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New owner, first brisket cook tips/suggestions?

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    New owner, first brisket cook tips/suggestions?

    Hello guys/gals....I have a new pit barrel cooker waiting for me out at our lake house. I'm anxious to cook a texas-style brisket. Never have cooked one before, but the lure of the easy-breezy cooking with the pit attracted me. So, with that being said, anything you all can give me in terms of some tips and suggestions on everything from meat selection to preps & rubs to tools & process in order to make this a first-time success is GREATLY appreciated. Looking forward to sharing and getting the hang of the PBC....Thanks in advance!

    1. follow the PBC website video instructions (from lighting to finishing) the first time exactly as they say
    2. use MHs brisket rub in lieu of the PBC seasoning
    3. get a great digital thermometer (or any if you cant have one shipped to you in time, Weber makes a cheapo one you can buy at Home Depot) before you head to the lake

    youll be fine, its literally that easy to use right out of the box. my only suggestion would be to buy more meat and hang it all weekend!


    • mayapoppa
      mayapoppa commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes. This is what I did for my first brisket, and it was amazing. Don't sweat all of the details you see around here yet. Plenty of time for tweaking after you have a few cooks under your belt!

    I followed Meatheads recipe in my PBC, but separated the point from flat. Came out great. I didnt wrap them tight with foil, rather put them in an aluminum tray and covered with foil at ~165 degrees. I think that keeps the bark better.


      With a Pit Barrel the concern that I would have (I have never used one so this is based upon what I know secondhand) would be letting the meat hang for too long and it becoming so tender that it falls away from the hooks and ends up in the coals. Consider moving it to the grate when it stalls. Also, given the PBC seems to operate in the 270-280 range the stall shouldn't last long. I would definitely move to the grate before it hits 180 internal. The longer the meat drips onto the coals and generates that meat smoke the more PBC goodness you will experience, not to mention better bark but go too long and it will end up in the coals at some point.


        One other piece of advice: Ernest has said that the PBC will cook at whatever temperature it feels like for that day. Don't fight it. Follow the protocols provided by the manufacturers and let it do it's thing.


        • JPP
          JPP commented
          Editing a comment
          I think this is a true statement... if you crack the lid frequently and for too long, you run the risk of exposing the bottom end of the meat to too much radiant heating as the combustion of the coals take off... I've blackenend the ends of ribs this way although you usually only loose the last rib or two (but that's too many in my opinion)

        I typically hang 5.5-6 hours. I tried to hang for 8 hours but the end of the flat got DRY DRY DRY.

        When you go to the grate, do fat cap down first if it needs darkening, then the other side.

        If you have a well established bark, it won't matter what you wrap it in, it's there, and it will steam off and bounce back when you go to slice.


          Just make sure your coals are well lit before you hang your food.
          Light in chimney ...... Wait until they're hot and bothered (about 10 minutes, bottom of the chimney should be red hot)
          Dump in basket...... Wait again with lid off (critical step)
          Put the lid on....wait about 10 minutes. (my step after many many experiments)
          Then hang your food.

          The bottom vent does next to nothing for cooking temps. You want to control temp, use the rebar vents.


            I just did my first one on my PBC. It was as good as I have ever had in my home state of Texas....and I'm from Brisket Country!
            12# whole Brisket, trimmed a little, injected with Beef broth 50% sodium, seasoned lightly with salt/ heavier pepper, then heavy with PBC all purpose rub. Used Kingsford and 4 chunks of Hickory. Took it off the hooks at 160. Added more beef broth and 1/2 can diet coke, double wrapped in tinfoil, put back on the grate till it hit 200 and wrapped it in towels in a cooler for 3 hours.. Total time was about 9 hours. Tender.......Juicy......., great Bark, great flavor.....Absolutely to die for!


            • PaulstheRibList
              PaulstheRibList commented
              Editing a comment
              Got a picture for us?

            Guys, you're making things too complicated. It's his first cook and the barrel is sitting at a lake house!! You'll have plenty of time to do the above mentioned things... At home. With time. Follow the PBC instructions and you'll impress everyone.

            When you get home: read every post Jerod has written and experiment as you please 😝


            • JPP
              JPP commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree with that last statement: Jerod is "The Baron of Brisket"


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