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Did a whole prime packer brisket from Sam's club (under $3 per lb.!). It had a fairly thick flat and a huge point, about 14.5 lbs in the cryovac. After I trimmed the surface fat on top to about 1/4 inch, and took out some heavy fat from between the point and flat on the sides, it weighed about 12.5 lbs. I used a medium rub of Oak Ridge Black Ops Brisket Rub. This was an overnight cook, based on IdahoMike's prescription. I rubbed the brisket about two hours before putting it in the smoker (SM066) with about 3.5 oz white oak in two chunks around 8:00 pm at 200 set temp. I ignored it all night until about 9:00 am, at which time the probe said 151F. I then boosted the temp to 250. Around 1:00 pm I was alarmed to see the probe read 180F. I thought it must be wrong, so I probed around a bit with my thermapen and found the true temp in the middle of the thick part of the flat was 175F. I moved the smoker probe and kept going, noticing that it was in the stall at 175 - 177 for about two more hours. At 4:00 I probe tested it at 190F, seemed a bit tough at the thickest part pf the brisket, so I let it go to 195 when it probed pretty tender. I pulled and FTC'd it at 5:00 pm for about 2 hours. Out of the smoker, it was very dark bark, and a lot of juicyness, and it wiggled a bit when I handled it.

Result was a slightly overcooked dry flat, on the thin end, but juicy and moist under the point. Quite good flavor. The point needs a bit of trim on the residual surface fat before I do burnt ends, which I expect to be fabulous. The dry flat slices will go to Texas chili (Wick Fowler's spice blend) for summer fun on hot dogs.

My takeaway lessons: 1) Pull the brisket when the flat is tender and don't worry about the point being a bit stiff - you are going to cook it further to render more fat for burnt ends anyway. 2) Overnight cooks keep you sane if you have a smoker you can set and forget. Love my Amerique.

(Sorry no pics.)

I try to post pics (see my beef cheeks above), but yesterday I was a bit too frazzled to do it. I'm still not experienced enough with brisket to feel comfortable about timing or doneness. I run in and out with my thermapen a lot. I'll do better next time.

A question for all the good brisket cooks I assume (hope) are still lurking here: When you say "done at 195" or "done at 200" I assume that means the thickest part of the flat. How overdone is the thin part of the flat at that point? When my thermapen registered 195 in the thickest part, the thin part (about 3/4 inch thick) registered 201 and was pretty dry and crumbly. Any way to avoid that except wrapping (which I don't want to do - I love good bark)?

Jay:  I bought a ThermoWorks Smoke a long time ago.  I am now using the Smoke X4.  This is a leave in probe that is connected to a sender.  You take the remote in the house and shows the temps where ever you are in the house.  Just another one of those tools that lets you set it and forget it.  I put the probe in the thick part of the flat, and set the temp on the Smoke to 190 degrees.  When the alarm goes off I go out and probe both the flat and the point.  When they both feel like I had just stuck the probe into warm butter the brisket is done.  You may have a little dry area on the thin part of flat.  Just trim it off, and freeze it for the next time you make chili.  I am getting older and my back is raising heck with me.  I usually trim out my brisket and hit it with the dry rub the day before I am going to put it in the smoker.  I do cold smoker and cold brisket to start.  I set the smoker for 225 degrees, and let it go for 3 to 4 hours and then add a little more wood to the smoker.  I usually start the smoker in the early afternoon.  When it is time for bed I turn the smoker down to 205 and go to sleep.  The It is usually around 165 to 170 degrees when I wake up.  I turn the smoker temp up to 250 to 275 degrees, and sit back and wait for the alarm to go off.  Each brisket is different and some are done at 190 degrees IT.  I have had some that were done at 215 degrees.  FTC for 2 to 4 hours after they come out of the smoker. 


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Thanks Mike, that's about what I remember you posting a while back. And I guess you mean "done at" the temp in the thick part of the flat. I guess I'll have to shop for really thick flats on a packer, or just accept that a pound or two will be "sacrificed" to chili or such. Yeah, I'll probably get a bluetooth or WiFi thermometer, I should stop being such a troglodyte (I'm told by some). Actually, the thick part of the flat I did was great, and I'm still going to do burnt ends with the point. I have not done burnt ends from a cooked point before, any ideas? I see there are two schools of thought: Smokey's Burnt Ends 101 says cut it up and re-smoke them with sauce and serve, while others (Chris Lilly) say re-smoke the point whole and then cut up and serve. I guess the difference is cut up chunks swimming in fat in a pan or the whole point allowed to render in the smoker before cutting up. If you've done it I'd appreciate your views.

Jay:  I just finished my last reply, and then remembered something that I have either done, or read about somewhere.  I do all of my briskets fat side up.  If you have a thin flat that might dry out, turn the thin end under.  You would end up with a fold, and thin section would be fat side down.  When I first started off I used a SMO09, and had to fold the bigger briskets just to get them into that little smoker.  That was a lot of years and a lot of briskets ago.

Did some ribs yesterday...  St. Louis cut from wally world were on sale.

While the smoker was getting to temp, peeled the membrane, did some trimming and got rid of excess fat.  Generously applied some blues hog rub to both sides.

Smoked at 225 for 3 hours then wrapped in butcher paper and back on for 2.5 hrs.  Here's how they looked after coming out of the wrapping.

Let 'em go for another 1.5 hours.  Unfortunately I got sidetracked and the smoker temp got a bit out of control on me.  It was at 350 plus for I'm not sure how long.  However, aside from blackening the crust I didn't notice any ill effects.  Here is the end product:

They were SUPER juicy.  Nice crusty bark.  For the most part pretty tender.  Required a little tug to pull the meat from the bone.  Paired perfectly with the homemade parmesan pepper bread I baked.


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I just wanted to update my post above re brisket. I know there are several posts in the archives about this but it was my first time successfully reheating cooked brisket, and it came out fantastic, so I wanted to share it.  I had about a 1.5 lb piece of cooked flat, the piece from under the point that was incredibly juicy and flavorful after the original cook (described above). I wanted to put the meat in barely simmering water to get it slowly up to serving temp without drying it out. I figured out a trick to put the piece in a foodsaver bag without either leaving it completely unvacuumed, so that the meat would float, but not completely vacuumed, so it had space to expand and release fat and juice. I found that if I put the meat in a bag, and turned on the machine to vac and seal, but immediately turned off the machine by turning the lever when it was about half-vacuumed, then immediately turned it back on and pressed "seal," it worked like a charm. I then placed the half-vacuumed bag in just-simmering water and monitored temp. After about 10 - 15 minutes, the water was back up to about 190F, a good serving temp. The brisket was every bit as juicy and delicious as just after the smoke. There are warnings on other posts here about not letting it get too hot or boil since the bag seal might fail, but I had no problem. Sorry for the long-windedness but I was so jazzed that it worked.

Last edited by jay1924

Well, here's a cheater's confession. I bought a package (2 x 1 lb) of "carnitas" at Costco. It was basically pulled pork, but not smoked and with essentially no seasoning. I pulled apart one 1 lb package and placed the pulled meat in a foil pan. I sprinkled it lightly with Pork Mafia Memphis Mud and put it in my SM066 with about a 1.5 oz chunk of peach wood at 225F. I preheated the smoker, which I never do otherwise, and waited until it was up to temp and lots of smoke was being produced. Then in for about 1.5 hours. It tasted pretty good at that point, so I pulled it, covered the pan with foil and placed it in a 200F oven for about 1/2 hour until the other parts of dinner were ready.

Wow! Not up to my best smoked pork butt, but pretty damned good! Just a bit dry, so I'll decrease the smoking time the next try, but for a lazy-man's pulled pork it was great.

Last edited by jay1924

Well this is most likely my last huzzah around here...

Wrapped up the weeklong process of "pastrami" (in quotes because I didn't steam it) yesterday.  Last weekend bought a 5 pound brisket section.  Was hoping just for a trimmed flat, but there was a section of point too.  Trimmed out most of the fat and went ahead and separated the piece of point meat.

Applied a dry cure with Morton's tender quick as the base.  Put in a vacuum bag and in the fridge for 5 days.

Yesterday morning rinsed real well and soaked in clean water for an hour.  Dried and rubbed while my PG500 was coming to temp.  Had some fresh coriander seeds from my herb garden that I used in the rub which was cool.

Smoked at 225 degrees with the point sitting on top of the flat.  Once internal temp hit 165, wrapped in butcher paper.  Continued to cook at 225 until IT was 185ish.  Wrapped couple layers of heavy duty foil around the butcher paper and stored in cold oven until dinner time.

Sliced up, slapped between some homemade bread with some Kraut.  Was absolutely perfect.  Some slices had a little tug.  When I reheat the leftovers I will steam them which will help that situation.  Great color, great bark, great flavor.  That fresh coriander really popped!


Good luck to y'all!  I'm deleting my account after I post this.  Too much garbage around here these days.  Kudos to those of you that continue to try to keep this a positive and helpful environment.  I'll still reference the forum when I need some advice, but actively monitoring it and participating in discussions doesn't interest me anymore.

Most of y'all probably don't care about any of this...  Good news is that I don't care that you don't care...



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