Got a 3 lb Brisket. Should I even bother.....?

Started by Tommy_Bee, July 03, 2008, 11:36:08 AM

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I'm a total newbie so I've been on this forum reading up on smoking briskets. I live in New York city and there aren't many places to get a full sized brisket. So the only one I could find was a 3 lb flat brisket with a very thin fat layer. From what I've read on this forum, a very small lean Brisket can be more difficult to smoke. I made some calls and I have some folks looking for a 5-8 pounder but if I dont find one should I even bother smoking the 3 pound piece? This will be my first brisket attempt. Any suggestions?

Tiny Tim

You probably won't get the tenderness that is desireable, but you should get an excellent smoke flavor into it...that's what happened with the 2 small ones I did.  Couple of weeks ago I got a 12# Beast that got the tenderness, but due to size, I didn't get enough smoke on it (my fault, not the Bradley's).

It'll still make a nice sandwich for ya, so go for it.


What have ya got to lose?  Put some rub on that puppy, drape with bacon and smoke.  Good experience.
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Do what cat man says and go for it. You can always slice it thin for sammies.


This post got me to wanting to try this out.  Figured since it's just my wife and I eating, what am I going to do with a full brisket?  Went to my butcher and got a flat.  He trimmed it to a couple of pounds.  Virtually fat free which is not ideal but hey, it's an experiment and I don't know what I'm doing so what the heck.

Followed the recipe for Montreal Smoked Meat from the Recipe site (originally posted by Habs).  My plan was to make lunches for myself.  I draped the meat with bacon like the instructions said and away I went.

Worked out pretty well.  I just had a sandwich just now.  Doesn't really taste like the Montreal Smoked meat I'm used to eating, but still tastes very good and not dry at all.  I had a nice mustard with it.  I wish I brought a second with me.

We also made a nice Ceasar Salad last night with some pretty tasty bacon bits thrown in.

Anyways, I didn't mean to hijack your thread Tommy_Bee, I just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to experiment.

How did yours go?



Hello kind people. Thanks for the words of encouragement. This was my first Brisket and I was prepared for a disaster. But things worked out well. Here are a few pics (sorry for the huge size)

I covered the meat in yellow mustard and dry rub

I let it sit in the fridge overnight

After 4 hours of mesquite and hickory and another 4 hours of heat only. I took it out at 185* internal temp

I sliced and served. I didn't have time to Foil, Towel, Cooler

It was pretty good for my first try. Not dry at all with a ton of flavor. It was a bit salty for my taste so I will have to adjust the amount in the the dry rub for next time. My biggest mistake was not smoking a bigger piece of meat. It went very fast.   


Very nice TB, it'll just keep getting better....And yep a bigger cut would definitely be a good idea, I like to go with at least an 8-10 lb which seems to fit perfect on the smoker rack!!  Congrats and bet your already planning your next one!!  Good luck!

Its amazing what one can accomplish when one doesn't know what one can't do!


Tip for ya .6 pounds is nice and just some salt and pepper right before you your ready to throw in the smoker Fat side up .try that im sure it will be a hit. ;D

Just another weekend with the smoker...


Looks good Tommy_Bee!

That is the "appetizer" portion size.
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That looks really good Tommy_Bee.  Better than mine.  I must continue to experiment.


Glad it turned out good.  For brisket, I apply olive oil, then add some salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders and smoke.  Never had to add bacon as I always buy with a good fat cap.
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Looks great Tommy. Glad it turned out for you.


Not bad at all. Personally I don't care for the flat, but that one looks good. See if you can get the deckle for your next one.

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I agree with the rest.  It looks great.  My first one I did was a small one with hardly any fat cap and still was very good!!!

Good Job!