Skip to main content

I am doing my first brisket soon. 10 lb +/-. Propane smoker I know that 10 lbs will take about 15-20 hours. I am doing two actually, but I assume that wont change the time per each.

My big question is this. How much of my time will be spent actually under smoke conditions. I will probably end up wrapping and finishing in the oven. Should Chips be added for the duration of the time in the smoker, or can there be too much of a good thing???????
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

No just place about 6 oz of your preferred wood in the smoke box and let'r rip. I will smoke mine overnight and finish in the oven after first wrapping in foil. Just be sure to use the thermometer. I normally take out of the smoker after the brisket has hit the plateau point. This is a method that has yet to fail me. It also produces consistantly similar results. I use Mesquite for my briskets, just so you know that is a very strong smoke flavor. I have used Hickory chips when I do my ribs though. I normally just grab a handful and put them into a loosely wrapped foil pack to keep them from falling through the holes. I will go to using chunks when all of these have ran out.

I really don't know how much chips would be needed for a brisket because they burn at a much different rate.
Originally posted by Radar21:
[qb] I will probably end up wrapping and finishing in the oven. [/qb]
Why? Learn to use your smoker (even a Propane fueld one) for the full time. Assume it's a burn and you're adding chips for smoke. You want smoke to get on the brisket until at least a 140 internal temp. That's for smoke penetration. It will continue to get smoke on the outside as long as you add smoke.

How long is subjective. Just keep good notes on how much and when you add it. You'll have to determine if it's too much or too little.

I haven't used your smoker, so can't get more specific than that.
All methods are good, just different.

What cookoff are you using a ST for? Local event that allows electrics? Good luck.

My point, was why do it in an oven? Lots of newbies will foil, juice, etc to get a good brisket and that's fine.

I compete. Given a preference, I don't like to foil mine. They call it the Texas Crutch for a reason. BIG difference in the bark/outside. Most that foil do so because the brisket is done way to early and they do that to hold. I know a lot that don't wrap them at all. Wrapping will soften the bark. Done right, without foil will give you a different brisket than one done in foil.
I think you've just made me re-think the whole crutch thing altogether!

When I used to use my MB I never used it due to the very moist/steamy environment, but since I bought the CS I've been using the foil mostly based on this forums advise, and had not really seen anyone recommend going without.

Admittedly though, I've never felt that it was quite as good. So now I've made up my mind (again), and it looks like another brisket for this weekend, (3rd in row now) but with the modifications I decided on last week from the "best ever brisket recipe" and minus foil.

I'll post the results,

Just to add my $0.02, seems like we have decided to reinvent a wheel that ain't busted.

Now,I ain't no expert-but a bunch o' real champions do try to teach me.

Smokin' and I tend to advise that the Cookshack was developed as a brisket cooker and folks might oughta just put it in and cook it.

Yes, there are tricks for timing and holding-but why not just let the cooker do its thing.

The "best brisket ever" thread was picked up from an old Cookshack mail in contest and has taken on a life of its own.

Now,if it works for someone,that is good for them.

It is a real stretch to call it "advice" from the forum.

Smokin' has preached for many years,to learn to cook the meat,and then try to use all the little tricks-if ya need them.

I ain't no expert,but I was taught a brisket oughta taste like beef.

Well,so much for my soap box.

That's just what $0.02 is worth. Wink
I have done them without the foil many times. I own a ST and due to it's size limitations I had to remove the brisket which takes longer to cook so that I could put in the ribs. Therefore everything was finished at the same time. That is basically what got me doing that. And like I said why reinvent the wheel, Until it fails me I'm hooked.

The cookoff I am participating in is at Lake Palo Pinto. I do not know if I can use an electric smoker. So far I have not seen where I cant and have asked the question. That said, I have an offset.
Welcome back Tom, know you haven't been feeling well, so not many posts.

You and I are Old and we're Brisket cooks, is that why you call us Old Brisket Cooks? Big Grin

Originally posted by tony76248:

The cookoff I am participating in is at Lake Palo Pinto. I do not know if I can use an electric smoker. So far I have not seen where I cant and have asked the question. That said, I have an offset. [/qb]
Just need to find out if it's "sanctioned". KCBS, IBCA and LSBS don't show one for Palo Pino and I know they don't allow electrics. If it's a local event, they'll just have their own rules (which they usually copy from one of these others).

Still good luck, always like to hear about new competitors out there.

I've found that most of the renderings in the latter part of the cook are juice as opposed to fat. That's what convinced me to foil--to capture those juices.

But to Smokin's comments, I'm losing those juices because I'm not doing something else right?? I read a lot about cooking hotter. What are your thoughts about cooking them at 250? What can I do--if I omit the foil--that will retain those juices otherwise lost to the drip pan?
Radar, are you still with us?

We're threadjacking...

We're now into Brisket 202.

Do what works for you. If you like it, keep doing it.

If you want to try some different things, there are options. Like, why are you using foil, can/does it make any difference.

Dennis think you need to figure out what is doing what with what to answer your question Dennis. It's not a question of you doing something wrong to lose the juices.

Collagen is breaking down and the fat is rendering (just push you finger in the fat at 180 and see if it's rendered)?

If you foil, you will be braising and it will sit in the fat/juices that collect. Not a bad thing, just the way it is.

Actually, my many years of experience tell me that I prefer to do them low and slow 180 to 200 for a really long time. Many old cooks believe you get a tenderer (word?) brisket that way. You can certainly cook them hot, people have done them at 300+ but they just taste different.

They all work.
Is there a reason you want to cook at 250�?

A lot of old slo n' lo brisket cooks felt they weren't cooking away moisture,since water boils off about 212�.

Thus cooking around 200�- 225�,to an internal of about 200� wouldn't cook off much internal moisture.

The feeling was that the goal was to break down collagen,causing the brisket to" tender up" and maybe even have better yields.

Many felt that the longer it stayed in the plateau,the better job of breaking down the collagen.

Most brisket doesn't have a lot of internal fat.

The external is pretty easy to scrape away,after it breaks down.

I'm not sure they were always correct,but it is something to ponder. Wink
Tom: the advice I was referring to goes way beyond just the contest brisket thread. These days, seems like you can�t go to a website, read a recipe or watch a cooking show on brisket not see someone using or touting the "crutch".

While I may not be an "Old brisket cook" or involved any competitions, Wink I've made quite a few briskets over the last several years, and I found that the ones that I did on my old Brinkmann water smoker and then later in my Masterbuilt (MB) (when I crossed over to the dark side of electric) have all been very good done both ways (crutched and not) with varying degrees of better mixed in.

What I found was the while the Brinkmann would tend to dry out the meat on long cooks due to the charcoal, variable heat flashes and the not so sealed environment thus the crutch worked great, my MB was quite the opposite, since its basically a dorm fridge with a water pan and sealed tighter, so I never used a crutch with it.

I�ll admit that my CS has had a bigger learning curve than I anticipated, especially since I was familiar with the subtleties of cooking electric and the most of things I did were from this forum or the Cookshack books (and they always worked well for me, thanks you guys!).

But this to crutch or not to crutch thing plus trying to get a nice bark without drying out the meat or just creating a spice paste has been the real challenge! And that the crux of my issue, it seems like with the CS I either get very moist, tender and a pasty bark or I get a light �� bark, but it�s bordering on having dry edges, but its always still tender and enjoyable.

And to that end, I guess that�s why the brisket is rightfully considered the most challenging meat to perfect�
I guess what I am wondering is we have a cooker that is designed to do a particular thing well,and it does.

I, and maybe Smokin',am referring to a traditional Cookshack in these discussions.

Just like we talk about opening the door,to dry ribs or jerky-on a Cookshack.

It cooks really moist.

Have I ever used foil? yep, there are a number of reasons,usually havin to do with hittin' a 10 min window,during an 18 hr cook.

Was it on a traditional Cookshack?


Do cookin' shows,etc talk about foil-when they don't have a Cookshack?


To me,I guess its like driving to the store in town to get a cup of ice to pour my ice water over for a cool drink.

Yes,it is a cool drink,and no it doesn't hurt the coolness.

I suppose if I wanted to get out of the house,driving to the store in town is a good thing.

My pappy- in- law still goes to the field to count the cows after dinner,and he don't have none,just to get away from the women folk.

I'm just a little confused what the trip had to do with the cool drink. Confused

Just my $0.02
I'm already cooking my briskets at around 212. In fact, I just cooked one for yesterday's dinner. I foiled at around 170, then reduced the temp to 200. When I cracked the foil on that baby yesterday afternoon I drained off 1.5 cups of pure juice (after separating out the fat). The drip pan probably had another 1+ cup of juice in it, not counting the fat.

So I foil to retain all that juice. I guess my question is how do you retain that juice without foiling? I took a bunch of pics that I'll post this weekend.
If briskets all acted alike,you could do two, somewhat identical,foil one -and not the other.

Then weigh the briskets for lean yield.

When I cook low and slow,as you are doing,one brisket doesn't leave much liquid in my drip pan.

When I foil,I am then cooking faster and hotter.

Think putting a lid on a pan of simmering water.

This may cause the brisket to release more liquid?

So, is the unfoiled brisket actually retaining more internal moisture,and the foiled brisket kicking it out into the foil?

Inquiring minds want to know. Smiler

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.