14+# brisket on a 18.5 WSM

KGressler

New member
I had one hellava time finding a full brisket. Nobody carries them. All everyone around here had was flats. And even a few places told me they were full. :rolleyes:
I finally located some but once I got there the smallest they had was one just over 14lbs.
After reading I found out I could squeeze it into my 18.5 by taking can or brick foiled and placing it in the middle of the brisket and then foiling the ends that may extend over the edges to keep it from charring until it shrinks to fit.
My question is I have never done a full only flats and much smaller. I would like to eat somewhere around 3-4pm. Cooking at 225-250 when would you guys recommend to start my smoke. I was leaning towards 10 or 11 Saturday night.this should give me an easy 14-15 hour window and allow time for resting. Am I cutting it too close? Should I start maybe 8-9 pm on Saturday night?

Thanks and I"ll hang up and listen.:D
 

Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
At those low temps I'd give it more like 1.5 to 2 hrs per lb. 1.5 hrs = 7 PM Sat. 2 hrs = Noon Sat. I'd start the chimney 1 hour prior to "meat on" to give 30 min for the chimney to start and 30 min to get the ring engaged, put back together, meat on, probes set, etc. ...but I take my time when doing this stuff. I'm sure others will have different ideas. Good luck
 

Gary S

TVWBB Guru
I did a 13lb on my 18.5 two weeks ago and yes get something under the centre of it. I used a stainless cylinder I had but lots of things will work. You don't need much foil if you tuck the brisket ends between the grill handles. I agree with Dwayne, more like the hour and a half per pound depending on what you are you doing with the Point? They take additional time to render out. Worse case after the Flat is done hold it in a cooler while you continue with the Point.
 

KGressler

New member
Wow, You guys really think its gonna run closer to the 1.5 to 2 hours as apposed to the 1 hr 1.25 hours huh? Ive never run my wsm that long. Is a full chimney of unlit and a full lit last that long?
I planned on cooking them together throughout the entire cook and resting for a few hours and then doing some sausage as well.
 

Bob Mann

TVWBB Honor Circle
I do HH brisket, 325F for 6 hours.
http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?28113

I separate the flat and point before the cook. You put the point on the lower rack and the flat on the top. Though I did that cook in a 22 1/12" WSM, a half size aluminum pan fits in an 18 1/2" WSM.

Good luck.

Bob
 

KGressler

New member
Bob,

HH is how I have done my previous flat briskets. I wanted to give low and slow and go this time to see which way I liked better.
 

Gary S

TVWBB Guru
I firmly believe there is more smoke flavor doing it LNS. This year I have cooked seven briskets. Three LNS and four HH. The HH is way more convenient but I liked the bark and the flavor of the LNS better. I have separated the point as Bob mentions but either way...the flat still takes what it takes and then you have to add at least two more hours for the point. I cook with lump and have my own charcoal basket which I fill and pack tight. I like the clay saucer and I run my smoker 20-30 minutes before I add the cold brisket. There are many different methods and I see many of us have our own preferences. I think an hour and a half all in is plenty of time but there can always be delays.
 

MH Brown

TVWBB Fan
Always cook to temp, not time. I know this doesn't give you any idea of time but it's the only way to make sure your meat is done. I would suggest that you start early and then wrap the brisket in foil tightly and then in a couple of big old towels. Place it in a clean empty cooler and close the lid tight. The internal temp will drop slightly but it will be good and hot when you're ready.

Or you can cook hot and fast. Either method is going to give you tasty brisket.
 

KGressler

New member
Gary,

On previous briskets I've used water in the pan.But My WSM was new and not seasoned yet and ran pretty hot.I had a lot of trouble getting it under 300 for the first few cooks. Now that I have 10+ cooks in it is much easier to find 225-250 quickly.The last 5 have been either chicken or turkey with no water and it was pretty tough staying over 350 with all vents open and the door cracked as well.
I was thinking of not using the water pan just foil both it and my clay saucer. But with low and slow do i need to worry about drying out without water if its in there for 18 hours or more?
 

J Hoke

TVWBB Pro
I did a 12lb and a 19lb(both weights prior to trimming) 2 weeks ago. Cooked at 250, wrapped in butcher paper after 6 hours and the small one finished in 8-9 hours and the big one in 10 hours. You results may vary. Each brisket is different and these were CAB. I think they tend to finish faster. Much more internal fat.

Cook till probe tender and jiggle like jello. Use temp for a guide. Some finish at 190-200 others may take 205. Keep in mind that if you don't vent the heat before resting it will continue to cook and may overcook.
 

KGressler

New member
Figure you trimmed 1.5-2 pounds off the 19 lb'er. that's like 35-40 minutes per pound. And that was at 250? I understand each brisket is different and times vary greatly but you cut the time just about in half from what was mentioned earlier. You sure it wasnt a HH cook not a low and slow?

Now I would hate to start it at 8 PM and have it ready at like 6AM in the morning. Now i am slightly confused. At 225-250 can i expect 45 minutes per pound or 1.5 to almost 2 hours per pound. I can see 2-3 hours difference just not an 8 hour difference.

Am i missing something here?
 

J Hoke

TVWBB Pro
The only thing I cook over 275, my rib temp, is chicken. I started the fire at midnight. meat went on probably 30-45 minutes after, went to sleep, wrapped at 6am, and pulled 12lb at around 8-9am. I would have wrapped sooner in a comp, but this was for eating so I had no desire to get up early just to wrap a couple hours sooner.

Probably trimmed more than that.

Here is something from TexasBBQRub forum on cook times. That is a pretty good read on cooking briskets. It is a sticky.
http://forum.texasbbqrub.com/showthread.php?t=24789
180 degrees - Cook for a total of 16 to 18 hours
200 degrees - Cook for a total of 12 to 16 hours
225 degrees - Cook for a total of 8 to 12 hours

This is another good read on brisket:
http://www.thepickledpig.com/forums/bbq-contests/703-award-winning-competition-brisket.html

Give yourself plenty of time since it can rest for several hours without any harm. Like I said, just keep it from continuing to cook. I can't think of many briskets I have cooked at 250 that took longer than 8-9 hours, except the big boy, and that is the biggest I have done. We normally do 12-14 pounders in comps and the 8-9 hour range is what we plan on, but like I said allow plenty of time. Rest in a cooler wrapped in towels and it will be great.

Pretty funny deal. I sent my wife to Sams to buy the meat. Told her to get two butts, 7 to 9 lb size range, and a CAB packer brisket. She comes back with a 7 lb. butt and a 9 lb. butt and the biggest brisket I have ever seen. I'm wanting to have these done at the same time obviously so I'm thinking how the heck can I accomplish this. Both butts finished at approximately the same time and the monster brisket a couple hours later. As said, every piece of meat is different. Oh, the butts were also cooked at 250, just on a different cooker.
 
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KGressler

New member
Thanks J hoke. That sounds more along the lines of what I was thinking. And I like the idea of butcher paper in place of the foils after reading your links. Very helpful.
I think putting it on around midnight at 225 for the first 6 hours then wrap in paper bump up the temp to the 250 area is the approach I am going to go with. Plan on doing some sausage too in the afternoon. This way in case the beef is readying time at least there will be somethng to feed the guests. Lol
 

Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Thanks J hoke. That sounds more along the lines of what I was thinking. And I like the idea of butcher paper in place of the foils after reading your links. Very helpful.
I think putting it on around midnight at 225 for the first 6 hours then wrap in paper bump up the temp to the 250 area is the approach I am going to go with. Plan on doing some sausage too in the afternoon. This way in case the beef is readying time at least there will be somethng to feed the guests. Lol
If you don't mind, let us know how it turns out.
 

Gary S

TVWBB Guru
Gary,

On previous briskets I've used water in the pan.But My WSM was new and not seasoned yet and ran pretty hot.I had a lot of trouble getting it under 300 for the first few cooks. Now that I have 10+ cooks in it is much easier to find 225-250 quickly.The last 5 have been either chicken or turkey with no water and it was pretty tough staying over 350 with all vents open and the door cracked as well.
I was thinking of not using the water pan just foil both it and my clay saucer. But with low and slow do i need to worry about drying out without water if its in there for 18 hours or more?
Been following the posts. The time period I was referring to was "all in". I don't think your flat will be on for 18 hours. I like the clay saucer and I have not had a dry brisket yet either way. Interesting reading J's articles especially the two points of view on trimming. I have trimmed as much as 3 lb of fat off one brisket and tried the other way and virtually not trimmed a pound off. I believe the moisture comes from melting the connective tissue and is trapped in with foiling. I have also experienced pretty long stalls with LNS.

Like Dwayne, lettuce know how you make out.:wsm:
 

KGressler

New member
I will keep an update. How do I post photo's? I assume I need to have a photo bucket type account to do so? Or can I just attach a photo?

Since this is my first whole packer and I have read it good to keep track of your smokes I will try and document this entire process on a new thread when I begin on Saturday night.

One question is I don't access to red butcher paper. I have some yellowish/orange and I assume i could get some white from a local butcher couldn't I? Is there a reason this paper needs to be red? Could I use the stuff I have or should I just not worry about it?
I guess if I can get the paper I could just skip the entire wrap during the coking process and just foil it once it rests.
I somehow lost my injector so I will need to run to the store and try and find another one. I really seem to be unprepared for this cook.

Thanks again for all the help fellas. Saturday cant get here soon enough.
 

J Hoke

TVWBB Pro
Foiling or wrapping will speed up the cooking. Down side to foil is mushy bark. Red, brown, or white bp is ok, just no waxed.

Cajun injector if you can find one. Good basic injector.
 

KGressler

New member
Was planning on just your normal beef broth for the inject. Anything else you recommend to add to it? Besides speeding up cooking time does wrapping it help with anything?
 

J Hoke

TVWBB Pro
Wrapping helps to tenderize.

I have a recipe using beef broth, BV, Texas Pete Hot sauce, and other spices to your taste. Do a search here and on BBQ Brethern and I'm sure you can come up with several injection recipes. What you are shooting for is to make the beef more tender and taste more like beef, if that makes sense.
 
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John Bridgman

TVWBB Super Fan
It's clear that someone needs to make a rack that will hold big-*** briskets vertically (or at least vertically-ish) on the lower grate of an 18.5 WSM ;)
 

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