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You need to go by internal temp. rather than time per pound.  Buy a good remote read thermometer. and smoke it until the temp reads 190 degrees.  Once you hit 190 to 195 degrees, You have to by feel.  Take a toothpick, and probe the brisket.  When the toothpick goes into the briskets and it feels like warm butter, it is basically done.  If you want really good brisket, wrap it the brisket up, and place it in a warm ice chest for a couple of hours. 

The founder of  this site was champion cook.  He said:  Good BBQ is done when it is done" .  This doesn't have anything to do with 1.5 hours/pound. 



What Mike said. To elaborate, wrapping in double heavy foil, then an old towel, then in the (at least room temp) cooler - what has been referred to as FTC (foil, towel, cooler) can keep it getting tender as it rests and hot enough to serve for a couple of hours at least. BTW, just for planning whether you'll be able to go to bed, at 225 degrees I'd plan on at least 24 hours. The "stall" where it sits at 165 or so for a long time, will take several hours so don't get discouraged or tempted to turn the heat up. PS - make sure you put your probe on the fattest part of the flat, not the point. Sorry if I'm telling you stuff you already know. If your question was specific to what to do with prime brisket, as opposed to choice or CAB, I'd probably look for slighty less overall time.

Curious about the timing (as it relates to when to wake up) for a smokette/sm0025. 

Doing an 18lb brisket for Sunday before Memorial Day (or as much of it as will fit).  Never done a whole packer brisket before, and I know I've had slow/delayed cooks when I really load up with tons of ribs.  If I'm serving at 3pm on Sunday, should be safe pre-heating the smokette and putting the brisket in at 1pm on Saturday (allowing for foil time in the cooler)? 

Also, do y'all foil prior to 190?  Any thoughts on mustard and brown sugar/rubs or something more simple? 



There are many ways to do brisket and they turn out great Brisket.  Just look at Franklin BBQ in Texas.  They use a simple salt and pepper rub.  Many say this is the best brisket in Texas.  This is just the way I do mine.  I trim the fat cap down to about 1/4" and remove as much "Hard fat" as possible.  I use a rub I mix up called Wild Willy's; .  I use raw or turbinado sugar, but brown sugar would work.  I have used Mustard to act like glue, and can't really taste it in the finished product.  I have read that you can use Worcestershire Sauce or even Olive oil work also.  I simply put a really good coating of the rub on and let the salt start drawing the moisture to the surface of the brisket.  I do the trimming and dry rub the day before I plan to smoke the brisket.  I want the rub on at least over night.  The next day I put the cold brisket in a cold smoker and then start the smoker.  I cook my briskets fat side up.  I use several different temp setting through the cook.  I use 185 to 200 degrees to start out.  I want to get as much smoke on the brisket as I can before the internal temp of the brisket hits 140 degrees.  Once the brisket comes up to 140 degrees, I bump the smoker temp to 250 to 275 degrees until bed time.  I drop the temp back to 225 degrees, and go to sleep.  Early the next morning, I bump the smoker temp to 275 degrees.  I do not wrap my brisket in foil or "Peach" butcher paper through the cook.  When the brisket hits 185 to 190 degrees I start probing it with a skewer.  When the skewer goes into the brisket like it is warm butter, the brisket is done.  then put it in one of the cheap disposable pans.  and into a warm cooler with the drain hole open.  When I have to wrap I use the butcher paper over the top of the pan.  I don't want the bark that develops on the outside to get soggy.  As far as timing, I plan on a minimum of 8 hours with the rub on, 20 hours in the smoker, and 4 hours in the cooler before slicing time.  I have 009, 045, and 066, and have cooked packer briskets in all of them.  You might have to put a bend in the brisket, and scrunch them up, but they will fit.12 6 18 6   


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I don't know that charcoal is approved in the Cookshack smokers.  When I first started smoking some 30 plus years ago, I went from an upright Brinkman to my SMO 009.  I was still in the more smoke for the longest time mode.  Every thing I did started to taste the same.  Chicken and pork tasted the same as beef.  I finally realized that this smelled just like creosote.  The SMO smokers are very tight, and very moist.  2 to 8 oz. of wood is usually plenty of smoke.  Some people say that they cook fish and chicken in a well seasoned smoker and don't add wood.  Most of the people that have replied to you have learned over the years that in the SMO smokers, the meat will take smoke until it reaches 140-150 degrees internal temp, and after this the smoke starts building up on the outside and starts tasting like creosote.  This is why I said: I try to get as much smoke on the meat before it reaches 140 degrees IT, and why some of us start the cook with cold meat in a cold smoker.


Jay:  everyone says they know it is good BBQ by the size of the "smoke ring".  They never talk about how or why meat develops the pink ring.  When you smoke on free flowing smokers for hours, The meat starts picking up Sodium Nitrite from the smoke and develops "the Smoke ring".  Some of the old guys on the forum said that if you had to show a smoke ring, just add a very little "Pink curing salt" to your rub.  I think I can say that the "pink ring" has nothing to do with good BBQ.


Mike, Absolutely agree. By the way, your little tutorial earlier on brisket was spot on - thanks for reminding me of some points I'd forgotten. I haven't done brisket in a while - it's about time. I just wish I could find a whole packer locally. No local markets carry them, including BJ's, Sam's, and Costco, just thin flats. On line is just too much $$$.

Your point about "smoke before 140 degrees" is also one a lot of people don't understand. Heavy smoke after that temp has ruined a lot of meat, in my opinion.




I have done smaller briskets in my old SMO 009 without having to cut or fold them.  I have done three 18 to 20 pound briskets in my SMO 045, and 5 in my SMO 66 without having to cut or fold them.  The 045 and 066 have the same sized grills as your 025. This is sort of like trying to think outside the box, while remembering that you are fitting in a box.  Put the point of the brisket in the front left corner of your grill, and then bend it so the end of the flat is in the back left corner of the grill.  Your brisket may still be a little long.  put your left hand on the point, and right hand on the flat and push them together.  They will fit with a little room to spare.  I think that when OLDSARG talked about trimming the thin fat cap and placing the trimming on top of the brisket, he was talking about cooking the brisket with the fat cap down, and placing the trimming directly on top of the meat side of the brisket and not on a top rack over the brisket.


Everyone goes through a learning process when they start using these smokers.  I messed up enough smokes that my kids had Pizza Hut on speed dial.  The good thing about doing BBQ is learning, making adjustments, and, asking other people how you can make it better.  I forgot to tell you to read the 101's that Smokin Okie put together.  You can't go wrong with any of his methods.  There are little tips, tricks, and watch out for things that have been written about over the years.  I hope your cook went well, and brisket turned out great.      

Thanks, guys, for all the advice.  Next time, I’ll tuck it under.  I also did put the fat up top on the next shelf (actually saw some guy do that on a video)...

Put it in at 1pm on Sat at 185 till it hit 140...used 3 oz hickory and 3oz pecan (what I had, though I’d like to find some mesquite for next time)...bumped to 225 overnight...checked it at 6am and it was at 190...foiled it really well and put it on top of the cold smoke baffle at 150 until 3pm...

It went so fast, I only had the fist cut when I sliced it and one left over at the end.  We had 40 hamburgers and 40 hotdogs, for 40 people, but had to stop after 10 since no one was eating them...


Happy your brisket cook went well and you were happy with it.  You shouldn't need to cut, or fold under a brisket on your smoker.  I don't know how to explain this other than this:  Your grill has 4 corners.  Start with the point of the brisket in corner 1, and then bend the brisket so the end of the flat is in corner 3.  You may have to compress the ends a little but it will fit.  Each brisket is different, and just because the probe says it is 190 degrees doesn't mean it is done.  You can look back through the threads and see people talking about their brisket being tough and dry at 190 degrees.  Most of the time this is because the brisket is under done rather than overdone.  Brisket is one of those cuts, that isn't done until it is done.  I have had brisket that was done at 185 degrees, and I have had others that weren't done at 205 degrees.  You can't go by temp with brisket.  You have to use a probe, and when the probe goes in like it is warm butter, pull it, and put it in a warm cooler for several hours.  One thing about using Mesquite in these smokers, a little is really good, but there is a fine line between good, and bitter.


I usually pull mine around 195 or 200.  Depends on how I am feeling.  Plus, regardless of what the probe says, if I finger poke it and it doesn't wriggle like jell-o, it is not ready. Truth!  But, I have pulled early being over ruled by familial females who all have an opinion, and so I pull, wrap, towels, and cooler it for a couple of hours and have a couple of beers.  It is all good.

idahomike posted:

Did I say something that upset you?  I apologize if I did.  I was just trying to help out.


No Mike.  I was referring to the "familial females" that all want to offer advice at family gathering but won't get physically involved till it is time to eat.. Your advice for a smaller smoker was spot on. And I am sure it is appreciated by those with smaller units. 

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