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Question on smoking cooking time

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have an 8 lb beef brisket that I plan to BBQ.  Using the rule of thumb of 1.5 hrs per lb of meat, that would be around 12 hours at about 230 degrees.  My question is, if I cut the brisket into two 4 lb pieces and then smoke, would the smoking time be reduced to about 6 hrs?  Somehow this seems too easy and makes me think I'm missing something.

Thanks,
Rich
post #2 of 9
Yes to cutting the cooking time.  Nothing comes for free, though.  Larger pieces will cook moister and more tender.  Ideally, you want to cook a full "packer cut," trimmed of most or all of its fat.

BDL
post #3 of 9

 I run an average of 18-20 hours on a full brisket with indirect heat at 225. If you have a more direct heat source it may take as little as 8 hours to finish your brisket. The best bet is to get yourself a Polder thermometer. This way you can track the internal temp of your product and then you will know exactly when you hit your plateau and at what temperature the conversion process began. Once your temperature starts to drop you know you have begun that process. I often find that happens at around 170 or after about 8 hours on my ceramic cooker. The longer you can extend the process where collagen is converted to gelatin the better your end product will be. In short don't rush it. A Polder thermometer is a solid inverstment and the good news is that they are not expensive. $30-40 buys a nice one.


Edited by DuckFat - 2/19/10 at 2:08pm
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #4 of 9
Ditto what DuckFat says about getting a external probe thermometer to monitor internal meat temp.
1.5 hours, 2 hours, or 30 min per lb, there are so many variables, what kind of smoker, the outdoor ambient, etc.  1 1/2 hours is only a rule of thumb, and meat temp is what your really need to pay attention to for a nice tender piece of meat.  8lb is that just the flat or just the point?  Are you smoking to slice the brisket or you going to go for pulled/chopped brisket?  Sliced the meat needs to be tender but hold up to the cutting process, chopped you can cook the brisket a little longer.

What are you smoking the brisket on?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View PostThe best bet is to get yourself a Polder thermometer. This way you can track the internal temp of your product and then you will know exactly when you hit your plateau and at what temperature the convesrion process began. Once your temperature starts to drop you know you have begun that process. I often find that happens at around 170 or after about 8 hours on my ceramic cooker. The longer you can extend the process where collagen is converted to gelatin the better your end product will be. In short don't rush it. A Polder thermometer is a solid inverstment and the good news is that they are not expensive. $30-40 buys a nice one.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okie Dokie,

No problem on the thermometer - besides my trusty thermopen I have a Maverick RediCheck smoker thermometer that will let me monitor the smoker and the meat at the same time (dual probe).

The brisket is just the flat.  And I hope to slice rather than pull.  I was probably going to shoot for an internal temp of 190.

The hardware will be my 22 in Weber Performer kettle grill with the smokenator insert.  I went this route for several reasons.  First, I don't have the room for a gas grill, a charcoal grill, and a dedicated smoker.  Second, every single review of the smokenator rated it as 5 star and extremely easy to maintain a temp of about 220.  Finally, the Char Broil Double Chef, that was recommended by you Delta Dude, was interesting but I noticed in the customer reviews that a number of people had issues with parts sticking, difficulty in adding water and so on.  Sooo right or wrong I went with the smokenator.  I've been notified that it is in transit and when it arrives I'll christen it with some ribs before taking a chance on the more expensive brisket.  If it works as advertised, then fine.  If not I'll reconsider a different unit. 


Anyway, thanks for the responses and advice.

Rich
post #6 of 9
Cook it long and slow to a temp of 190 degrees
post #7 of 9
Yo Cabosailor,
The double chef recommendation is just that a recommendation.  It's your hard earned cash.  I only mention it because on a smoking forum that I frequent lots of guys are taking advantage of this sale.  Yeah a few have had some issues, but it is a true smoker, that can also act as a grill.  On the same forum a lot of guys also have the smokenator,  and they are happy.  Yet several have purchased the double chef. 

Good luck with your brisket...  and enjoy the smokenator...
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Deltadude,

My post was not meant to be a criticism or defensive, I was just trying to explain my reasoning.  I may ultimately end up with a dedicated smoker but the ol' patio is going to get crowded.  If I do get one, I may decide to go electric just so I can run overnight without the constant tinkering.  The amount of knowledge and talent on this board is amazing.  I count myself fortunate to be able to tap into it.

Thanks to everyone,

Rich
post #9 of 9
If you do decide to go electric, consider what I use Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse or MES.  There are two models 30" & 40", personally I think the 40" is the way to go, you can really load it up with food, easily smoke 16-20 racks of ribs, or just 2 racks.  I purchased the 40" for 2 reasons, 1st 3 to 5 times a year we do a big BBQ feed with family and friends, so I wanted the capacity, 2nd I like to just lay the racks of ribs on the grate whole, without having to cut or roll them (the 40" is wide enough to allow you to lay out the ribs). The BBQ smoking forum I frequent, the MES has become the electric smoker of choice.  The 40" is $299 at Sam's club, and can be more expensive at other outlets.
After reading hundreds of post about the 30" & 40" there is another reason to choose the 40", it just seems to operate better than the 30". 

My MES when it was new...

mesribs.jpg  meso.jpg
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