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My new 50 series smoker just arrived today (I'm very excited to say the least)! After seasoning, I wanted to try a brisket right off the bat. I plan on using the grand champion recipe that was pulled out of the archives recently.

My question: Costco only sells brisket flats (choice grade). Will this work for me? I want my first experience to be a good one. Or should I go to a butcher and purchase the entire brisket (choice/prime grade)?

I will follow all of your other suggestions around cooking times/temps (190 internal).

Any help for this cookshack "newby" would be much appreciated!
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Many folks would say that a trimmed brisket flat is the most difficult thing to cook well ,consistently.

Choice ,or CAB s are nicer,and Prime would be very unusual to find.

You might try Walmart,often they carry packers.

Choice is better than select and sometimes they have them mixed in.

Most folks would recommend you try a butt and maybe some chicken,to get used to the cooker.

The cookshack was designed as a brisket cooker and does well,without foiling and some of the tricks.

It is good to learn to cook one,without trying tricks,that may not be needed.

I have no experience with that "grand champ" recipe,but one member liked it.

You might also read the brisket archives and Smokin Okie's Brisket 101.

Smokin's 101 s
I've never found briskets that challenging to Q. Ribs are much more difficult for me.

I've smoked many "choice" flats from Sam's Club, and they've come out fine. Just set the temp to 225 and cook to your desired internal temp.

I'm experimenting to find the optimal internal temp for this kind of brisket (see my new post about "a knife going through butter" in this forum), and so far I've found that it's not quite tender enough for my liking at 190* internal. Maybe try taking it to 195-200* internal and see what you think.

Either way, though, you should have great results.

Like Tom said, a brisket is a difficult first cook choice, especially a flat. They are often trimmed too much and are a pretty lean cut and a thin cross section, but it is possible. I have done them with good results, but it wasn't my 1st cook.

A pork butt is probably the most forgiving in terms of ease to cook and crowd pleasing results. A butt also has the added advantage of improving the seasoning of your CS.

Good luck whatever you decide to do!!!
By the way......

My Costco sells very very trimmed flats from the cold display case.

But if you ask they will get you a flat untrimmed still in the sealed pack, and it's a lot cheaper too!

It did take 2 people to find a price for it, but it is on their system to enable them to sell it that way.
I bought untrimmed flats from Costco and the following worked for me (did 12 of them for church's Fourth of July BBQ):
Rubbed them with black pepper, garlic powder, salt and paprika.
Fit (shoe-horned) each brisket into a foil pan. Smoked three at a time at 225 until they reached 195. (I used hickory and apple wood about 3:1 ratio.) Drained pans - covered and refrigerated for several days until the day of the event, then warmed in 225 oven until hot. Sliced and served on buns with home made sauce.
If you're refering to the recipe by Aaron brooks
that is posted in the Brisket archives I can tell you I have done 3 briskets in the last month using this recipe, one packer and 2 flats, all came out world class. All took about 12 hours to reach the 190 mark.
No worries, crank up the CS and have fun.
Let us know how it comes out.
Thanks everybody for your feedback and comments! I ended up buying the full brisket at Wal Mart (select quality). It turned out great - cooking to temperature is definitely the way to go. I had a 12 pounder - cooked it 16 hours using the Cookshack Brisket Rub. The rub formed a nice crust and kept the moisture inside.

I was so pleased, the next day I started a Pork Butt (9 pounder). It was the best Pork Butt I have ever made (I used to own a basic electric water smoker). My CS 50 is on a completely different level - why did I wait so long to purchase?

I'm looking forward to trying the Aaron Brooks brisket recipe. Thanks again for your advice and moral support!
Way to go, Cal! I hope you are enjoying all of the company hanging around your new smoker. I put in a lot of years on a charcoal water smoker and I have no intention of going back. Since I have my electric smoker, anytime any of my friends mention anything about a particular cut of meat, I just tell 'em, "Bring it over and we'll throw it in the box and see what happens!"

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