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The problem is that there is NOT a cooking chart. There are just too many variables to really give you such a thing for Smoking.

Like xcon said, those would be good guidelines, but it WILL vary based upon a lot of factors.

The absolute best thing to do is take great notes and build a list that works for you and your smoker.

Size of brisket
Type (whole packer, flat, point)
temp of the meat going in (room temp, cold out of the fridge)

Try to track all the variables.

I'll have to see if I can find the templates we used to have on here (before the move and the links were broken)

The really important factor in slo/lo cooking could be breaking down collagen and rendering fat.

When folks talk lbs/time they might be talking an 8 lb butt,or 15 lb packer.

Think about running a band saw across a butt,or packer and having a 3/4 inch thick steak.

Put it in a 350º skillet for three mins on a side and it will be cooked/done to meet the safety chart,but could you shred it with a couple forks?

Has it rendered all the fat?

Could you even chew it?
It's easy to confuse why you'd ask the question, but think about this.

The cooker is trying to hold a set temp, so for it, it doesn't matter whether there is 1 or 6 it's going to try to hold the temp you set.

The only issue is initially it might take longer because of how much MASS you put it, only when you have it fully loaded.

But it's still going to try to get to that temp.
Thanks for the replies. I put the briskets in, and I believe it was 16 hours later that I took them out. It got to 14 degrees during the night, so that was probably a bit of a factor with the time. I have an 009, and set it at 225 initially, then the last couple of hours turned it up to 250. The smoker temp never hit those temps, but were in the ball park. Still couldn't get the internal temp of the meat above 185. So I took them out, and I think they were the best things I have smoked in that smoker. It was unbelievable. I have mostly done pork butts, but will certainly start doing more briskets. Thanks for the information.
With 800* + insulation the ambient temp shouldn't affect the cooking temp too much,unless the door is opened a lot.

I assume you have checked the actual temp at the cooking spot in the cooker with correct remote therms and your instaread therm was also calibrated?

If so,you might give CS service a call.

Packers can hit a plateau around 185*,but as it closes in on 190*,it will increase in internal temp pretty quickly.

If you thought the briskets were good at 185*,another 10* might make them even better.

If all the above is correct and time and your max temp won't let you get to a higher internal temp,you can always try the dreaded foil.

I'm not advocating it as a standard practice,but it can lessen cook time and increase internal temps.
I forget the brand (maybe Maverick), but I have a popular remote, dual thermometer that I use, and go by. I didn't know you could calibrate them. I figure that would cost more than the thermometer. I actually have a Thermapen (I use that for brewing beer), also, but haven't used it since I only like to open the door when I get the meat reading I want. I'll start using that as a back up to check the final temp. So I usually never open the door, and didn't this time, either. I think if I would have waited longer, it would have climbed above 185. But closing in on 16 hours, I was worrying about it drying out. Which it didn't. I'll keep an eye on the temps, but so far it is working for me. Thanks for the reply.
I would hate to speak for Tom, but I'm thinking he means you might want to test your probe in boiling water and then in ice water ,to make sure your readings are close to what boiling temp(212*) is and close to 32*.

I smoked a brisket in -10* weather and 6* as the high last winter and had no problem with any extended cooking times, only the dreaded plateau.

While time may be a factor for your cooking, I would have to think you may be a little happier by checking for doneness by sliding a probe in it to feel for resistance. This is the way Smokin' taught me and WELL he does know all,IMO.

I do agree with you on brisket has an AWESOME taste and it will only get better with practice.
Thanks Cal.I tend to take about five therms to a comp and I first check them all at home.

When I check them again at the comp,at least one will be way off.

Not that they are a final indicator,but ten degrees may throw off your timing.

Yes,the thermapen is good in several places on the packer,and also as a check for tenderness.
Last edited by tom
Posted October 13, 2010 10:53 PM Hide Post
I understand the time/lb formula, but does that apply to total weight, were as if you have two 8 lb briskets - 16 x time? Or just take one of them, so you have 8 x time? I understand that temperature tells the tale, but I am looking for an apx total time, so I can figure when to start the smokin'. Thanks.

Capt Q, If you stack 2 pieces of meat on top of each other then the total weight applies, otherwise go by the individual piece weight.

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