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Purchased a nice 12lb prime brisket at my local Costco in Camas Washington for $2.75/lb
yesterday (4-22-16). It came partially trimmed as I only needed to remove the large hunk
of fat where the flat and the point connect and trimmed away some of the silver skin.

I'll be using my 08 so will need to fold some of the flat under to fit it into the smoker.
Since these Cookshack smokers do such a good job retaining moisture I was wondering if there
would be any benefit in wrapping the brisket in some unwaxed butcher paper after it comes
out of the stall until finished? I know Franklin does this for his wood fired smokers to
retain moisture but thought it might be unnecessary in a Cookshank.

Would appreciate your valuable comments as I am going to throw this on in two days.
I'll be using my 08 so will need to fold some of the flat under to fit it into the smoker.

Hello Jackcannata, you might try putting a coke can (empty of course) under the middle of the brisket. It will in many cases make it fit without folding. Glad to hear the prices are back down at Costco, I will check my out later today or tomorrow afternoon. Thanks!
I have now done 3 prime packer briskets from Costco on my SMO45. I set temp at 225 and go to bed. Times have ranged from 14-18 hours, depending on size. I cook them to internal temp of 200-205. I have not bothered with either paper or foil wraps, but when they come out of smoker, I FTC for a couple of hours before slicing (a critical step I think.) Meat has been consistently moist and delicious. Price has risen a bit, but still only $2.99 this week.
Just smoked a 12.5 lb prime brisket from Costco. Used Franklins recipe, just salt and pepper and put in the 025 at 275 degrees. After about 4.5 hours internal was 190. Pulled it, wrapped in butcher paper and returned to smoker till 203 internal. Now resting till dinner time. Did take a test taste. Wow. Just perfect. Guess that is why he has lines down the street at his restaurant. He nailed it.
I am using a recipe that I copied from Franklin. It calls for 275 degrees. This is the second brisket I cooked at 275 and they were both done very quickly. Tasted fine. You might want to try it as an experiment. Just salt and pepper with a mustard coating first. Then into the 025 at 275 until internal is 180. Remove, wrap in butcher paper and return still at 275 until internal reaches 203. Remove, let sit for an hour and carve. That is what I did both times and worked fabulously.
Originally posted by Jay1924:
Camper Bob, Franklin's recipe calls for 40 - 60 minutes per lb at 225 - 250.

Actually Jay, Franklin's brisket recipe in his book (A Meat Smoking Manifesto) does call for 275. Camper Bob's brisket was Prime. If there was an excess of marbling and the conformation of the brisket was thin, say 1.5 - 2 inches, I could possibly see how a 4.5 hour finish time could be possible.
Thanks Max, I guess Franklin has multiple recipes published. The one I looked at was from April 2011 Texas Monthly, which came up on Google. I'll have to look for a smaller prime packer to try. My problem with packers has been that I have to choose between getting up super early and having a very late dinner, or cooking overnight and having to FTC the meat for several hours waiting for dinner time. I know, if that's my biggest problem in life... Smiler Anyway, that's why I was intrigued by Camper Bob's cook time.
Jay, just remember, a couple of hours of FTC makes the brisket much happier. It is alleged that it allows the proteins to relax and reabsorb moisture, or some other science fiction talk. My Ph.D. is in the wrong subject for all that. Only thing I know is that after a couple of hours wrapped in an old towel and tucked in a cheap Styrofoam cooler, I'm looking at some juicy beef and happy eaters all around the table.
Downtown_Smoker, thanks, I have done the FTC thing for around two hours, and it certainly does help. For longer than that, say around four hours, even with a pretty decent cooler and multiple layers of towels, I've found that some reheating is required for other than sandwiches, to keep people happy that they've had a hot meal.

Yeah if I'd realized how much time I'd be spending later in life doing this, I'd probably have chosen a different Ph.D. subject too...

Have been doing brisket for an open house for 10 + years now. It started with 1, and is now up to 4 briskets. I do the FTC for 4 or more hours. I use one the big blue and white coolers. When the brisket is delivered, it is still almost to hot to handle. I have done this with pork butts also. I put the towels in the cooler, and stick a big pot of boiling water in the cooler about an hour before the brisket comes out of the smoker. The cooler and towels are hot when the brisket goes in.
Originally posted by Jay1924:
My problem with packers has been that I have to choose between getting up super early and having a very late dinner, or cooking overnight and having to FTC the meat for several hours waiting for dinner time.

I hear you. Two years ago I experimented with hot & fast (275) and wrapping with butcher paper at the stall. Mostly I use Creekstone Choice packers in the 12-13 # range. I can normally get them off the smoker in under 8 hrs. but like others, prefer to rest them for 2 hrs. + I was very pleased with the results.
MaxQ, I don't have a theology of BBQ temperatures. If it's good, it's good.
Having said that, I'm still low and slow plus FTC, and here's why.

I hate worrying and I hate being in a rush. That's when I make stupid mistakes. (You can ask my wife -- she'll give you a list of times.) When you smoke a brisket, it's because a whole bunch of people are coming over for dinner, and you want to make them happy. I don't want to spend a day worrying about whether or not the beef will be done. If I can "normally get them off the smoker in under 8 hours" but this one ends up taking 9 and a half, I get to choose between making people wait, or pulling out 14 pounds of meat that is still so tough that I have to chop it with a cleaver to make sandwiches. Facing two bad choices is not my idea of fun.

It's done when it's done. If I'm having a 6 PM dinner, and I stick my big fat packer brisket in the smoker at 10 the night before, and set the temperature for 225, in a Cookshack the internal temp will hit 200-205 somewhere between 3 and 5. If the temp is hanging around 175 at noon, I may boost up the heat a bit, again, just so I don't have to fret over finishing on time.

With the meat smoked and tucked in the cooler (typically around 4), I've still got time to help my wife with the rest of the prep for the party. Big jobs, like making sure we have enough beer, or driving over to the market for more ice. Because at this point, the brisket is no worries.

Hot and fast works for Franklin, because he's putting a couple of dozen packers in the smoker and starts by serving the one that's done first. Me, I've just got one in there, and I want to be peacefully assured that dinner will be ready at dinner time.
Originally posted by Camper Bob:
Was sorely tempted but have too much going on this weekend. If they are still available next week, will buy and smoke. Do the packers run this low during the summer, too?

Two thoughts.

1. Consider wet aging. Buy it and keep it in the fridge.

2. As the summer progresses they will be harder to find because summer weather affects livestock.

Okay, one more. I'd NEVER pass up a good looking Prime that was that good of a price.
I cooked my first Prime Brisket last Saturday that was from Costco and I have to say I knew immediately when I opened the package it would be fantastic. Great marbling in the meat.
I cooked it on my AmeriQue at 225 and pulled it at 195. Then I let it sit until the temp was down to 145 before slicing. I've always had pretty good brisket from my Amerique but this Prime cut was the best I've ever had anywhere! Even 2 days later I took the small left over piece I had in foil from the fridge and heated it slowly in a 200 degree oven and it was still incredibly moist.

I read a lot of info here about the meat and what to buy and although the Prime packer is a bit more expensive, I will never buy anything but Prime from now on. For me it's definitely worth it.

BTW......Thanks so much to everyone on this forum. The info given is greatly appreciated.
Just cooked another Costco Prime brisket. It was 13 lbs. untrimmed. Took off about 3 lbs of fat. Let it come to room temp for one hour. Smeared it with French's yellow mustard and then kosher salt and large ground black pepper. Placed it in a preheated 025 set at 275 degrees. Inserted a temp prove from Thermoworks. Approximately 3.5 hrs. later internal temp of 185 was reached. Pulled brisket, wrapped in butcher paper and replaced in 025. At a total of 5hrs. and 22 minutes, internal was 203. Pulled brisket still in butcher paper and wrapped in tin foil, and placed in 180 degree holding oven to be served later. If it is not juicy and tender I will report, otherwise consider it fabulous.
Sounds like you had a winner, Bob. If I can ever find a prime brisket out there that doesn't cost over $100 (my Costco doesn't carry whole brisket, only flats), I'll give that technique a try. I'd be interested, if he's out there, to hear what cal has to say about your "semi-hot and fast" (as I'd call it) process. I know lots of people swear by similar, if for no other reason than to get the darn meat done in one day!
I couldn't find Prime Brisket anywhere in the area. I have been getting Choice at a good price at Cash and Carry. They always have open cases of them. By doing some searching I have been getting some that should have been prime. Today I was at Costco, and They had Prime Brisket, and pork belly. I already had 2 briskets to do, so didn't pick up one of the Prime Briskets. Maybe next time.

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