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Hey, all...

I'm new to the Cookshack forum as well as a new Amerique owner.... Certainly not new to the world smoking and grilling, however I am a novice at brisketing, and definitely at using the SM066 although everything I have put through it has turned out amazing.

With that being said, I contacted a meat cutter friend of mine who came up with a 19 lb Choice packer, and I'm gonna give it a go for my buddies Superbowl party on Sunday... (I know, I'm breaking one of the 10 commandments in regards to guinea pigging all of my friends with something new) however I have confidence that I can make this thing turn out and turn out well. Go big, or go home; nothing ventured, nothing gained, throw out whatever cliche you want, this is what I'm smokin and I'm going to nail it!

Two things:

(1) without having the experience with this particular smoker with this large of a piece of meat,  my biggest concern is having it cooked properly to take it over to the party, (so time management), and (2) Is it safe to assume that since the heat does come from the bottom, would I be wise to go ahead and put this behemoth piece of beef fat side down?

I've scoured the forum to look for answers regarding cooking time for this size of brisket, but was not successful, so if it's been covered already, I certainly apologize. I see everyone talking about smoking anywhere from 6-12 pound briskets, and that would seem a bit more straightforward than smoking this thing that's probably still going to weigh close to 17 pounds AFTER I trim it up.

If I want to be on the road headed to the big game party at 1 pm on Sunday with Brisket wrapped and in a cooler to rest for a few hours, what time should I legitimately start this cook? I figure cooking at 250 degrees, cold up to 165, wrapping in paper and finishing up to 202 (or thereabouts). Is 12 hours really going to be long enough, or am I looking at closer to 16 or even 20? I have no intensions of opening the door until my alarm goes off on my thermometer, so interrupted heat won't be an issue (unless for some reason the damn power fluctuates in the middle of the night.)

Any insight or help would be much appreciated, and I'll post pictures in my follow up.

Best Regards, Matt (aka MeatE.Or)

Eastern Oregon

Last edited by MeatE.Ore
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Not a brisket expert, but I've done a few in my Amerique. I think your idea of 12 hours is way too optimistic. At 225, I use a rule of thumb of 2 hours per pound, but I've never done anything over 10 lbs. Also, I never wrap; bare the whole time (I like dark and almost crispy bark). At 250 as you propose, I don't know. There are still some real brisket experts who occasionally lurk here, so maybe one will chime in. My advice: cook till 200 - 205, then FTC for as long as you need to.

As for fat side up or down, I have read the arguments either way, but I do fat side up, since the fat will baste the rest, and the point will get done first anyway.

Last edited by jay1924

I know that I am too late with an answer to your question, but here goes.  I am using SMO-66.  When I do Brisket or pork shoulders I do 2 to 4 of them at time.  I plan on doing the trimming and rub the day before the smoke starts.  I plan on a 20 to 24 hour smoke, and several hours in a warm cooler.  I make my own rubs from well published recipes.  I like the Wild Willies rub for brisket, and Southern Succor for pork.  I always start with cold meat and a cold smoker.  The brisket goes in fat side up, and I set the temp for 200-225 degrees.  I want to get as much smoke as I can on the brisket before the brisket hits 140 degrees. internal temp.  I usually have to fill the wood box twice.  once I do the refill, I bump the smoker temp to 275 degrees.  When I am ready to go to sleep, I turn the smoker temp down to 220 degrees. I hate getting an alarm at 3 am saying the brisket is done.  When I get up I check the internal temp of brisket, and turn the smoker temp up to 275-300 degrees depending on what I see.  I set the high alarm on remote read thermometer for 195 degrees.  when it goes off I do a quick probe of the brisket with a toothpick or skewer.  When the skewer going through the brisket feels like it is going through warm butter the brisket is done.  I have seen briskets finish at different temps in the 190 to 210 degree range.  When you hit the right temps the brisket will actually wobble when you move it.  pull the ones that are done.  I use the disposable pans and foil to put the brisket in and then it goes into the warm cooler.  for 2 to 6 hours.   


Images (3)
  • finished brisket 1
  • finished brisket 2
  • finished brisket

After some careful trimming, and a basic dry rub, I start briskets around midnight at 225 degrees for next days late lunch/early dinner. Fat side down, trimmed off fat laid across the upside.  Set the internal temp to 200 (my preference).  Then as soon as the smoker reaches 225, I am off to bed.  I check the controller in the morning when I get up but in most cases the meat hasn't't even hit the stall yet.  So I do other things around the house/yard.

I have a SM066 as well and did a large prime brisket like you are doing a few weeks ago.  I set the smoker to 230 degrees and the probe to 188.   I don't recall exactly but I think it took 15 to 16 hours and the flat was perfect after two hours of FTC.  Separated the point, reseasoned and dropped it back in the 066 for two more hours for excellent burnt ends.  I just did a much smaller one a couple days ago (I think around 12 pounds) and it finished in about 11 hours.'s what went down.

Saturday early afternoon I trimmed the brisket from 19 lbs down to about 14.5...It was a choice brisket, but I did notice that there could have been more fat in the flat, although it wasn't too bad. The point was very thick with lots of fat so that made me happy.

I went with simple 50/50 blend course kosher salt and black pepper, and decided upon straight Oak to use as my smoke. With such a large piece of meat I wasn't too worried about over smoking it, so I put in 6.6 oz of wood chunks.

After rubbing, I put it back in the fridge for about 3 hours, took it out at 6 p.m and left it out on the counter at room temp until 7, putting it in to the Amerique cold, and set the temp for 250. I use a Thermosmoke "Smoke" dual probe thermometer, and set the first alarm at 165 to check in the middle of the night and make a decision on when to wrap.

I woke up on my own right at 2 am, and rolled over and looked at the remote display (bluetooth) and saw the temp was at 162...I got up and opened the smoker to examine the meat and noticed that it had a nice bark and good color so I decided to pull it and wrap it in pink butcher paper. In hindsight, I might have let it go a little longer before wrapping it just from a bark standpoint, but decided it was close enough and wanted to go back to sleep. I returned the meat back to the smoker and closed my eyes again.

At 6 am i got up and made a cup of coffee and checked out the temp...still only at 165...ugh. Stall time. we had intended to leave our place at 1 pm to travel an hour to my buddies house to his Super Bowl party, and knew at this point we'd be cutting it close.

Well, along with a watched pot not boiling, this thing stalled FOREVER! at 10 the temp was only up to 170 and barely moving. My wife and sister now starting to get nervous that we're not going to get on the road when we were supposed to...Chill, ladies and have a beverage. So they did...and so did I.

At noon, the brisket it at 175 and I increased the smoker temp to 275...1 pm rolls around and its at 180. I finally make the decision to pull at 190 win, lose, or draw and ret it in the cooler.

2:15 and the probe hits 190. I open the door and reach in to grab the brisket and when i remove the probe, i slid it back in, butter...I smiled.

Wrapped in some old towels and threw it in the Rtic cooler and made the trip up the mountain. Thankfully there was tons of food up there and people weren't starving, but i still got hounded to bring out the brisket when we pulled in the driveway. Patience, needs to rest another hour.

Finally at around 4:40 I pulled it out and cut into the end of the flat.

It was a little done in the flat, but certainly not overcooked, just not as much internal fat as I would have liked to have seen, but very edible, and according to everyone else, delicious. I went ahead and sliced the flat into a little bigger than pencil sized slices and served them in a big tin pan, and accompanied it with some Kosmos Original barbecue sauce. Left the point loosely covered with tin foil on the cutting board and covered it with a towel to let it rest a bit more.

Upon cutting into the point it was a sight to behold...perfectly executed. My takeaway was that I didn't feel as though it had enough smoke, so next time I may end up adding a little pecan with the oak, but over all, not over seasoned or over smoked, or over cooked. I divied it up and left some with the host, and a couple other sets of friends, and still had plenty to bring home for us for leftovers.

I have to say, I am so impressed with this smoker. For one, the temp never wavered too far from the 250 mark, although it was outside and it got down to 20 degrees out here in the desert. I never did tell the Mrs. how much the smoker set me back, but at this point I think that she would know that it was worth every cent.

Thank you all for the replies and advice! Hopefully this helps someone else out in the future as well.



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