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Hey I'm a Mechanical Engineer. An I tell you guys, that them big old briskets in the vacuum packs are not going to fit on my Smokette's little old grill. Everything I have been reading says "Do Not Cut Them in Half". Please somebody out there feel free to enlighten me on how I'm going to get 10-12 lbs of brisket into a space made for maybe 5-8 lbs. I have a lot of experience in the rigging of Mechanical Equipment, in fact I do that kind of stuff all day long at work. I thought this pit BBQing was to be relaxing and something to do on the weekends that required no thinking. Remember that you can not break any laws of Physics in your answers. Just because I'm a Hoosier does not mean that I fell off the turnip truck yesterday. Thanks in advance for your help to this perplexing problem.

i'm outtahere

[This message has been edited by outtahere (edited March 11, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by outtahere (edited March 11, 2001).]
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Hey Cookshackers, let's give em some answers, what do you think?

what size briskets do you cook in your smokette?

Hi btjohn and outtahere, Great questions.

BT, I wouldn't recommend cooking a 15 pound brisket (for it to get that big, the cow's gotta grow, which takes time). Gonna probably be from an old big cow. I don't like em that big for that reason.

I regularly fit around 10 -12 pounders in there without a problem. Briskets are funny things, depending on the shape which always varies, sometimes one will touch the side (barely). But of course, it shrinks up without a problem.

In the smokette there are three racks, all removable. Depending on the physical shape (how thick mainly) you can get three in there. If you're trying to cook more than three on a regular basis, get a bigger cookshack.

Hope that helps some.

Smokin Okie
It's done when it's done
Cookshack BBQ Guide Page

[This message has been edited by SmokinOkie (edited March 12, 2001).]
Howdy,Outtahere.I agree with Smokin' on big,old,often tough cows.I like to stay around 9to11 lbs. in my Smokette.I try to stay with an even thickness and as uniformly shaped,as possible.If I am just doing one,I remove the top rack and cook on the center with baked beans on the bottom rack.Sat. I did a 9.7 lb. choice and although it touched a little,it drew up soon to fit well.

Good Q 2 Ya,Tom.
Hey guys, thanks for the prompt replies. So I guess I'm going to have to find another supplier of 9-11 lbs briskets. The local Walmart Super Center has a very limited selection of vacuum packed briskets. Most being monsters in the 15 lb range. An most Hoosiers' don't have a clue as to what good brisket is unless it been soaked in pickle juice and turned into corned beef. The local butcher says he can fix me up at a cost of about 4 times what I can get them at Walmart. Anybody know of a Internet Supplier of briskets? Oh well I guess I'm just going to become a pro at pulled pork, which is readily available back here in Indiana. Watch out you guys in the "Advanced User Group" because old outtahere will soon be running with the big dogs. Again thanks for the replies.

i'm outtahere

P.S. Hey Cookshack, great job on making my Smokette. It looks like it sturdy built and made to last for many years.
Hey outtahere!!

I am from Ft. Wayne!! Nice to meet you!

I have 2 sources for my local butcher can special order and get it in one day and if I want CAB, Meijers will order and get it in a couple of days. Kroger will also order but again the same price. I tend to go with Meijer's and the CAB.

Now, at Kroger, you can sometimes pick one up for under $2/lb. if it is "reduced for quick sale". I do this and immediately freeze right in the cryovac.

All of these places will order me whatever size I want...I normally get 7-9 lb. full brisket.

Unfortunately, every place is $2.79/lb. That seems pretty high...but may be the norm for this part of the world.
Sounds like you are considering purchase of a cookshack. I just got mine, and could not be happier. I had used a variety of products in the past, but this is the first one that delivers consistent results. Other units had large variations in results depending on weather, wind, and so forth. The Cookshack takes the guesswork out, and gives consistent results. I have also found the capacity of the unit to be more than enough. Because it is so easy to use, I find myself smoking more often, and smoking less at a time.

Just my 2 cents.

[This message has been edited by Paul (edited March 12, 2001).]
Here's my 4 cents worth.......first of all, I have seen the big assed briskets for sale at Sam's and quite frankly they don't look all that appetizing. $.99 per lb. is a great price, but there is a ton of waste on those briskets. I get my briskets at a Copps grocery in my town. Interestingly there are 3 Copps in my town, but only one has briskets. The butchers at the other two stores claim they can't get briskets, so maybe it pays to shop around. I have made quite a few briskets and the ones in the 6 to 9 lb. range are the best imho. As for buying a Cookshack....DO IT, you will not be sorry.
I just did my first 2 briskets, 1 at a time in case I screwed it up. Only took the first one to 165 internal temp... seems to me someone posted some time ago this was the desired internal temp... but of course the next day someone clarified that one. Did the next one to 200. They smoked up well and were wonderful... the first one a little tough though. Even my wife had good things to say... on the second one.
A local meat market supplied them for me. They were on the small side, only 4.6 lbs each. Cost $2.89/lb and ordered the day ahead.

Lucky Strikes - My local Copps has brisket but it's something like $3.80/lb. Too much for me.
I've gotta tell ya outtahere if you're looking for a commercial grade smoker, you'll pay a whole lot more for it, just to make a bigger brisket. You can easily make two 8lb'ers instead of 1 15lb'er.

I've used the Brinkman electric smoker, it takes FOREVER to make a brisket and you ALWAYS have to add water or else it WILL dry out something awful. I have a New Braunfels wood smoker with the side box. I really enjoyed using it. But watching a fire for 15 to 17 hours is exhausting. Noticed I said enjoyed.....

The only thing else I use now is my Broil Mate Natural Gas Grill, the great thing about it is that it is fast and no bottles to fill. But compared to the ease of use of my smokette even the grill loses hands down. And to add insult to injury.... unless you want to melt the grill down, don't even attempt a brisket on a gas grill.

If you want a perfect brisket every time, with virtually no additional attention once you put it into the smoker, the answer is a smokette. The only reason I go to the smoker is to check my polder thermometer to see if the brisket is done. :}

[This message has been edited by Joe (edited March 13, 2001).]
Outtahere! Who says you can't cut the bronto brisket in half?? You will lose about 30% or so in size during the cooking/smoking. So why not just stuff that sucker in and get smoking. You can alway check on it occationally and reposition it as it shrinks down. i agree the huge briskets are not always the best for everyday home cooking but again I ask why not cut her in half so you can fit it in for now and do two smaller ones later.
I regularly cook 10 to 12 lb briskets in the smokette. It says in the owners literature to not let the meat touch the sides; ignore that. Just fold the small flat end over to put it on the rack.

Do NOT cut the brisket in half. My experience has been a far superior product by cooking the packer trim brisket as it comes from the butcher.

Speaking of meat, I get mine from local meat suppliers/butchers. I get superior quality meat for the same or usually less than what I pay in the grocery stores. You mentioned WalMart, they are selling select grade beef - not prime, not choice, but select. Better to go somewhere else even for more money. A smoker cannot make a good piece of meat out of a bad one.
Hi guys.Just another two cents worth.The super walmarts are all different,and worth rechecking.Even down here in FL you get lucky if you keep checking.We have two Super wallies and I find that they mix choice in with the selects,when they get them.I have even found CAB's for $0.20 more.I have found Montfort and Excels that did as well as in select as choice.I drag the meat manager out and talk about his expertise[doubtful]and they will even open cartons and help me look.If we find 6or8 I always buy them and he has made a happy customer.

Good Q 2 Ya,Tom.

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