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Another First Brisket...

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    Another First Brisket...

    I was in Costco on Friday and noticed they had full briskets for the first time. They may have always carried them, but this was the first time I noticed. And they were stamped "Prime". And they were relatively cheap. Some variation in size but seemed like they all were under $50. Never had cooked one before, but I thought this seemed like a good time to start.

    The next step was figuring out logistics. I've cooked enough large roasts to know about the impact of the stall on cooking time. And I'm basically a lazy cook if I can get away with it. Briskets have been cooked for a long time without foil and insulated chests. I wanted to keep this simple so I thought I'd try getting back to basics. I've had pork shoulders take 14 to 16 hours at 225F. I figured the brisket would be similar. But how do you figure out the timing?

    I decided I wanted to get finished about 5pm. Working backwards, it seemed like I should start the smoker about 11pm, hit temp about midnight, load the smoker and then off to bed (the plan). My smoker can go about 12 hours with one charcoal load at 225F. As the fates would have it, I have a major work project and I was up until about four am, so I added a charge of charcoal and then finally crawled off to meet Morpheus (reality).

    Getting ready to get the brisket into the smoker, I salted the roast about 7pm after trimming off the excess fat. Ended up with about 4 pounds of beef fat which I rendered in the oven inside a cast iron dutch oven. That's going to be introduced to some potatoes one of these days. Used the Big Bad Beef Rub, liberally applied about an hour before going into the smoker.

    I didn't want the brisket to cook too fast while asleep, so I started the unit at 200F and ran it at that temp until about 2pm (about 14 hours total). At that point, the brisket was just hitting the stall. It was clear I wasn't going to have this on the table at 5pm. Wasn't a big deal since I had food contingencies. Turned the temp up to 225F, checked the water pan level and let nature take its course.

    I finally took it out around 11pm. I decided it was done because the temp probe went into the roast with almost no resistance, even though the temp was only 195. Incredibly tender. Nice crust. The Big Bad Beef rub made a very nice taste accent.

    I can see why people like using the foil method for brisket. It's not so much that it makes a better product, but it makes for a situation in which the cook is more in control of the time. I like the results with this 23 hour cook. Having done it once, I'll be starting the next one about 3pm to serve at 5pm the next day. Live and Learn.

    DSiewert ...

    A 23 hour cook on a brisket? My oh my that must be an all time record. I'm a hardcore low and slow guy but a 23 hour cook would drive me to drink.😎

    I plan my briskets and pork butt cooks as an 18 hour project when cooking at 225°. Normally they are done in about 16 hours. I try to give them 2 hours in the faux cambro before slicing or pulling them. I do plan each cook to go to 203° but once it passes the temp probe test I pull it off.

    I'm wondering if your smoker was cooking at a lower temp than you thought it was? I've never heard of a brisket taking 23 hours to get up to temp.


      Must have been a nice thick sucker. Good going!!!


        Oh no! Not another reason to go to Costco! Now I'll have to check whether my local store carries whole brisket.


          There is no way I would cook a brisket like that. I salt it the night before, heat the smoker to 250 F and start it at 8 AM, expose it to smoke for 2 1/2 hours, then wrap it in foil and finish it in the oven at 250 degrees. A 10 pound (trimmed weight) is ready by 4 PM. Two hours wrapped in a towel and in a cooler, and its dinner time. And its great.


            I've done a 24hr brisket. And I've done 20hr ribs believe it or not. Bark city. Not my first choice of method but it's doable.


              I did a 17lb prime whole packer this weekend that only took 6 hours in the smoker and 2 hours in the hot box. I did separate the point from the flat and cooked at the same time. (I like the extra bark) One of my guests called the burnt ends "beef candy". Haha I've never had them come out so tender and have such perfect bark before.


                Okay, so not my first brisket. However, this on will be the first one that I do and leave the PBC for more than two hours. I am starting the PBC at around 12:30. I am going to let it stabilize then leave at around 1:30 PM. I plan to be back home at around 5 or so. I am a bit nervous about this. I have never let my baby run things all alone before. Although I know that Jerod Broussard does it all the time. I just haven't had the nerves to do it before. I've just got such a busy month here that Its come to this, so here we go.


                  Single chunks of meat do well for hours. I don't like to let briskets hang for more than 5.5-6 hours. Barrel full of butts and/or briskets will drop the temp like a big dog when they hit the stall.


                    I just got back home. Everything is running pretty well. I am at 270 pit temps and 154 F internal. I am guessing that she is stalling right now, I have to let it sit for a while to see if that is the case. I was very relieved when I drove up and saw smoke coming out of the PBC. (My hook skills are not winning and beauty points today)
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