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My First Beef Brisket Adventure in my Kamado Joe Classic 3

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OK, I've got my brisket in the smoker since 1:00p PST at 225F.


I have my Fireboard 2 Drive with the fan setup KJC3.  I've made minor adjustments to the vents during my journey to keep the fan from coming on or as little as possible for the low and slow at 225F.  


At 2:30p PST time - The flat is at 69F while the point is at 118F.  Do I need to be concerned about the point being 50F higher than the flat?  I did put foil underneath the point to help slow down the temperature.  Not sure its its needed........perhaps I'm over thinking the process.


Should I be concerned with the temperature variation or is it common?


For those interested in following along with me on my first brisket adventure!



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overthinking it- major reason why I don't pay any attention to temps while cooking. I would say that size matters when considering how quickly a piece of meat should be expected to cook. So, the other part of my answer without knowing the size of the trimmed brisket is: i dunno... :-D


More seriously chillax and enjoy the cook.


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What are the signs I should be looking for to indicate the brisket has stalled?


How long into the stall process should I remove the brisket to wrap in peach butcher paper?


Thank you!

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sorry, got tied up in repairing a crashed pc.


since you are monitoring temps, you'll see it rise to 160ºish to 170ºish range and stay there. I stopped using butcher paper early on, choosing just to cook without wrapping. When I did use it, it was an arbitrary choice for me usually after 7 or so hours of smoke.

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This is my first brisket and willing to experiment.  Obviously there’s advantages and disadvantages to the various methods - wrap with foil, wrap with peach butcher paper or no wrap.


I’m open to smoking to 195F before removing to wrap in foil/butcher paper before wrapping in a towel to place in a cooler to rest.


My brisket is in its second stall.  Internal temperature is 177F up 2F in about 45 minutes.


Still a long way to go.

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I decided to wrap my brisket when the average of flat temperature averaged 176F at 11:30p


After wrapping the brisket in butcher paper, I decided to increase to my pit temperature to 275F to finish.  Why?  Simply because I wasn’t sure how much time is still required to bring the brisket up to 205F and I wasn't prepared to do an all nighter.


What I did know was the fact I still needed to rest the brisket for at least 2 hours wrapped in a towel and placed in a cooler before I could go to bed.


I did sneak a piece of brisket at 3:00am with my son.  He’s not much of a red meat eater but he definitely liked it....he asked for more!


What are my lessons learned?  


There is no perfect way to smoke a brisket despite the number of YouTube videos you watch or the countless questions asked.  You will need to have confidence in yourself and your smoker.


Looking at my pit temperature, it was fluctuating because everytime it fluctuated from my 225F setting, I would adjust the vent or control tower ever so slightly to bring it back to 225F.  Suggestion here, just leave  it!  Let the controller adjust and maintain the pit temperature.


My biggest concern was the amount of time required to cook the brisket.  YouTube's posted by SDBBQ and Mad Scientist 'indicate' an average of 18 hours to smoke a brisket at 225F.  Forums indicate upwards of 24 hours.  My preference was to give myself enough time to smoke my brisket for dinner by working the time backwards.  My first brisket only took 1-1/2 hours to stabilize my smoker at 225F, 12 hours on the smoker to bring the brisket up to 205F and another 2 hours to rest.  Keep in mind YMMV depending on your brisket.


I now understand the term 'stalling'.  My brisket stalled twice where the temperature increases at 0.1 increments.  It really doesn't stall in the sense it stops increasing....internal meat temperature increases ever so slightly!


The characteristics of how the point cooks is very different from the flat.  I used 2 probes to monitor the flat and 1 for the point.  The point cooks faster and it also reached 175F then dropped 10F part way through the cook.  I 'think' it's important to monitor the flat and not the point.


I started with a 17lb brisket.  Removed 3-1/2lbs of fat prior to my smoke.  The brisket weighed in at just over 9lbs after being smoked and rested.


What did I think of the final product?


We don't consume a lot of meat and its been a longtime since I've had BBQ.  I don't really have a baseline of what good brisket is nor do I know what GREAT brisket should taste like.  I thought my brisket was very good. 


Judging from my son and wife's comments, I hit the nail on the head and achieved my goal producing an edible brisket.


What would you do if your brisket did not turn out?


When I looked into finally purchasing a brisket to smoke.....I considered splitting the brisket into 3 smaller pieces to smoke to minimize the damage.  'Damage' defined as having to toss the spoiled brisket into the green bin for compost.


If you brisket is overcooked, you can put it into a slow cooker to make it into a pot roast.  Lucky for me, I did not need to ring out my slow cooker.  BTW, this suggestion was something I read on the internet.


What would I do differently when smoking my next brisket?


Ask less questions and stop watching YouTube videos and wing it.  For my next brisket, I will take it out of the smoker at 195F instead of 205F.  Taking it out at 205F was juicy and tender.  Just want to see what it's like at 195F


Trust my Fireboard 2 to manage the pit temperature.


I will not increase the pit temperature from 225F to 275F after the brisket is wrapped.  I will maintain a 225F right to the end.


Give myself 18 hours instead of 24+ hours for the cooking process.


Thank you for all the kamadoguru forum members I reached out to for advice.  All your advice has influenced my decisions to yield a 'perfect' brisket.


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I have never had two briskets behave the same way, and when I adjust my cooking methods, I try to change only one thing each cook.  The one thing I have stuck with is not to chase temperature or time, I go with the "probe tender" school of thinking.  I would say the majority of my cooks that happens around 200, but I have also had it happen at 189 and 210.  My current method is to equilibrate to target temperature, add brisket, cook to the stall, wrap, then pull when probe tender and let it rest in a cooler for at least an hour.  Not all come out perfect, but if it is a bit dry I turn it into brisket, tacos, nachos, chili etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking at my cook details, my brisket stalled at around 6:10pm @ 162F and ended at about 7:55pm when the temperature started to rise again. 


I did mis-intrepret the graph thinking my brisket was going through another stall at 8:10p 171F.  I thought it was a stall becuase of the slow increase in temperature.


My brisket was edible and the family and friends we shared it with thought it was great.  I'm happy and felt pretty good about the cook.  In fact, right after this cook.....I bought another brisket from Costco.


I am now looking for pointers on the following questions

  1. I guess, I should've warpped my brisket around 6:10p when the temperature of the brisket was not rising?  I'm thinking the brisket would've been even better.  Please elaborate and confirm.
  2. How far along should I wait once I notice my brisket has stalled before wrapping?  My first stall lasted 2 hours.
  3. Once wrapped, what should the internal temperature of the brisket before I remove from the smoker to wrap in a towel to rest in a cooler?
  4. I let my brisket rest in my cooler for 2 hours before removing.  Some say the brisket should rest until the internal temperature drops to 145F before serving.  Has anyone tried that?  Is there a difference?

Thoughts and opinions will be greatly appreciated!



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the 2 briskets ive wrapped in butcher paper have seemed a bit dry.

the best one ive done so far i wrapped in foil.



for me brisket seems to cook way faster than i intend. 



i will wrap when the bark has set, and doesnt scratch off. around 170 or so.




put a chunk of wood or i use a rib rack, under the brisket. so moisture can roll off and not pool up on top. that might be a reason for stalling.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tend to do Brisket at 250-260 degrees rather than 225.  The Akorn “likes” that temp better and stabilizes easier and the fat in the brisket will render easier (faster and more completely) marinating the meat as it does so.  My two cents worth.

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