Unusually long cook time for brisket

Solarian31

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Hey,

I’m new to the forum and fairly new to Traeger products. Anyone have any advice/experience to share for making brisket using Traeger grills? I’ve made two so far, both took a good bit longer than I expected they would, but still had great results. I will be making a 14lb full packer brisket for my sister’s wedding in a few weeks, so I really want to get my process dialed in to be sure I have a good product that is ready on time. I’ll give some info on my last 2 cooks, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

1.
Brisket - 8.4lb USDA Prime red angus
Grill - Ironwood 885
Pellets - 50/50 mix of hickory and cherry
Target cook time - 10.5 hours (1.25hr/lb)
Actual Cook Time - 15.75 hours (1.88hr/lb)
Process - seasoned the brisket the night before, put on the preheated smoker at 5AM. Used super smoke mode at 225 for 2 hours, then turned off super smoke, continued to cook at 225. I had the brisket on the top rack with a water pan underneath. Also sprayed the meat with a mixture of beef broth + apple cider vinegar after the first 2 hours, then again every other hour, until the 9 hour mark. At 9 hours, temp had reached 160F and I wrapped it tightly in 2 layers of butcher paper. Temp stall lasted about 4.5 hours, During this time I raised the temp to 275F in an attempt to speed thing up. brisket reached 205F internal temp at 8:45PM. Left to rest in a cooler for 1 hour before slicing. Total cook time of 15.75 hours, 1.88hr/lb.
Result - Good bark and smoke ring, tender and juicy with a mild smoke flavor.

After this brisket experience I did some research and found conflicting information. Some sources claimed that adding moisture (water bath/Spray) will increase the cook time, while another source said that adding moisture will increase humidity in the smoker, decreasing the effect of evaporative cooling which would decrease stall time and result in shorter cook time. For #2 I chose to keep as many variables constant as possible, while increasing smoke flavor. I chose to omit the water bath to see what (if any) effect it would have on cook time.
2.
Brisket - 7.25lb USDA Prime red angus
Grill - Ironwood 885
Pellets - 50/50 mix of hickory and cherry
Target cook time - 9.25 hours (1.25hr/lb)
Actual Cook Time - 15 hours (2.07hr/lb)
Process - seasoned the brisket the night before, put on the preheated smoker at 3AM. Used super smoke mode at 225 for first 9 hours For more smoke flavor than #1. I had the brisket on the top rack with a drip pan underneath, I decided against putting water in the pan this time. Also sprayed the meat with a mixture of beef broth + apple cider vinegar after the first 2 hours, then again every other hour, until the 9 hour mark. At 9 hours, temp had reached 160F and I wrapped it tightly in 2 layers of butcher paper. Temp stall lasted about 2 hours. I raised the temp to 275F in an attempt to speed things up at the 13 hour mark. The brisket reached 205F internal temp at 6:00PM. Left to rest in a cooler for 1 hour before slicing. Total cook time 15 hours, 2.07hr/lb.
Result - Good bark and smoke ring, tender and juicy with the level of smoke flavor that I hoped to achieve.

Based on these results, the 14lb brisket would take at least 30 hours, which just seems really long. I’ve made similar sized brisket on a charcoal drum smoker in half that time in the past. Are there any components of my process that are at fault here? Or is there some other issue that I’m missing?
 

GrillMeister

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I smoked briskets at 225 on both my Traeger and my Big Green Eggs. At that them, they always take about 15 hours. That's my experience and the time I always calculate.

Perhaps the times you are looking at are based on 250 pit temp.
 

Daves87gn

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Do you know what temp your grill is actually running? When I did my brisket (about 10lbs) I did 225 on super smoke for 8 hours and then warped and waited for Internal temp to be reached. My grill is off by 40~50 degrees depending on set temp. This is with all 4 probes touching.
7A3A9546-1F1D-434C-B5CA-F79B94A40F2B.jpeg
 

magoo40

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I wrap in butchers paper @ 175 (it apparently creates better bark), after wrapping I immediately crank the temp to 250 which i have noticed it has reduced the cook time. And I get excellent results.

This guy has some great tips,
 

Daves87gn

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I wrap in butchers paper @ 175 (it apparently creates better bark), after wrapping I immediately crank the temp to 250 which i have noticed it has reduced the cook time. And I get excellent results.

This guy has some great tips,
I’ve followed him for a while and part of the inspiration for my next build, it’s still venting.
8178FA7B-A4EC-48B7-893E-95F947BBD45D.jpeg
 

mullhaupt

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Hey,

I’m new to the forum and fairly new to Traeger products. Anyone have any advice/experience to share for making brisket using Traeger grills? I’ve made two so far, both took a good bit longer than I expected they would, but still had great results. I will be making a 14lb full packer brisket for my sister’s wedding in a few weeks, so I really want to get my process dialed in to be sure I have a good product that is ready on time. I’ll give some info on my last 2 cooks, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

1.
Brisket - 8.4lb USDA Prime red angus
Grill - Ironwood 885
Pellets - 50/50 mix of hickory and cherry
Target cook time - 10.5 hours (1.25hr/lb)
Actual Cook Time - 15.75 hours (1.88hr/lb)
Process - seasoned the brisket the night before, put on the preheated smoker at 5AM. Used super smoke mode at 225 for 2 hours, then turned off super smoke, continued to cook at 225. I had the brisket on the top rack with a water pan underneath. Also sprayed the meat with a mixture of beef broth + apple cider vinegar after the first 2 hours, then again every other hour, until the 9 hour mark. At 9 hours, temp had reached 160F and I wrapped it tightly in 2 layers of butcher paper. Temp stall lasted about 4.5 hours, During this time I raised the temp to 275F in an attempt to speed thing up. brisket reached 205F internal temp at 8:45PM. Left to rest in a cooler for 1 hour before slicing. Total cook time of 15.75 hours, 1.88hr/lb.
Result - Good bark and smoke ring, tender and juicy with a mild smoke flavor.

After this brisket experience I did some research and found conflicting information. Some sources claimed that adding moisture (water bath/Spray) will increase the cook time, while another source said that adding moisture will increase humidity in the smoker, decreasing the effect of evaporative cooling which would decrease stall time and result in shorter cook time. For #2 I chose to keep as many variables constant as possible, while increasing smoke flavor. I chose to omit the water bath to see what (if any) effect it would have on cook time.
2.
Brisket - 7.25lb USDA Prime red angus
Grill - Ironwood 885
Pellets - 50/50 mix of hickory and cherry
Target cook time - 9.25 hours (1.25hr/lb)
Actual Cook Time - 15 hours (2.07hr/lb)
Process - seasoned the brisket the night before, put on the preheated smoker at 3AM. Used super smoke mode at 225 for first 9 hours For more smoke flavor than #1. I had the brisket on the top rack with a drip pan underneath, I decided against putting water in the pan this time. Also sprayed the meat with a mixture of beef broth + apple cider vinegar after the first 2 hours, then again every other hour, until the 9 hour mark. At 9 hours, temp had reached 160F and I wrapped it tightly in 2 layers of butcher paper. Temp stall lasted about 2 hours. I raised the temp to 275F in an attempt to speed things up at the 13 hour mark. The brisket reached 205F internal temp at 6:00PM. Left to rest in a cooler for 1 hour before slicing. Total cook time 15 hours, 2.07hr/lb.
Result - Good bark and smoke ring, tender and juicy with the level of smoke flavor that I hoped to achieve.

Based on these results, the 14lb brisket would take at least 30 hours, which just seems really long. I’ve made similar sized brisket on a charcoal drum smoker in half that time in the past. Are there any components of my process that are at fault here? Or is there some other issue that I’m missing?
I am always around 20 hrs, I don't know if its because I live in Colorado or what, I use a full packard brisket, stick burner or traeger its always been around 20 hrs. Just so you know Every type of meat has its own cook time, Thats why they say slow cook
 

Francwa73

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It takes awhile, but I do 14lbs using Matt's (Meat Church) Weekday Brisket. It's about a 24 hour time, 21 to cook, and 3 to rest.
 

Ray Reiter

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Hey,

I’m new to the forum and fairly new to Traeger products. Anyone have any advice/experience to share for making brisket using Traeger grills? I’ve made two so far, both took a good bit longer than I expected they would, but still had great results. I will be making a 14lb full packer brisket for my sister’s wedding in a few weeks, so I really want to get my process dialed in to be sure I have a good product that is ready on time. I’ll give some info on my last 2 cooks, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

1.
Brisket - 8.4lb USDA Prime red angus
Grill - Ironwood 885
Pellets - 50/50 mix of hickory and cherry
Target cook time - 10.5 hours (1.25hr/lb)
Actual Cook Time - 15.75 hours (1.88hr/lb)
Process - seasoned the brisket the night before, put on the preheated smoker at 5AM. Used super smoke mode at 225 for 2 hours, then turned off super smoke, continued to cook at 225. I had the brisket on the top rack with a water pan underneath. Also sprayed the meat with a mixture of beef broth + apple cider vinegar after the first 2 hours, then again every other hour, until the 9 hour mark. At 9 hours, temp had reached 160F and I wrapped it tightly in 2 layers of butcher paper. Temp stall lasted about 4.5 hours, During this time I raised the temp to 275F in an attempt to speed thing up. brisket reached 205F internal temp at 8:45PM. Left to rest in a cooler for 1 hour before slicing. Total cook time of 15.75 hours, 1.88hr/lb.
Result - Good bark and smoke ring, tender and juicy with a mild smoke flavor.

After this brisket experience I did some research and found conflicting information. Some sources claimed that adding moisture (water bath/Spray) will increase the cook time, while another source said that adding moisture will increase humidity in the smoker, decreasing the effect of evaporative cooling which would decrease stall time and result in shorter cook time. For #2 I chose to keep as many variables constant as possible, while increasing smoke flavor. I chose to omit the water bath to see what (if any) effect it would have on cook time.
2.
Brisket - 7.25lb USDA Prime red angus
Grill - Ironwood 885
Pellets - 50/50 mix of hickory and cherry
Target cook time - 9.25 hours (1.25hr/lb)
Actual Cook Time - 15 hours (2.07hr/lb)
Process - seasoned the brisket the night before, put on the preheated smoker at 3AM. Used super smoke mode at 225 for first 9 hours For more smoke flavor than #1. I had the brisket on the top rack with a drip pan underneath, I decided against putting water in the pan this time. Also sprayed the meat with a mixture of beef broth + apple cider vinegar after the first 2 hours, then again every other hour, until the 9 hour mark. At 9 hours, temp had reached 160F and I wrapped it tightly in 2 layers of butcher paper. Temp stall lasted about 2 hours. I raised the temp to 275F in an attempt to speed things up at the 13 hour mark. The brisket reached 205F internal temp at 6:00PM. Left to rest in a cooler for 1 hour before slicing. Total cook time 15 hours, 2.07hr/lb.
Result - Good bark and smoke ring, tender and juicy with the level of smoke flavor that I hoped to achieve.

Based on these results, the 14lb brisket would take at least 30 hours, which just seems really long. I’ve made similar sized brisket on a charcoal drum smoker in half that time in the past. Are there any components of my process that are at fault here? Or is there some other issue that I’m missing?
I do not have all of your answers, but. I recently did an 18.4 lb brisket on my new iw. 650
Started at 180
Stalled at 142deg
Turned up to 235 to break stall..temp started rising after a couple of hours
Only let it rest for 1.5 hours
About 20.5 hours
Next time I would start 3-4 hours sooner
One other note. The meat should not be cold when putting in The traeger .mine was a bit on the cold side
Best of luck. This was my first brisket, and my 4th smoke under my belt.. the pressure was on
 
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Solarian31

Solarian31

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Thanks for all the feedback. To get a better idea what my actual grill temp is I used my other probes which I calibrated using an ice water bath. First photo is the difference at high temp while I was making a pizza... pretty big gap there. Really make me think that I may have a faulty thermocouple. Second was from the ribs And turkey legs that I am making today, not much variation this time. I’ll see if the food finishes within the expected time frame today. Going to keep doing research to prepare for the big brisket that I’m making for Saturday.
451F517B-84D3-4295-92F7-913EE63571C9.jpeg
AAF8779B-728D-4DCC-83A8-4881D7985BF4.jpeg
 

Brownz

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MY only concern would be the "Season the night before". In the few years I've been cooking brisket I would season at most an hour before starting the cook. Most if not nearly all rubs contain salt, salt draws moisture out of the meat. Did a hot and fast brisket yesterday - about 5 hours @ 160°C, came out wobbly fantastico as always.
 

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magoo40

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MY only concern would be the "Season the night before". In the few years I've been cooking brisket I would season at most an hour before starting the cook. Most if not nearly all rubs contain salt, salt draws moisture out of the meat. Did a hot and fast brisket yesterday - about 5 hours @ 160°C, came out wobbly fantastico as always.

I make my own salt free rub, but i always dry brine brisket overnight covered in cling film to get the salt penetration deep into the meat. Rub is applied about 30 min before cook starts and I find this is enough time for the rub to "sweat" on to the surface. Many of the experts say the rub does not penetrate deep into the meat like salt does.
Anyway it works for me and I get great bark and flavor. Each to there own I guess.
 

AvonSmoke

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Thanks for all the feedback. To get a better idea what my actual grill temp is I used my other probes which I calibrated using an ice water bath. First photo is the difference at high temp while I was making a pizza... pretty big gap there. Really make me think that I may have a faulty thermocouple. Second was from the ribs And turkey legs that I am making today, not much variation this time. I’ll see if the food finishes within the expected time frame today. Going to keep doing research to prepare for the big brisket that I’m making for Saturday. View attachment 2682View attachment 2683
I have the same issue. The actual grill temp from another probe is lower than the set temp. I have gone round and round with support, even replacing the thermocouple and the D2 control board. Issue persists. I notice that the gap is greater the higher in temp you go. I love the grill otherwise, but not sure this will ever get resolved, so I will have to rely on my InkBird thermometer to tell me correct grill temp.
 
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Solarian31

Solarian31

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I have the same issue. The actual grill temp from another probe is lower than the set temp. I have gone round and round with support, even replacing the thermocouple and the D2 control board. Issue persists. I notice that the gap is greater the higher in temp you go. I love the grill otherwise, but not sure this will ever get resolved, so I will have to rely on my InkBird thermometer to tell me correct grill temp.

I agree that the gap gets wider with higher cook temps. I have been just setting it higher to compensate which helps a little, or planning to allow for the extra cook time. Only problem is I have to set it at 235-240 in order to hit a true 225, which means no supersmoke. For my most recent brisket I did the first few hours with supersmoke at the lower temp, then bumped it up to 240 and left plenty of extra time to account for the initial lower temp. Works well for me.
 

DVSCYCLES

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These guys did a good video on Brisket on a Traeger and I can't wait to try it out.

 
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