Inconsistent Brisket - BBQ Central

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Old 03-04-2008, 08:09 PM   #1
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Inconsistent Brisket

For me, brisket has proven to be one of the most difficult bbq items to have any kind of consistency in finished the product.

I started an 11lb packer at around 10 am this morning. I was not suprised when the internal temp hit 195 at the five hour mark. There are plenty of threads talking about how drum smokers cook faster than other types of smokers. This brisket spent almost no time in a stall at all.

I removed the brisket at the six hour mark and rested it in a cooler for almost three hours.

I knew something was wrong when the point didn't want to let go of the flat. The brisket had good flavor even though I like injecting better.

I don't think it cooked long enough. The meat seemed a bit dry like it didn't cook beyond done and into tender. I know to check for tenderness beyond 195 but I figured it would be ready after a three hour rest.

Maybe I am having probe issues.

Anyway, here are some pics of today's project.

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Old 03-04-2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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Temp frequently does not indicate 'done'. Tender does. A temp or a temp range might correlate with tender but neither a temp nor a temp range causes tenderness.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Kruger
Temp frequently does not indicate 'done'. Tender does. A temp or a temp range might correlate with tender but neither a temp nor a temp range causes tenderness.
I must agree.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:27 PM   #4
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Cliff here while back the probe thermo. read 190 internal temp. But when I checked it with the thermo pin it read 178. So I kept my briskets on until the thermo pin read 190. Last week when I did the 4 butts one of them got to temp way faster then the others. Same problem when I checked it with the thermo pin. Reading was not as high. I threw that probe away. I really like my themo pin. Hope this helps
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
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Thermapen is on my list.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:35 PM   #6
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Have you used the boiling water test on your probes to check them?


I find my brisket is about the only thing that is consistent however I will say I have gotten one or two bad briskets that no matter what were not tender and could have been cooked forever and it would not have made a difference.

Also i go by the way the meat really feels. I don't use a fork in them though I think that just helps with moisture loss. I just prod them a bit with gloved hands and check the temp. Just gut instincts on it.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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I should have not assumed that the brisket would continue to cook to perfection while resting.

I check my probes prettty regular but not before each cook.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:02 PM   #8
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If the temp probe was in the fat it can read high but 1/2 hour a pound, not cooking in foil or at 300 plus degrees, is just not enough time to break down the contective tissue.

Stick a few spots and get a read on how it feels when sliding the probe into the flat.

When the connective tissue doesn't break down it's juices are not present and the brisket will seem dry.

Jim
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:39 PM   #9
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It's the meat Cliff.. I get good pieces and then bad ones... I look for the floppy briskets and that helps..
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:53 PM   #10
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Cliff-- If a Themapen isn't in the budget at the moment tey a PDT 300. It's not quite as fast but is a thermistor therm (so you'll get a reading in < 6 secs). At $21, it's a quarter the price of a Thermapen and is accurate. See here.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:41 AM   #11
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Once you get the thermometer thing figured out, another thing I like to do when I take a brisket off is to wrap it in saran wrap and then foil. You want to talk about tender!!!! Just don't take the brisket above 195* before you take it off or it might be a little to tender and fall apart on you.

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Old 03-05-2008, 07:55 AM   #12
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As Jim and Kevin have already said, use the temp as a guide to start checking for doneness and check in several spots, not just where your probe is stuck in. I like to let my brisket rest and then cool a bit before slicing, so I do not want a thoroughly tender brisket when I initially pull it off. I want just an ever so slight resistance when I slide a probe into the meat, then let it finish up while resting for a minimum of 2 hours then open the foil to cool for 15-20 before slicing.

Here's a simple guideline that is easy to understand the tenderness I'm referring to. Take your probe and practice on three sticks of butter. I know this different, but it gives you an idea of what to look for.

Cold Butter right out the fridge - Tough and requires further cooking
Cool Room Temp Butter - Almost tender and ready for a rest
Warm Room Temp (after about an hour Butter) - Tender no need to rest (if you rest at this point the brisket will fall about when you slice)
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:25 AM   #13
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Cliff are you measuring the temp at grate level in the BDS....I'm with jim on this one.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wittdog
Cliff are you measuring the temp at grate level in the BDS....I'm with jim on this one.
I have been taking temps at the dome. Drum smokers cook different from wsm's because they are direct over the coals. 24" above the coals but above the coals.

Fat down on a uds is a good idea because grate level will set the bark in a couple of hours.

I have to do another one now. Maybe this weekend.

I am going to monitor temps in different places more aggresively this time.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wittdog
Cliff are you measuring the temp at grate level in the BDS....I'm with jim on this one.
I have been taking temps at the dome. Drum smokers cook different from wsm's because they are direct over the coals. 24" above the coals but above the coals.

Fat down on a uds is a good idea because grate level will set the bark in a couple of hours.

I have to do another one now. Maybe this weekend.

I am going to monitor temps in different places more aggresively this time.
I'm thinking your grate temp is alot hotter then the dome...please keep up informed
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:42 AM   #16
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Many thanks to all for advice and assitance.

On a good note, I sliced the point just like the flat. It was impossible to eat becauce of fat and connective tissue.

I placed the slices in a covered dish and put in the oven at 300 for about three hours. They came out very tender.

Burnt ends from the oven.
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