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First Brisket Cook

I am going to attempt my first full packer brisket cook this weekend. I have a 15lber and recently got a Fireboard 2.0. Any suggestions/tips (i.e. cook time/temp, probe placement etc..).  for a successful cook? Thanks all.


  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 31,987
    Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  Above all, have fun.
    Incoming PM with some info that you may find of value in addressing your questions.  
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • Jcl5150
    Jcl5150 Posts: 280
    My number one piece of advice is to read lousubcap’s message closely and then have at it.  Every time I do a brisket, I go back and re-read the PM that he sent me.  My briskets have all turned out great because of his wisdom.  Welcome to the forum and have fun!
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    I send lousubcap's advice, he is great help here.

    But here's a summary:

    - season the night before, rub on lots of seasoning.
    - cook indirect at 225F
    - when internal hits stall (at around 160F it's like the temperature stops increasing) then you have a decision ... to wrap or not ... and to wrap in aluminum foil or butcher paper. If you want juicy as heck, then wrap in aluminum foil.
    - when it hits 195F start to probe it with a tooth pick, when that toothpick goes in as if it's all melted fat with no resistance, time to take it off. Normally happens around 195F to 205F.
    - let it sit for 10 minutes outside the BBQ, then towel wrap and put it in a cooler to slowly cool for 3h.
    - open her up, carve and eat.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • keener75
    keener75 Posts: 392
    I will be following this thread closely as I am also planning to attempt my first full brisket this long weekend. Thanks for the Coles notes @Mark_B_Good.
    St Marys, Ontario, Canada  LBGE
  • loco_engr
    loco_engr Posts: 5,753
    remember brisket is fickle chunk of meat.
    There was a guy from my old stomping grounds that won the Royal on his brisket, the next summer at Big Blue BBQ (Marysville,KS) he finished 5th in brisket.
    Don't get discouraged on your 1st attempt
    aka marysvilleksegghead
    Lrg 2008
    mini 2009
    XL 2021 (sold 8/24/23)
    Henny Youngman:
    I said to my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?' She said, 'I want to go somewhere I've never been before.' I said, 'Try the kitchen.'
    Bob Hope: When I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel anything until noon, and then it’s time for my nap
  • Langner91
    Langner91 Posts: 2,120
    These guys have great advice for cooking the brisket.  Follow any/all advice you get here and you are a long way toward a perfect brisket.

    My only advice is to not invite all of your friends, relatives, and co-workers over claiming "brisket will be done at 5:00, come over and grab a plate." The first one(s) always takes longer than you want.  And, if you have people lined up, hungry, devouring the appetizers, and drinking all your beer, you will be tempted to pull it off before it is ready, not let it rest, and you will be disappointed.  Your guests will tell you it is "perfect" and it is "the best brisket" they have ever had, but you will know.

    Give yourself plenty of time and let it rest in a cooler while they are all arriving.  Most guys want to show off the brisket on the egg, smoking away.  Don't do it.  You will have hungry guests while it is still cooking.
    Clinton, Iowa
  • Gamecockeggman
    Gamecockeggman Posts: 1,329
    All of the above is accurate and very relevant.  Read it again.  In addition to the above I would add to make sure you fill your egg with charcoal.  Nothing worse than running out of fuel.  Make a good drink and enjoy the journey 
    Go Gamecocks!!!
    1 XL, 1 MM
    Smoking in Aiken South Carolina
  • DainW
    DainW Posts: 159
    Here are some things that I’ve sort of had to learn by trial and error. 

    1. I don’t know what time you want to eat or how much time you’re giving yourself for the cook, but I’d just go ahead and throw it on the night before. You just don’t know how long it’s gonna take to cook. Could be 12 hours, could be 15. I’ve had one go 17 hours and it was about a 15 lber. If you have a temp controller yoj can start the cook at midnight and still get some sleep. Worst case scenario it takes 12 hours. You can hold in the cooler for 6 hours no problem. If it ends up being more like 15, you still have a 3 hour rest and eating at 6. 

    2. The rest is crucial. Let it rest at least 2 hours before slicing. The FTC method is the one everyone here uses 

    3. If you’re using the standard plate setter rig with the grate on top, make sure to get a drip pan with spacers underneath the grate. Platesetter gets real hot sitting on the coal bed and the radiant heat can burn the bottom of the brisket, even if dome temp is 250.  I scorched about 3 briskets like that when I first got my egg. 

    4. Fat cap down on the egg. Trust me. 

    5. Fill your smoker up with lump and wood chunks. Start a small fire and slowly bring the egg to temp. May sound like common sense, but even with a temp controller, a lot can happen in 12-15 hours and if the fire starts out too hot, it can slowly creep up over the course of the cook. 

  • jdMyers
    jdMyers Posts: 1,336
    My one advise.  Might have been mentioned.  Might be obvious info.  Start your lump plain and let the white bitter smoke escape as it comes up to temp.  Then add smoke wood etc.  That bitter white smokes sucks when it's in the meat.  2nd advise put foil over anything that's under the brisket such as the plate setter/pizza stone or what ever your indirect blocker is.  Makes clean up easier.  If your putting a drip tray under it.  I suggest it.  Put some small squares of foil under the drip tray to elevate it just a hair off the deck.  Keeps the drip pan from burning and adding that flavor to the meat.  Keep something in the drip pan.  Apple juice, water, etc.  Keeps the burn down.  If you plan on using the drippings then swap the pan out.   Hope that helps.  
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    loco_engr said:
    remember brisket is fickle chunk of meat.
    There was a guy from my old stomping grounds that won the Royal on his brisket, the next summer at Big Blue BBQ (Marysville,KS) he finished 5th in brisket.
    Don't get discouraged on your 1st attempt
    My BEST brisket was on my first attempt. Now I am trying to get back to the quality of that first brisket! LOL.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Watch some videos on how to slice it as well that can make a BIG difference in how it eats.