Brisket Question

TulsaJeffNovember 7, 2002

I have a question concerning brisket which may seem elementary to some but I will ask nonetheless...

Having never smoked brisket before (yes it's true) just chicken and pork mainly, I have decided to do it this weekend. I bought a 13 lb untrimmed brisket only to discover it is about 6 inches to long for my vertical rack smoker. I did some research and found out it was ok to cut it in half separating heel from toe perpendicular to the grain. I now have something like 2 6.5 lb briskets.

Now for the question: Will the total cooking time for both now be that equal to a 6.5 lb brisket? I can only assume that the cooking time is figured according to the size of the brisket and the time it takes the heat to reach and cook/tenderize the center at 200°-225°. At the standard 1-1.5 hrs per lb this would be around 9 hrs for one of the halves. If I put the other one on the rack below will it change the cooking time any?

Thanks in advance for freeing my mind from confusion;-)... I haven't had my coffee and donuts this morning either so that could partially be the blame for my inability to reason this out myself in a somewhat logical manner...


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"If I put the other one on the rack below will it change the cooking time any?"

No, not really. The bottom one will cook a little faster since it's closer to the heat. The top one may take a little bit longer but not near 2x.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2002 at 4:51PM
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Since you have cut the brisket in half, you will have a thick end with a lot of fat and an end that is a lot thinner with little fat. The thin one will cook faster. If you are stacking these, I would put the thin one on top. If it is cooking too fast, after a couple hours, wrap it in foil. After 2 or 3 hours, you won't get anymore smoke ring in the meat anyway. Remember,there are a million ways to smoke a brisket but once you do a few with either dry rub or sop, you'll aquire a method and taste to your liking. I cook both for home eating and for competition and have had failures at both. Don't cook a brisket too hot or too fast and you should do fine after a few. All you may be out is time if you do mess up, these things are fairly inexpensive in Texas. If you have any questions on this subject and don't want to post, e-mail me direct. I don't know what type of smoker you are using but that can make a BIG difference to the success of smoking briskets.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2002 at 10:39AM
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TulsaJeff, how did your first brisket turn out?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2002 at 11:36AM
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If I can say this without bragging... the best brisket I have ever eaten. I made a paste from 1 large onion, 8 garlic cloves, lemon juice and some other spices and put this mixture all over the brisket which I then wrapped in plastic and refridgerated for 2 days. Friday evening I removed from fridge, brought to room temp and placed in 200° smoker. I allowed it to cook for 1.5 hrs and then began mopping with a sauce I made from lemon juice, water, butter and other seasonings every 45 minutes and flipping over. 12 hours later and 30 minutes prior to completion I mopped with a finishing sauce I created as well. I had 12 people at my house who all said they had never eaten a brisket that tender or tasty. Needless to say I was a wee bit proud;-)

It was a long night out there on the patio with an alarm clock and only occasional 10 minute dozes here and there but it was well worth it the next morning when I sampled the first piece.

By the way I used mesquite chunks the entire smoke and contrary to popular belief it was not bitter in the least. In fact I have never had bitter smoke flavor on my meat and I attribute this to full open inlet and exhaust every time I smoke.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2002 at 12:06PM
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