Smoking a Small Brisket

Ever since I got a propane smoker, I’ve been wanting to smoke a brisket. Well I finally did it. I didn’t buy a huge brisket and spend a lot of money. No this was a very small one so that in case I messed it up, it wouldn’t be a waste of money. Let me tell you about my experience smoking a small brisket.

You’d think that smoking a very small very inexpensive brisket would take the pressure off but I really like good BBQ and wanted it to come out great. So the pressure was on. In my last post I discussed the dry rub recipe that I used. I put that dry rub on and let it sit for a several hours. It was at least 6 hours and since it was only a small brisket, it did the trick.

small brisket

The actual piece of meat that I bought was less than 2 pounds and only cost $11. That’s kind of sad but it was the smart thing to do. If I bought a $50 brisket and messed it up, I would probably get really angry and do something dumb. Let me tell you about one time when I was roasting some root vegetables. They take a good amount of time to peel and chop into bite sized chucks. And then you roast them at 400 degrees for around an hour too so it’s not a quick production. Anyway, the root vegetables where done but I wanted a little char on them so I turned on the broiler. I figured a minute or two be perfect. Well another hour later, I realized that I totally forgot about the roots. I was way past the minute or two that they needed. Well the roots were completely burnt to a crisp. They looked like bite sized chucks of coal. Completely burnt and black. Anyway, I got so mad at myself that I took the baking sheet outside and threw the vegetables in the road.

brisket with dry rub

My family laughed at me, every time we drove by the burnt vegetables for the few days that the black dots were visible in road. Eventually rain washed them all away but I wasn’t planning on messing up an expensive brisket too.

Smoking a Small Brisket

I had hickory wood on hand and that’s what I used. And I think that’s a pretty good choice for brisket anyway.

I think optimum temperature in the smoker should be about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  My smoker doesn’t really go below 225 so that’s how I smoked it.

smoked brisket

I put the dry rubbed brisket into the smoker and turned the temperature control all the way down. Like I said before, that’s about 225 degrees. Then I told myself that I shouldn’t check for at least an hour but I checked it at 45 minutes anyway. I was looking for an internal temperature of about 195 degrees.

From all the time I spent watching BBQ episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives I had delusions of smoking my small brisket for at least 5 hours. But the reality was that it took less than 2 hours. When you’re smoking a small brisket you have to adjust your delusions. Guy Fieri didn’t come to visit me and I don’t live in Flavor Town.

But the brisket did come out really good. When I sliced a piece and held it in between my fingers it was tender enough to hang freely. And when I gave it a tug, it pulled apart easily. There was even a little smoke ring.

Yes, I’m still a beginner when it comes to smoking but now I’m ready for something bigger. I think that smoking a small brisket was a smart way to get some experience with the smoker.