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First Brisket cook- too much info

FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
edited December 2011 in EggHead Forum
Sometimes for me, too much info is as bad as too little.  I'm going to try my first full packers brisket this weekend.  I've never tried one, although I've done pork shoulders and other long smokes.

So like always, I've read up about it as much as I could.  The problem is there is so much posted about it, each bit of information seems to contradict another.

My packers brisket, untrimmed, weighs 11.1 lbs.  Going by the recommended times per lb I've seen that ranges anywhere from 1 to 1.75 hrs per pound, gives me a cook time of anywhere from 11 to 19hrs.  Quite a range, when trying to coordinate it for a dinner with friends.  

Then to make things more confusing, Christmas day I ate a brisket my brother in law cooked on an egg that was only cooked 9 hrs and was juicy and tender (I was there for the whole cook so I am sure on the time, cooked at his dome thermo reading 225 and towards the end he picked it up from the grate, put a foil cookie sheet under, and poured a little apple juice in. I thought this would be way too tuff since I've always heard of much longer cook times, but it was both tender and still juicy.

Then there is the question of fat side up vs fat side down, foil during part of the cook or don't foil, etc. Cook 215 grate, or 250 grate temp.  

I'd prefer to just have the first brisket turn out a nice, edible piece of meat.  Not looking to amaze people, but also don't want to be kicking myself for not just doing something simple like ribs and tenderloin.

Any last words of wisdom or advice in regards to my concerns?



  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,479
    I feel your pain. Everyone has an opinion. The conclusion I have come to is there is only one rule that must be obeyed and that is cook to temp. Pick a method you feel comfortable with and give it a go.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • brimeebrimee Posts: 98
    You need to cook to temperature not time (1st rule I learned on here). I think the consensus around here is 190 to 200. The best one I cooked was for about 10 hours at a dome temp of 250, at that point it was 195. I then wrapped it in foil and let it rest in a cooler for about an hour. I think it was around a 10 pounder. I read that when you stick it with a temp probe and it slides in and back out easily it should be ready.
    Fairview, Texas
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    Thanks for the tips, I will definitely cook to temp, thats one thing I always do.  Nice to have a ballpark time though.  

  • Frank, I second the above. As a hint about timing, I have never cooked mine for anything close to 19 hours. That being said, don't cut it so close that you can't recover from a misstep. I usually plan on about 12 hours and 2-4 hours of sludge factor / rest. If you wrap the brisket in HDAF and put it in a cooler, it will stay warm, but you risk having your crust go soggy.

    Good luck, and most importantly, enjoy!

    Gardiner Large BGE Dallas
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,707
    Cooking  to temperature is very important, but with brisket you should always use the fork tenderness  test to determine if it is ready to remove from the BGE.  This will probably be somewhere between 190 and 205 degrees.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,335
    It's funny, I quit bowling because of all the "helpful", yet contradictory, advice I'd get from everyone.  Fortunately, Egging is much easier (and tastes a lot better than bowling-alley nachos!) 
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    For better or worse, the cook has started :)  Hope there aren't too many surprises on the way!
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,721
    I cook briskets like butts, about the only differences are smoking wood and rub........same grid temp, same internal temp, same time in cooker,  oh and one other difference, butt is pulled, brisket is sliced or burnt ends.........starting with a good brisket is key.  t ACGP, Inc.
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