BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Smoking Techniques => Hot Smoking and Barbecuing => Topic started by: Kalamazoo on June 11, 2019, 09:10:41 am

Title: 35+ lbs Deckel only brisket
Post by: Kalamazoo on June 11, 2019, 09:10:41 am
Son's graduation. I have a local butcher who will cut me deckel (point) only briskets, I'm thinking 3 should be at least 30 lbs. I don't see point-only being a problem in any way (to me it's a plus) but if my thinking is wrong please advise.

Salt, Pepper, mesquite. Keeping it simple.

Would this still be looking like an 18-20 hour smoke then FTC? More? TIA for any advice.
Title: Re: 35+ lbs Deckel only brisket
Post by: Ka Honu on June 11, 2019, 05:00:31 pm
You might want to check with your butcher but most packers (point plus flat in one large chunk) are in the 12-18 pound range and the point is generally 1/4 to 1/3 of that total. You'd have to have a damn big cow to get a 10 pound point. You'll probably lose about 20% if it needs to be trimmed and another 20% in cooking.

In other words, 30 pounds of raw point will probably yield about 20-25 pounds of product depending on how much trimming (mostly of the fat ribbon that separates the point from the flat) you have to do before the cook.

Smoking time shouldn't be based on the total raw weight but rather on the size/number of pieces you're smoking. In other words if you think a 4 pound point will take about 5-6 hours or so, it doesn't mean four of them will take 20-24 hours. Probably more like 8 or 10 (for very rough planning purposes only - degree of doneness depends on the meat, not the time or weight. I'd start checking for tenderness when the IT hits about 185-190oF).

I usually use a 2:1:1 mix of Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and granulated garlic.

Mesquite is good but I prefer oak (it's considerably milder than mesquite) or a mix of the two.

This is all pretty much off the top of my head. If you want guidance from people who actually know what they're doing, I'd recommend you go to the archived recipe site ( and check out Pachanga's and West Texas Smoker's brisket posts in the Beef section.
Title: Re: 35+ lbs Deckel only brisket
Post by: Kalamazoo on June 11, 2019, 05:20:26 pm
Interesting. Hadn’t thought the weight split was like that. Maybe just 3 full packers. I’ve found threads saying 2-3 briskets of 10-12# each is roughly 18-22 hrs?

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Title: Re: 35+ lbs Deckel only brisket
Post by: Ka Honu on June 11, 2019, 07:57:10 pm
Maybe closer to 1/3 than 1/4 but probably not as much as 1/2.

My starting guesstimate for smoking brisket is about 1.5 hours per pound at 200-225oF but it could be anywhere from 1 to 2+ hours - all depends on the cow. If you're using Bradley pucks, most folks find that 4-5 hours of smoke (12-15 bisquettes) is enough (especially if you're using mesquite which is pretty strong). After that, just keep the temp even and let it go till it's ready. Some people (including me on occasion) transfer to the oven at that point (temp easier to maintain). A lot of people, including many "guru level" pitmasters and competitors (neither description even remotely describes my limited skills) foil or wrap. I don't so you'll have to check elsewhere for how that works. I do use a pan of water to maintain a moist environment in both the smoker and (if used) the oven and I do FTC before serving or storing.

If you have a small packer (10-12 pounds) you're going to plan for a 15-18 hour cook so 18-22 hours sounds like a reasonable guess for 2 or 3 of them. Remember (seems I can't say this enough) time and internal temperature DON'T tell you when a brisket is done; only the brisket tells you. If you're smoking 3 identical looking 12-pounders in the same pit, one could take 10 hours, another 18, and the last 22+.

Which all brings up the point of timing your cook. Many of us find it best to smoke brisket (and pork butt) well ahead of the serving date, store it in the fridge or freezer, and reheat it (gently) when needed. I'm making brisket and ribs for a party at my house later this month and will probably smoke the brisket 2-3 days before the event. Many people will tell you the flavor is even better after storage (and they're pretty much right) and not having the pressure of trying to have a major part of your meal ready at exactly the right time is removed.

I'm not doing it this time but I usually buy two briskets at a time and smoke one flat and both points together. I serve the flat (sliced) and vacuum pack and freeze the points for later use (burnt ends, chili, sandwiches, etc.). Oh yeah, the other flat easily makes corned beef so much better than that crap you buy in the plastic bags that you'll never look at them again.

I'm tired of trying to think now and it's cocktail time. Aloha.