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Thread: Big brisket timing question...

  1. #1
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    Default Big brisket timing question...

    I just got a 1400 smoker and the ribs I cooked last night were great! Now I'm headed to Brisketville. I have a 9lb (untrimmed and in the cryo-pack) brisket that I got from Costco. I believe it's just a flat without the fat cut off, but I'm not sure. It appears to be a bit too big to fit on a single shelf in my smoker. I plan to cook until I hit about 195 degrees, but the real question is how long that will take. I need to time things so my guests don't have to wait for hours. Going by the 90 minutes per pound approximation I read somewhere around here, do I calculate against the total weight or the meat or of the weight of one of the pieces? I presume each will be four or five pounds.

    Also, any advice on how best to divide it up (we're talking where to cut, I knw I need to use my BIG knife)?

    EDITED TO ADD: I just checked and it barely fits but it'll just touch either the front or back or both even if angled. Do I cut it? Maybe just two inches and pull that out first as a sample?
    Last edited by Xyzzy; 08-15-2013 at 01:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    Xyzzy....if it will fit, don't cut it....I forgot to mention welcome and hope to here more from you. As I tell everyone....you can't cook by time....all cuts are different and will take different times. Cook by internal temps ONLY!!!!! Always give yourself more time than planed. If it gets done early....just wrap and put in a cooler until time to serve.

    BillyBob
    "IT'S 5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE"

  3. #3
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    Thank yu for the welcome!

    I know to cook by temperature, but I want to have a vague idea of time and include time for the meat to rest and neither put the meat on at 4am (if I don''t have to) nor make my guests wait hours. So, I have some basic questions...

    1) With two 5lb pieces should I expect it will take approximately 5*1.5hrs or 10*1.5hrs?

    2) If I don't cut the meat (and I'm leaning that way) Is it okay if the meat just touches the side? Will that cause problems (sticking, overcooking, etc.)?

    3) When people talk about ounces of wood are they talking dry ounces or liquid ounces. I'd guess dry but I'm not sure. So far I've used dry weight and not had any problems.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Xyzzy...I would like to give you a definitive answer...but I can't!!! These smokers act much like a oven...they average the temp.

    1) I don't cook at 225...I cook at 250 and get good results...to give you a guide...cook to the desired look of the meat, wrap and finish to temp. To answer your question...I just wing it and look at 2hrs per pound. Buy a good temp like a Maverick 732 to check the temps.
    2) Absolutely....I do it all the time!!!!
    3) I am not sure about some people....you should use dry wood and I prefer chucks!!!!
    If I can help...let me know!!!

    BillyBob
    "IT'S 5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE"

  5. #5
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    Great -- I just wrapped the meat up in a dry rub that contains this:

    1/3 cup kosher salt
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/3 cup black pepper
    1/3 cup paprika
    1/6 cup cayenne pepper
    1/6 cup garlic

    I'll stick it in by 6am or so and I figure it should be ready by 6 or 7pm. I have a Maverick 732 t, by the way! I've got some lovely dry wood and I'm trying to decide which to use ... Hickory, oak, apple or pecan. I'm leaning toward 4oz (dry weight) of oak and 2oz of pecan. I think I'll also add in a charcoal briquette or two.
    Last edited by Xyzzy; 08-16-2013 at 01:31 AM.

  6. #6
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    Red face I'm smokin'!!!

    I started smokin' at 4:45am at a setting of 250 degrees...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ...after 5 hours I'm already seeing an internal temperature of 178.

  7. #7

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    I haven't seen the inside of a 1400 that clean since i pulled mine out of the box.

    Have you hit the "stall" yet. If you like the color of the brisket externally, I would wrap it in foil and then leave it in the smoker at 250 (with the probe in the thickest part still) until it hits that magic number of 195 (personally I take mine to 200, but I don't know if that 5 degrees does anything).

    Enjoy

    Also, on a side note, i notice that you have your ambient temperature probe at the top of the smoker. I thought my smoker had a bad heating element, so I talked to Scott from Smokin-Tex on the phone one day, and he said that the way they calibrate the units, and ensure that they are getting proper temperature is to put the probe on the small shelf right near the element on the unit. that way you can tell that you are actually getting up to your target temperature.

  8. #8
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    Before the photo I'd only done the initial seasoning and one rack of ribs.

    The brisket hit 196 after 8 hours, and that was after I turned the temperature down to 235 or so from 250 a couple of hours ago. It seemed pretty darned tender when I stuck another thermometer into it in a few places, so, I pulled it out and wrapped it. I'm not expecting to serve guests for about 6 hours. Do I put it back in for anther 6 hours? If so, at what temperature? Help!

    It looks good -- but is a bit smaller than when I started. I guess there won't be leftovers...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regarding the external temperature probe -- I'll place it differently next time. I was mainly concerned with the temperature of the meat. I wasn't entirely awake at 4:30am, ya know!
    Last edited by Xyzzy; 08-16-2013 at 12:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    I'll throw my "welcome" in here as well. While I haven't been brave enugh to try a brisket, I have held 9+ pound pork butts in the smoker for 3+ hours at 210-215 with my target internal at 200. My fear for you in foil is that you'll soften the bark too much in 6 hours.
    Others will chime in, sounds like this is being followed by a number of us, but I'd reduce smoker temp to 210-215, run it for 3 more hours as a "hold" foil it for an hour and a half at the same temp which will increase the moisture and internal temp a little, then remove the foil for the last hour and a half.

    That said, I'm not an expert and I await confirmation/contradiction from BillyBob and/or apperrault and a full report after mission is accomplished.
    I believe in catch and release fishing. I don't want to EAT 'em all, I just want to GREET 'em all!

  10. #10
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    Just saw the above... an hour or so after I lwered the temp to 190 and put the wrapped meat back in. It is sitting at about 167. I'll leave it like that until a bit before serving and then remove the foil for an hour. As long as I've got a warm oven for a while I also put some potatoes (pierced a few times and coated in olive oil and salt) in a lower rack and added a small amount of apple and a single piece of charcoal to the wood box give them some flavour...

    I'm getting HUNGRY!

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