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Just finished my first brisket cook on the new SM045. I only had access to the flat so I found one with some fat on it. I also put thick cut bacon on the fatty side and cooked it fat side up. I live at almost 7000 feet here in Colorado so I wasn't really sure how to cook it (temperature) so I chose to do it at 240. The brisket was about 6 lbs and was a choice cut. It took 12 hours to get the internal temperature to 195. I used two small pieces of hickory for the wood. The brisket had a wonderful flavor, but the bark was pretty tough. Overall, very tender but dry. I thought about foiling but decided to just see how things would be without on this first cook.

Any suggestions on how to improve the results?

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I think next time shoot for a full packer that has the flat and tip. Slow cook at 225 fat side down, I think you'll get better results. I did a prime brisket flat from Sam's once and it had hardly any fat on it, did a layer of bacon tied down with cloves around the whole thing and it still came out dry. Gotta have that fat on the outside and in the middle between the two cuts, then you'll be rocking.
My experience with flats has taught me several lessons -

Always buy Choice, thicker the better cuts with as much fat as possible on top, and as much fat striation as possible on the bottom.

Inject with a phosphate based product (helps promote moisture loss) has some good options.

Cook fat side down. This protects the lean bottom from drying out.

I used to foil flats. I had great success a few weeks ago by wrapping the meat in a couple layers of brown craft paper when the brisket hit the stall at 165. See THIS thread discussion.

I like to smoke all large meats (flats, packers, pork butts) at 240. I can't advise you on the elevation differencial.

Flats are persnickity which is most of us prefer Choice packers. Now and again you'll get one that will come out great with a simple salt and pepper seasoning, no wrapping, etc. but the odds aren't in your favor, which has led me to develop the tweaks mentioned above.

Read Smokin's 101, keep notes. Good luck.
Redhawk I re-read your post and then read mine.
Two things popped out at me.

1. You said you cooked to 195. There's no magic number. Learn to judge tenderness by probing the brisket with a fork or wooden skewer. You might find it tender at 190, 195, 200 etc. As Smokin teaches, "it's done when it's done".

2. Smokin, Tom and other experienced pros will suggest that you make minor changes in developing your knowledge of anything BBQ. I threw several suugestions at you, which I developed over the years.

Your flat may have come out just fine by cooking fat side down and/or using the probe vs temp to determine doneness. Just food for thought Smiler
Plus,pro cooks like Max can tell that the higher cooking temp,whether you foiled-or not,the size of the packer,whether you tossed it in a cambro with a half dozen other 15 lb packers,your finishing temp,how many hrs holding in the hot box,might also add 15* additional temp to the finished product.

I'm no expert but may have cooked a few hundred that didn't turn out just right. Wink
Thanks for the input guys. I have read Smokies 101 and will try to find a packer the next time. Maybe that will be the ticket.

I'm also going to check the temperature probe for accuracy. It seemed to me, both on this cook and the pork butt I did first, that it took much longer than cooking on my charcoal smoker. I'll check just to make sure it is accurate.

Max - I'll try fat side down and injecting if I do a flat again. Maybe foiling also.

Appreciate all the input!

I used to have a SM008 and always thought that I needed one of the bigger units so I could smoke at higher temperatures that the SM008 could deliver.
Not so.
Took me a while to realize that just using a really nice rub on a whole packer, cooking it fat side down and smoking at 225 for about 12 hours is "the trick". I don't rely on a probe telling me what temp the meat is - I put the packer in and leave the doggone door closed until Hour 11 and then will quickly check for doneness and temp with a digital quick read thermometer. My smoker tells me what the inside temp is and how much time is left on the default setting for brisket and pork butt (oh, funny that, Cookshack thinks it should be 12 hours at 225)... Comes out great every time.


Also my suggestion, just rub and smoke, see how you like that. Then take good notes. Then next time MAYBE try to inject. Do one new thing at a time. KISS

As for flats, heck I think flats are better suited for Reynolds Oven Bag recuipes. I see these gorgeous Angus Prime flats at Sam's but they're more suited for grandmas cooking in a bag with some wine and vegetables to be served to their "Book Club" friends. Like this
As probally has been said a bizillion times, but I think one of the most important steps for the packer is the rest after the smoke. I always backwards-plan in minimum two, but have went eight hours after the smoke for a rest. I never foil briskets till I pull them at 190ish. Double rap them in foil, put them in a preheated cooler and stuff pillows, towels, etc all around them. they will stay hot for a LONG time and I think this really helps, thought??

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