Tips for smoking our first brisket?


Pork “shoulder” as we call it is our fave.


Sorry to hear about that catholiver.

I would think an hour at 270 wouldn’t be so bad to throw it out. Competition brisket is usually done at 250 or 275 degrees so I’m sure you could get something pretty good out of it. I’m talking Fahrenheit. (270 Celsius -> 520 Fahrenheit, I’m not sure a Bradley smoker could get that high in temp)

To me the most important thing in smoking a brisket is getting a good cut of beef. Getting choice grade at least really helps. Prime would be better but choice grade can lead to a really nice brisket.

If you inject the meat beforehand it will help the meat stay moist. Something simple so it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the meat.

To regulate temperature I use something called a CyberQ. It makes cooking in a smoker easier than cooking in an oven. I use it with a Big Green Egg but should work with most smokers. It regulates the airflow going in. It would have caught the problem you had with the Bradley.


270F isn’t hot for brisket at all. 270 is right around my sweet spot for cooking. Aaron Franklin cooks around 270. I know competitors that cook hot and fast over 300 when they start.

A brisket is done when it’s done - when it’s tender. It can be around 190, or at 203 or higher.

Briskets are notorious for long stall periods, where the temperature doesn’t go above 170. If your brisket was tough and not over 170, you likely stopped cooking without pushing through the stall.


What was your final interior temp? Meathead recommends taking it to 203,, and letting it rest for a couple of hours afterwards. Brisket is the hardest cut to master.
I use a Weber Smokey Mountain and the temp occasionally gets out of control. 270 shouldn’t have been that bad. Agree with others that grade of meat is very important.
Don’t give up! When you finally do get a great brisket there is nothing better!


Late to the party…what’s a 6lb brisket? Must have been a cut from the flat? I can also confirm as others have stated, 270 shouldn’t have been too big a deal. I strive for 250-275 on the BGE for brisket


Late to this party, but that’s one of the best-looking briskets I’ve seen.


We experimented with a whole 13 lb. Angus brisket this weekend. Should have had my husband read this before starting…some tips and resources are really good. He made some mistakes along the way even though I gave him logical reasons why I didn’t agree with his game plan…he wanted to follow a friend’s instructions and Myron Nixon’s YouTube video to a T.
Nonetheless, he learned a his lesson, and I didn’t even need to say I told you so.
Ours smoked for about 8 hours before wrapping and resting for another 4 hours. We had a digital meat thermometer to track the brisket doneness. While it tasted good, there wasn’t much of a smoke ring. It was there, but only slightly pink and not as pronounced as some of the gorgeous photos on this thread. Does anyone have any ideas on what we could have done wrong?


Re: the lack of ring. Couple of possible causes i) cooked at too high heat initially ii) not enough smoke, what heat source was he using?

8 hrs seems short for 13lbs. Mine was in the low teens.


From what I’ve read, you can assume its about an hour per pound of brisket.
Did you trim the fat on the brisket down? most people say it should have an 1/4 inch of fat when trimmed.
I usually just use kosher salt and 16 mesh black pepper.
I’ve recently smoked at around 275 degrees to decent results.


I found this out a few years ago probably on CH. The smoke ring means nothing!


A smoke ring is not necessary but it looks nice. Cold meat and a low smoking temp will usually produce a nice smoke ring. Adequate smoke need apply as well, a nice thin blue smoke is best. Also, trimming the night before with 1/4” fat is my preference for smoke penetration. Also, leaving more fat is a myth with basting as the meat fibers will not allow the “basting” to be absorbed. I smoke fat cap down since my smoke and heat come from below and protect the meat from getting too crunchy. I spritz on the top, especially some of the narrow edges from burning. Leaving a 1/4” - 1/2” of fat where the heat is highest would be smart, somewhere in between works best for me.

What smoker and set up is being used?


@Sgee he was using charcoal with cherry wood chunks. I think he tried to maintain temperature at 270…I do not know how successful he was at it. He pulled the brisket when it hit 194.
@Hungrydrunk and @A5KOBE Yes, the fat had been trimmed to 1/4”. He did smoke it fat side up. Maybe that contributed to the lack of smoke ring, too. He made his own dry rub and patted it on after a slather of spicy mustard. I had advised against the mustard. A mixture of beef broth and spices was also injected into the brisket. An old Char-Broiler smoker/grill system we got as a gift ages ago was the set up with 2 thermometers…one for the meat and one to maintain the heat source.
Super helpful notes, all! Many thanks!


So are you going to let him know that the lack of smoke ring means nothing?


no smoke ring = no bragging rights. sorry.


LOL! (I’m more into facts not myths!)


fact: no smoke ring = no bragging rights.

Why go through the trouble of smoking for half a day? Might as well toss it in the oven & liquid smoke…


Truth be told . Smoking meats is simply hard .You have to do it over and over again . Hours and hours . I see it as something that takes years to get right . And then not always. :ox::pig:


Well, I guess it’s like when I put on make-up. It doesn’t change who I am but how I look. And there are tons of oven techniques that will give you lovely browned exterior and tender interior. Here’s some ribs we do in the oven in about three hours.


Doesn’t mean we don’t use our smoker but to tell you the truth we haven’t used it in a long time.


Thanks precisely what I was inferring. You can achieve a tender brisket in the oven and just drop some liquid smoke with a lot less grief. Although the results IMO will not be the same, its good but just not the same outcome as smoking.

And then there’s the whole machismo / primal thing, getting a tan and dirty, getting wasted and … 12 - 15 hours of bliss away from the SO… priceless


Psychological perhaps? I’ve read that the smoked brisket cookoffs no long judge with or without “smoke ring.” Perhaps you should do a side by side test.

Oh my, I think I’ll leave that alone. BUT :wink: the SO could be either gender, right? So many wonderful combos these days.