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How long can I FTC a brisket?

Ok, next Wednesday I will be serving my first brisket.  I have a 14 lb choice packer.  I will be feeding this to a bunch of cowboys after a cattle branding that I will also be working at.  We will be ready to eat at about 1:00 pm.  Round-up in the first pasture starts about 6:30 am and we will be branding about 350 calves located in several different pastures.
I need to leave my house where the egg is located at about 6:30 am to be to the first pasture to help at 7:30 am as I am not riding this year.

How long can I leave a brisket FTC without drying out?


Ernie McClain

Scottsbluff, Nebraska

(in the extreme western panhandle of NE)


  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 3,376
    It really varies, I had what I thought wasnan over done brisket FTC for 2-3 he's and be just fine.
    And one that was @ temp that was not as good after a short FTC.

    In the end with brisket im convinced its the meat.... Not an exact science.
    Seattle, WA
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,088
    FTC shouldn't dry it out. I've went as long as 6.5-7 hrs and IT was still in safe zone slightly above 140℉. Don't think I'd try to do it again as that was really pushing it. All I did was let the cooler sit in my truck all day, put brisky FTC & placed back into hot cab of my truck (90℉+ in FL sun will keep anything hot).
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • jeroldharterjeroldharter Posts: 548
    at least 8 hours in a Yeti
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,429
    Sir I don't know if anyone has ever went to the extent of determining what the absolute max time a brisket can be held and still turn out spot on when served. I'm sure someone probably has but it's not found in any written text to my knowledge nor is there an accepted "max" time amongst competitors as there are many different ways to hold a brisket for extended periods of time successfully. It's beyond the scope of this writing to cover them all here. I have held them close to 12 hours with good results consistently. It's not a recommended practice but I assure you it can and has been done many, many times by numerous cooks. There are a few tricks that can greatly improve your chances of success if you chose to hold your brisket for a extended period of time. You probably already know them so I won't go into them here. If you don't myself or someone else will gladly cover some of them to assist you if need be. I'm going to leave you with a interesting fact that may help shed some light on just how long brisket can be held with success if one knows what he is doing. In 1994 before he was king of the bbq world I personally witnessed Myron Mixon hold a brisket for 14 hours and win with it. Rather you believe that or not is up to you but I'm stating absolute fact not sentiment my friend. Good luck with your brisket and I'm sure it will turn out great.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

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    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
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  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,088
    FWIW @cazzy gave me a suggestion I plan on incorporating...not using HDAF and rather use butcher paper as it allows for the brisket to breath thus not causing the bark we work so hard to achieve to go soft. Nobody likes soft bark.
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 23,262
    14 hours is completely believable. 

    Here's a tip - get an air tight (gasket lid) cooler, or if you don't have one, after you wrap in foil (radiant barrier), put the brisket in a plastic bag and tie it so it's air tight.  You can even wrap that in foil. 
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
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  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,088
    @cazzy were you on an old previous post (I can't locate right this second) suggesting the use of butchers paper if needing a crutch? And then using paper for FTC something in my mind is remembering you talking about a precautionary step to avoid drying out??? What was it?
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 13,707

    If you don't have an air-tight cooler (or if you do) you can pre-warm some bricks and put them in the cooler to help with temp.  And the above mentioned placement in the sun will definitely help.   You are looking at around 6-6 1/2 hours-definitely doable.  Enjoy the eats!

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.
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