Question Submitted by Dan:
How long do I smoke a brisket?
Subject: smoking a beef brisket and pork
Question: Is there any other way to smoke a brisket other than smoking it for 15 hours. If I was planning a party to eat around 2:00 pm, I would have to start smoking it at 9 pm the night before (don't really want to stay up all night). Could the brisket be put in a roaster overnight for 5 hours or so than start smoking it at 7 am, or should it be smoked first from 4 pm to 11 pm then put in a roaster til it's time to eat? I've never smoked anything before!!
When I smoke briskets, pork shoulders, etc, I only use time as a relative measure. You are really smoking until the internal temperature of the meat you are cooking has reached a done-temperature. I usually smoke a 12 pound brisket at 250-275 degrees F for 8 hours or so, keeping the brisket moist using a mop. When the internal temp of the brisket reaches 190 or so, it will be done.
Also, the brisket will reach this temperature, and maintain the temperature for a while. The fat in the brisket is rendering, releasing juice at this time. The brisket should reach this temperature range, hold for a while, then begin to climb again. When it begins to climb, it is done.
Many people remove the brisket from the pit when the temp reaches 185-190, wrap it in foil, and stick it in a cooler for a couple of hours. This will increase the tenderness of the brisket. What is the weight of the brisket you are wanting to smoke. Thank you
The Smoker King