Brisket went on at around 7:45, and I pulled it to wrap around 12:30. Added some Lagunitas IPA to the foil and now playing the waiting game. I seem to be at the stall as the temps haven't moved much in the last half hour.

            Thankfully I decided to trim the brisket last night. My first brisket, and it took me a little bit to get familiar with the meat and layout of the chunks of fat. I had watched a few Youtube videos earlier in the evening, so had a decent idea of what to do. Then I added my rub of Montreal seasoning and a light dusting of PBC All Purpose. One of these days I need to try out MH's rub recipes, but the Montreal at least seemed closest to the Aaron Franklin rub of mostly coarse salt and pepper. My butcher also had stocked Texas Post Oak chunks, so I'm trying that out (apparently they had a ton of demand for it after the Washington Post had an article on Franklin's brisket methods).

            Couple of other notes on the cook:

            1. I set up the brisket with the two hook method as on the videos, but the brisket hung too close to the basket for my liking. I set up a third hook midway down the brisket and hung it on the other rebar, so the brisket was more on a diagonal than straight down. A couple of hours later when the meat had shrunk, I removed that hook.

            2. For whatever reason, the PBC decided to run much hotter today. Usually I'm fighting to get the temps above 225. Today it was in the 350 range for a good half hour, then two hours later (I went back to bed) it was below 300. Not sure if it's the weather, the fact that I moved the barrel a good 5 or so feet away from my detached garage (usually I have the door open and keep it closer to the garage in case of rain), or a combination. In any event, it's been sitting in the 270-300 range very consistently this afternoon.

            I'll post some final pics later tonight -- unless of course I mess it up!


              Brisket was delicious! I've never liked the brisket that I've had elsewhere because it's always been too dry, but this was really moist and fantastic. For my next one, I'm going to use something other than Montreal seasoning. It's pretty good, but a bit too much of a salty bite to it.

              Here are the particulars of the cook:

              -- 12 pound brisket, full packer
              -- trimmed and applied rub the night before
              -- total cook time in the PBC: 7.5 hours
              -- wrapped around 165 about five hours in, added Lagunitas IPA to the wrapped brisket
              -- rest time: 3 hours in a cooler (was very hot when I took it out)
              -- used three chunks of Post Oak

              Many thanks to everyone again. The brisket is a bit of an intimidating cook the first time (especially given the size and price), but it actually wasn't too bad when all was said and done. The great thing about brisket is that you can let it rest for a long time after you pull it from the PBC (Noah's video says up to 6 hours) - makes for a lot less of a stressful situation than when your wife is trying to figure out when to start the sides


              • boftx
                boftx commented
                Editing a comment
                Looks good! And you can make a mean batch of chili or stew with the leftovers if you want. BTW, the Montreal rub is almost identical to what I make from scratch, I've started using it instead on most beef cuts now. Though I will add some dill weed on cuts like a roast or tri-tip.

              Very nice man!!!!


                Nice! I am giving my first brisket a shot this week!!


                  That is one beautiful brisket, New2Cue ! Hearty congrats on a job well done.



                    NICE! WTG Man. Congrats to you!


                      Wow. Home Run!


                        Thanks very much guys! Can't wait to do another brisket. Next up though is an 18-pound fresh turkey for Thanksgiving


                        • HC in SC
                          HC in SC commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Not sure what brisket prices look like in your neck of the woods, but here in SC they are thru the roof. I can get top sirloin cheaper than I can brisket usually. Instead of brisket, I have been smoking chuck roasts making pulled beef. I cook them the same way as briskets - same rub / brining, pull and wrap with small amount of beef broth at 170 and then pull wrapped meat at 200.

                          If you arent using the turkey hanger on the PBC for your turkey cook, make sure you open the neck flap and cut off the pope's nose on the aft section. Cooking a turkey on the PBC grate is awesome too, but liquid has a tendency to build up in the bird's cavity causing slower cooks and variable temps in the meat. You can also just use your hot gloves and pick the bird up out of the cooker and dump excess liquid build up.

                          Good luck!


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