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My First Brisket

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    My First Brisket

    For my 40th trip around the sun, I will be cooking a 19# prime brisket (packer) and would like to have it ready for dinner tomorrow around 5:00 pm. My plan is to put it on my WSM tonight around 7:00 pm and keep the temp at 225. I will check it when I wake on Sunday, around 6:00 am.

    How long do you think it will take to get to 150 (stall)? I know this varies, but I’m not sure if I should wait up and wrap before bed or wrap in the morning. I’m worried there’s a chance that it will be done too early if I wrap it before bed.

    If I don’t wrap before bed and it powers through the stall, should I just let it go or still wrap?

    Just curious, will the WSM hold the temp for that long if time?
    Last edited by bbqLuv; September 4, 2021, 06:35 AM.


      Sounds like a fun birthday! Are you using a fan or something? Happy Birthday!


        Originally posted by bbqLuv View Post
        Just curious, will the WSM hold temp for that long?
        I’ve gone 12 hours in my 18”. Granted I filled it to the brim with charcoal, but that was in the fall on top of it.

        Happy birthday spmurph. Read the post I made today.

        As much as I love my WSM I never hit my expected cooking times. I use a Thermoworks Billows and that thing will run a perfect 225 no matter what is going on outside. From what I’ve read the common thought was to leave the top somewhat closed down and use the side port for the ambient temperature measurement.

        I started opening the top vent ~80% and noticed a much cleaner, consistent smoke. Hitting that blue’ish almost invisible smoke. And my cook times have dropped considerably.

        I also moved the ambient probe to the top grate, and started running the smoker at 275. It seems to like that much more than 225. You may want to start at 250 and go from there. I find 225 to be too low.


          Wow. I don't have the confidence in my fire control skills to leave something unattended overnight. I would personally go to bed a little early then get things started around 3 am running 250 - 275. Take a cat nap during the day. As things progress watch the temp. Around 165 - 170 wrap it, throw it in the oven at 275 - 300 if necessary to finish on time


          • Razor
            Razor commented
            Editing a comment
            The fan controller helps a lot. I’m confident now that I would trust it on its own overnight with briquettes. I don’t know if I would trust it with lump overnight without the fan.

          I don't do overnight cooks any more. I just run hotter starting early AM. But overnight at 225° should be OK. When I get up in the morning, I would check to see where I am. If worried, I would bump the temp up to 250° to 275°.

          Don't worry about finishing early because you want to hold for several hours anyway, and a 5 or 6 hour hold should be no problem.

          And welcome to The Pit.


            As said above, finishing early will be no problem. I did one a few weeks ago. Similar size, similar schedule. It was done at around 11:30 AM. Held in a cooler with thick moving blankets until 4:30 PM. Came out still very warm and super tender and juicy.


              Originally posted by bbqLuv View Post
              Just curious, will the WSM hold the temp for that long if time?
              Yes, I use a partyq fan.


                Originally posted by Jfrosty27 View Post
                As said above, finishing early will be no problem. I did one a few weeks ago. Similar size, similar schedule. It was done at around 11:30 AM. Held in a cooler with thick moving blankets until 4:30 PM. Came out still very warm and super tender and juicy.
                Did you wrap during the stall?


                • Jfrosty27
                  Jfrosty27 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes I wrapped it up in butcher paper about mid-way through the stall.

                Just want to provide an update. Ended up getting the brisket on at 7:15 Saturday night. Temp was holding at 225 when I went to bed but was around 200 at 6:00 the next morning. Internal temp was 149 and the bark was just ok so added more charcoal and let it cook for another hour. Wrapped in aluminum and raised the temp to 250.

                It took until 12:45 to get to 203. Immediately wrapped in two towels placed in a cooler. Stayed untouched until 5:00 when I sliced it. It was definitely over cooked. Flat was dry and the point was like pot roast in some spots.

                Not sure exactly where I went wrong. Thinking i should have let it sit for a few before I put it in the cooler because it was still very hot when I took it out to slice.

                The flavor was good and the smoke ring was good. My guests thought it tasted good and overall my 40th bday party was a success. Thanks for the bbq advice and birthday wishes. Looking forward to improving on my next brisket!


                • Razor
                  Razor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Question, what was you top vent set at? 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, full?

                  I’m believing the top vent makes all the difference.

                First of all don’t be afraid to cook at higher temps. I run my WSM at 275*F routinely with virtually no difference in results other then less time. The longer the meat sits on the smoker, the drier it’s going to become.

                Also, next time let the brisket rest and ramp down its temp before placing it in your cooler or oven. You want the cooking process to unwind. Wrapping in towels and immediately throwing it in your cambro continues to cook, then possibly over cook, your meat.

                Keep tweaking your technique and try again. Sometimes you have to wrestle the thing to the ground and show it who’s boss !!


                Here’s another vote for running it hotter. I run my stickburner between 250°-275°F and I can finish a whole packer in about 9 hours. I wrap in butcher paper once the crust looks how I want (after the stall).

                After many sleepless nights I started doing my briskets earlier in the evening and toss it in a warm oven to hold. I’ve held them up to 12 hours and they always come out moist and delicious!
                Last edited by Santamarina; September 6, 2021, 10:03 AM.



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