Skip to main content

Hi All,

I just bought the Cookshack SM025. I'm looking to smoke some brisket this weekend. I was able to get some grass fed brisket for a fairly good price. The issue is that the brisket is smaller (6-8 lbs) then what a lot of the recipes call for (10 - 140lbs).

I'm looking to cook 3 of these at once. 2 if the third doesn't fit.

Any suggestions of what type of wood, how long, what temp I should cook the brisket for? Or should I follow the same temp as a larger brisket. How many oz's of wood should I use? Etc.

First time breaking it in so any suggestions from the pros/more experienced users than myself would be awesome!

Thanks in advance for your helP!
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Well ,seems like most of the fine cooks on here suggest you read Smokin'Okie's Brisket 101.The brisket forum is a great next choice.Third,go to the page top of the Brisket Forum and locate the FIND.Now you can select info on those few questions the earlier reading didn't satisfy.

You don't mention in your profile where you are from,which allows folks to speculate about your potential briskets,woods,tastes,etc.

You may have so much fun-as most of us do,that you won't have time to cook.But,now would be the time to ask the specific questions to the fine brisket cooks we mentioned.

Then make great notes of each cook,so you'll know where you want to adjust next time.

Enjoy,you have one of the finest brisket cookers made for the last half century.
Last edited by tom
First of all hello and welcome.
Secondly if the smoker is brand new I would not smoke briskets in it first. Instead I would get a nice FATTY pork butt that weighs like 8-12 pounds and smoke that 2 days before your shindig. Follow Smokin's 101s on a pork butt - really criss cross cut the fat cap, apply a lot of rub everywhere, place it in the smoker fatty side down (if yoru shindig is Saturday smoke the pork butt Thursday night over night. Yup, it is as easy as that. 225 degrees for 12 hours. 2 oz of wood, no more. In the morning your yard will smell like paradise. Let it cool wrap in double foil in a 13x9 pan and refrigerate.

NOW you have started putting a little cure in your smoker. Doing a couple of briskets the first smoke is doing the difficult stuff first. Pork butts are a snap.

OK so now it's the day before your shindig. Take out TWO of your briskets (not three !!), wrap and freeze the 3rd one for another time. I tell you this because the specs on the SM025 say 20-25 pounds. I've tried maxing out my SM008 a couple times and it took forever to cook. IF you do a pork butt one day and two briskets the next you'll have lots of tasty food. You get a more accurate and quicker cook with 2 8-10 pound briskets, trust me I made that mistake too. LOL

Now apply a rub to them. Let them sit for about an hour with that rub on them so the insides warm up some. Then into your smoker about 8pm at 225 for 12 hours. Like with pork butts I find that is a good cooking time/temp even for a smaller pork butt or brisket. Same deal 2 oz of wood, no more. Believe me meat that had too much wood is not so great (speaking from experience). LOL. Have a couple adult beverages and go to bed.

Ok it's Saturday the day of your shindig. You get up get some coffee and go check on your smoker. With a quick read digital thermometer you probe and test for temperature all over your briskets. You want an internal temp of between 195 and 200. And when you slide in the probe it should go in easy like it's melted butter. Remove to a sheet pan and cover with foil 1/2 hour. Now separate the flat from the point, if your meat is truly done it'll pull away easy. Wrap the flat in double foil and then into a towel into a cooler. Apply more rub to those points and back in they go for about 2 more hours at 225 and you get burnt ends. Like this... When you got the burnt ends done put them in a 13x9 pan with a tiny bit of sauce, cover with foil and hold (you could use your turned off smoker for a holding oven, I do...

So now grab a shower and get the game tuned in. Read and re-read Smokin's 101s. SEARCH here for what the other excellent cooks do and get a feel for what you want to do.

You're doing things I'd never do. Making your first cook brisket and doing it for company. Me, I'd take that 3rd brisket and AFTER smoking a pork butt to season up your smoker smoke the brisket next, do it with just you and the family as the ginuea pigs. Then you'll have properly broken in your smoker and you won't be going into uncharted waters for company. Believe me after you've done a half dozen or so you'll be the baddest (meaning the best) in your area. No fooling.

Here's a video on burnt ends, check out his technique for brisket rub, cooking and separating the two pieces and burnt ends, it's this easy:

and here's Smokin's 101s:
Last edited by bigmikeinnj
Thanks Big Mike! That is awesome info! I've actually cooked one set of brisket (point and flat separated which was the way it was delivered to me) and that came out great!

I'll have to think about getting the pork butt in there along with the brisket. Not sure it will fit but, if it doesn't, I can turn it on for another time like you mentioned.

What type of wood do you put it? Hickory or a mix with pecan/mesquite (not sure cherry or apple would go good with these)?

Also, after reading a few posts, is 12 hours a bit to long considering my brisket is running 6-8pds each? Aside from time, I'll of course keep an eye on my meat probe.
If your briskets are 6 pounds then you could do all three. But if they are closer to 8 pounds I would only do two. And you should break in the smoker with a pork butt by itself. Take notes. KISS: Keep It Simple Son. LOL
Same same for the briskets: take notes, KISS. Don't overcrowd the smoker. Stick to no more than 16 pound load. One brisket on the top shelf, one brisket on the middle shelf.

I buy an assortment of wood on eBay. For $25.00 delivered USPS Priority Mail I get: cherry, red oak, hickory and maple wood. Pre-dried and cut into 1 x 4 inch pieces - I use 2 to a load. For pork butt any of them are good. For the brisket I would stick with the red oak or hickory. There is also a fella selling dried apple wood which is really great. ONE piece of that per load. Apple wood for fish or pork (ribs especially).

You are gonna have so much fun. You have the world's best smoker, a great crew of really very experienced cooks at your disposal and a world of new best friends waiting to come eat dinner at your house all the time. I trade my next door neighbor/handyman more ribs for work on the house and chicken coops and yard. It's a win-win...

Prepare yourself to party !!
Welcome to the forum. I am concerned that the briskets you have are just flats. If that's the case you will have to do some things differently. If there is a point then your briskets are on the smaller size. 12 hours will probably work, but I would start checking in the 8-10 hour range.

Also- Take it from this newbee. Make sure your meat does not touch your internal temp probe. That long thing sticking out the inside in the back of the unit. This will wreak havoc with your temps. And don't forget to put a drip pan below the unit. One last thing, don't open the unit for very long in the beginning. I did this once and the wood caught fire from the sudden rush of oxygen. These units are meant to be set, closed and left alone.

Hope some of this helps. Good luck. I am sure you will be pleased with the results, but like the rest of us, you will spend the next several years perfecting it.
Doing my first response was very challenging as my eyes are acting up a lot. I neglected to add the links to the wood I buy, I've gotten 2 boxes of this, there are 48 pieces or roughly 24 runs

and one of the things I like is it takes two pieces for a load. The selection is very nice.

Also I like this guy's apple wood by the box, these pieces have a small amount of bark but doggone with chicken, or salmon or pork the apple wood is terrific !!

So I got into smoking meat in Feb of 2012, I'm on my 2nd load of the assortment and finishing my fist of the apple wood. Love it !!
Thanks again for all the help!

I talked to the guy who is giving me the brisket and he mentioned the reason why the brisket is smaller than the 10-14 pounders is due to the cow being grass fed. The specific cows they have roaming tend to be on the smaller side then the type that are raised to eat. Makes sense to me! Plus, the flavor is amazing!

Looks like I'm going to prep the Pork Butt Friday afternoon to have it done by midnight. Then I'm going to put my brisket in right after. Won't eat it till Saturday night so should work out. I'll et you all know how it turns out!

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.