Thursday, September 19, 2019

My First Brisket

This past weekend, I smoked a brisket.

Honestly, the fact that it took me so long to smoke one is somewhat embarrassing. There really is no excuse.

If I'm honest ... I was a little scared of briskets.

I can't always find brisket at my Sam's club, and often when I see one it is really more expensive than I want to pay.

Part of the reason it took me so long to do one is that I'm nervous about screwing it up. A brisket is not nearly as "forgiving" as "pork butt" ... or at least that is what I've heard / read / seen.

And it takes a long time to smoke a brisket. It sort of sucks to spend all day making something that turns out less than awesome.

But a few weeks ago, briskets were on sale and I grabbed a 10 pound packer. I had intended to smoke it sooner, but my plans changed and I ended up freezing that brisket.

This past weekend is when I finally got around to doing it. Turns out I didn't really have to be afraid.

This was another one of those long cooks that I set up a snake on my Weber Kettle. This way I can get started really early and still get a decent amount of sleep.

I set up the snake on Saturday afternoon. I applied the rub the night before.

At 2AM, I got up and got things going. By 240, the brisket was on the kettle and the smoking process began.

I had my handy temperature probe in. The "oven temp" started pretty low ... around 200, but I just let it go.

The internal temperature of the meat started at 39 degrees.

At about 5AM, after a little bit of sleep, I was up and checked on the brisket.

"Oven temp" was 263 and the internal meat temp was already 120.

What a wonderful start to the day ... smelling hickory and cooking brisket. So delicious!

Over the next few hours, I checked on temperature every once and awhile. I'd adjust vents from time to time. I sprayed kombucha on the brisket a few times.

I also brewed a beer. More on that later.

Honestly, I just let the smoker slowly do the work. One nice thing about having a brew day along with a long smoke is that you don't really have time to obsess over things. You just let it happen.

I didn't even have time to "worry" about the stall. I was busy brewing.

And so at about 9AM, I decided I must have been in the stall for awhile because the internal temperature had been at 160ish for awhile.

Oh well.

I wrapped in foil at about 10:30, at a temperature of 165ish. Usually, when wrap, the internal temperature goes down for awhile, but this time, I must have had the probe in a weird place because after putting the probe back in the temperature of the meat was up to 180 or so.

At 11:30, internal temperature was 191. I had to add charcoal to finish up the cook. I let the "oven temp" to rise to almost 300.

By 12:40, the meat's temperature was 203.

At 13:00, I probed the meat, but didn't think it was tender "like butter", and let it go.

I pulled the meat off at 13:30. The flat still wasn't "butter", but the point absolutely was.

I left the brisket wrapped and placed it in a cooler for several hours until around dinner time.

Maybe 15 minutes before dinner, I unwrapped and separated the flat from the point. I sliced the flat. I shredded the point.

All in all, I loved how it turned out. Everything was tender. The point shredded apart easily and was nice and juicy. I had a nice looking smoke ring and there was a nice bark.

The flat might have been a bit dry. Not sure if I over cooked or under cooked or what, but I liked the point better. I still enjoyed the flat ... just not as good as the point.

The rub I picked was a bit too salty in my opinion. I think next time I'll make a rub with a lot less salt.

But, all in all, I really enjoyed the brisket. I had a couple sandwiches on buns. It was delicious.

So ... now that I've made one, I am no longer afraid of briskets. I will be sure to smoke another one when I see one for a decent price at Sam's.

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Go Bears!


  1. I'm glad you're not afraid anymore.

    1. Oh, and did you set an alarm to start at 2 a.m., or were you just awake at that time?

    2. I set my fitbit to vibrate at 2:01 AM. But, I think it was my internal clock that got me up.