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Planning my first brisket cook…have some questions

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    Planning my first brisket cook…have some questions

    So I’m about to cook my first brisket. A few questions before I finalize my game plan.

    1. Is there a downside to separating the point from the flat? I figure the advantages would be:
    • I get to slice it properly against the grain better if separated
    • I can pull out the point and flat at the optimal times without the risk of overcooking or undercooking one or the other

    2. Can I hold the flat and point in wagyu beef tallow in an oven at 148°F instead of wrapped and in a faux Cambro?

    Broad strokes plan is:
    • Trim and shape, leaving a thin fat cap on top
    • Dry brine overnight
    • Rub
    • Put in freezer for an hour before smoking
    • Into KBQ until color is ok, about 180-190F, 8-10 hours
    • Wrap in butcher paper
    • Back to KBQ until probe tender, about 203F, 2-4 hours
    • Rest for 2 hours until temp drops to 160°F?
    • Hold in beef tallow in oven at 148F until service, around 20 hours.

    Separating it is debatable, I never have and its always worked out. If your worried about over cooking wrap the point in foil after a while to keep heat off it.
    I'd stay with wrapping, it has more to do with re-hydrating the brisket than re-moisturizing it with tallow.
    I may dry brine mine for a few hours in the fridge, take it out and dry rub it right before it goes on the grate. Freezing, hey why not but right outta the fridge should suffice.
    Sounds like you have it handled....good luck
    and pics or it didn't happen


      About your questions:

      1. Don’t separate the point and flat. This is your first brisket cook, make it easy on yourself. The point stands up to heat well and is very forgiving, much like a pork butt. Your concern on cooking is the flat and how it is doing. Any of the edges that get a bit burnt/dry you can cut off and turn into burnt ends. The point also helps to protect the center of the flat. A whole packer is much easier to cook that a flat by itself, in my experience.

      2. About slicing …. The flat end should be sliced diagonally against the grain. The point end should be rotated so that it facing you lengthwise, cut in half, and then slice each half the long way. This is how every Texas BBQ joint I have been to does it and it gives you beautiful, moist, rich slices.

      3. If you are allowing the brisket to rest on the kitchen counter, or similar, I think it will come down to 160F faster than 2 hours. That’s okay, you can hold in a cambro or what not longer if needed.

      4. I agree with smokin fool about wrapping the brisket to hold in a cambro rather than the tallow. The other issue with the tallow would be softening the bark. I just use my oven at 170F to hold brisket. Just make sure you let the brisket cool down to 160-170 F first so that you don’t overcook it.

      Man, there has been a ton of “first brisket” conversations the last few weeks. Which is awesome.

      Here’s my write up that I did for a newbie to brisket friend and then posted here: Eric’s Brisket Method


      • smokin fool
        smokin fool commented
        Editing a comment
        4. Great point I never even thought about the bark aspect in tallow.

      Cooking for friends and family is a true joy. I have never separated the point from the flat.
      I plan a cook and cook a plan, take notes and a log,


        Yeah, I’ll probably keep it whole for the first cook

        In another life I used to cook at Per Se at the Time Warner Center in NY. So cooking the two muscles separately to get the best out of them comes naturally. I’ll probably try it once I sorta get the hang of how brisket cooks;

        Here’s the brisket by the way. It’s 15 lbs of angus prime.

        smoking on Thursday for Friday dinner.
        Attached Files


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          Good looking brisket!

        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          Also, in another life I ate at Per Se …. But that was definitely another life :-)

        1. Keep it together!
        2. Skip the tallow…you don’t want soggy bark! Wrap and hold in cooler or warm oven.
        3. Estimated times are…estimates. Be ready early. I smoke my brisket at 275°F and I’ve never had one take more than 10 hours; Usually closer to nine.
        Last edited by Santamarina; November 1, 2021, 10:38 PM.


        • RickyG
          RickyG commented
          Editing a comment
          Is this 275°F average one the KBQ?

        • Santamarina
          Santamarina commented
          Editing a comment
          RickyG 275° is my target temp. I don’t have a KBQ (yet!) so it’s a bit of work on my stickburner, but I do what I can to keep it in that neighborhood.

        Enjoy the ride. It's always fun to smoke a brisket.



          Cook is postponed to next week as I had to accompany my daughter to get vaccinated.

          It just occurred to me….does the ambient temp affect how long the cook will take? The quality of the product? Or any other way? Ambient temps in my neck of the woods currently range from 79°-91°F.

          would I need to be spritzing more often or something?


          • efincoop
            efincoop commented
            Editing a comment
            79°-91°F? Lucky you! Those temps should not have an adverse affect on cooking times. Cold temps are a little more tricky. Windy conditions will affect your cook, so be mindful of that.

          It’s finally happening!

          3 hours in, first spritz…

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          • Dr. Pepper
            Dr. Pepper commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, agree with Hawker, that looks gooooood!

          lookin gooood!


            Cook took 6 hours, probably because I split the point from the flat and it wasn’t a huge piece of meat. Pulled them between 203 and 208°F. They are now In a 155°F oven.

            The point was all soft and jiggly at 6 hours. The flat slightly less so.

            Click image for larger version

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            Here they are in the oven. Will check them in the morning and see if they can be held all the way until dinner.

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            Here’s the graph of the cook.

            Click image for larger version

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