The brisket won't fit.


 

Gaaron G

New member
I need some advice. I'm doing a 16 lbs brisket on my 18.5 WSM tomorrow and it won't fit. I've read to shoe horn it or put something under the middle to arch it....but, no, still won't fit. I would have to take off a good fist size hunk of the thick side of this particular brisket to make it fit. I don't want to do that. Is it a good idea to just cut the thing in half where I was going to start slicing it anyways (right where the point starts on the flat) and put the flat on the bottom rack and the point/ rest of flat on the top rack? Any other solutions would be considered as well.
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
I can't quite visualize how taking a fist sized hunk off the thick side would make it fit when draping it over something sufficiently high wouldn't. My rib rack is made of several pieces of semi-circular wire. I bought this one specifically because it would double as a base for making larger briskets fit. It easily allows me to fit a brisket that would otherwise be four or five inches too long. Get a coffee can or something like that and drape the brisket over it. I can't imagine not being able to fit the brisket with a high enough support in the middle. Long before the cook is done the brisket should shrink up enough that you can remove the support and lay it flat.
 

Gaaron G

New member
Thanks for the reply. I'm new to this so it's hard for me to see it shrinking that much. I've only done one other brisket and it was separated at the butcher and tiny to begin with, compared to this monster from Costco. I just trimmed it so I'm seeing some possibilities. I'll try your advice with the rib rack...I have two beer can chicken racks that will do the same thing. Thank you for the boost of confidence.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
You will be surprised at how much it will shrink. I stuff the ends under the handles, it makes the center “arch” a little so I’ve never needed a support but, I do have one available, just in case.
Don’t cut it, it will be fine. Get it lit, button it up and don’t peek until ten hours in.
 

J Hasselberger

TVWBB Pro
I have taken to slicing a few inches off the thin end and grinding it up for burgers (mixed with some chuck). Some briskets are cut "long" with the thin end being really thin, resulting in a dry and overdone bit that gets discarded anyway. There's no reason to cut anything off the point. And as said above, the brisket will shrink quite a bit, so jamming it between the handles is perfectly acceptable.

Jeff
 

Gaaron G

New member
Well, It's on there now arched over my beercan chicken racks. Started at 0430 hrs this A.M. and I'm firmly in the stall 5 1/2 hours in. It still hasn't shrunk enough to lay flat. I'll be patient and wait. "George Castanza", that's hilarious. You guys crack me up.

ThermaQ says meat at 160.4 and holding, temp at grill 240, at lid 200.

I'll try and add pictures later but I'm not too tech savvy.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
You could be there a while.
Don’t panic, patience grasshopper.
Oh and “See, we told you!”
Just to be a jerk I figured I throw that at you.
Guessing this is a first brisket on your 18? Settle in, have another beer or get cocktail hour prepped, then, have one and wait for the FUN of slicing and eating to begin! It will be a great evening. I need to get one going in a couple of weeks, I have plans for the next two or three family dinners over the next few weeks. Probably be a month before I do a brisket next... unless I change menu plans!
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
And it will shrink a lot more when you take it out and eat it.:rolleyes: I have an 18.5 WSM also and the first time I smoked a 16 pounder I was sure that there was no way that puppy was going to fit.
I did the same as you, I asked for help from the more experienced brisket folks and basically got the same answers you got. That's what makes this forum so great, friendly people with a lot of knowledge and their willing to share it.
Oh and one thing not mentioned, even though you bent the hell out of that brisket it will still be delicious.
 
I have never met a brisket that didn't fit on an 18WSM. ;)

Glad you have "seen the light." Now enjoy the fact you can finish that on one ring of fuel.
 

Gaaron G

New member
Here are a few photos of my cook. You can see in the first photos why I was so concerned. In the end it turned out delicious. It was the best brisket I have ever had. The picture with the umbrella shows what I had to do to keep the temps down with the early morning sun hitting the WSM. 11 hours in total on the BBQ. (wrapped in foil at 8 1/2 hours). 3 3/4 hours in the Ice chest. Silky like butter.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HMJIi-cw2G3IWEzbwfiesUB94SI_1bd-?usp=sharing
 

 

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