Brisket - Good Days, Bad Days - This was NFG - BBQ Central

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Old 02-26-2005, 11:19 PM   #1
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Adrian,
I've had a crap load of cooks go that way. Take today for example, I was planning on pulling the corned beef brisket off the pit at 180* internal temp. It was a 5lb flat with the point. I separated the point from the flat, and the way this was cut it left me with two pieces, point and flat both weighing approximately 2.5lbs. I figured cooking at a pit temp of 225-235, they should be done in no more than 3 1/2 - 4 1/2hrs MAX. The meat temp stayed at 147 for almost two hours, then slowly rose closing in on the 4 hour mark. I pulled the probe out, and slid it in and out throughout the brisket and even though I was not getting the temps I wanted, I could tell it was done by the way the probe slid in and out of the meat with ease.

The rule of thumb I go buy is, 1 hour per pound for a brisket. This doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna be done, but that is how I judge how it is cooking. Example: If I have an 11lb brisket and I am not with 10-15* of my preferred finishing temp (180) after 11hrs, I will start to "probe" the meat with the thermometer. If I have difficulty inserting the probe into the meat, I know the temps are accurate and will continue the cook. However if after 11hours for an 11lb brisket the probe slides easily in and out of the brisket and my temps are more than 10-15* off of what I want them to be I will foil and let rest for a couple to several hours.

The bottomline in what I am trying to say is, temps are not always guaranteed and you cannot rely on the 100% if the time.
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:17 AM   #2
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I'm adding NFG to my vocabulary.....I'm not much of an expert on brisket...do they hit plateaus like butts do?
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:46 AM   #3
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Wad the foil into a loose ball and then open it up. I do 3-4 layers of HD foil and then cover them up with one more layer to catch the drippins.

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Old 02-27-2005, 08:46 AM   #4
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I don't know how much different the WSM experience is, but an 8 lb brisket (flat) should not take more than about 10 hours to cook at the temps you list. I would check temps at the 7 hour mark, get it to about 160, foil it, take it to 185/195 and get her out! I cooked a 6 lb one for 6 hours yesterday and it was pretty "fallin apart" done! Woody
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Old 02-27-2005, 09:46 AM   #5
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I'm no brisket expert, but, it seems everytime I've done a flat it's come out more on the dry side no matter how close I watch it. When I do a whole packer it has come out much better!! I don't know if one has anything to do with the other but it is just my experience!
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Old 02-27-2005, 11:43 AM   #6
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Packer has that whole big fatty point sittin on top! Problem to me with a packer, is that you don't get the nice smoke ring all around the "flat" portion because of that point. but for maximum space efficiency, you must cook packers!! If I am cooking for 10, it's gonna be a flat every time. For big groups, it's packers. Chop the point, or make "ends" if you have time. Slice the flat! WM

Greg, do you foil your flat? I can't imagine a flat getting dry sitting in all of that rich collegen infused beef demi glace in the bottom of that foil!
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Old 02-27-2005, 01:46 PM   #7
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Adrian, First off I wouldn't use the ramp feature on the Guru, as the meat approaches its finish temp. the grate temp starts to get lower. This will increase your cook time which will dry out the meat that much more. I always use water in my water pan, ALWAYS! I've never tried foil and probably never will. I would try foiling the brisket next time at 165 - 170 and put back on WSM until final temp is reached. I've only done a couple of briskets but each was done this way with good results everytime.
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Old 02-27-2005, 03:40 PM   #8
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When you turn the unit on, make sure that the meat set point is set to off. After you turn unit on turn meat set point to temp. that you want meat cooked to.
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vom_Willemstad_K-9
Thanks for the info. I will try again next weekend.

Also, thanks to everyone with all of your help!


--Adrian

Adrian,
I am sure I speak for everyone, but it's our pleasure helping a fellow Q'er! We ALL continue to learn no matter how much we cook! Practice makes perfect!!
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Old 02-27-2005, 09:23 PM   #10
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Re: Brisket - Good Days, Bad Days - This was NFG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vom_Willemstad_K-9
... 20 hours later the internal temps were only in the upper 170's.
20 hours for an 8 pound brisket (1, 2 or 4 ~ doesn't matter that much) is way too long. Thermometer calibrations should be checked or it might be that as Al said, the meat shrunk back away from the meat leaving an air/fat pocket. Ramp Mode (Cook and Hold) should actually help you when it comes to holding moisture or not drying out. Some of the Gurus are reading 20 to 30 degrees off at cooking temps despite calibrating correctly in boiling water. Using a backup (Maverick or Nu-Temp) is a good idea as they tend to read air temperatures better than the Guru does. If you find that your Guru reads differently in the pit than it does when verifying calibration, I'd contact Fred or Bob at the bbq guru.com...In the mean time, offset your guru's pit temp setting by the difference between the two.

Don't play the beer drinking game with Larry! You'll loose!!

The initial instructions for the Guru when it comes to foil in the water pan were to loosely ball up 3 or 4 sheets of foil, place them in the water pan and cover with HD foil. Later instructions were to crumple 3 or 4 sheets of foil and somewhat straighten them out, place them in the water pan and cover with HD foil. You're trying to diffuse the heat from the fire and the crumpling of the foil helps here. (I have always used the 1st method with excellent results) The Guru is designed to heat the pit along with the meat but not with water or sand in the pan. While many have had good results with water, I believe it hampers the Guru by adding an extra heat-sink it has to deal with.
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