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Thread: First Brisket, Think I Screwed Up - Please Weigh In

  1. #1
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    First Brisket, Think I Screwed Up - Please Weigh In

    So I bought a 12.85lb brisket. Trimmed off 5.8lbs of fat and split the brisket into two (flat and round). Now I’m left with 7.7lbs of brisket. I’m using a 21” WSM billet.

    Few questions:

    1. Is the rule of thumb 1hr per pound per piece? Assuming each piece is almost 4lbs that’s 4hours of smoke....I’m use to 12-16hr smokes at 225-250 for two 8lb pork shoulders.
    2. Any harm in laying some of the fat cap on top of the brisket to help keep it moist? I’m afraid I trimmed too much.
    3. What's your thought on putting a layer of fat cap back in between them and stacking them on top of one another?
    4. Should I cook them on separate levels?
    5. What temp is ideal to pull the brisket off of the smoker?
    6. What's the ideal temp to cook them at?
    7. How many servings do you think I’ll get from this?
    Last edited by Jason C.W.; 09-15-2018 at 10:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
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    Next time, don't separate the whole brisket into flat and point sections. Trim the fat to 1/8-1/4" on the flat side and trim off the thick areas of fat on the point end. You'll see an example here:

    http://virtualweberbullet.com/briske....html#prepping

    But since you've got two separate pieces and trimmed so much fat, if it were me I'd season and cook them separately. If you can fit them side by side on the top grate, do that. Otherwise, I'd put the flat on top and the point on the bottom; the flat will probably finish first, then you can move the point up to the top grate. You can try laying some fat over the top surface of the brisket flat to keep it moist during cooking, some people do it with strips of bacon when they don't have the fat.

    The rule of thumb of 1 to 1-1/2 hrs. per pound when cooked at 225-250F gets iffy when you break that brisket down into two piece. Hopefully you have a good instant-read thermometer, I would use the low end of that time estimate and then start checking internal temp at that point and keep checking until done. They won't be done until they've cooked long enough to break down the collagen in them and get tender; instant-read thermometer is your best friend in this regard.

    As for brisket temp, it's usually 200-205F.

    http://virtualweberbullet.com/brisketselect.html#done

    You might consider cooking the flat to 160-170F, then wrapping tightly in foil and continue cooking to 200-205F. Move wrapped brisket to an empty cooler and let rest 2 hours before slicing.

    Normally a 12.5lb untrimmed brisket would give you about a 50% yield depending on trimming, which results in about 25 four-ounce servings.

    http://virtualweberbullet.com/pulled...alculator.html

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Allingham View Post
    Next time, don't separate the whole brisket into flat and point sections. Trim the fat to 1/8-1/4" on the flat side and trim off the thick areas of fat on the point end. You'll see an example here:

    http://virtualweberbullet.com/briske....html#prepping

    But since you've got two separate pieces and trimmed so much fat, if it were me I'd season and cook them separately. If you can fit them side by side on the top grate, do that. Otherwise, I'd put the flat on top and the point on the bottom; the flat will probably finish first, then you can move the point up to the top grate. You can try laying some fat over the top surface of the brisket flat to keep it moist during cooking, some people do it with strips of bacon when they don't have the fat.

    The rule of thumb of 1 to 1-1/2 hrs. per pound when cooked at 225-250F gets iffy when you break that brisket down into two piece. Hopefully you have a good instant-read thermometer, I would use the low end of that time estimate and then start checking internal temp at that point and keep checking until done. They won't be done until they've cooked long enough to break down the collagen in them and get tender; instant-read thermometer is your best friend in this regard.

    As for brisket temp, it's usually 200-205F.

    http://virtualweberbullet.com/brisketselect.html#done

    You might consider cooking the flat to 160-170F, then wrapping tightly in foil and continue cooking to 200-205F. Move wrapped brisket to an empty cooler and let rest 2 hours before slicing.

    Normally a 12.5lb untrimmed brisket would give you about a 50% yield depending on trimming, which results in about 25 four-ounce servings.

    http://virtualweberbullet.com/pulled...alculator.html
    What about putting a layer of fat cap between the point and flat and stacking them back together and try cooking it that way?

  4. #4
    TVWBB Emerald Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    I cook them whole but people separate them on purpose all the time to get more precise control over cooking each one. Since you've come this far you might try that out.

    You are in uncharted territory for me! I don't think you've ruined the brisket. You could try stacking them back together if it makes you feel better. It might be an interesting experiment.
    22.5 WSM, 22.5 OTS, Smokey Joe, Genesis 1000, Smokenator 1000, Old Country Pecos, Thermapen, Smoke, Maverick ET-732, Igrill 2

  5. #5
    TVWBB Emerald Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Sorry, I got nothing!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  6. #6
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Maybe too late now but maybe: stack and tie (so it looks sort of like the original packer) with butcher string like we do when re-tying a roast after de-boning.

    I think the original 1/4" fat cap is more for protecting the meat more so than "basting" it' although it does contribute so if you can still include in the stack, do so.
    Last edited by Len Dennis; 09-16-2018 at 10:40 AM.
    So many recipes, so little time
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  7. #7
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    So it turned out AMAZING, super tender, passed the juicy squeeze test. Smoked for 6hrs with fat layered in the middle and on top, then pulled top fat layer, foiled in a pan for about 1.5hrs to get past the stall, then smoked another 4 hours and added more rub to get a bark. It was redonkulously good!!!
    Last edited by Jason C.W.; 09-16-2018 at 04:30 PM.

  8. #8
    TVWBB Emerald Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Excellent news! Now, have one more frosty beverage, start cleaning up or revel in your success and go to bed!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

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