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Brisket question - I am confused and need advice

DocSmokeDocSmoke Posts: 6
edited 5:49PM in EggHead Forum
OK, I uise a large BGE for all my briskets. I have read most of the posts here regarding cooking a brisket, and also gone to other websites to read their recipes and methods. I have cooked about 5 so far, and overall I am impressed with the quality and tenderness of these briskets. But when I was talking to a friend about how I cook my briskets, he was confused about something I was doing and told me that this was not a necessary step. Let me explain.

When I set up the brisket, indirect, I put a drip pan on top of the plate setter and fill it up about 2/3 of the way with water. I put the grate on top of the plate setter and the brisket goes directly on the grate. I have a BBQ guru and cook the brisket with a grate temp of around 225 to 230. Ususally pull the brisket when internal flat temp is around 190 to 195 (when it passes the fork test). When I told him about that he said I should not be adding water to the drip pan. He said this would add too much steam to the cook. Additionally I usually spritz the brisket often (after about mid way into the cook) with apple juice and apple cider vinegar. He said the spritzing of the brisket was all that was necessary.

I know some will tell me that if it is working, and the brisket tastes great, then don't change. But this got me to thinking. So, for my first post here I am curious as to how many of you guys add water to your drip pan.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and endure this question from a newbie on this forum (even though I am not a newbie to smoking meat!!).



  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    I just put foil on the plate setter to keep it from getting grungy. Kinda make a bowl with it to keep the drippings from going down to the lump and the fire. No liquid.
  • fire eggerfire egger Posts: 1,124
    Welcome Doc, I do not add water.
    Have fun!!
  • BasscatBasscat Posts: 802
    I just leave the lid closed. I think the ceramic keeps enough moisture in the cooking environment, no added water is needed. Works for me.
  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    I started out putting liquid in the pan. I no longer do that because I feel there is no difference. I also have never spritzed/ or sprayed any hunk of meat I have cooked.
    Ribs are different.
    I also don't agree with your buddy on the steam comment.
    My thoughts...
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • Welcome Doc, no water but I do spritz with Apple Cider from 160* on about every half hour or so. I think because the egg keeps pretty much everything moist, no need for the "steam".

    Smokin'Stogies in Exton, Pa with my wife and our four dogs; Sully and Boo the Newfoundlands, Murphy the Irish Setter and Alli the Beagle/Lab mix. 

    Eggers Prayer-

    Our egg, which art in sizes, hallowed be thy smoke, thy will be grilled, at home as it is at eggfest. Give us this clay our daily brisket and forgive us our rubs, as we forgive those who gas grill against us, and lead us not to flashback but deliver us from overnighters. For thine is the grill, the smoke, the egg. Let's eat!

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Welcome to the forum.

    I am in the camp of if you like the outcome don't change.

    I don't inject, cook with water or add water to the drip pan add I don't spritz. I like how my brisket tastes. Mine tastes as good as any of the brisket I have tasted from the BBQ houses around here.

    A little while back Ross in Ventura had a brisket cook where he injected, had liquid in the drip pan and spritzed. He said it was really good. I think I will try and follow what he did on one of my cooks and see if all that extra work makes the brisket better.

  • Thanks to everyone so far. I guess the adding water to the pan is a carry over from my "old" days of using a wood box smoker. We always put a pan of water on the grate during the smoke. But these smokers were not near as efficient as my BGE. Once I started cooking on one I never looked back. Guess I just kept adding water like the past.

    Thanks so far for the input. I look forward to posting more here in the future. I am cooking a 10+ pound brisket this weekend for some family members. Think I will just not add the water this time and see how it turns out.


    Doc Smoke
  • i have an old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" if you are happy with your method stick with it... .i don't use liquid in the pan and i don't spritz. .. . but i DO wrap mine tight in double HDAF after it goes into the plateau.. .. that way it steams itself in its own juices for the last couple of hours. ..
  • Michael BMichael B Posts: 986
    I do use a drip pan, elevated off of the plate setter with four foil balls. I will sometimes pour a bottle of beer into the drip pan. If I don't have the beer, then the pan goes in dry. I do not open the dome until first check for doneness at 185* - 190* internal.
  • LDDLDD Posts: 1,225
    I place foil over the plate setter. I don't open the dome until it's been in there for at least 1hr/lb. if i'm cooking a 12lb brisket, I won't look at the meat until 12hrs have passed.

    You've got a technique that works... you can always fall back on that if the modifications don't work.

    Keep Tweaking!
    context is important :)
  • give it a shot trying it without water in the drip pan and without spritzing. at worst you end up with chili meat and/or burnt ends.

    I do mine with no added moisture. Start the egg, put meat in with probe, probe hits 195ish I start judging when to pull off. Sometimes I wait 20 and slice, sometimes I foil with beef broth for 1-4 hours. Either way, my worst brisket dominates 90% of the places by me and ones I have had from other non-egg bbq nerds.
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