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Reply to "How far in advance do you rub your brisket?"

Trim fat side to 1/4", and remove most of the fatty deckle between the flat and point. Season, and then lie the fat side up or down on the grate, it's a personal preference. Down-siders say it protects the meat from the direct heat. Up-siders say the fat renders and keeps the meat moist. I generally go fat-side up with the point side facing the firebox side in a horizontal. Also, put a small loaf pan of water, apple juice, or beer in your smoker toward the firebox side to keep moisture in the interior. Refill as necessary. I assume you're not wrapping it in paper until it hits the stall, correct? That's usually somewhere between 145° and 165° internal temperature. Your brisket should be done when then the IT is somewhere between 195° and 205°. But to make absolutely certain, it will be done when you can insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into the side of the meat in several places with little resistance. It should feel like sliding into warm butter.  At that point, take it out, double wrap in foil, and then insert into a cooler lined with towels. Lay more towels on top, replace lid, and let rest for 2-6 hours. (It will still be piping hot when you take it out.) That should give you a juicy brisket almost all of the time. The problem is every piece of meat is different, and not every one will cook exactly the same. I usually smoke 15 lb.+/- packers. I've had them go from 8 hours, up to 26, at 225°-250°, before they were done. And even I have had a few failures. I blame it on the cow.

Last edited by mneeley490
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