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Recommendations on how to cook a whole packer brisket

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    Recommendations on how to cook a whole packer brisket

    I have a 12-13lb Prime whole packer that I got at Costco. Plan to smoke it for the 4th on the WSM 18.5. Previously, I have only done flats (5-7lb) from the grocery store that turned out well.

    I have read Meathead's article on brisket and browsed posting that folks have placed concerning their brisket cooks. I plan to cook at 225 using Kingsford Competition, Hickory chunks with a Mesquite chunk thrown in for good measure, and a water pan. I will use a BBQ Guru Digiq DX2 and Maverick 732 to manage the WSM temp and monitor the brisket. I will use the rub as Meathead outlines, inject with beef broth, crutch until 203, and faux cambro for 2-3 hours.

    My questions concern the best way to put it in the WSM. I am not concerned about differences in cooking times.
    - Option 1. Put it on the grate as a whole packer. Due to the size of the WSM, this brisket will fit but the two ends will probably get overcooked due to the heat coming up around the water pan. But the articles seem to indicate the ends dry out anyway and should be cut off for chopped beef or burnt ends.
    - Option 2. Separate the point and flat muscles and smoke them individually. In this case, I would place the flat on the bottom grate which is lower in temp than the top and place the thicker point on the top rack which is usually 10-15 degrees higher.
    - Option 3. Cut the brisket in half right before hump of the point muscle. Put the flat end on the bottom rack and the point end on the top rack.

    I realize that most of you don't use the WSM but would appreciate you thoughts on the best approach.

    #2
    Jerod Broussard

    Comment


    • Jon Solberg
      Jon Solberg commented
      Editing a comment
      x2 ( he be the brisket whisper)

    #3
    I would put it on as a whole packer. I wouldn't worry about the ends. They probably won't be very dried out anyway. And if they are it will be minimal and you'll have more than enough to go around.

    A lot of people say to split the packer, but I disagree. I like to leave them whole. I think it just makes moister brisket, In my opinion. I also love slicing through a whole packer. (I defiantly would not do option 3)

    In addition to above, I would also skip the injection. I think it just makes a mess and I don't see any difference. I used to inject my briskets every time, now I skip it and I haven't had one dry out on me yet. I know some may disagree, but I have never had any issues. See picture below. You can see all the juice this baby had after a 12 hr. cook with no injection.

    Plus, you have the WSM. Which is a great rig for making brisket. Sometimes I feel that the mystique around the brisket is a bit over blown, again, in my humble opinion. I find that if you pay attention to your fire and let the cooker do its thing, its really not that different than cooking any other large cut.

    Just take your time, pay attention to your temps and fire and make sure you have fun.

    Ernest Also, runs WSMs and he's kind of a legend around here. I'm sure he'd be happy to provide you with some tips as well.

    Good Luck, and remember.....Have Fun!

    -Spinaker

    Click image for larger version

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      #4
      Put it as is. Prime won't need injecting, just monitor temp.
      My best brisket to date was smoked from 5 pm to midnight. Wrapped and finished in a 200 degrees oven until 6 am then straight into a faux cambro.
      Starting a day before gives me great flexibility as far serving time plus the time in the cambro does wonders.

      Comment


        #5
        Spinaker that is one beautiful Brisket. What rub did you used to get that great looking bark?

        Comment


        • DWCowles
          DWCowles commented
          Editing a comment
          Spinaker I got a Waygu brisket that I'm suppose to receive Friday from SRF that will be cook for the 4th. Where can I order that rub from?

        • DWCowles
          DWCowles commented
          Editing a comment
          Just order it from Amazon...Thanks Spinaker

        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          You can do that or you can go to their website. So envious of the SRF packer!!! Have a great time with that one brother!!! Black Ops and SRF sounds like the perfect BBQ Storm!!!! DWCowles

        #6
        I recommend option 2. I prefer the extra bark from increased surface area and it cooks more quickly.

        I would use Kingsford original charcoal. The competition stuff burns too fast.

        Comment


        • FLBuckeye
          FLBuckeye commented
          Editing a comment
          And burns too hot as well

        #7
        I keep them together, but remove most the fat b/n the muscles. This really gives more seasoning and bark on top the point, but they are still connected enough to hang. Once the flat gets probe tender, it depends if I am making burnt ends or not as to what I do next with the point.

        Comment


          #8
          It's a hassle (and hot) to handle splitting the point from the flat during the cooking process! If you're removing most of the fat between the flat and point (and you should), you may as well separate them entirely. No need to inject, IMO. Photo is the brisket I turned in on 6/13. It took 2nd place and was beat by a perfect perfect 180 (all 6 judges gave it 9s). My final score was 176.56. It was a really good brisket. Not injected. Click image for larger version

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            #9
            I think I am done cooking them together, I just don't see the point. I treat the two pieces entirely differently, the flat is for slices and the point is for burnt ends and chopped beef. They get done at different times, and both pieces are missing good bark plus there is no way the thin end of the flat doesn't get overcooked compared to the part under the point. Two muscles eaten two different ways, separate those suckers.

            Comment


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Even when cooking separate, you find the point is better suited to chopped beef or BEs than fatty slices IYO?

            • _John_
              _John_ commented
              Editing a comment
              Huskee Chopped beef is probably my favorite meat, I would chop the whole damn brisket if I had my way. Tastes terrific by itself, great in chili, tacos, even pixxa

            #10
            I have a similar situation. I am picking up 2 ~15lb whole packers (certified angus beef) for the 4th. I know I am supposed to cook to temp but my question is what time should I start cooking them if I am trying to serve it around 5pm? I don't plan to separate the point and flat and they will be cooking in two separate smokers because my little RecTec mini won't fit two of those suckers. I know I should estimate 1.5 hours per pound so I am thinking of starting it at 5pm on the 3rd but my rookie smoking brain is thinking this is crazy. Any opinions on when to start?

            Comment


            • FLBuckeye
              FLBuckeye commented
              Editing a comment
              If you use a faux cambro (and you should), the resting time allows you to have a large window to serve in. I would start at 2 AM; will you be wrapping? Wrapping cuts down the cooking time quite a bit.

            #11
            aperalta85 Makes no sense staying up and be dog tired on the 4th.

            From first hand experience.

            Smoke it from 5 pm to midnight.
            Midnight to 6 am wrapped and tossed in 200 -225 degrees oven (ovens do cycle temps so factor that in)
            6 am to at 10 am wrapped over in a heavy towel placed in a faux cambro. Eat anytime, no pressure.

            Enjoy the festivities while fresh.

            Comment


              #12
              Thank you both! Now I have 2 ideas to think about.

              Ernest It would be ok all the way until 5pm in the faux cambro? Should I monitor the temp?

              FLBuckeye What temp should I do if I start at 2am? 225 or higher?

              I am definitely wrapping. I can't take the chance of the looooong stall.

              One of the two briskets will be in a MES so that pretty much is an oven but maybe I will just take the one off the RecTec and put it in the oven just to be safe while I sleep.

              Comment


              • FLBuckeye
                FLBuckeye commented
                Editing a comment
                225

              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Resist the urge to wrap right at the stall out of a feeling of duty. Instead, wait until your bark looks good. It may not be until 2-3hrs into the stall. Or it may be right at the start.

                Your RecTec is an oven, if you don't mind the pellet use you can leave her in there.

              #13
              Originally posted by aperalta85 View Post
              Thank you both! Now I have 2 ideas to think about.

              Ernest It would be ok all the way until 5pm in the faux cambro? Should I monitor the temp?



              You'd gave to monitor the temp to keep in in the safe zone.
              Then I again it's beef, I wouldn't too much. This is just me.

              Comment


                #14
                aperalta85 What I have done before is leave the temp probe in the meat while it's in the cambro and when it hits the 145-150 range, put it in the oven at 225-250 (foiled meat only, obviously) until the meat gets back up to 165, 175, or anywhere in there. Then back to the cambro. I have done this cycle back & forth when a long hold was necessary for me. This is a good way to keep the cambro hold going as long as you need to.

                Comment


                • airforcekixbutt
                  airforcekixbutt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Huskee Does that back and forth from the oven to the cambro have any negative effect on the brisket?

                #15
                Thanks for the advice. I think I am going to start a 5-6pm to make sure it's done and hopefully it will be ready to wrap before I go to bed. Then I will just have the iGrill thermometer wake me up when it's time to put it in the cambro. I don't mind the pellet use. I already bought 80 pounds of pellets on top of what I already have just to be sure I had enough for this.

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