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Old 08-21-2007, 04:44 PM   #1
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brisket question

Got a 9 lb packer in the wsm for about 8 1/2 hours. Cooker is at 250F, meat is at 194F. I stuck a skewer in to see if it was done, sliding out easily. But it wasnt. Is the meat dried out or not done yet? I have the thermometer in the flat.

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Old 08-21-2007, 05:01 PM   #2
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Nick,

if it's not sliding in and out like butta, it's probably not done yet. The brisket I did last week didn't get to that point until it reached 203, and it was one of the best I've ever done.

Keep in mind temp is only one possible indication of meat being done. IS your flat foiled or not?
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:07 PM   #3
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Bruce,

Yets its foiled. I got it up to 199F and its still wasnt like buttah! Not sure if I should pull it off or not. How high does it have to get to be overdone?

Nick
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:40 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have the thermocouple (business part of the probe) in a hot spot. 195 is plenty done for brisket -- as long as you give it a good long rest. Anything past 205 is going to have to be sliced real thick to keep it from shredding like ropa vieja.

Briskets can be tricky because sometimes not only is there a layer of fat between point and flat, sometimes the flat itself is split by the same layer. By the way, it's that fat layer which is properly termed "deckle." Calling the point "deckle" was a barbecue misnomer which become popular enough that the definition expanded enough to include it. It's easy for a probe end to come to rest in the deckle and show a higher temperature than it would if in the flat. This is because as it heats progressively, the fat cells get soft and fluffy and the deckle loses density. The less dense the easier it absorbs heat. So it's a dynamic. On the other hand, the meat which is made of protein becomes denser because heat causes protein molecules to contract -- until they reach a certain temperature and the protein molecules denature a k a relax. That's why you get a stall with big pieces of fairly lean meat like brisket and butt.

I digress.

Check your probe by poking the brisket in several places with your instant read. If you're getting consistent temps above 195, pull the brisket and give it a good long rest, wrapped in saran wrap. The saran will maximize the juicy and tender qualities. Subtle difference, but you might as well take ALL advantages.

Looking forward to hearing how it works out,
Rich
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze
Sounds like you have the thermocouple (business part of the probe) in a hot spot. 195 is plenty done for brisket -- as long as you give it a good long rest. Anything past 205 is going to have to be sliced real thick to keep it from shredding like ropa vieja.

Briskets can be tricky because sometimes not only is there a layer of fat between point and flat, sometimes the flat itself is split by the same layer. By the way, it's that fat layer which is properly termed "deckle." Calling the point "deckle" was a barbecue misnomer which become popular enough that the definition expanded enough to include it. It's easy for a probe end to come to rest in the deckle and show a higher temperature than it would if in the flat. This is because as it heats progressively, the fat cells get soft and fluffy and the deckle loses density. The less dense the easier it absorbs heat. So it's a dynamic. On the other hand, the meat which is made of protein becomes denser because heat causes protein molecules to contract -- until they reach a certain temperature and the protein molecules denature a k a relax. That's why you get a stall with big pieces of fairly lean meat like brisket and butt.

I digress.

Check your probe by poking the brisket in several places with your instant read. If you're getting consistent temps above 195, pull the brisket and give it a good long rest, wrapped in saran wrap. The saran will maximize the juicy and tender qualities. Subtle difference, but you might as well take ALL advantages.

Looking forward to hearing how it works out,
Rich
Look Rich, I skipped science class for a reason, now I know why!

Now for more simpler terms, I do like Bruce suggested. I use temperature as a guide as to when to start checking for doneness with my Thermapen. I do the first test at 190* and I'd say 9 out of 10 briskets pass the probe test at that point. If it slides in and out with little resistance I pull it and let it rest for a minimum of two hours. I want the brisket to not be 100% done when I pull it, cause if the probe goes in with no resistance and then you foil and rest it's gonna be overly tender and hard to slice. On the other hand, I won't go on temp alone when I pull it either.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:36 PM   #6
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Larry, your method sounds good to me. Especially using a therma pen.

I'm pretty careful where I put my Maverick probe, but it's just a thermometer, not the word of God. That's why I check the readings. I usually check the same way I test steak, pressing my fingers into the meat. If it feels tough, I'll either move the Mav's probe or take it's temp with an instant read. Like you, I pull at a skosh over 190. 200 is too done, especially for the kind of meat I use.

Personally, I like the science, but I know it's not everyone's dish of tea. Still, just in case, I thought the poor guy was entitled to know why a single probe reading in brisket might be as much as 20 degrees hot.

Rich
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze
Larry, your method sounds good to me. Especially using a therma pen.

I'm pretty careful where I put my Maverick probe, but it's just a thermometer, not the word of God. That's why I check the readings. I usually check the same way I test steak, pressing my fingers into the meat. If it feels tough, I'll either move the Mav's probe or take it's temp with an instant read. Like you, I pull at a skosh over 190. 200 is too done, especially for the kind of meat I use.

Personally, I like the science, but I know it's not everyone's dish of tea. Still, just in case, I thought the poor guy was entitled to know why a single probe reading in brisket might be as much as 20 degrees hot.

Rich
Rich your explanation was indeed interesting..................but it really made my head hurt!
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:40 PM   #8
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Rich, I like science....keep it coming!!!!
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