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I have a new SM-045. I have used my old CS-009 for many years. I am getting ready to smoke 3 briskets in the 45. They range in size from 14 pounds to 18 pounds. I got the packers yesterday, and trimed them according to the video (Thanks SmokinOkie). The only thing I did different was to score through the fat cap like I do a ham. I am getting ready to dry rub these now. I plan on putting them in tomorrow, cook them to 170 degrees, and then put them in pans with apple cider, and cover. Then back in the smoker until they reach 190 degrees, and then turn the temp down to 150 degrees for as long as I can. They have to be done by 2:00 pm Thursday. I plan on putting the biggest on the bottom rack, and the smallest on the top rack. All of this will be started cold (cold smoker, cold meat). What temp should I set the smoker for, and what kind of time am I looking at? Should I rotate the racks? Do any of you see anything wrong with my plan, or have other suggestions?
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I'd sure like to help with all the questions...but I have very limited experience with some of your questions.

1...I've never smoked 3 packers in my 020, but when I smoked a load in the FEC, they weren't done at the same time or temp, I'd cook till fork tender and FTC as each finished.

2...I've never used a pan to cook briskets in, so I'm not much help there.

3...Yes, largest brisket on the bottom with the fat cap down.

4...Brisket 101 suggests 225*, that would be a good temp. I might cook for a few hours on 200* to help keep the direct heat to a minimum on the bottom brisket.

5...Not much help on the time, maybe someone else has done 3 packers in an electric smoker and can help with the timing?

Can I ask why you scored the fat cap, just curious!

Good luck and have fun!
As usual,cal gave good directions,and could have been more specific with better starting info.

Not sure what your experience cooking packers has been,so you may already know your other answers.

Starting that much of a heat sink,cold,I'd think you should allow at least two hrs per pound cooking time.

I guess you have accounted for the quality,shape,etc of the packers?

I suppose you are experienced with pan braising, and that- with cider has worked on single packers?

How do you plan to serve the brisket,since that will affect the finish temps?

The traditional CS were developed for slow cooking briskets ,over half a century ago,so time and patience will get you there.

As cal mentioned the running a probe all the way thru it is usually your best indicator of tender.

I suppose you are planning on your cooking temp creating enough rise above your 190º stop temp to bring them to tender and the 150º is your hold until serving?
Cal and Tom:

Thanks for your replies. I have been doing briskets in the old 009 for years. I do the briskets for a friend. The last 2 years I ran the smoker for 48 hours to get all 3 briskets done. That is why I bought the new 045. I finally got all three of the packers in the smoker but it was a tight fit. When I fired things up this morning the meat was at 55 degrees and the smoker was at 32 degrees. I have used the pans with apple cider in them for about 3 years now. The briskets turn out very tender and juicey. I was just wondering if the new smoker with higher temp settings would make a big difference in my cooking methods.
I delivered the 3 briskets at 3:00 pm today. I smoked them in apple and Jack Daniels Oak, and took them to 170 degrees internal. I pulled them and put them in pans with apple cider, and then foiled the pans, and took them to 190 degrees internal (the smoker was set at 280 degrees). I then reduced the smoker temp to 150 degrees, and let them sit for 7 hours. I was worried that they might be over cooked. Here are some pictures that I took of the brisket. I can tell you that the flavor was great, and they were "fork" tender. Let me know what you think.


Images (1)
  • finished_brisket_1
Cal: I don't know if scoring the fat cap gained me anything or not. I do know that these Briskets were done for an event I have been doing for 4 years. I had people that have been at the event all 4 years tell me that this was the best brisket I have done. I made 2 changes since last year. I have a new 045 smoker, and I scored the fat cap.

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