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How long should I allow for cooking and resting time for a (very) large & expensive brisket

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  • ecross52
    Club Member
    • Aug 2018
    • 4

    How long should I allow for cooking and resting time for a (very) large & expensive brisket

    I recently reached out directly to Meathead about a "challenge" I am facing. Along with his own suggestions, he recommended I post in the Pitmaster forum and find out what other members say.

    Through the most fortunate of mistakes by a shipping company, my son was the lucky recipient of a 31 lbs, Japanese A5 Olive Wagyu brisket from Crowd Cow. Btw.. that was a $1,440 mistake on the shipping company's part!

    We are planning on BBQ'ing that monster piece of meat next week for a very special dinner event that includes our sons, their families and some very close friends. This a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I feel especially challenged with the lead time required to cook and rest the meat prior to the scheduled event. I am hoping to finesse it into a 3-4 hour window and to avoid having to wait until midnight

    I know that a brisket is done when the brisket is done. However, assuming a steady cooking temperature of 225°, should I allow for 14 hours, 18 hours, longer? Smoke at a higher/lower temperature? At what temperature should I wrap? All of a sudden this is beginning to feel like my first brisket!

    Let me first confess that I prefer wrapping in pink butcher paper (never foil) and I never inject. As for ambient outdoor temperatures, the forecast is for sunny skies- 48°/72° (it's really in the Santa Cruz mountains this time of year) . Other than that, I am open to suggestion from the members of this esteemed forum and learning from your experiences.

    A little bit about me.. I am a better-than-average BBQ'er with experience on a number of platforms. My current rig is a Yoder 640 and pellet brand of choice is Lumberjack. I also have a full sized, insulated pan carrier for resting the meat.


    Ed Cross

    Attached Files
  • willxfmr
    Club Member
    • Apr 2017
    • 404
    • Fondy

    If I were you, I'd scrap the whole plan and ship the burden off to the first person that replies to your post.


    • willxfmr
      Club Member
      • Apr 2017
      • 404
      • Fondy

      If that doesn't work for you, may want to consider going SVQ for that big of a brisket. I know many will cry foul, but with the amount of risk involved, I'd do everything in my power to maintain control. For me, I'd smoke at 225 for 4 hours using a smoke tube to boost the smoke profile, then bag and sous vide for 24-36 hours at 165. The disadvantage is a far less developed bark. This would also give you the advantage of knowing exactly when you will be able to serve it.
      Congrats on your good fortune! Please let us know how it turns out.
      Last edited by willxfmr; October 10, 2019, 04:55 PM.


      • Donw
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 3391

        So that is where my missing brisket went. Was wondering. Now, I haven’t done the brisket but have done several A5 roasts on my 640 so I will relate what I found when smoking them. The more significant thing I found was that they cooked to tender much faster than I expected. They were probe tender in less than half the time I planned for. The other thing was I noticed the amount of liquid that dripped from them. On my second cook I placed a pan under the roast to capture the drippings and used that as a base for a sauce. Good luck with the cook but you won’t need it as luck has already shined down on you to be able to prepare such a piece of meat.


        • Ahumadora
          Club Member
          • Oct 2015
          • 2157
          • Warkworth, New Zealand

          First. Don't waste any of it If you trim it
          . Keep the fat for cooking or lip balm. Has a really low melting point.
          Next. Treat it like a normal brisket (drink a beer or 5 and relax).
          I would cook it at 300f and plan on 7-8 hours with 2 hours of rest. Go to probe tender not 203f
          Never smoked a A5 wagu, but it is just a big fatty piece of meat and would be very hard to mess it up.
          You can always cut it in half and do 2 smokes. 31 lbs is a hunk of beef.


          • ofelles
            Club Member
            • Jun 2018
            • 2442
            • Brentwood CA
            • Yoder YS640 on Comp cart
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            I'm a low and slow guy. I also have a YS640 but have only cooked SRF wagyu Black which below what you have. An 18 pounder I cooked at 200F took 16 hours to get to 203F. The last hour was at 275 unwrapped. When I cook at 225F it takes 12 to 14 hours usually and that is in the 16 pound range. Just be sure you monitor it and it will turn out delicious. Take pictures please and let us know.


            • mountainsmoker
              Banned Former Member
              • Jun 2019
              • 1849
              • Bryson City, NC

              Do not panic by all means it is just a big hunk of beef and your .640 can handle it. Take it step by step: Trim the fat cap. down to 1/4 - 1/2 inch, nothing different. You loose about 30% of the weight or more. Your ready to go so use a good rub and get the 640 up to smoke temp. Probably 225 or so. Put your meat on and hold it at smoke for as many hours as you want, then turn it up to 275-300 fat side down to finish it. Wrap it as soon as it comes out of the stall, 170-180. Total time probably 18-24 hours. This is one time you can't use the probe method to tell if it is done, It will pass as soon as you put it on.

              Good luck and enjoy your windfall. Oh as a final temp somewhere between 190-195 will give you an excellent cut and taste on that Waygu.A5 Cambro as soon as you take it off. Carry over cooking will raise the temp another 5-10 degrees and relax the meet.
              Last edited by mountainsmoker; October 10, 2019, 07:27 PM.


              • tbob4
                Charter Member
                • Nov 2014
                • 2511
                • Chico, CA
                • BBQ's
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                I have found that with Prime cuts, my good temp is 195 - anything less is 203-205. I would look closely at the stall. Once it gets beyond that and starts to climb, I would pay close attention to fast it was climbing. If it is rapid, I would pull it at 190, wrap it, and Cambro it. If it is a slow climb, I would go to 195 and do the same. Please post photos of the outcome and let us know what you decided on and how it turns out.


                • Jon Liebers
                  Jon Liebers commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I totally agree with 195 for prime meats , I have had the same experience in that lower grades I take to 203.
              • Donw
                Club Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 3391

                Have you watched this video from Crowd Cow? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_6MbZTPL328


                • Mr. Bones
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                  Hmmmmm, a $1,440 brisky....

                  I'd probly haveta break out my Billy Baroo...


                  • hogdog6
                    hogdog6 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    "Oh Billy, Billy, Billy"...

                  • klflowers
                    klflowers commented
                    Editing a comment
                    One of my favorites
                • hogdog6
                  Charter Member
                  • Dec 2014
                  • 572
                  • Liberty, Utah

                  Wow you've received some great advice here not sure I can offer much more. I recently acquired a used YS480 and have done two briskets but I've never had the fortune to cook the quality you've got and I too would be a little (ok a lot) intimidated. I normally cook brisket in my KBQ so some of my suggestions are from those experiences.
                  Here's my $.02 worth. I'd suggest go fat cap up until you've got the bark you want. Flip it over fat cap down for the rest of the cook with water pans under the meat. I too wrap with butcher paper. Wrap at the part of the stall you normally do and finish until the thickest part of the flat probes almost butter tender. Start checking at 190*. Pull and keep it in the butcher paper, wrap it tight with plastic wrap. Rest in pre heated cambro with the fat cap up for at least 4 hours.
                  I too like QVQ brisket and that may be a good well controlled option.
                  Most IMPORTANT we will need an update with pics on how it turned out. Hope your good luck continues. 😋
                  Last edited by hogdog6; October 10, 2019, 10:35 PM.


                  • JGo37
                    JGo37 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Is that North American or Irish butter? (as a tip o' the prongs to MP's Holy Grail.)

                    Yes - put it all together from this post and you prolly CAN'T go wrong...
                • RickyBobby
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2016
                  • 478
                  • Brownsburg, Indiana

                  Wow! Feels like Monopoly but better! Crowd Cow error in your favor, enjoy a once in a lifetime cook! I truely cannot wait to see pictures! Best of luck, you got this!


                  • Henrik
                    Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
                    • Jul 2014
                    • 4466
                    • Stockholm, Sweden

                    Cool. Just like Ahumadora I would cook it a little hotter, say 280 deg F. You want it to bark up properly with all that fat and marbling. Also, have a beer or two. The faux cambro is key (as with all briskets). And yes, save that fat, render it down and use it for cooking later.


                    • ColonialDawg
                      Club Member
                      • Oct 2017
                      • 492
                      • Coastal VA

                      I would just grind it and make hamburgers.

                      And I am kidding.


                      • Bob's BBQ
                        Club Member
                        • Jan 2016
                        • 503
                        • Wisconsin

                        Wow - nice score! I'm a little afraid to give advice on a piece of meat that expensive...….
                        My brisket experience tells me that Henrik 's advice to go a little hotter makes sense. Good luck and look forward to the pictures and details of the cook!




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